Blog Identity Crisis - 6 Question Opinion Poll

Industry Observer

Two recent posts got me thinking, and I ended up coming back with more questions than answers.  Colleen reminds us to keep our profiles updated, and Elaine asks how to explain blogging to a client or prospect. These two bloggers are like the college seniors who know it all, but I'm more like the freshman still finding his way around campus. My questions are more elementary.

But if there's one thing I've learned so far about the Active Rain community,  it's that there are always people who are willing and eager to share their knowledge. No matter where they are in their real estate career, people who blog on Active Rain are committed to doing things better.

 I know there are plenty of very helpful articles here on using keywords and getting a better position in the search engines, and I'm grateful for that guidance. Right now I'm focused on content, and I'm interested in the opinions of the blog readers as to what makes a good real estate blog.

Help Button

My questions are things like:

  1. What makes a good blog design? What catches your eye?
  2. What kind of information do clients and potential clients look for in a blog?
  3. What topics are really relevant, and which topics are done so much that no one cares anymore?  In other words, what's hot and what's not?
  4. Is a blog better if it gives market information, or if it focuses on sharing experiences?
  5. Should an Active Rain blog be geared towards fellow professionals or both professionals and clients?
  6. Which real estate blogs are the hottest these days? What sets them apart?

Of course I'd like to hear from both the Active Rain professionals and people who are NOT in the business, too.

What do you think makes a great real estate blog?

Comments (24)

Mitchell Jamel
Brite Real Estate Professionals - Saint Augustine Florida - Saint Augustine, FL
e-PRO Realtor

IMHO, Blogging should be two fold,

  1. First to reach Potential Customers / Clients you should write about everything you mention
    That is about your Business, Since AR is for all Real Estate Professionals
  2. Second write post to other professional to established yourself and for Referrals!
  3. AR is all about community and just like a real community you have many layers and sources of Knowledge and experience to pull from
  4. AR is like a Knowledge bank as well as a platform to share your ideas, Concerns & Needs
  5. AR is a collection of Professional from all sides of the Real Estate Equation
  6. Write for yourself and your business

The best advise that I can give is to just write, Add keywords and watch as the magic happens




Mar 18, 2007 04:07 PM
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland


The fastest way to learn about Blogging, this site, and almost any Real Estate related topic you could want to know about including your 6 questions is to ask them using the Search Bar at the top of the Dashboard. I Spent about 4 hours just today reading answers to many of the questions that I had over 3 weeks ago. Good tip here is to search a topic under blog. Read all of the comments. Sometimes Comments will also pass on valuable links. Then if your using explorer create a folder in Favorites for that topic put all the outside links there and Bookmark all the relavant AR articles here.

Makes great Sunday reading.

Mar 18, 2007 04:35 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Good question. I'll check back to see how many more answers you get. Thanks.
Mar 18, 2007 04:36 PM
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA




I'll try and answer.. although I'm still fairly new on the blogging scene.. I will share what helped me..

What makes a good blog design? What catches your eye?

You need pictures or graphs..  something visual to tie in with your theme..

What kind of information do clients and potential clients look for in a blog?

They are looking for different types of information.. they want information on homes, pricing, sales.. but they also want to know about ways to improve their home, how to get it ready to market, schools, parks, neighborhood characteristics.. i.e.  old homes, new homes.. townhomes etc., local restaurants, things to do..What would you like to know if you were moving to a new place 

What topics are really relevant, and which topics are done so much that no one cares anymore?  In other words, what's hot and what's not?

It seems redundant to write articles on first home buyers.. yet they may not have read the 500 other articles that are out there.. the same is true with getting a home ready to market.. the trick is to write one or two of these periodically...Read the local  newspaper to see what is hot in your area.. too much development... not enough.. it will be different for your particular area. 

Is a blog better if it gives market information, or if it focuses on sharing experiences?

Why can't you do both.. you want to make it full of information so people will visit

Should an Active Rain blog be geared towards fellow professionals or both professionals and clients?

Depends on whether you want to have one or more then one blog... many of us have our Active Rain blog and our other blog.  I tend to write different things for each of them.  Remember you can write specific things and limit them to members only..

Which real estate blogs are the hottest these days? What sets them apart?

There are so many really good blogs  and you should read a number of them.. The Real Estate Tomato, Bloodhound, Transparent RE, Rain City Guide, Curbed... google blogs  then real estate and start reading.. Many of the people on AR have some of the best blogs around with terrific information... Check search for:Broker Bryant, Lenn Harley, Jeff Dowler, Jeff Turner, Marianna Wagner, Laurie Manny, Teresa Boardman, Brian Brady, Rich Jacobson. Tony Marriott, Sarah Cooper, Maggie Dokic... there are so many amazing bloggers here...

 These blogs are informative and readable.  The topics are of wide interest.  They are relevant.  They are thought provoking.  Some are funny and others are very serious.  If you read all the blogs for a week you will see how many amazing bloggers are on AR and you will learn a lot..


