As people in the real estate industry talk about blogs, it seemed to me that agents would find it easier to start blogging about who they are and what they know if they didn’t have to learn it all on their own, and maintain a rapid pace of writing from the very start. In a recent post at AgentGenius there was some conversation about BINOs (Bloggers In Name Only). People that create a blog, but don’t do sufficient writing or promotion to maintain the blog and achieve enough recognition from the consumer and other professionals to make the Blog a success in terms of consistent readership. It would seem that part of the problem is that there is a lot to learn in publishing a blog, unless it is satisfying some literary compulsion to write on a daily basis.
My experience was different. While I was a BINO with an abortive ActiveRain Blog, and a post or two written on a Blogger platform, my real writing experience started with Agent Genius, through commenting, and a gracious invitation from Lain Anglin-Rosales and Benn Rosales to write for AgentGenius. AgentGenius, though certainly not a place for most people to start writing, is a great place to write for me because there is a sense of community, a flow of ideas from different places. Differing points of view, differing styles of writing, different areas of expertise. Ideas flow to write a new post from one you have read or a conversation that started between two other people.
Though much of our job as real estate professionals is still the same as it has been for years,Social Media is obviously the newest communication frontier for technologically comfortable consumers. Because of that it is important to have the agents at CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold participating in that arena. The question was how to accomplish that.
There were a number of challenges. One was the unfamiliarity of our agents with Blogging. We don’t live in Virginia or Arizona or California, or St. Paul (home to Teresa Boardman and BoomerJack Boardman) where Blogging is old hat and more generally accepted because of the experience and visibility of well known participants in New Media. So the question was, how do we encourage our agents to Blog and help them reach effective standards while presenting an accurate representation of both our company and our agents?
Having started using WordPress, the solution presented itself in the ability to add contributors or authors to individual blogs. And so C21AGVoices was born. We asked several technologically advanced agents to participate and several managers and partners. Each was asked to write at least one post each week, hoping that as the Blog gained more readership within the company, new participants would present themselves.
The basics standards of the posts are simple, and are maintained by reviewing the Blogs before posting. This is less for the purpose of moderating the content then it is to help the new writers achieve style, be consistent in spelling and grammar, helping with addition of graphics and educating the fledgling authors in the perks and quirks of using WordPress. Comments are not moderated at this point, andthere is no plan to do so, though that may change as the blog grows. Then again, it may not. If the contributors like the process, they may begin to publish their own Blogs and will grow in the world of Social Media. If that happens, the project has been succesful. If that does not happen, but our company had a Social Media platform for agents to utilize, that is also a desirable conclusion.
C21AGVoices may be one of the first Blogs of its type, at least in the real estate industry because it is created be the company rather then a third party, and was built like Jay Thompson’s company blog (apology to Jay but I couldn’t find the post announcing it, so this link is to his personal blog). Please take the time to stop by and meet CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold’s Bloggers, and provide your input here. Its an experiment in progress and your help, questions and ideas are all welcome!