It was one of those lovely winter/spring days with just a light breeze and no need for a coat. The morning started off on a high note with a featured post by Brad Andersohn on Active Rain. Brad had written about my PowerPoint presentation the night before. Brad commented on my post about my upcoming presentation to the Women's Council of Realtors, then I commented on his comment, and before long we were on the phone brainstorming. His creative PowerPoint post was the result. Thank goodness I had already made my 50 handouts because I was having so much fun (and a bit of frustration) trying to open Brad's new technical creation. He worked out the glitches and I was able to see it just before leaving for the WCR meeting. What a boost that was!
But, I was soooo busy blogging about what I was going to say about blogging that I didn't take time to figure out what I was actually going to be saying about blogging when I got to the podium of the Suburban Club. It was a wonderful group of 50 to 60 in attendance at the WCR's first annual Affiliate's Fair. There were agents, of course, but also title companies, a home inspector, a GRI and ABR instructor, a stager, a book publisher, an auction company, lenders, men as well as women (don't be fooled by the that name - Women's Council of Realtors – no gender limits here!)
When it was time for me to speak, I was the lucky one to have my friend and mentor of 18 years, Anne Hruby, introduce me. If you ever have the opportunity to speak, believe me, try to get a best friend or colleague to do the introduction. Anne was so flattering that a friend suggested my head wouldn't fit through the door unless I turned sideways! (That's Anne on the left in the photo with me and Lauren Montillo)
During the networking time before lunch, no one I spoke with knew what a blog was. So my presentation started with asking how many knew what a blog was, and about a dozen hands went up. Then how many read blogs and maybe a handful went up. When I asked how many actually have a blog, I only saw three. That told me not to get too technical with this audience, so I focused on why a Realtor would have a blog, and what the benefits are.
I don't talk from a script, so I used the PowerPoint only for reference. To illustrate why blogging matters to a Realtor, I shared stories of some of my blogs including Why advertising is for the birds, my zip code 21209, my use of technology, and some of my listings including Dickeyville, Stevenson, Slade, Griffin Way, Stevenson Post, Strathmore Towers, (both of them!), Clarks Lane, and Heather Ridge.
There were plenty of questions, especially "So what do you get out of blogging?" That opened the door for me to list what the Active Rainers already know: Blogging gets buyers to call, gets sellers to call, gets the media to call for quotes, gets groups like WCR asking you to speak. It gets agents from all over the country to have a name and face to refer friends, clients and relatives. It helps others by letting people know about what they have to offer, such as a delightful tea room and the creative American Craft artists. It helps sell a difficult property, like the historic church which had been on the market for two years, with a blog-based contest. It gives buyers and sellers useful information like how to arrange an auction as we did with Lauren Montillo from TRAC http://www.tracauctions.com/, a Realtor-friendly auction company.
We spent a lot of time talking about Active Rain, and the audience loved my answer to "How much does it cost?" Zero is a great price! Even figuring in your time to blog, it's a good deal. Anne Hruby pointed out that this is one of the very rare FREE ways to get your name out in front of the public.
At the end I invited people to give me their cards and I would send them an invitation to Active Rain. I collected 20 cards, sent 20 invitations, and a couple have already joined!
The day that started out on that high note thanks to Brad Andersohn, kept going at that same energizing level. And now I have blogged about figuring out what to say about blogging, and then what I did say about blogging and getting in on the Rain.