Yes, I feel a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. My month long journey down the yellow BLOG road has been full of twists and turns, but most of all it's been about many lessons learned.
1. Yes the blog is a bit like the Land of Oz. There is so much going on. Every day so many voices, subjects and posts - it at times can be a little overwhelming. There have been many days that I sat at my computer and thought I might never blog again - lost in the poppy field of EWM Bloggers. But now, a little more than a week from our formal release - I can see the horse of a different color... our blog is taking shape.
2. I have come a cross more than a few scarecrows. Those agents that will not blog... if they only had a brain! Their fear of the fire of technology is palpable. Scarecrows come in all shapes, sizes and age ranges. Many of the scarecrows were surprised to find that search engines will yield someone other than them on listing searches of their own inventory... you would think that in and of itself would be enough to get that blog brain going.
3. Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY! Around week 2 the liability lion leaped out from a tree in the forest of no return. I am not one to ever underestimate the legal ramifications of the real estate business, but I really never saw this cowardly lion coming. Fear of mad bloggers writing slanderous, scandulous content seemed to be a legitimate concern with the lions, not to mention the possibility of flaming public comment! With a a little bit of time and a lot of courage - the lions eventually came along. Actually, one good look around the moderated blog and the commenting gave them the courage they needed to let us proceed without further incident.
4. I've had a lot of help along the way. Kevin has been an unbelievable Good Witch. In my darkest "blogerated out" moments, he would step in and encourage at an office meeting, write a help post or just sit beside an agent and give them a few minutes of his time to help them along. Without ruining his reputation as a snarky blog brat wicked witch - I have to tell you - blogging has made him a better person... he is a hero here in Oz - a Top Producer who wants to help the munchkins along.
5. Of course, there would be no Oz without the wizard...Behind that Tomato is a salesman extraordinare - a man on a blogging mission. On the journey people have asked - why did you pick the Tomato? My answer was simple - he understood the yellow blog road and had as much vested in our successful journey as we did. His black bag of tricks contained brains, courage a ton of heart - the perfect Wizard of our Oz.
6. Once the Wizard was gone - back in the air balloon to Sacramento where he came from ( I still hold hope that we can convince him to come back east and have him make Florida home... I know a good Realtor or 2)... I am left to ponder my journey so far and will share with you what I have learned the most... there is no place like home.
The blog is merely a reflection of your company - it will read and feel just like your company is... good, bad or indifferent. I don't want to get lost in the trappings of what kind of company you have - this is not about Traditional Brokers vs. Internet Brokers - this is more about your company culture. If you enjoy a good reputation in the community - the blog brings that back to you 10 fold. If your agents trust the broker and believe in their company... they will blog just because you tell them it is the right thing to do. If your agents enjoy working with each other - they will comment on each other's blogs and support each other in their new venture. If the agents are plugged into their markets and their communities - it will come through in the blog.
So just in case you wonder what has gotten me through 3,000 posts, 2,200 comments and teaching a few hundred agents how to blog with little sleep... I just click my heels together and say... there is no place like home. Those ruby slippers feel great as i blogerate!