I hope this answers some of your questions...


Mar 18, 2007 05:53 PM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

The best blogs are the ones that are written.  The most read blogs are the ones that can be found.  That means (1) a commitment to writing the dang thing and (2) making them search engine friendly.


Mar 18, 2007 11:25 PM
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC


Thanks for asking "my" questions--Great post and the best is yet to come with replies from our venerable Active Rainers. 

Mar 18, 2007 11:43 PM
Ed Vogt
Midwest Properties of Michigan - Grandville, MI
Grandville, MI Midwest Properties
I'm another Newbie waiting for the "magic" answers.  Glad you asked THE questions:)
Mar 19, 2007 12:35 AM
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
Great questions, great post. Thank you Kaye for some answers.....
Mar 19, 2007 12:56 AM
Shelly Field
Greene Realty Group - Olympia, WA
Great questions and I am really looking for answers as I plunge into the world of blogging.  I haven't even gotten to the part where you spiff up the blog, so need to get with it!
Mar 19, 2007 01:46 AM
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes
Since I am fairly new to blogging, I am very interested in how many here in AR will answer this. With that said I will bookmark and check back in! I look forward to learning more.  
Mar 19, 2007 01:48 AM
Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio
Real Living HER, Powell Ohio - Powell, OH

Oh, Christoph, being called a "senior" hurts ... it's true ... but it still hurts. Let me get my cane.

I only started blogging in September, so I by no means am a knowledgeable blogger. However, in that short time I've found that if you put yourself in your client's or potential client's head, to think about what they might like to know, you'll do well. Just think about what type of questions your clients have asked in the past, then go from there.

Remember, writing for Localism is for future $$$ and most important. Second most important is to always keep in mind as to whether you would want the article you wrote to appear on the front page of a newspaper. EVERYTHING you write WILL appear on Google very quickly. Your clients or potential clients will be able to see all your articles and will form opinions of you - good or bad! That's the scary part because what you say could cause you to lose your license or get sued. That also applies to any comments you leave or to the posts you comment on, since Google picks up that stuff too.

Add Kristal Kraft, Lenn Harley, Rich Jacobson, Broker Bryant and Jeff Dowler to your subscriber list as they are great at this blogging thing.

Mar 19, 2007 04:54 AM
Julie McLaughlin
Staging Chico - Chico, CA
I think blogs from every category and for any reason are important, as long as it's bettering your knowlege or someone elses.
Mar 19, 2007 05:38 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Interesting blogs are as varied as interesting conversations.  Thanks for the post.

Mar 19, 2007 06:47 AM
Laurie Manny
Long Beach CA Real Estate - Long Beach, CA
Christoph, The link to your other blog is not working, but I have been to your other blog and was there again last night.  It is fabulous, you are doing great.
Mar 19, 2007 06:50 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
Christoph -- I am pretty new at this and I am glad that you had the courage to ask the questions you did.  I read the various guidelines -- and then I see the blogs that are selected and it can be a bit confusing.  This will help get more focus.  Thanks.
Mar 19, 2007 09:06 AM
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
Excellent questions!  I try to write my blogs to answer questions that my clients might have.  I haven't concentrated enough on how nice they look yet, just trying to get lots of content on to my area.
Mar 19, 2007 11:13 AM
Robert McArtor
RE/MAX Components - Fallston Maryland - Bel Air, MD
Top Listing Agent for Baltimore and Harford County
Great responses! Keep up the thought provoking blogs!!!
Mar 19, 2007 04:57 PM
Christoph Schweiger
Chandler, AZ

Laurie thanks for the Gold Star!

Roger, sooner or later will be at graduation! I will definitely pass along the responses.

Kaushik, thanks for the kudos! You will find some good answers on this comment thread and of course I will share other responses as I come across them.

Thanks for your pointers Mitchell!

Herb, my Favorites folder is set up! Thanks for the tip.

Kay, thank you so very much for taking the time to answer these questions so detailed.

Lenn, I agree - Commitment to writing it down is where it starts. I found myself thinking about great topics but never got around to actually write them down. That of course will have to change.... are only as old as you feel. Judging by your points and your AR profile you can leave the cane in the closet.....

Laurie thanks for pointing out the broken link. I did not have the http:// in front of the www.  Thanks for the visit...

To each and all of you THANK YOU for the comments, feedback and advice.

Mar 21, 2007 03:51 AM
Shane - Apella
Good to see you ask these questions.  I will respond with a more in detailed answer once I think on it some.  But Great Post!
Mar 23, 2007 06:20 PM
Shelly Field
Greene Realty Group - Olympia, WA

Blogging is all about whatever is of interest to the writer and consequently, the reader.  The writer's voice becomes evident through their writing.  We don't talk anymore if you haven't noticed.  My kids don't call; they text or I have to read about their lives on Facebook.

So blogging is about life: the what, where, when and why of the ME.

Apr 20, 2010 10:25 AM