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Ask An Ambassador: You Are What You Publish

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

My online reputation is influenced by what I publish (or choose not to publish).

I could make it crystal clear where I stand on every important (and not so important) issue if I chose to do so.  Push, pull, step sideways.  Repeat.

Choosing what to publish can be a double edged sword.  There are some people I will opt NOT to do business with because of what and how they publish.

But there are other people I'd always choose to do business with because there's an affinity for how they run their business, what they know, and how they interact with others.

From a purely business standpoint, what we publish goes a long ways toward determining if we have significant success with our blogging or no to limited success.

Whether it's personality or subject matter, our posts can attract or repel.

Over the years I've learned blogging about some things didn't work in the intended way.

Blogging about foreclosures brought consumer calls that could never lead to a pay check.  Our local sheriff's sales are non-real estate agent compensated, so why continue to publish material that had no hope of leading to business? 

I've made the same choice about which type of houses and which communities to blog about.  E.g. blogging about new construction typically means we're covering homes that sell ABOVE the community average, so consumer contacts about those communities are more likely to net us more income when converted to clients.

Now you can always choose the volume approach (which communities have the highest turnover and focus on those) vs. the price approach, or perhaps mix your coverage to include a share of both.  Any community post you can produce that ranks highly in the search results gives you a higher chance of gaining business in those communities.

I track our business results and while this year's production has been lower for closings count, it's been much better for price point.  And if you're like me and balancing two occupations and a zoo on the side, being efficient is critical. 

The majority of our clients are sourced from blogging & evergreen IDX pages.  The intentional focus on our low maintenance housing, new construction and desired subdivisions has achieved the desired effect:  clients that see us as the result of what we publish, agents that can help them with a certain type of house or a certain location. 

Our first impression was what we published.  From there, we have to affirm that we are what we publish with our actions.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - I have said it before and will likely repeat more than once (perhaps before the day ends) life is interesting where certain messages seem quite apparent to me but they remain mysterious (if not unknown) to others I encounter.  The advice in your post today is yet another example.  A good wake-up call or a reminder for those who may hit the snooze button.  

Sep 06, 2022 08:12 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I see it time and again, particularly on Facebook.  I've given up the idea that I'm actually going to change anyone's mind on any issue, so unless someone just enjoys being combative, what's accomplished by going there?

Sep 06, 2022 08:28 AM
Michael Jacobs

that's a valuable point and one that's worth counting.  

Sep 06, 2022 09:53 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Bill,
I totally agree. We are told not to be judgmental. However, I admit to being "judgmental" when it comes to what people publish. It influences whether I want to interact with them or not. Perhaps "influence" IS a better word but "judgmental" fits too.

Sep 06, 2022 09:35 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Bottom line, there are people I'm willing to spend my time and energy with, and others I'm not.  A large part of that decision for me isn't based exclusively on their political stance (as a for instance) but HOW they express that stance.  I'm not very welcoming of energy vampires, and why would a client want to hire someone that lives for the drama?

Sep 06, 2022 10:21 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Even commenting here on AR, we leave an impression on who we are and what we stand for. If we have a strong opinion about something, do we really want to broadcast it and portray a certain image?  It's always good to think twice before we press that "publish" button.  IMHO

Sep 06, 2022 09:59 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I have beliefs that I feel strongly about, but they're generally not relevant to buying and selling homes.  We have dogs AND cats, so we're on both sides of that issue :)

Sep 06, 2022 10:22 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Great points. I stopped promoting myself as an expert on HDFC co-op's because these are the toughest, most time consuming types of sales I could work on- and in most cases for less money than market rate unit co-op's or condos. HDFC's are income restricted co-op sales- though honestly a large portion of the buyers are receiving huge gifts from their parents- and the buyers are early in their careers so they still fit within the income restriction. A large portion of these buildings are dealing with management political in-fighting (i.e. do we allow family gifting, can we sublet these apartments, etc)- and a large portion of these buildings will reject 50% or more of the buyers - which happens after the buyer has invested a ton of time on the purchaser board package (which is far more intrusive than what a bank will request from a buyer). We have a bunch of unusual residential financial/legal structures that aren't common elsewhere- so there are a lot of ways I can blog and provide expertise without wasting my time. 

Sep 06, 2022 11:04 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Exactly.  If you can pay yourself $X or $2X for the same labor, why not increase the return for your effort and expertise.  I don't have to try and go for a grand slam with luxury only when there's a nice return between the starter home and luxury home categories.  My buyer clients are usually experienced and financially comfortable for the range they're shopping.

Sep 06, 2022 11:42 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

One must be careful and balance one's ethics against one's public remarks. I do not use FB for real estate. Also I restrict the sharing of what I post to friends only.

The brokerage has a FB page and that works for me. 

Sep 06, 2022 01:06 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I have a couple of FB business pages, but they don't get much attention from us.  And my personal page is mostly opinion free.  Pictures of our dogs, cats, flowers, bees, etc. are the dominant theme there.

Sep 06, 2022 02:54 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Yes indeed. Sometimes what we say is smart, and what we choose not to say is wisest of all.

Sep 06, 2022 04:56 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've used backspace/delete regularly, and a lot of AR posts stayed in draft and never came out.  Maybe not because I didn't think the topic worth exploring, I just couldn't quite get the flat medium tone to work to my satisfaction.

