The IDEA BANK...Have You Started A Deposit Account?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

flowerOver the couple of weeks, I've had the distinct pleasure of talking and/or meeting several individuals from the Active Rain blogging community.  Missy Caulk, who is just a couple of hours away in Ann Arbor called me because she was going to be in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a convention.  When we met for lunch at the Amway, it was like sitting down with a good friend. We brought her a bouquet of flowers to celebrate her being named one of the "Twelve Top Female Real Estate Bloggers" by the widely read Sellsius blog. The conversation flowed easily and we laughed a lot.  We didn't want it to end.  So, when she invited us to join her and her team at the convention, we tagged along. 

Later on, I got a call from Steve Volkers, an agent in Grand Rapids who was inquiring about the upcoming Blogging Seminar.  Steve is very progressive in his thinking and I appreciated hearing about how he is connecting via Facebook and other Web 2.0 platforms in addition to Blogging.  Steve's blogging efforts have yielded tangible results in leads and successful transactions.  Upon reflection about my conversations, I realized that the volume of commissions from leads within the past year from 3 real estate agents related blogging efforts alone was well over $100,000.  That's not small change...particularly in Michigan.

green cactusMore recently, I spoke on the phone with Amber Riviere.  The first time I read a blog Amber wrote was when she won the Prime Time Contest hosted by Mark Flanders with her article entitled "Drive." The reason I was calling Amber was because I had received a call from Jeff Dowler.  Jeff was calling me about a creative NEW newsletter that Amber has launched called the 411 NewsletterThis on line newsletter is Amber's answer to expanding the reach of excellent blog posts to real estate clients all over the country. 

You see, consumers are just beginning to grasp the gold mine of information available through real estate blogs. The phenomenon has not yet reached the critical mass which will will create a Tipping Point. But, it's a movement which is gaining members and momentum very quickly. 

Amber's idea...give agents the opportunity to subscribe to an online version newsletter created from Blog Posts which can be e-mailed to hundreds of clients.  As the agent you don't have to do a thing...just contact Amber to subscribe to the service.  Not only is this expanding the reach of well written blog posts, it's giving agents another way to add Value to their clients without even having to write a Blog! 

It is crystal clear to me now why this is going to be an extremely powerful aspect of marketing.  The explosion of blogs in every arena, 109 Million as tracked by Technorati, will eventually make blogging another mainstream source of news and information.  Think of how often you hear blogs quoted or see their authors on Fox News and CNN...something you rarely saw 3 years ago.

Looking back...a year ago, I couldn't understand why my kids wanted to be on Facebook and Xanga.  Nor, would it have made sense to me that one of the most eagerly anticipated rites of passage, entrance into a prestigious university, would be celebrated with almost the same level of exuberance as being eligible for an e-mail address that allowed you to join the school's Facebook network.  But when we took our son to college, students seemed to know each other.  They settled into an easy camaraderie...not as strangers but friends who had already met and were eager to delve deeper into relationship. Seeing this first hand, in tandem with my own experience was a watershed moment for me.

flowerWhen I've met potential clients who have been reading my blog, it a very different sort of introductory process.  Sitting down with someone who has read your blog is like meeting a friend...one with whom you have some delightful catching up to do.  The barriers of mistrust have been broken down.  The true work of service and counsel can begin unhampered by lingering suspicions and misplaced apprehension. Clients have told me, they "feel they know me."

I just finished reading an interesting blog post  entitiled "Lead Generation Paradigm Shift" by Pat Kitano author of theTransparent Real Estate Blog. Pat's insights about how the shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 are going to change consumer relationships is intriguing.

According to Pat Kitano:

"Web 1.0 was about buying leads sourced from sites that collected contact info, usually as a toll for the consumer to see additional information. Web 2.0 promotes the free exchange of information with the presumption that the good will of such exchange would lead to a business relationship. The newest paradigm is just beginning to appear. Web 2.x will promote the free distribution of data as currency to attract leads" (I really encourage you to read this article in full context...)

