Read the title of this post one more time…
"If blog visitors aren't being treated as leads, then blogging is really a waste."
So says Rusty Lindquist, vice president of broker and agent products for a la mode, Inc. (a la mode supplies real estate agent web sites, marketing systems and other such "realty tech".)
Now don't get me wrong. I respect Blanche Evans. And a la mode seems to produce a pretty nice product.
But Ms. Evans and Mr Lindquist are completely wrong about this.
First (and foremost) a blog visitor is a person — a living, breathing human being. I'm not sure what exactly "treating them like leads" means. From the article, it sounds like I'm supposed to capture visitor's email addresses and personal info and begin assaulting them with all my glossy marketing material. So I should be throwing all the visitors to this blog on an email drip and sending them emails and postcards featuring my smiling face–all the while extolling the virtues of working with us.
Well, that ain't happening here folks.
Of course an agent needs prospects. Without them, it's difficult to gain clients and pay for clothes for the children. But I'll be damned if I'm going to turn this blog into nothing more than a tool to add people to a prospect database. We already have a "standard real estate web site" that does a fine job of that (though many would say it's under utilized for prospect generation — more on that another day).
We've gotten plenty of business from this blog, without treating our "visitors as leads". As with our main site, we strive to provide quality information in a hopefully interesting and sometimes entertaining format. I don't feel compelled to grab an email address and shove marketing into someone's face. The way I figure it, if I can provide good info, display my expertise and a little bit of "who I am" then I can safely treat my visitors like the human beings that they are. All while making a reasonable living.
I have to admit that I was a bit surprised with the "clinical" aspects of this article. I don't think that either Ms. Evans or Mr. Lindquist truly "get it" when it comes to real estate blogging. Granted, there are no rules — and that's a good thing — but both of these people, who are well placed in the real estate technology world, seem to show a remarkable lack of understanding with regard to real estate blogging.
Ms. Evans demonstrates this lack of understanding at the beginning of the article when she says:
So how widespread is the real estate blogging phenomena? Even Donald Trump has jumped on the blogwagon. Other noteworthy real estate blogs include: activerain.com, dailypundit.com, and walkthrough.nytimes.com to name just a few.
Um, The Walk Through officially closed its doors almost eight months ago. There are thousands of real estate blogs out there and she names this as one that is "noteworthy"?!? No offense Ms. Evans, but that makes it difficult to put much credibility into anything else in the article… Interestingly another "noteworthy" blog — The Daily Pundit (and she's right on this one, it IS quite excellent) — has this to say about the article.
Real estate blogging — It's not about trolling for prospects…
More RE Bloggers opine: Merv Forney
[tags]real estate blogging, Blanche Evans, Realty Times, Rusty Lindquist, a la mode[/tags]