Localism, adapting to new market conditions, and thriving (Part 2)

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Why Localizing content is the future

Others are skeptical, but I am not. I sit speechless in awe of how simple ActiveRain is making it to deliver one's message as an expert in a market area. Over and over again, I found that the number one factor my clients considered in their choice to work with me was my ability to demostrate my expertise to them . This had to do with how much I devoted myself to researching for their ideal homes, how familiar I made myself with the market, and how well I conducted myself ethically and professionally. Localism is great because it allows me as an agent to get that expertise out to the consumer directly and en masse, instead of having to spend time on formalities to finally meet them and "prove" my expertise in person. As the originator of the expertise, I am the source of meeting their needs. Why at that point would they choose to work with someone else?

new life plant adaptation(Disclosure: I'm the wife of one of the owners (of ActiveRain) and have off and on thought of leaving the real estate field. Until recently when I started to understand the significance of Localism, and the way ActiveRain works seamlessly with it, taking regular blog posts geared toward the consumer and showcasing the realtor's intimate knowledge within a certain market area. It is what I have always wanted... and I am more excited now than I have ever been about real estate in my whole career.) 

Because of Localism's structure, within a short time, it will ensure the number one, two, or three, spot in search engine rankings throughout the US. It will carry far greater power than an individual blog, solely because the strategy behind it's system and how the search engine optimization is done will surpass the reach of a lonely blog. Clients searching for my market area will come across article after acrticle as well as picture after picture of evidence of my expertise. What's best? It will be free for me. I won't have to spend any more money marketing myself unless I choose to. And like things that become stable and a part of life, and with which soon people no longer remember how to live without, both ActiveRain and Localism will be so embedded in the consumer's mind that life without the internet and our currently changing markets will seem foreign to us. We will have adapted, and thriving. 

We need to make ourselves purveyors of expertise. No matter the medium, we are an integral part to buying and selling homes. We should not compare ourselves with our neighbor who may close three transactions a year and does not work in the field full time. They are far more common than the image of the regular "punch it out like clockwork" realtor who we fear will plow us down.

Part 1 of series 

Part 3 of series

 

[note: Part 1 addresses my experience with non-traditional mediums of real estate as the primary source of my business, and Part 3 explains how Localism.com alleviates my biggest complaint with real estate. These two sections are the background for why I feel Localism is so amazing!]

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Tags:
localism
market change
activerain
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getting clients
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real estate market

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Ambassador
1,801,096
Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Thanks, Sara, for a well-written and thoughtful post. I, too, am looking forward to Localism going live. Writing things to be included is helpful in my overall marketing, and this provides an added incentive.

Jeff

January 30, 2007 06:46 PM
Anonymous #8
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Sara,

I just spent some time on Localism this evening.  What an interesting place and the more we cooperate and contribute, the better it will be in the future. 

January 30, 2007 06:46 PM
Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead

Sara,

I'm pretty excited about Localism...I just wish I had more time to devote to it. Slowly I'm building it and between my husband who is also on AR and I we're getting together a lot of information to put up on Localism.

January 30, 2007 07:24 PM
Rainmaker
605,639
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International
What great advocacy!  I agree, I think localism will be a wonderful source of information for consumers, and a way for them to choose a great agent.
January 30, 2007 08:24 PM
Rainer
9,743
Adam Forney
First Realty GMAC
Sounds like a great thing coming. I've been on AR for less than a week. I love it!
January 30, 2007 10:27 PM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Hi Nick! No, I am not tooting my husband's horn, heheeh. Those who know me well will testify that if my motivation is not intrinsic, it's not going to get done. I am actually very excited about Localism! Hubby flew out last night for business, I hopped onto ActiveRain to write a post on my neighborhood dog park, one thing led to another, and I pretty much composed much of this post in respone to Bill Leider's recently featured blog.

 

There is a lot of skepticism out in the world. There should be. Many ventures claim to do this or that, and never deliver. Look at ActiveRain. If you enter my name in a google search, my ActiveRain page pops up at the head of the list. How many web sites and groups have I been a part in, and my name would have delivered no results ?

