Social Networking - A year in Review

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives

Active Rain Rocks

The recent NAR convention reminded me that, it was about a year ago in Las Vegas at the time of the previous convention where I decided to get out and meet some of my peers in the "blogoverse." Active Rain is a great resource in learning new and effective ways to market yourself, your business and your properties. When I first got here, I was a "lurker" for quite some time. Interestingly, one of the first people I "clicked" with was Brad Andersohn. Some of you probably remember when Brad worked for a title company and (as he still does) gave so freely of his knowledge and of his time to this community. I quickly learned that, blogging and social networking was so much more than "pimping" listings. I'm not sure why, but I didn't really expect to find any real value in this "over hyped" type of networking.  I had read about blogging but didn't have a real grasp of it's true meaning or usefulness. I did have an idea for a "hyper-local" niche but wanted to learn more and effective ways to take advantage of it. Heck, the term "hyper-local" didn't even have nearly the buzz as it does today but I knew we were on to something.

After "meeting" Brad on-line, I began to read more and more and would comment on an occasional post or (gasp) even try to write something once in a while. You see, in the beginning, my niche idea was going to be "just" a web site. We think it will be a really cool site (soon) but, bringing in the blog aspect to our project has been WAY more fun and successful than I could ever have imagined!

Here is kind of what has happened over the last year.

I decided to try and learn from the "best" bloggers and most knowledgeable people I could find. The following people have really been helpful to me or have been someone I have come to respect their work. (in no particular order) While there are others, I have personally met each one of these people and truly consider them friends. If you are new to blogging, you "need" to read all you can from each of these people. Heck, even if you are not new to blogging, you "need" to know these people. Following is a "small" list of some of the country's best bloggers that I can call my friend. I truly believe that I can pick up the phone and have a great conversation with each of these people at any given time. (more common to "talk" with them via Twitter or their blog though)

"Active" Brad Andersohn: I really enjoyed meeting Brad at the Inman Connect real Estate Conference in San Francisco. Brad has helped me on several occasions and I am grateful to call him my friend.

"Active" Rich Jacobson. Great guy, we had a chance to talk for quite some time at the "Blog World Convention" in Las Vegas recently. Rich gave me some great ideas on how to effectively use Localism. We will be implementing them in the very near future.

"The" Jeff Turner. One of those guys that really "gets it" when it comes to social networking. When Jeff talks about this stuff, it is really easy and beneficial to listen. Jeff and I have had some really great discussions here in Tempe, in Las Vegas and in San Francisco. We have had some fun and I appreciate all he does for so many people.

Ines Garcia. The blog absolutely rocks. They write about the community and show pictures that really make you feel like you want to live in their area. Serious, when I think Miami, I think of Rick and Ines Garcia. When I think of a friend that has done a great job branding a community, I look at the ways they do it in Miami.

Ok, this could get really long so, I'll just mention a few more of my faves that are my friends across the country and then some here in the valley.

Daniel Rothamel, the "Zebra" rocks the stripes! Also works with Inman News. He is a "big deal" with an amazing personality.

Dustin Luther, amazingly talented and brilliant! Ever heard of a little thing called Rain City Guide? Did I mention brilliant?

Todd Carpenter, a pioneer in the mortgage business and a blogging supah star.

Pat Kitano, another truly brilliant mind and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. You should participate in his knowledge packed sessions, they WILL help your business. Sign up for the series NOW!

Nicole and Reggie Nicolay, they know how to "sell" social media. Tons of fun, loads of talent.

Heather Elias, a smile to die for and a blog that rocks.

Mike Mueller, my "roomie" in Vegas. HUGELY talented, a great "people person."

Ginger Wilcox, she is a great example of "giving back" to her community. Read her blog!

Brad Coy, really understands how to use social media. A good friend.

Andy Kaufman. sorry but just, "wow!" you gotta get to know this guy.

Laurie Manny My friend, opinionated, controversial& fun. "Google" Long Beach Real Estate. enough said.

Ricardo Bueno, this star is rising fast and doing some GREAT things!

Teresa Boardman - an amazing talent, and such a warm, fuzzy personality! :-)

A few more Active Rain Friends I have been fortunate to meet in person are: Missy Caulk, Christa Caulk, Kim Wood, Kristal Kraft, Jeff Corbett or "X", Mike Jones, Matt Heaton,

OK... those are great people I have met from all over the country. Below is a short list of some of the bloggers (and people) locally that I have become friends with. Yep, some of them have become really good friends!

Calie Waterhouse, Jay Thompson, Dru Bloomfield, Christoph Schweiger, Paul Slaybaugh, D Patrick Lewis, Candace Robinson, Justin McHood, Steve Belt, Phil Sexton.

Of course, this isn't a "complete" list of the friendships I have made and I know I will kick myself for leaving a few out. I almost didn't write this because of that fact. I really do believe this is a great list of people and, who knows, next year, I might write an even longer post to share.