Sep 06, 2022 05:58 PM
Jim Harper
Atlanta Communities Real Estate - Marietta, GA

Liz and Bill Spear, first and foremost, is that your cat and did you take the pic :-)

Second, While we have a company Facebook page, and it's helpful, I'm very careful about what I post. The Interweb lives forever.

Third, I am thankful for living in a place where we can choose how we want to spend our time, and with whom. 

Sep 06, 2022 07:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Jim, Say hello to Lily Cat :)  And yes, I took the picture yesterday evening.

The two Facebook business pages we have I don't post often to, and when I do, it's pure real estate.  For my personal page, I've learned over the last few years that people you think you know, maybe you don't know so well as you thought, so my opinions stay to myself.

I've filtered significantly who I'm willing to interact with to keep my days more level.

Sep 06, 2022 07:58 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - Here's what I like best about this post:

PPSS Repeat. Choose posts wisely. Posts can attract or repel. Continue or discontinue - choose wisely. Focus on community. Track results. First impressions matter. 

In sum, risk reduction and ethics are top priority. What you do, say, and how you behave or portray yourself can make or break you and your wallet. 


Sep 07, 2022 04:24 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Glitches!  Not sure what happened to my original response!

For sure, I'm not looking to alienate potential clients or referral agents with our content here.

Sep 19, 2022 10:53 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Liz and Bill Spear - thank you for circling back and not skipping me! 

You're the best!

Sep 19, 2022 12:48 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I thought it was the story about Lily the Cat.  I was wrong.  Have a good day.

Sam Shueh

Sep 07, 2022 07:06 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sam, Cats and dogs get attention :)

Sep 07, 2022 11:18 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Bill,

You are so right what we publish goes a long way toward determining if we have significant success with our blogging. I've found one must be careful and balance one's ethics against one's public remarks. 

Sep 07, 2022 07:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

There are one issue people and some of them are either you're with me, or you're against me.  I'll speak my mind in private, but with a broad audience I'm likely to be a lot more selective in what I'll express.

Sep 07, 2022 11:19 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I've considered writing about several new neighborhoods. As I look back, that kind of post resulted in the most inquiries in the past. So thanks for re-directing my focus on posts that work.

Sep 07, 2022 08:41 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

That type of post is what we found attracts consumer attention.  It might take a long time, but they pay off.  This morning I showed a new construction home that if it turns into a deal will be about twice our previous highest ever sale.  And I know the source had to be an old post/IDX page.

Sep 07, 2022 11:21 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

I'm with you Bill, cats and dogs get attention.  People love their animals, as I do mine so I blog the condos and homes that will accept them.  Some issues are just not for blogging, in my opinion.   

Sep 07, 2022 12:56 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It caught my eye this week how many more actual comments I got with Lily's picture on Facebook than I do with insects/flowers.

Sep 07, 2022 01:07 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

You got my attention upon seeing those beautiful cat eyes!

My take from your blog is the importance of finding blog subjects that attract the attention of the clients we seek.


Also ... "some things are better off not said" publicly.


Sep 08, 2022 08:57 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Diana, Those two points capture my intent.  Unless we're blogging for fun, we need to do what brings us clients, not just comments.  For us, that's targeted posts that give our area consumers what they want.

Sep 08, 2022 08:47 PM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

Liz & Bill,

A valid post, to be shared in what appears to be, today’s increasingly polarized society. 

I always attempt to “balance” my comments or blog posts, so as to share valuable information while at the same time minimize comments which may appear to criticize or offend varying segments of the readership. It can be a difficult task to share a valuable “teaching moment” without singling out or identifying acts of blind ignorance or conceited stupidity. Those of us who have been at it for a while, have experienced numerous examples of that which I speak. 

There’s an “old” saying here in Dixie, “if you can’t say something nice about another, don’t say nuthin”! Southerner’s with “walkin ‘round sense” recognize that silence tells you all you need to know about another individual and his or her character. 
One aspect of sharing information or experience’s for the purpose of providing  a teaching moment, don’t over  “sanitize” the story to a point where the importance of certain details are minimized or eliminated. 

It takes effort and practice to author an article or post whereby you get your point(s) across without alienating a large portion of the readership. 

I’ll leave with this quote authored by, 

Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant


”Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”


Sep 08, 2022 07:51 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Over the years I've left many a post in Draft mode because I didn't like the perceived tone.  IMO, a negatively slanted post can lead to negatively slanted clients.  I do feel it's important to provide the necessary education about how things can go wrong, how to correct and prevent, the trick can sometimes be how to do it without directly coming out and saying "the agent/buyer/seller on the other side of the transaction was a complete idiot".  Yep, sometimes silence says everything.

Sep 08, 2022 08:50 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

You are so true an di want to thank you that i found your posts so many years ago with such great advise. The one topic about foreclosures helps and haunts me. I list and sell foreclsoures in both boom times and recessions. Many asset managers actually found me on AR. But s have many people losing their home calling me for help that i can just not give as they are out of state. I could say a massive amount of calls some of which were NH related that i did help. My future posts will have to have a disclosure. 

Sep 09, 2022 06:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Scott, That's certainly part of the challenge.  How do you focus so the calls are mostly potential clients?  I can't count the number of calls I get from subdivision posts where the caller REALLY wants the HOA/Property Managers and not a real estate agent.  I'll point them to the right people whenever I have time and am near a computer.

Sep 09, 2022 12:08 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Authenticity is my thing and the thing that kind of sets apart The good interactions from the great ones

Sep 09, 2022 10:48 PM