Forums: The Social Networking Tool Worth Using EVERY Day

Services for Real Estate Pros with Classy Inbound

DailySo you're updating Twitter and Facebook regularly. You're hitting Active Rain on a consistent basis. But the site means NOTHING to you. Or maybe you know what that site is, you checked it out once, and you moved on. 


City-Data is a FREE site dedicated to compiling statistics about each and every city and town in the United States. City Data's home page boasts this line "Visited by 11.7 million unique visitors in June 2009, featured in 60 books, on CNN, WABC in New York, Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay, and USA Today's Hot Sites".  WOW! That's impressive! And it's true!

The best part of City-Data? Each major metro area has a forum where people who are curious about the area post questions, and area residents answer. From the best Italian cuisine to school info to local events, someone from the town is answering these questions. That someone should be YOU. Daily. Every time you update a social network site, you should log into City-Data and answer a question. Why? People on these forums are often moving. Moving into town, Moving out of town, or just moving within town (a twofer)!

Not convinced? Let me share my own experience with you: I started planning my move cross country about a year before we put the house up for sale, and then it took us 6 more months to sell, take care of some loose ends, and move. For 1.5 years I was glued to city-data, because I had not chosen the city I was going to move to. I knew it was the Carolina's, but other than that I didn't know where to go. Everything was a factor: Crime, Cost of Housing, Schools, Traffic, Weather, etc. The ONLY site that gave me statistics about each of those categories was City-Data. AND there were residents personal opinions on all of those topics. Dozens upon dozens of people who were in the process of moving and researching, just like me. It was like an online relocation club! And the best part? I had already selected my Realtor ‘online' based on the company she was with and her designations. But guess what? My decision was reinforced by city-data. Not because she was on there being helpful, but when I punch her name into the search feature of the site, her name comes up as a recommended Realtor over and over and over again. We found our moving company on this site. Our repair man. Our car transport company. Why? Because honest, every day people were sharing their experiences. No sales gimmicks. You are not allowed to post your web site or plaster ads all over the place. You simply have to help keep the forum going by adding your two cents, and  you can mention  your career as a Realtor as you see fit.


Don't have time? OK , here is the challenge: Think of the ONE person you know who is online all the time and lives in your area. Have THEM sign up, tell them to answer questions daily, and search for people who are asking about Realtors. Every time they see someone asking, put your name out there. See how long it takes you to gain a lead from this...for free. Or you could hire a Virtual Assistant to handle this for you to ensure accuracy and frequency...just a thought!




For more information about how a Virtual Assistant can help you Contact Us


Past Blog Posts by Markelle:

Since When are you a DoorMat?

Half of 2009 is Gone: How Much $$ Have you Wasted?

The Case for Realtor Preview Tours

What are your statistics for new business?

Facebook & Twitter: Are you Referable?

ONE FREE THING to Gain New Leads in 2009

Using Post-Its to Reach Your 2009 Production Goals

Best Contact Task Management Software Available for 2009 Organization Goals

Are You Using the Credit Crunch to Your Advantage When Working with Buyers?

A Review of Online Continuing Education Classes

Responses to Rejection

Finally, A Postive Article About the Future of Real Estate!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

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Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Markelle~ I have checked in to this once and never went back again, maybe I need to reconsider...

Aug 03, 2009 04:49 AM #1
Marcy Eastham
Town & Country Realty Corvallis Oregon - Corvallis, OR

Hi Markelle,

I checked into this site and the info hadn't been updated since 2007.  Questions were from 2006 and 2007.  Obviously it works in some markets and not so much in others.  I'd hate to be the one trying to keep all those communities up to date!

Aug 03, 2009 04:57 AM #2
Courtney Cooper
Team Leader/ Investor for Brand New Keller Williams North Seattle Office - Seattle, WA

I get on there once and a while - I know it is pretty busy - I just don't like the old format. 

Aug 03, 2009 05:06 AM #3
Markelle Harden
Classy Inbound - Charlotte, NC
Digital Marketing Specialist

Thanks for the feedback ladies! Marcy - you're right, the metro area is really going to make a difference. Don't give up! City-Data is still top-ranked in the search engines for info seekers, and you don't have to subscribe or post to view the forum. If you're the only one in the area posting, well then, it could very well be that you will be the only Realtor receiving hits. Maybe post a question to see if you get any answers?


Aug 03, 2009 05:25 AM #4
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

This is a great idea - thanks!  I've already checked out the website & responded to a "relocating to your area" question. 

Aug 03, 2009 05:45 AM #5
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Hmmm, guess I'll check into this, thanks for the thought.


Aug 03, 2009 05:57 AM #6
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Markelle Harden

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