The Long Tail of Real Estate Bloggers

I had an interesting discussion yesterday about whether blogging will go mainstream and become a real estate marketing medium as ubiquitous tomorrow as agent websites are today. Remember in 1999 when having an agent website, or even an email address, was considered leading edge? After all, a blog is nothing more than an enhanced agent website.

We discussed how Active Rain "owns" the blogger community. If indeed blogging becomes "de rigueur" or status quo, then owning the blogger community will eventually encompass owning the most influential voices of the real estate professional community. Why? There's a long tail of smallish cities and towns all across America that still don't have blogging agents. As they come on board (and you see the half hearted blogging attempts of agents in some of these towns on Active Rain), they will understand the community aspects of blogging (as bloggers already understand) and become integrated into the close-knit "blogosphere". You see the evidence of group think and wisdom of crowds among the main participants in Active Rain... they seem to vote as a bloc.

If it all snowballs, blogging agents may reach a critical mass to influence the industry as follows:

1) Blog-empowered agents set up own shop

from Laurie Manny comment
A little peek into the future.  If Broker Blogs become the next step, you will witness a major portion of blogging Realtors getting their Broker licenses and breaking away from the large companies, it is already starting.  Why would Realtors want to build Broker brand blogs SEO, or send leads to them by blogging on their system?

2) Informal blogging community referral networks skirt around brokerage referral fee system. Active Rain has a formal one.
3) Real estate sites cater to bloggers by offering lead generation services that send traffic back and forth between their respective sites. Trulia Voices is an example.
4) Brokers give up trying to sell leads to their agents. Instead they encourage their agents to blog and develop broker blogs that direct leads to the agents. The broker remakes themselves to be useful to agents for recruitment purposes.

Peek into the future of a unique launch slated for next week: Domus Consulting Group works with brokers to develop search engine optimized broker "uberblogs" that aggregate content and link to their agents' individual blogs. It's the best of both worlds - agents develop their own blog properties (they don't blog on the broker blogsite) and get jump started from the immediate traffic from the broker uberblog. Brokers develop SEO-charged blog-enabled websites that will eclipse their current Web 1.0 websites for marketing purposes.

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  • 10/2/2007 10:16 PM Todd Carpenter wrote:
    Pat, an "informal blogging community referral network" was my original vision in setting up REMBEX. I'm still looking for a way to do that.

    The problem with informality is that people want to feel like they are part of a bigger community. AR being the perfect example.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Reply to this

  • 10/3/2007 6:38 AM Jackie Colson-Miller wrote:
    An Interesting question...I am teaching a class for new bloggers in my office and I think the real issue is that less than 10% of all Real Estate agents have the personality, or the writing ability, to be a blogger...and, to be successful, I think you have to LOVE blogging and be committed to it.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/3/2007 12:00 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      We also believe that 10% is the correct ratio. We think that eventually at least one agent in every town and community will figure out they can be the first to blog for their locale, and that big # is the long tail of bloggers I'm referring to.

      Reply to this

  • 10/3/2007 1:07 PM Steven Groves wrote:
    Pat - great question - I get it all the time too. I reflect on the state that 65% of real estate agents do not have websites, then I realize that the website is still not de riguer.

    Blogging has a long way to go before it becomes a standard part of even 35% of the real estate community - the same percentage that have websites.

    Looks like we have our work cut out for us eh?
    Reply to this
    1. 10/3/2007 10:39 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Thanks Steven for the stat alert. With NAR's claim of 1.3+ milion agents, 35% of that is still over 400,000 agents with websites. You can pretty much assume that the other 65% without websites are dormant. I'd still venture to say 10% of those 400,000 agents may be inclined to blog, that's as many as the number registered with Active Rain.

      Reply to this

  • 10/3/2007 3:46 PM Hawaii Life wrote:
    I think blogs will be an important part of real estate sites moving forward. But ultimately, people are looking for listings, so it cannot be the only component.
    Reply to this

  • 10/3/2007 7:26 PM Nigel Swaby wrote:

    First of all, congratulations on being named one of the 25 most influential real estate bloggers. Your passion and encouragement of new bloggers is certainly part of it.

    Secondly, you're right about the future of real estate being online. Blogging is a critical, yet underdeveloped medium. Once proven successful, it will reach critical mass.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/3/2007 10:40 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Thanks Nigel, you and I concur that critical mass will occur as bloggers start up blogs in the long tail towns in America.

      Reply to this

  • 10/4/2007 8:45 AM Justin Smith - Tomato Coach wrote:
    Hi Pat,
    This echoes the thought of a post I just wrote... reaching a saturation point of real estate bloggers writing about local communities. But from my research, there are a plethora of towns and communities unrepresented... and maybe it's because only 10% are capable like Jackie mentioned.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/4/2007 1:43 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      The way I see it, even a small town or neighborhood of 5,000 may have 20 real estate agents... if the 10% rule works, two agents will eventually be blogging to establish their turf...

      Reply to this

  • 10/5/2007 5:20 PM Arlingtgon Virginia Condos -- Jay wrote:
    RE blogging is stupid. Realtors are wasting their time with this nonsense. Hopefully no more will bother with it--especially in the DC metro region and Wilmington, NC markets where I'm headed next
    Reply to this
  • 10/7/2007 3:50 PM Teresa Boardman wrote:
    I have been teaching classes on blogging for over a year now. 10% is about right and out of the 10% most give up becasue blogs are not a get rich quick thing. What most realtor bloggers still don't get is all they need is a blog that google likes. Noe at all hard to do.
    Reply to this
  • 10/21/2007 4:20 PM Metrowest MA Real Estate wrote:
    Blogging is in it's infancy right now. There will come a time when there are quite a few people doing blogs for their local markets. I am fortunate to be in the minority right now for bloggers in my area. I have a very strong presence in google for many Real Estate related short and long tail keyword phrases. I am hoping that there continues to be a lack of bloggers in my market for a while.
    Reply to this
  • 1/29/2008 1:17 PM Fort Worth Real Estate wrote:
    I still think blogs are ok, but websites are still the way to go. A blog is just another tool.
    Reply to this
  • 10/18/2008 7:08 PM Mike Pannell (Fort Worth) wrote:
    I agree with Rich in Fort Worth. I am not a blogger. I love my websites alot.
    Reply to this
  • 10/18/2008 7:09 PM Mike Pannell (Fort Worth) wrote:
    I agree with Fort Worth Real Estate above. My Websites are better then my blogs by a long ways.
    Reply to this

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