How to Keep Up with it All: A Begginers Guide to Tech-Savviness

By
Real Estate Agent with MCVL Realty

I see a lot of comments on AR about not being able to "keep up with it all".  The fact that you're spending your time on AR and commenting to the point that you have hundreds of thousands of points (or wish to have that many) shows that you have some misplaced energy.  Luckily there are a few AR bloggers that are kind enough to educate the unlearned, but why not try to educate yourself.  So here are my steps to gaining your real estate career/blogging  independance:

1) Step back from AR a little.  If you're using AR as your main source of real estate education, blogging, friendship, and advertising than you should open your eyes a little more.  AR is an amzing tool, but just as you wouldn't try to beat a nail into a board with a screwdriver or tighten a bolt with a hammer, you have to use the tool correctly to get the proper results.

2) Get an "outside" blog.  You need a blog that shows your professionalism and commitment to this business as well as one that gives off a personal side of yourself and helps people get to know you.  Note: this is not permission to blog about the death of your pet or any other such nonsense, I said professionalism.

3) Open a feedreader account. Google is probably the most common, I use Yahoo, and there are several others.  They all do the same thing, it's just an interface and personal preference choice.

4) Subscribe to other blogs.   Subscribe to your competition and any other agents who you find interesting and on top of their game.  There are also hundreds of blogs about blogging and real estate that you try out. 

In the beggining take it slow.  Spend a few minutes each day reading the latest posts that catch your eye.  Start with a just a few websites and spread from there.  If you stumble on a new site with a good post, subscribe and see if they write more, if it turns out that it was a fluke and you haven't seen anything interesting or educational from them in a few weeks, take them off your list. 

Here are my personal favorite blogs to get you started:

Problogger - Focused on ad based web profit, but still has some extremely useful information for all bloggers

Agentgenius - for agents, by agents - good information and well written articles on the latest RE technology

Real Estate Tomato - Lots of good guest posts as well as simple explanations of complex ideas

SEOptimize - SEO tips for bloggers to show up higher in the search results

Copyblogger - Better writing = better articles = more clients

This is not a complete list, but I've started you out with a taste of what's out there in several different arenas of blogging.  These 5 sites have never dissappointed me and will also lead you to many other good sites.  I guess I should warn you that there are no points for commenting on their sites, but you may find a personal reward for adding your two cents and continuing a good online conversation.

Tip: Don't limit your learning to simply the content of the article, but also it's layout, title, pictures, links, etc. 

PS - Didn't mean to get on such an Anti-AR rant, I really enjoy this site, but think that a lot of agents are limiting themselves by focusing solely on it.  I guess we'll see if the AR Gods approve and feature the article, but I'd like to think that they want you to be the best agent you can be even if that includes leaving their servers for a few brief moments to experience the rest of the web and share it with their other users.

Comments (21)

Jeff Johnson
On the Move - Louisville, KY
Proud To Be Your Realtor

Thanks for the information.  I believe I am going to check out some of the blogging sites.  I am new to this so it is very helpful!

Aug 03, 2008 12:45 AM
Debbie Small
Long & Foster Realtors - Martinsburg, WV
REALTOR

I don't feel your post is anti-AR at all, but rather continued sharing. I bookmarked some interesting information from your links. Thanks!

Aug 03, 2008 12:57 AM
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Ormond Beach, FL
New Homes Sales Ormond, New Smyrna, Daytona Be

Hello Daniel,

Is there a real estate blog other than Active Rain?  :)

Aug 03, 2008 01:05 AM
Randall Schrader
Competitive Insurance of Dundee - Dundee, FL

Do you know an easy way to attach a blog to a website?  I'm sold on this as my next step.

Aug 03, 2008 01:25 AM
Kara Casamassina
International Property Management Group, LLC - Aiken, SC
Boomers and beyond

Good Morning Daniel, thanks for the pointers!    Truly appreciated :)     

Aug 03, 2008 01:30 AM
Tom Davis
Harrington ERA,DE Homes For Sale, $$ Save $$ Buy Today ! - Dover, DE
FREE Delaware Homes Search!, $$ Save $$ - Find Homes! Delaware Realtor

Daniel,

I see what your saying...also great links!

Tom Davis

World Class DE Realtor

Aug 03, 2008 03:19 AM
Anonymous
Benn /agentgenius.com

Sincerely, thank you for the h/t. AR folks are always welcome and we're always excited to share our perspective with you all... We can absolutely relate to what agents in the market place are feeling because we're living it too.  That's why we're working our butts off to learn as much as we can about all of the things going on in new media, so that we can better guide agents making decisions about where to plant their flags in this new and exciting space. We're going overboard to change the impression of the modern agent for the better and I believe together we will.

