TELL ME A STORY...Not Such a new concept

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate

TELL ME A STORY....Not such a new concept

This is a re-write of a post that I wrote in March of 2013--It was a unique concept 5 years ago because there were no such ideas for the real estate business at the time. I could see the changes headed our way, especially with Zillow rising in power with the public-- data inaccuracies and all! Now, the idea has come to pass in many large corporations, including the company I work for, Douglas Elliman. This was a post that was written as we tried to differentiate our business from theirs. Now, we are mired in the mix and there really is no other choice but to proceed as we can and as we have in the past--except we know that isn't working. Blogging can be the best thing you can do--making sure to write extensively about your area and the local information that will attract those who want to live in your niche area.  The story telling works for me--I wanted to share what I experienced as I incorporated story telling in my blog posts. I have begun using the concept in my print ads, the few that I do now and videos are next; I will keep you posted!


Seven years ago I started blogging---Barely knowing what Blogging meant, I jumped into it with both feet and started telling stories about where I live. I found that local history about Southampton was rich and available to those who cared to seek out and study details of this very early English settlement.

I did that at the urging of fellow members here on ActiveRain--"You need to tell people what is going on in your area" was the theme of most blog posts at that time...So I started in.

I used sales data and photos of houses, the Village and surrounding areas and I used the "tales" of the area for local interest stories.

Little did I know that what I was doing was beginning a story line; a story line about where I live and what I love to do here...a story line that I have kept going now for many years. It has made a huge difference in my reputation as a local specialist; many sellers now contact me directly to list their houses and in most cases they found me on the Internet. Buyers too appear, because they found me and my posts as they did a web search about this area, or because they were "house hunting" online.


This story line has unfolded now for all these seven years, and now I see that what I was doing has put me in a very different place compared to where my competition is.

I have made the mark of a local expert now. As to the history of Southampton, I was astounded  when I got an email from a descendant of one of the founders of Southampton, New York! He is a Great Grandson of the founder of Southampton Village, eight times removed! He and I connected via email and since he lives in the UK and may never ever get here to see the place his ancestor founded, it was gratifying to communicate with him! He found me when he did a search of Southampton Village and found a post I had written about Post Lane, a little known and historical street here in the Village. Named after his ancestral family, the street is less than 1/4 of mile long and was the original driveway to the Post Family Estate.

His name is Richard Post and he carries the same name as the man who owned most of Southampton Village in the 17th century. The first Richard Post was one of the first settlers here in 1640's and the King of England had bestowed upon him the greater piece of land that now lies in the central part of the Village.

When I got that email and then connected him with the Historical Society here in Southampton Village--I got the thrill of a lifetime! I was able, through my blogging, to connect a whole missing piece to the history of this beautiful Village---TELL ME A STORY...

What a story to tell my family and friends!...and it goes on, because as long as there is another story to tell about this area, I will tell it!


Blogging is a great way to get the publics' attention.

In order to tell a story that will get read, you need to focus on the little known facts about an area. Keep this at the forefront of your mind as you blog about your selection.

I find the following methods work for me:

  • Keep your eyes open for the latest NEW happenings in your area, i.e. museum exhibits etc.
  • Write from the "place" you found in your own mind when you saw it or read about it--what peaked your interest?
  • Look for the unusual or little known event, i.e.: there is an antique building in Southampton Village that was an original silversmith shop--situated on Main Street, it is an obscure, tiny gambrel roofed building separate and very different from all the other Village store fronts. It is now used as a school room for teaching precious metal jewelry making and it is one little known event that happens every 6 months. Limited to 3-4 people per class, it is one of the most interesting classes you could ever take--maybe even begin a business with the knowledge?
  • Make sure you keep a log of all sales that take place in your area. Write about that as often as you can. Each time you write a piece about your area, you build upon the whole story line. Keeping it "Pithy" is crucial and this will work towards building your reputation and your business!
  • Take advantage of local lore; many stories have come about in an area from the earliest families and the early existence of businesses, i.e.: "Flint Michigan is a city founded for the Automobile industry--a place where the founder of GM lived in the Applewood Estate; Charles Stewart Mott lived there from the turn of the 19th century until his death in 19--" (I spent most of my early adult life there) This is the stuff stories are made of and can be discovered simply by talking with the local folks.


These pointers may help you as you gather your thoughts about telling your story; build it and make it rich and full of life and full of data, people will read it.

People will read your blog posts and they will think of you anytime the possibility of buying a house in your area arises---or anytime a friend or friend of a friend needs a real estate service.

Keep it going and the public will find you. If they feel that you know the area so well, they will want to use your real estate services and their friends will too!...



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1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Don't have time to read at this moment, will be back later today.

Mar 06, 2018 06:44 AM #2
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Idabel: Thanks for letting me know that...Let me know what you think when you have had a chance to read it, OK?

