Of all the excellent contributors to come on board at lenderama, Chris is my favorite. Why? Because he’s our Token Real Estate Guy. The rest of us are mortgage fellas. lenderama needed a big shot of diversity in perspective. Chris has delivered. Back in Kansas City, he has a great blog of his own in BBQ Capital.
Hi Chris, what inspired you to start your blog?
When I first started the blog it was January of 2006. I’m not really sure why I started it. I had no expectations. I just thought I would use it to spout off my opinions and see what happened. After one year of very inconsistent effort I had had 455 visitors and a total of 4 sales that I could track to that blog. That opened my eyes.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan?
Today, my marketing plan and blogging plan are nearly the same. A great percentage of my business finds me on the blogs. I’m very niche oriented and that shines through to the search engines.
Working with a national franchise like Keller Williams, I often wondered what the corporate view is on agents like yourself that run their own blogs. Would you say they encourage it, discourage it, or does ambivalence rule the day?
This is going to sound arrogant or crass, but I never asked permission, never cared what they thought. Keller Williams is very agent centric. And that helps. But if they gave me trouble about it I’d be gone in a heartbeat. Agents need to remember that they work for the clients and the brokerages work for them. Sometimes the brokers are under the impression that the agents are their employees. I can name a few larger brokerages here in Kansas City with that philosophy.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
I love BawldGuy Talking. Also r.e.revealed and RE Agent in CT. Those are my top three. But Urban Digs is also a great read. I spend quite a bit of time on active|rain, as well. Some really great info out there if you can filter through the garbage.
Recently, you’ve become a contributor to lenderama (my blog). Why did you decide to contribute?
Blogging has moved to the forefront of my marketing strategy. You’ll find me on Lenderama, BBQCapital and active|rain everyday. Trulia voices, as well. Also, Lenderama is a new sphere for me. I hope to get more exposure and build a working relationship with quality loan officers out there. And to bridge the understanding gap that I believe exists between REALTORS and LOs.
Yes. No. What time is it? I’ve been looking around. The problem is I’m a creative. I love total control on my end product. But I make money in the trenches of real estate. So I’ve been looking at outsourcing my design. Those that I have spoken to use Word Press because of it’s open platform. But then there is a learning curve to new software. If Blogger would just provide me a little more freedom AND a little box to check at the end of comments to keep you updated, that would be terrific.
What web sites, blogs, tools, or people do you find most helpful in building your blog?
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
I’m a blogging evangelist. I tell everyone who will listen about the advantages. But I also discourage some people who seem bent on it being another “do nothing reap great rewards” tool. Unless a new blogger will study blogging and update their blog a minimum of three times a week, I wouldn’t really think they would reap great rewards. Having said all of that, I write because I must. I used to keep journals. Now I just write things down and let anyone read them. There is great risk in that, though. I’ve been made fun of and called out. That’s just part of the territory. No matter.
Finally, when are you going to start sharing some of those BBQ recipes?
Recipes? Never. Please, for all you out there not from Kansas City, Texas or Memphis (Sorry Carolina…that’s not real BBQ.) you need to understand that true BBQ is cooked low and slow. You don’t do it on your back grill. For true BBQ you either have to be a great backyard cook (you reading one right now!) or go to the joints. That’s where you get the best. Kansas City is the Constantinople of BBQ. We have some of everywhere here and then our own original style as well. You want to get into a fist fight? Have a few beers then start talking BBQ!
Chris, why don’t more professionals (agents or loan officers) treat their business professionally?
That’s the question. I’d love a rational answer.