Expert Spotlight; Jim Cronin

In addition to bringing you the insights of local bloggers, Blog Fiesta wants to expose you to some of the experts as well. One of the most educational reads on the blogosphere comes from Jim Cronin of The Real Estate Tomato. The tomato covers many aspects of RE 2.o including some really great blogging advice. In addition, they offer professional blog design and setup for agents who would rather spend their time focusing on real estate instead of learning html. I asked Jim to make the case for letting a Pro help.

Tell us a little bit about your company

Real Estate Tomato is a leading provider of custom developed real estate blogsites. The element of our business model that has us standing out is that we not only provide our clients with unique and robust blogging platforms, but we also ensure your blogging success through intense training. Our clients are enrolled in 13 hours of personal training to develop their writing, marketing, formatting, networking and site management skills in order to make them A-List real estate bloggers.

What’s the biggest upside to paying to have a blog designed as opposed to learning how to build it themselves?

Custom vs canned is the first distinction. We’ll design a look and feel that has you expressing yourself and showcasing your message in the environment that you desire. But the guts of the site, the platform itself, is where the real magic happens. We start with an opensource WordPress blogging database and soup it up to be the ultimate real estate blogging tool. Without getting too technical, we can create an environment that is not only a lead generating real estate presence, but also an incredibly dynamic community resource that will grow as your business does. And best of all, it is yours to own. It is not proprietary to us, no matter how custom.

In addition to the blog itself, does Real Estate Tomato offer any additional services to help maximize a new blogger’s chances for success?

We spent the 100’s of hours unlocking the paths to success through our own intense blogging efforts. We wouldn’t wish that learning curve on anyone else.
Our business model is to first develop a robust and custom blogsite, and then enroll you into an intense course that will help you cut the corners to your success. Our training is one-on-one for every client, with me and my team, using a webinar environment to ensure maximum understanding. Our clients love us because of that intimate relationship we develop.

How long does it typically take to bring a blog “live”?

Design phase from interview to launch typically takes 14-17 days. This included mock ups, revisions, carving and skinning the site.
We don’t wait for the design to begin training, however. Our success training begins immediately, and the blogging database is up as fast as the domain can be set to our server.

What sort of financial investment is involved?

The price range for the 10 class course (13 hours) and the custom designed blogsite together starts at around only $2k. Unique programming requests and multiple platforms under ‘one roof’ however can take it up a notch.

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