Mar 06, 2018 07:59 AM #3
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Paula

I think many people - residents AND potential buyers - enjoy reading stories about where they live, or want to live. I enjoy reading them myself. It's a great way to entertain, gain a reputation for being knowledgeable, and have some fun. I think the key, as you point out, is sharing the things that you think others would be interested in...and of course that interest you as well. We all have plenty of tales we can share. And it can generate other conversations, including from those who might want to buy or sell and who know others who might as well.

What a great story about Southampton and Mr. Post in the UK!


Mar 06, 2018 05:30 PM #4
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Jeff: Thanks for reading this post---It was fun in 2013 to be able to tell the story about the man from UK...He was at first a little upset with me because I left out a major point about the settling here of his Grandfather 8 times removed! I corrected it and put him in touch with the Historical Society of Southampton so that his correction could be made in the proper way...The fact that his ancestor was the majority owner of the Village before it WAS the Village of Southampton was remarkable and a missed point that I quickly changed in my writing about the Post family. This is stuff that never gets old!

Mar 06, 2018 07:18 PM #5
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

 what a great story! I find this most fascinating. Not only has this positioned you as the local expert but it also offers you a tremendous opportunity to bring another side of the founding of your community to light. I do hope, and I expect you have, to continue gathering information from the Post family in England to show another perspective and perhaps unknown facts about Village of Southampton.

Mar 06, 2018 08:34 PM #6
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, Sr. LBA, ,

I loved your post and so glad to see it featured! I started blogging in 2008 and what a difference it has made in my business. People looking to move want to know some history and residents love learning about knew things or the story of the area. You become the authority without shouting it just are!

Mar 07, 2018 04:35 AM #7
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

The local approach is the one thing the portals and big sites cannot do, and it can be a powerful differentiator from them and the local agents who don't do the work to establish a web presence.  I don't blog much about local things that aren't directly related to our housing niche, but it works for us.  Bill

Mar 07, 2018 05:50 AM #8
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

hostess with the

Mar 07, 2018 06:34 AM #9
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

How fun that is to get an email from a descendant of the founder of the village. Bet he was thrilled to make the connection as well. Great post and great advice for all of us about an approach many may not have taken.

Mar 07, 2018 07:01 AM #10
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I agree with you. Sharing information we learn about our areas is not only interesting on our end, but can definitely start conversations with others. I had written a post about a historical home in my area, and have had people from the family contact me to tell their stories. What fun!

Mar 07, 2018 07:54 AM #11
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Kat: That is great--Isn't it wonderful that family members felt like sharing when they found out you put information out there about an ancestral home? This is the pinnacle of blogging in my opinion; when you can stir the juices to generate more information from a valid source, you have hit pay dirt, IMHO!

Mar 07, 2018 08:01 AM #12
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Paula, it is increasingly becoming know that people love a good story.

You have found the benefits of sharing the stories of your area. People will follow those stories.

You have shared a gem with us, thanks

Mar 07, 2018 10:27 AM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s basic content marketing and it’s basic marketing for ads as well. Right on the money!

Mar 07, 2018 11:49 PM #14
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Laura: Thanks for reading---glad you agree!

Mar 08, 2018 06:08 AM #15
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Wonderful story!  I've always wanted to visit 'the Hamptons'. I'm sure you've seen some really stunning homes. I agree with you about blogging about the local area--works for me!

Mar 08, 2018 02:14 PM #16
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Mary: You are right---there are some fantastic homes here! I have seen such a change here in the past 10 years--it used to be such a wonderful place to relax but now it's so built up with huge homes and overbuilt streets---very different from what It was. I can already feel a change is going to come, though. There is a search on for smaller homes that was not so last year and it may fore-tell of things to come in the near future.....problem is the smaller houses are mostly gone now!

Mar 09, 2018 09:28 AM #17
Janice Hope Zaltman Realtor,LEED AP
United Realty Group - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hi Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, Sr. LBA, Now you are having me miss the history and many flavors of living in New York. The next step after New York is usually Florida. I do miss historic neigborhoods though they do have them here. 

Mar 12, 2018 06:36 PM #18
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

HI Janice,

Historic neighborhoods and houses are the best here--too bad that many times they are torn down and before you know it there are big new houses to replace them---UGH!

Mar 14, 2018 10:36 AM #19
Joyce Marsh, Daytona Beach Florida
Premier Sotheby's International Realty - Daytona Beach, FL
Waterfront and Coastal Lifestyle Properties

I'm a little late in finding this great blog post.  Congratulations on the well deserved feature.  What a wonderful story and testiment to the fact that blogging does work and people read what we write for many years.  

Mar 19, 2018 01:19 PM #20
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi Joyce: How nice that you took the time to read the post from a while ago! You are right--blogging does work....Thanks Joyce!

Mar 19, 2018 02:19 PM #21
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...Finding Your Place In The sun!
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