If Pat is right...and I think he is, this paradigm shift will yield a blogger increasingly expanding returns through the interconnectivity of relationships realigning potential leads back to source authors in exchange for the attraction power of their ideas. Those who have already started to build this database by blogging are literally investing currency in the bank of ideas.  Are you Building a Deposit which you can withdraw from tomorrow to fund your future by writing posts that consumers will WANT to read?

 

Copyright 2007 Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

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Rainer
384,128
Duane Hosek
Coldwell Banker - Lewis-Kirkeby-Hall - Rapid City, SD

Great blog.  Thanks for all of these ideas.

Duane Hosek in the Black Hills of South Dakota    www.duanehosek.com

Oct 21, 2007 04:09 PM #35
Rainmaker
3,823,795
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Lola, Thank you for a great post. I will check out the links you mentioned.
Oct 21, 2007 11:01 PM #37
Rainer
225,598
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC
You always do a great job with your blogs--This one is no exception
Oct 22, 2007 12:18 AM #38
Rainer
130,396
Al Maxwell
Keller Williams - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Agent
If the growth of blogging continues at the current pace, then it will be an even more powerful force in many aspects of our lives.
Oct 22, 2007 12:53 AM #39
Rainer
40,089
Chelle Gassan
RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA - Bristow, VA
NOVA Realtor and Stager
The people who keep rising to the surface on AR seem to be the people who do well in their businesses.  It is fortunate that we have all these people at our fingertips to learn from and share.
Oct 22, 2007 01:17 AM #40
Anonymous
Joseph Ferrara.sellsius
Enjoyed your post Lola.  Thanks for the skinny on 411. It is a wonderful idea.  
Oct 22, 2007 03:05 AM #41
Rainer
18,305
Amber Riviere
Brown Bug, LLC - Covington, LA
I thoroughly enjoyed our call last week, Lola, and you are absolutely right.  It's just like talking to an old friend.  Conversations with Rainers are always a lot of fun.  Thanks so much for letting everyone know about 411 Real Estate Place!  Maybe it will lead to another great call or two! ;)
Oct 22, 2007 03:05 AM #42
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

To All:  Thanks for your comments.  I have been largely away from my computer over the past 24 hours but appreciate how many of you stopped by to read and share your thoughts.  I'll be responding in a little bit.  Thanks Again.

Oct 22, 2007 08:36 AM #43
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Diane, Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I read your blog post very quickly, but will be going back to read it more slowly and comment.  Good discussion you've got going. :)

Jennifer, Amber's newsletter is a great way to add value from the collective wisdom of the blogosphere to our clients.  I think it's a great idea and she's off to a good start.

Hi Carol, Good to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by!  Hoping to be able to connect with you in GR :)

Kris, I'm smiling as I read your comment about 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, there are still many individuals in the real estate community who fail to comprehend how important and relevant an understanding and engagement with this medium is.

Hi Missy, Wow, that's wonderful about the flowers!  They decided they had to squeeze out every last bit of beauty as a gift from the heart! :)  Thanks also for the tip about Ann's blog.  I'm going to check it out.  I can understand the confusion of many real estate professionals...this way of thinking can seem very confusing at first.

Oct 22, 2007 09:39 AM #44
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Kelly, Peer support and affirmation is very important to all of us...it will just be done within some additional channels in the future.  However, these new distribution systems of information will be far more expansive in their reach.

Hi Andrew...it's like parallel worlds.  There are many agents who don't want to use e-mail and refuse to get even a domain name or a website.  There were also individuals who refused to buy a TV in the 1950's and 60's.  To each his own...

Thanks for your comment Kay.

Thanks Vickie.

Lane...I can relate.  A single google search brought me to Active Rain and it has definitely been a life changing experience.

Oct 22, 2007 09:46 AM #45
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Appreciate your visit Donna.

