What my “group blog” means for me and you

Reading some of the recent articles about new online marketing models made me think of my own blogging network.  It seems like the social networking arena is starting to get into the referral business.  Isn’t social networking about something more casual?  In an effort to keep up with the latest marketing trends, I formed a profile on LinkedIn, answer questions on TruliaVoices.  I’ve not written a thing on Facebook.

I don’t have time to manage offline marketing, online property marketing, and now online agent marketing.  I could spend all my time in the blogosphere if that was my choice.   Except that I really love my real estate career and I would prefer the majority of my working hours be helping clients buy and sell real estate.  I acknowledge that marketing oneself is a continuous effort – maintain the tried and true – experiment with new approaches – tweak and modify when necessary.  That must be why I joined a blogging network!  Well, to be perfectly honest, that wasn’t my intention.

My Broker, Coldwell Banker, hosted a free event.   I showed up (somewhat skeptically) even though I subscribed to the blog of one of the speakers.  It was the first time I had ever subscribed to a blog because I found many of the ones I came across to be somewhere between bad and just okay.  I found this blog, Transparent Real Estate to be refreshing and different for a real estate-related site, “content rich” (my new phrase) with much-needed doses of humor from time to time.  I was curious to put a face to an online presence that I already respected.  So I thought this would be a good person to hear about the topic of “blogging”.  I didn’t think I would take up blogging because I already knew I didn’t want to (have to) write articles several times a week!  I’d never have time for my clients – or family.  On the other hand, I knew I enjoyed writing, I like to meet new people, I like to learn new things, so I blocked out my calendar and attended this 2 hour session.  I still didn’t think I would take up blogging; I certainly wasn’t thinking about a blogging network!  I now find myself in a different world from 2 months ago.

I thought Pat and Kevin at Domus Consulting were going to teach me how to blog.  In fact, they are teaching me and our group members how to blog – but it is really much more than that.  I did not realize this at first.  Our group has the willingness to get to know each other, the opportunity to bond and form relationships, and to potentially create referrals for each other because we communicate regularly, we share ideas, and we share a common frame of mind that blogging (the right way) ads value to our clients and our communities.  I know that these other Realtors have a similar work ethic and that they take their careers seriously.  We each made an investment of time and money in this process which I don’t take lightly.  In the future of real estate marketing, if online groups are carefully formed to enhance this piece of the group blog, to me, it provides an even more powerful marketing and listing tool for realtors.  This approach goes way beyond 1) how to create and write a blog, or 2) how to enhance your online presence, but also how to build a meaningful referral network.  I believe that to be a huge value to all parties involved.