 

Just this morning, I recieved a client inquiry into help for moving out to this area. Mind you, I have not been the most profficient of bloggers, yet with just a few blogs, consumers start to notice? Localism will go far further than that. Just how far, we as the individual agent get to decide, based on how much we choose to participate.

 

If you read Part 3, of my blog post above, it will make sense why I am so excited about Localism. Jon had told me about it before, but it had never clicked. Now I am unstoppable. I carry my camera out with me, constantly watching out for something blog-worthy. I read the community newspapers, and pay attention more than ever to local goverment, school development, etc. I am certain that my effort will be worth more than what I put in... my rewards will e greater than my effort. Knowledge is exponential. The more I know, the more I am sought out, the better I serve my clients, and after a while, that wealth of knowledge becomes a force to be reckoned with. Many realtors know this already. Localism allows realtors to display this wealth while strengthening their market position in their community.  

January 31, 2007 01:03 AM
Rainer
18,206
David R. Fuller
RE/MAX
AR helping us all get out there a little more. Thanks AR and for the good post Sara!
January 31, 2007 12:27 AM
Rainmaker
199,655
William Collins
Director of Property Management
ERA Queen City Realty

Sara,

Thanks for the post. Clearly, ActiveRain has created opportunities for Real Estate professionals and consumer alike, that heretofore did not exists. This centralized location catering to the needs of all the key players. Now the advent of Localism... a consumer driven forum, providing greater focus on the consumer's needs and at the same time elevating the professional to expert status!

February 02, 2007 04:15 AM
Rainmaker
680,143
Kay Van Kampen
RealtorĀ®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions
Sara, I've been excited about Localism.com since it was first announced.  I'm waiting for spring to take great photos, but I can't wait.  I'll just have to update the photo's later.  I've never read so much and learned so quickly since I joined Active Rain.  Keep up the great work!
January 31, 2007 07:46 AM
Rainmaker
307,323
Maggie Dokic
CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |
Special Miami Homes

Sara, I've caught the fever too.  I see where this is headed and I am SOOOOOOO glad I got on board already.  What I don't get is the agents who don't see it.  I personally sent about 80 invitations to other agents and only 2 signed up.  ::scratching her head::  Oh well, it's their loss.  They'll think back to it when Localism takes the world by storm.

You're a beautiful and obviously bright young woman.  Jonathan's blessed (and I'm sure you are too).  Thanks to your hubby and the team for this great place.

January 31, 2007 07:49 AM
Rainer
62,269
Nick M.
Realtor-Appraiser in West Palm-South Florida Real Estate Appraiser
Certified Residential Appraiser- West Palm Beach Real Estate

Sara.. WOW! thanks for that reply.. I agree with you, just kidding about the hubby thing. :))  I was amazed at what AR has done in a short 2 months that I am on here. I do see what Localism will do for us.. and we should harness that by writing local posts. I'm excited about both site.. so much so, that I may finally finish my profile soon!! (inside joke, I'm giggling inside.. see? ;)  I will contributing to Localism and AR for a long time.. !

January 31, 2007 12:58 PM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Maggie, you're too kind! :)

I visited Springfield, MO as a child and fell madly in love with it. For a good handful of years, I tried to persuade my parents moving to Missouri would be advantageous. It never did happen, but it has stayed a fond place in my heart.  What a lovely place to sell. 

 

Change is hard, very hard, in fact. Resisting change is a healthy part of humanity, maybe part of our "self-preservation" instincts. The relationship between resistance and adaptation is very interesting to me. We resist change until we realize we might starve, and then we embrace change emphatically in a struggle for survival. (I mean this metaphorically). I don' think there's any judgment in it, any "right" or "wrong", but a life process..

That said, I've read a lot about reactive/proactive thinking (Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline is one of my favorite books on this) and a slim book that put me in a state of shock when I first read it titled, Who Moved my Cheese? I have faith that realtors will adapt and thrive. I don't think non-adaptive realtors will starve, but with time their business stream will slow down, so that of their own will they will reach out and embrace new methods to compliment their business strategy and to maintain their quality of life. (Market pressures as motivator.) I'm inclined to think the change will happen slowly(although it's already begun, perhaps 5 years ago), as opposed to the overnight flip of the switch suffered by the travel industry. I also suspect it will happen generationally, meaning more and more of the younger buyers as they enter the market will be employing modern methods in their househunting. (I'm not a guru or specialist on this, there are just my inclinations..)

