Creating Your Own Internet Real Estate

When I first got into Real Estate, I came from a background in software development (including, most recently, web site development). Because of this background, as soon as I learned that people were meeting real estate clients on-line, it became my goal to create a profitable web site. Soon afterwards, I set out to create and maintain several profitable web sites.

When I first heard about blogging in 2003, I thought of blogging software as a way to do help me do just that. They say if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see everything as a nail. In my case I saw my task as content development, so every type of software I looked to me like a content management system.

With the rise of social networking, I began noticing a shift away from creating your own content on your own site to hanging around with your friends. In the last year or so, I’ve been repeatedly surprised by the extent to which people — including my colleagues, other Realtors® — are content to rent instead of own their online properties. This was driven home today by an outstanding article by CopyBlogger’s Brian Clark, Are You Someone’s User Generated Content? Clark points to many articles by leading bloggers discussing the regrets people have felt when they neglected their own Internet properties — their blogs — to explore social networking.

Clark sums up my own feelings about frittering one’s time on Facebook, (or mismanaging it on MySpace, if you prefer):

For me, there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating “user-generated” content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.

This metaphor should be especially apt to Realtors®, who know first hand the benefits our clients can derive from their own sweat equity.

Is your sweat equity being invested in your own online real estate, or are you remodeling someone else’s kitchen for free?

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Real Estate Social Networks, Their Lure and Limitations

Comparing Real Estate Blogging Platforms

John Lockwood is a software developer who apparently doesn't work hard enough at the job he gets paid to work hard at, he has to also hang around here and write these tutorials. And by the way, THANK YOU to all those who've forked the tutorials on Github. Pull requests written around new articles would be kinda cool! (hint hint).

Posted in Miscellaneous
2 comments on “Creating Your Own Internet Real Estate
  1. Well what if you use the “user-generated” content sites to drive traffic to yours? It’s not always bad to spend time on them, just keep in mind the goal.

  2. Well, on some level I agree with you. Certainly if you have no incoming links, an outside blog or two can’t hurt. But in this case we’re talking about driving link reputation, not traffic. And I suspect there are definite limits to how much you can play that tune on a single site without the search algorithms devaluing it in a sort of “diminishing returns” fashion.

    As regards driving traffic, well, OK, but what kind of traffic? Other people hanging around in a social network? Other real estate agents?

    Don’t get me wrong — I get as caught up in these silly things as the next guy. This morning I spent a couple of hours defending one of my positions on ActiveRain, when the fact is I’m #1 in my market already and ActiveRain doesn’t feed my bottom line. A better use of my time would have been to blog about one or two subdivisions locally, then I’d have had a long tail page that 1) would be indexed indefinitely and 2) another node of content on a site with lots of content on it.

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