How Thomas The Tank Engine Inspired me to Blog More!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268

Bear with me. Before I explain the title of this post, I first need to tell you a little story. Thomas the Tank Engine has been "a thing" for me for a very long time. He's been around as far as I'm concerned forever. (Forever in this case being 30+ years). So when my son told me my Grandson was a fan, I smiled knowingly and said something like "some things are timeless." Because after all, Thomas is "a thing" for everyone, right? Wrong. In the last 24 hours I've had two conversations where I've told people that my Grandsons, (yes I have two now), are coming for the weekend. Parents in tow of course, (plus an Uncle who doesn't want to miss out), and we're all going to Boone, Iowa on Saturday to visit Thomas the Tank Engine. I bet you can guess by now what the response was. Yes, a blank look from one and silence at the end of the phone by the other. I was completely floored. Everyone knows Thomas, right?


So how does this relate to the title of this post you ask? I'm getting to that. It has to do with blogging. I'm an "old" member of ActiveRain, that is to say, I've been a member since 2009, which I think is a pretty long time. At some point I created my own Wordpress websites, (with the help of AR members) and before too long my blogging here became very sporadic. (It goes without saying that the whole thing with T and Z didn't help).  That all worked well for a while, then I got stuck. I had plenty of business, but blogging, (even on my WP sites), became sporadic. It turns out that it's hard to contstantly motivate yourself to blog. It's even harder if you're busy! Something had to change. But how? Surely I've said everything every which way on my blog. Real estate is hard, but it's not rocket science. How many times can I write about what a seller needs to do before listing a home? Or what buyers should watch out for when they're buying a house? That's where Thomas comes in. I assumed everyone knew about Thomas, but they don't. There are just as many people out there who are clueless about what we do. They need constant reminders. If we stop reminding them, they will forget us and move onto the next real estate agent who writes a post that answers the question they had. Maybe I did write about it 3 years ago. But so what. When I'm looking for information online I'm not interested in what was written 3 years ago. I want someone to tell me what's relevant NOW. It can't be any different for buyers and sellers out there.


So here I am. Back on AR and getting back to basics. I know that when I blog that they will come. (Yes, I know I stole that from the movie Field of Dreams, which somehow seems appropriate considering it was filmed not too far from Iowa City in Dyersville). The fact is that blogging works. I already knew that before the episode with Thomas, but that's what made it really hit home. There is always going to be someone out there who is completely clueless about what we do and how we do it. Blogging gives us a unique opportunity to reach out to them!


The photo is provided courtesy of Mark Menzies on Flickr with a creative commons license. I got lucky finding it as he shot this photo in the UK, which of course is most appropriate considering where my roots lie when it comes to Thomas. It's worth clicking through the link for more details on the photo.

Posted by

Denise Hamlin, Realtor®


CARDINAL Realty, Coralville IA 

Licensed to Sell Real Estate in the State of Iowa


Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices 

Iowa City Area Real Estate Services


Please remember that opinions expressed in my blog are just that - opinions - not fact
For legal or accounting advice please consult with a professional
Although the information provided is deemed reliable, it's not guaranteed


Comments (16)

Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist

You have some ground to make up and the faces have changed but the new ones still hunger for our materials.  Bring it on.  

Sep 22, 2016 11:16 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner

Yep. I know. So far I'm finding the more I do it, the easier it gets. I just need to make sure it stays that way. Thanks for stopping by!

Sep 22, 2016 11:20 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Denise, many years ago, I had clients who bought a home because Thomas was there!  I was clueless, but not for long.  The kid loved the house, and the parents thought that Thomas being there was an omen!  so I sure haven't forgotten this little train guy!

Sep 22, 2016 11:29 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner

That's such a great story Pat. Thomas is a hero for the little ones. I'm not surprised his parents took it for an omen. We all know how big a part emotions play in the buying, (or selling) of a house!

Sep 22, 2016 12:05 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Denise

Well I am one of those clueless people about Thomas, but not now! I think this is a most appropriate analogy for real estate and blogging.  Blogging does, indeed, give us endless opportunities to share with consumers what the business is about, what's happening in our communities, and so much more. Glad to see you are back and re-energized.


Sep 22, 2016 03:05 PM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Jeff Dowler I'm writing this on my iPad and I have to say, AR is very buggy today. Because of the screen bouncing around so much, I even managed to somehow delete the comment from Endre Barath, Jr. Sorry about that Endre!

Thanks for your comment Jeff. (I didn't want to risk trying to respond directly to it for fear of it also getting the chop). As for Thomas, I suppose I knew after getting two "blank outs" that more would follow. That doesn't make it any less surprising to me!

Sep 23, 2016 04:14 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Oh wellmust not have been important what I said:))Endre

Sep 23, 2016 09:05 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Best wishes for great blogging success.

Have a most productive autumn.

Sep 25, 2016 03:07 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Endre Barath, Jr. Now that can't be true Endre. I say the same thing when I forget something off my shopping list. And (annoyingly) it's almost always something I need to make a special trip for! :)

Roy Kelley Thanks for stopping by Roy. 

Sep 25, 2016 03:29 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Denise-Good to see you back blogging. Love the new profile pic. I didn't recognize you. Love your analogy.

Sep 25, 2016 07:50 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Not sure if that's good or bad Sharon Lee that you didn't recognize me. ;-) 

Nice to "see" you. Thanks for stopping by!

Sep 25, 2016 07:54 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Denise-It is good. Your new profile just looks entirely different but my no means in a bad way. Look forward to reading more of your re-energized blogging.

Sep 25, 2016 08:00 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Denise Hamlin - Ever since I was a little girl, I was hooked on stories and this is a great story!!! Of course, I'm acquainted with Thomas The Tank Engine and you have taken the story and put on your own new twist! I love it!!! It really does apply to Real Estate blog posts. You made me chuckle because I could relate to everything you said about repeating the same thing 900,000 different ways but as you say, people don't like when articles are old - they are looking for CURRENT and RELEVANT information. You drive home the point with speed and accuracy. Thomas the Tank Engine would have to agree! You've got my vote for a feature story here on AR too!!!

Sep 26, 2016 05:02 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Patricia Feager Aah. You like stories and you're a Thomas fan. I love that! Thank you! It really was an "aha moment" for me running into people who had no clue about Thomas the Tank Engine. I'm so glad you could relate. :)

Sep 26, 2016 05:42 AM
Pamela Cendejas
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Kingman, AZ
Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235

I really like your analogy.  Information, no matter who it's geared toward, isn't always timeless.  Things always change and it's good to consistently post the latest information.  By the grandson who is now 20 loved Thomas.  I can't forget Thomas because it always brings a smile to my face.

Sep 29, 2016 08:38 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Pamela Cendejas Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Happy to see a fellow Thomas fan! My sons and Grandsons are all fans. Thomas never fails to put a smile on my face either. :)

Sep 29, 2016 09:48 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good analogy about Thomas the Tank Engine and blogging. Blogging can be successful in getting the word out about what we do, and what buyers and sellers need to know. Not everyone knows about Thomas (I did!) or about real estate. 

Dec 18, 2018 02:14 AM