The most practical advice I can give to agents that fear new technology is ride the trailing edge, not the bleeding edge and only take on what you believe you can handle and do well.  No one expects any agent to do everything.

thanks again Daniel...  Benn

Aug 03, 2008 04:04 AM
#8
Daniel Bates
MCVL Realty - McClellanville, SC
McClellanville and Awendaw, SC

@ VerticalLending - I use Wordpress on my two websites (www.mymcclellanville.net and www.awendawliving.com).  It is a fairly user friendly blogging platform, that I think you could incorporate with your site (which looks great) by simply linking to it from your homepage and setting it up at blog.verticallending.net or www.verticallending.net/blog . 

Aug 03, 2008 06:12 AM
Jeannette Neerpat
CondoDomain.com - Coral Springs, FL
e-Pro Coral Springs/Parkland Real Estate

These are all great links!

Aug 03, 2008 12:41 PM
Kristina Leone
Lionheart Home Staging, LLC - Minneapolis, MN

THANK YOU for this blog!  You have answered a lot of my questions.  This one will be bookmarked and refered to often!

Aug 03, 2008 12:58 PM
Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479
Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Chattanooga, TN
Mortgage Loan Officer

Daniel,

It seems to me that AR is a great learning environment - a community generally helpful and encouraging.

I have been on AR for almost 3 months - and I am still experimenting with new techniques. Not just blogging, but blogging related such as video and audio.

AR has introduced me to internet resources and to a higher level of professionalism that exists outside mu little office.

That said, there is a bigger world of blogging. I do think that most move out to that bigger world when they are ready - in fact, I think AR pretty much pushed you out there.

One of my issues is finding a voice and an audience for another blog.

I have subscribed to some RSS feeds and some other blogs, but I have not picked up on a voice to support a second blog.

Thanks for the links.

Richard

Aug 03, 2008 01:03 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Daniel:  Absolutely get out there and see the greater blogosphere! While AR has much to offer it's members, there can be so much benefit from subscribing to other blogs. Many people venture onto creating their own local Wordpress blog, or having someone like the RE Tomato create them a site. Everyone should determine what social networking tools work best for their particular marketing plan.

Aug 03, 2008 08:27 PM
Daniel Bates
MCVL Realty - McClellanville, SC
McClellanville and Awendaw, SC

@ Richard - I just checked out your AR blog and your website and I think you've got a great voice.  I like your mix of local and national news.  Keep up the good work and you'll do just fine.

Aug 03, 2008 10:13 PM
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Thanks for sharing - great post - I appreciate the tips!

Aug 03, 2008 11:35 PM
Kathy Anderson
Arizona Luxury & Lifestyle Living - Cave Creek, AZ
Arizona Homes For Sale, Sun City Grand

Thanks for the great info!  It can be overwhelming for new people.  What Benn said, "only take on what you believe you can handle and do well", is great advice.  As you master each step you will know when it is time to move to the next piece.

Aug 04, 2008 12:34 PM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Daniel I believe you do need to be well rounded and visit other sites as you mention. I believe there are a lot of folks at AR that miss out on a lot of great material in the site as well because they don't venture out of their own little niche of peopl they subscribe to. For example I can not think of any better groups than those that talk about SEO and specific sites to join to help with that. I guess there are a lot of reasons for being here but mine is to increase my business and online presence.

Aug 16, 2008 01:57 AM
Daniel Bates
MCVL Realty - McClellanville, SC
McClellanville and Awendaw, SC

Thanks for the comments Bill, I couldn't have said it better myself.  I've learned more from those 5 sites a few hours a week than I could probably learn scouring through AR in a lifetime.  Without ever picking up a book, I was able to learn not only how to make my own website (awendawliving.com is my latest), but how to make it show up in the search engines AND appeal to more people while providing great services and marketing to my clients.  It's all out there and IT'S FREE, if you just know where to look. :-)

Aug 16, 2008 02:27 AM
Bobby Wallace
Vacant Land Solutions - Charleston, SC
Sell Your Vacant Land The Hassle Free Way!

Daniel - Good point about other sites; for me it's a lot about time or lack of - hard to find time to blog here -blog there -then someone mentions some other "NEW" site.

Nov 05, 2008 10:57 PM
George & Arlene Paukert
Road to Wealth, Inc. - West Palm Beach, FL

These are certainly great tools for agents, another great thing for agents to use to track their stats is either MyBlogLog or Google Analytics, these really help agents see what is working and what isn't.

May 15, 2009 09:32 AM
Daniel Bates
MCVL Realty - McClellanville, SC
McClellanville and Awendaw, SC

Hi George, Good to see you after just reading one of your posts.  Google Analytics is a truly valuable tool.  Mybloglog is a little self serving and doesn't really add much value for your readers, but can be great at creating a better community and motivating bloggers to keep blogging when they actually see the faces of they're visitors.  Blogs can sometimes become like your own children and when you see a hero of yours stop by for a visit it can really make you feel strong.

May 16, 2009 12:44 AM