Bob & Carolin...Thanks for your comment.

Kim...You're welcome.

Sally....I feel the same way about you!  Thanks for your comment. :)

Hi Mary, Thanks for spreading the word about the Blogging Seminar.  Truly appreciate it.  This is a tool that can be of such great benefit to those in the home building profession.

Suzanne, Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. 

Appreciate your comment John

Oct 22, 2007 09:52 AM #46
Rainmaker
338,882
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Lola - wow, loads of great info in this post!  And some eye-opening info about facebook, etc.  I'm on there, but just have not done much at all with it or a few others I'm on.  I think now I'll be thinking about them in a slightly different light.

From reading the comments, many of us have AR to thank for getting us to the point where we all are right now, and for putting us ahead of so many.  That report Missy mentioned is one of my posts, "Who Are We?", and the stat NAR had was just as she wrote - 4% have blogs, and another 10% plan to.

I've been slowly making my deposits in a variety of places.  I think I need to speed those deposits up a bit!

Thanks for this terrific post!
Ann

Oct 22, 2007 09:58 AM #47
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Rebecca...the most important thing is that you're starting today!  Keep up the good work.

Bill...Appreciate your visit.  There is a powerful shift (transition) taking place that will reshape much more than just the real estate community.

Lenn... :)

Sharon...It was a fascinating thing to observe.  Gave me some food for thought with reference to real estate too.

Thanks for your comment Scot.

Chris...Truly appreciate your stopping by to read and comment.

Oct 22, 2007 09:58 AM #48
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Natalie...Congrats on being on the forefront as a leader in your local community in this area.  Best wishes as you grow and help others to learn about the implications of this new technology.  Thanks for your comment.

Bill & Barbara Jo...Appreciate your comment.

Elizabeth...Thanks for the Blessing and the "Bridge" analogy :)

Lisa...Congratulations on being a part of the Inaugural issue of the Newsletter!  Excellent blog posts will have the opportunity to be amplified through partnerships like this.

Lynda...Very interesting & powerful.  Another agent googled your name for a referral... AND as a result, you got the referral.  First of all...Congratulations and secondly, this is a great example of the ways in which this medium is impacting connections in our spheres of influence and business relationships.

Oct 22, 2007 10:10 AM #49
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Eloise, Thank you for your kind compliment.  I truly appreciate your visit.

You're welcome Duane.

Christy....:)

Hi Gita, Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Appreciate your comment & compliment Diane.

Hi Al...the pace of the growth in this revolution is expanding....

Chelle, Thanks for your comment.  I have learned a lot through this network.  It's a phenomenal place to get a good education particularly about the new media.

Oct 22, 2007 10:23 AM #50
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Joseph...Honored by your visit.  The 411 Newsletter is worth checking out. :)

Amber...Best Wishes for continued success!  The 411 is a great concept.

Hi Ann, Thanks for stopping by to read and comment and for the link to your blog post.  As soon as I finish with the comments here...I'll be heading over there next. :)

Oct 22, 2007 10:32 AM #51
Ambassador
500,762
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge
I make deposits daily with the idea in mind that discipline and creativity will pay off in the end.
Oct 22, 2007 01:51 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,024,607
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Lola...it sounds like soon we'll be  Paying it Forward, which is a very good thing for us all.

Cheers, have an awesome day, and keep up the great posts :O)

Oct 25, 2007 06:58 PM #53
Rainmaker
387,735
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Tracey, I think you're on the right track!

Fred, Thanks for your comment.

Oct 26, 2007 06:42 AM #54
Anonymous
Diane Cohn
Lola, excellent post. Thank goodness we have kids to keep us in the technology loop, yes? If everything closes as planned this year, I'll have done $15 million in a declining bubble market where the median price is $280K, all thanks to my blog. It's an incredible tool for attracting whatever kind of business you want. Blogging, done well, is the magic bullet of lead generation in real estate.
Nov 09, 2007 02:46 PM #55
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