Early adapters are often positioned to benefit the most, however. One of their benefits, by getting in early, is they learn ahead of the later, broader group of adapters what works and what doesn't.   Strategies can be tweaked mintuely to better capitalize on that market. Early adapters often aren't so intimidated by their own skepticism, which can hold a person back.  Skepticism is natural; it's just that early adapters listen to their skepticism less.

 

Realtors need a voice, in the new emerging markets. I've disliked how often realtors get exploited. With so many fronts encroaching on the realtor's line of business, it is getting harder and harder for them to survive.  Localism is the antithesis to that. It seeks to help the realtor by offering both a sustainable method for success and by offering a tangible method of adapting to the new mediums. (Often, I think the realtor has been watching things change, but has seen no viable way to adapt at all, instead, feeling undercut. I feel strongly that whatever changes occur in the next 20 years, the realtor will be an integral part).

:) 

January 31, 2007 05:44 PM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

The above post is mine, for some funny reason, my name is not appearing on the screen next to it. 

 

I wanted to mention that I think Localism is relevant to all segments of the RE industry, that not just realtors stand to benefit from posting on it. (I referred primarily to realtors in my blog).  

January 31, 2007 04:15 PM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Hi Joan!

To post on Localism is quite simple, so simple that I was stunned myself when I realized it.

 

When you blog on ActiveRain, your blog post will automatically show up on Localism.com if you've done two things:

1) Select "consumer" as the content of your blog, and

2) Select the State, and then the city of your blog market. You must select both the state and city. Without the city, your blog will not appear, as the city helps Localism to know how to file your blog.

 

To insert pictures without blogging, go to "Localism.com". Login in (button on the top right). Your Login and Password are the same as your ActiveRain Login and Password.

Click on your state from the map or the list. Then, select the county on the left, then the city. (These will automatically pop up as you complete the step before it.)

Click on "[your city] Photos" from the list on your top left. Click on "Upload  photo for [your city]". 

Click "browse" and select the photo from your computer. Then click "open" and it will transfer it to your location box. Click "upload photo" and you're done!

:) 

Joan, let me know if you have any glitches! Since it's so new, there's a few glitches sometimes...

If you get an error after selecting "upload photo", try shrinking your photo definition. If the photo definition is too long, it gives an error.  

January 31, 2007 05:17 PM
Rainer
122,017
Christy Powers
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners
I couldn't agree more. I need to get myself in gear and start cranking stuff out. Everytime I try, something else always pops up.....grrrrr. I can't wait to finally get started. I have committed myself this weekend!
January 31, 2007 10:52 PM
Rainmaker
114,288
Ken Spencer
for Verrado, Buckeye, Sundance
Serendra Realty Group
Localism will be the all things to all people.  I'm totally convinced of that without question.
February 01, 2007 12:01 AM
Rainmaker
299,082
Brian Brady
VA Home Loans/San Diego
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751

Because of Localism's structure, within a short time, it will ensure the number one, two, or three, spot in search engine rankings throughout the US.

Six months ago, I'd have told you you were nuts.  Today, well:

Search results for "Brian Brady mortgage" 

Uh...I'm a believer 

February 02, 2007 02:15 AM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Brian, "The truth is more shocking than fiction"!

Thanks everyone for sharing your thougts about Localism! This is a fascinating journey...

Sara Washburn :) 

February 05, 2007 03:11 PM
Anonymous #25
Anonymous
Anonymous

Nicely written.  Localism light a fire in my heart, I can tell you that.  I don't think I can imagine all the possiblities but I know a something hot when I touch it.  Now the goal is to not let go.

February 06, 2007 03:10 PM
Rainmaker
53,341
Sara Washburn
Keller Williams Greater Snohomish & King County

Hi Elena,

Have you become compulsive like me? I have hundreds of thoughts brewing in my brain regarding content I want to right and pictures I'd like to showcase. My days are swamped right now! By the time I'm done with the stuff on my plate, night has fallen, and so has the sun! 

February 06, 2007 07:55 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
53,341

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