Blogger Spotlight; Larry Cragun

How much do I enjoy Larry Cragun’s blog? Well, it’s been a part of my bookmark tool for well over a year. I not only read it, I recommend it! Larry is yet another multi-blogger with blogs about mortgages, real estate, his local market, and is a building network of local blogs. Larry was yet another blogger I was delighted to meet in person at Inman. Here’s your chance to get to know him as well.

Hi Larry, What inspired you to create both Real Estate Undressed and Mortgages Undressed?

At first I wanted to provide the consumer my strong opinions about the mortgage process. I realized people love to search for homes on the internet and felt it would be valuable if I could inject some education on the mortgage process. A couple of weeks later I started the real estate blog. I was advised to do them both on one blog and probably should have taken that advice.

Why did you create two separate blogs instead of one?

I wanted to make the point there are two important real purchase topics; real estate and mortgages. I have expertise on both and felt I could offer a meaningful voice.

How does blogging fit into your marketing plan?

Real Estate and Mortgages Undressed are an integral part of building our brand. I believe the use of blog search for consumer reserch is in its infancy. People will discover more and more its value. We intend on being a big part of this as it grows and as we grow. Our mission is to drive consumers to agents and loan officers that work with agents.

Do you think blogging will replace other real estate marketing methods?

Local blogging will reduce the money you spend on other forms of marketing. It is the most consumer friendly way to find an agent. Blogging plus one or two things will be the answer. Those that do it right, do it now, and stick with it will be glad they did.

You’re also building a network of localized blogs. What would you like potential bloggers to know about The Undressed Network?

Agents can get a blog in our network with full support. They get our brand, a blog up fast and easy, our network, and coaching.

Agents in general resist technology. They shoudn’t resist blogging. We will help them be the local undressed expert. If they are motivated and committed we can provide the the blog and the network.

Being around real estate agents for so many years we know the challenges this poses. For sure, we believe the agents that don’t blog will be sorry and those that delay will wished they hadn’t.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

I love reading other blogs and read a lot of them. I guess in true blog style I will list 10 in no particular order
:
1- My two married daughters blogs. They both keep them current with photos and stories, one is moving back from California the other lives in Iowa.

2. Citizen Rain, a blog from our local TV station that does a great job of covering our city.

3. Craigs list. You say this isn’t a blog, but it does allow for RSS feeds. I pump their listings on things I need or am interested in, into my feed reader.

4. Inman Blog

5. Lenderama of course, great writing like “The Mortgage Industry Still More Trustworthy Than Congress“. A fun article.

6. St Paul Real Estate Blog (Teresa Boardman)

7. Sellsius Blog, when will the surface again?

8. Rain City Guide

9. LifeHacker

10- Marlow Harris’s Seattle 360 Digest.

11. (And the extra mile): NY Houses for sale, Blown Mortgage, Northern Virginia Real Estate, The Mortgage Porter, The PI Blog, MySpace news and MySpace Real Estate News, ReelWeenie, Techcrunch, The San Diego Home blog, and Zillow Blog. Now everyone else I read will be ticked at me. I read over 100 blogs a day.

What web sites, blogs, tools, or people do you find most helpful in building your blog?

We use WordPress MU. We are using three WordPress Developers to build new features now that we are starting sales of the local undressed blogs. One thing that has been fun for me is that our family has been involved. They all have pretty busy lives but have helped a lot.

My wife Kathleen has been equally involved. She tells people we work 24/6, which is almost true considering we own a mortgage company, sell real estate, and build this network.

Teresa Boardman and I have communicated almost daily since she encouraged me to undress bugs on Saturday.

Reading other blogs, commenting, and joining in has had a big impact on me.

Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?

Yes, do it.

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