So, in summary, why should YOU blog? Why should YOU engage in "social networking?" The reasons vary as greatly as anything but, I will tell you this: It works. These friendships I have made are priceless and the benefit to my business is truly exciting. We each, in one way or another, can help each other and that is fun. Sometimes, a "helping hand" is as simple as someone linking to my blog. Sometimes, it is generating a great referral base of qualified and successful agents. Without my blog, I would probably not have met these people and would probably not have recently been featured in the Arizona State Press, contacted by the Arizona Republic, or had the opportunity to be in November's issue of REALTOR(R) Magazine. Soon, I will update Rail Life with some of the other recent "press related" benefits we have had from writing a "silly little blog."

Please feel free to check out some of the social media sites below and to add me as one of your friends or contacts. As one of the writers for the Arizona Real Estate Blogging Network, it is my goal to help share as much information as possible with you. Please join us at our monthly meetings.

Nick Bastian on LinkedIn



I'm Nick Bastian with Realty Executives in Tempe AZ and I approve this message. :-)

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Nick Bastian is a Tempe real estate agent specializing in the South East Valley and can be reached at 602-803-6425

Nick also writes a "hyper-local" blog about the communities, events, businesses and homes near light rail in Phoenix, Tempe and in Mesa.
Follow Nick on Twitter and on Google+!



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Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

It was quite a year for the networking sites, but facebook is still my favorite.


Nov 17, 2008 06:31 AM #1
Phil Sexton
Phil Sexton - John Hall & Associates - Phoenix, AZ

This is a timely post for us because it was 1 year ago (12/7/07) that our first company blog post went out the world.  It's crazy how far we've all come in only a year.  It has far exceeded my expectations - mainly because it started as a test.  Congrats on all the recent press! 

See you Wednesday at the next AREBN meeting.


Nov 17, 2008 08:15 AM #2
Justin McHood
I'm (still) looking for one. - Chandler, AZ

Great post.

Did you see those guys eyes on Saturday when they asked us "how we all met" and we told them "on the internet!"

There are quite a few superstars that you put in that post and it has been awesome to meet them.  It is also fun to know people by their "@sign" and not even know their name for a while!

Nov 17, 2008 08:18 AM #3
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Phil, you are doing an amazing job over there and I have really enjoyed watching you help so many people. I would say you have passed that test with flying colors!

@Jmchood - haha, the look on their face when we said we met on the internet was hilarious! Thanks for all you do, you have been a great asset to my business and to many of us.

Nov 17, 2008 12:24 PM #4
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

One of these days, we are gonna have to run into one another at one of these events. :-) Your friends are all great people. GBU~

Nov 17, 2008 03:41 PM #5
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Elizabeth... I totally thought of you while I was writing this post! While we have become great friends, it doesn't feel right that we have not met in person. Maybe this coming year! (fingers crossed)

Nov 17, 2008 04:20 PM #6
Steve Belt, Phoenix & Scottsdale Real Estate
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ

Nick, I'm going to completely skip over your entire post, and ask a question:  Is your Christmas shopping already done?  Are you playing Christmas music right now on your iPod?  'Cause "year in review" stuff is done at the end of know, between Christmas and New Years.  It's not the stuff for early November. 

;-)  Anyway, it has been great meeting you and so many of the other members of the RE.NET community.

Nov 18, 2008 02:12 AM #7
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Steve, I just like to stay ahead of the pack at all times! :-) Actually, in the first line of the post, I mentioned that it had been "about a year ago in Las Vegas" when I began meeting other bloggers. In that context, early November might make more sense.

Christmas shopping? I'll probably still be doing that on the 24th. Thanks for stopping by!

Nov 18, 2008 03:31 AM #8
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Nick, what a great review, it has been such a good year. I've met so many awesom people, most of the ones on your list and I can't wait to see what 2009 holds for blogging and social networking.

Nov 18, 2008 10:44 AM #9
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Nick - This was awesome!  Thanks for the mention, it's an honor to call you friend as well.  Thanks.  :-)

Nov 18, 2008 11:13 AM #10
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Missy, I really enjoyed meeting you and Christa in San Francisco. What a FUN trip! You do an awesome job with your blogging and marketing, glad to have met you...

Brad, you are a "Rockstar" in real life and in the Rain! :-)

Nov 19, 2008 01:17 AM #11
Laurie Manny
Long Beach CA Real Estate - Long Beach, CA

Hiya Nick.  Fell behind in my Google alerts.  It has been a pleasure getting to know you too choo choo.........thanks for the mention. 

Nov 19, 2008 11:04 PM #12
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder

Great post, Nick - not to mention there are some pretty cool people mentioned here.  Want to know what I appreciate most about social networking?  Well, the people, of course.  Thanks for including me - it has been an incredible year! - You're rockin', Mr. Rail Life! - Calie

Nov 20, 2008 09:55 AM #13
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Laurie... Thanks, Beach Bunny. I have enjoyed the couple of times we got to hang out in the last year. - The "Unchained" conference and San Fran were both a lot of fun!

Calie, talk about rockin'! Thanks for all you do... I appreciate you a bunch.

Nov 21, 2008 02:21 PM #14
Kim Wood
The Tech Byte - West Chester, PA
Kim Wood ~ The Tech Byte

Nick - It was really awesome connecting with you in SFO, and I look forward to more opportunities IRL. When you get to meet - it takes the online social networking to the next level :)

Hope to run into you SOON ! :)


Nov 24, 2008 05:08 PM #15
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