Sometimes I wonder if the key to successfully making time to blog is more a function of insomnia than time management. I’m definitely a night owl. But I’m no longer surprised at the sheer number of bloggers who respond to my emails in the middle of the night. Anyway, I’ve been working on interview questions for a eight more bloggers tonight. Among them is Kelley Koehler. I emailed her questions off at about 11:00. By 1:00 they were back!
Hi Kelley, one thing I like to do when I first find a new (to me) real estate blog is to click through the archives to the first post. Most bloggers struggle out of the gate, but to me, it appears as if you hit the track running. Is The Housechick Blog your first effort at blogging?
The Housechick blog wouldn’t be my first, I guess. I discovered Active Rain while researching range pricing, and started a blog there around April, I think, right as their Project Blogger was starting. I was fortunate to arrive just in time to watch others take on mentors and head out into the ‘real’ blog world, and I decided to start the play-at-home version of project blogger. I’m sure if you look back at my first months of posts on AR, you’d be cringing.
How does blogging fit into your marketing plan?
Well, I do a fairly non-traditional business, at least among those that I know locally. I can trace about 90% of my business back to people that find me through my websites, if you also include referrals from those people. My second year in the business, I did saturday and sunday open houses all but 4 weekends of the year – and got one new client. One. The internet is my home, this is where I meet people and connect. Blogging is a natural extension of that. Once people know me online, we connect more easily in person. What can I say? I was a natural engineer because I’m not great at the social stuff!
What’s up with the name, “Housechick”?
I think I wrote a blog post about the origins of Housechick… lemme find it… ah yes. It was the product of a late night brainstorm with Hubby, who loved it immediately, and I hated it at first. And then, it stuck. Catchy. Memorable. Didn’t sound like someone who had a stick up their… ah, rear. I was ready to have some fun at work at in my new career, ready to take some chances. Behold, the Housechick Cometh.
As Arizona is a market that attracts many out of state buyers, it only makes sense that Internet marketing would be strong among the real estate community. But even then, Arizona hosts more than it’s share of bloggers to date. Why do you think this new medium has caught on so well in your market?
No idea. I can’t speak for Phoenix (other than to say it’s a miserable, asphalt-covered, hotter than hell, concrete jungle of a city that no one in their right mind would live in), but Tucson isn’t incredibly tech-saavy. I can think of maybe 5 or 6 local agent bloggers who are consistently producing content of passable quality. Is that a lot for a city of this size? We’re at about a million people, you know.
– That’s still a lot of bloggers. More than Houston, Philly and Detroit combined.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
Hmm, favorite blogs. Doesn’t everyone mention the lovable sock? Athol’s blog, of course. Dooce.com for the sarcasm and dose of reality. Passiveagressivenotes.com is a guilty pleasure. The Esteemed Messrs Dalton and Thompson up in Phoenix. Lani in Austin, of course, despite her addiction to Nacho Libre, and who introduced me to I Can Haz Cheezburger, and finally my latest addition, TheWinger.com. Those are the ‘must-reads’ in my feed reader. Once I check those, then I read everyone else.
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
Ack. Not sure I’m qualified to give them out just yet. I don’t think blogging is for everyone, but I don’t think anyone can truly find that out until they give it a shot. And hey, you can do that for free! I don’t remember where I read it, some online presentation about web design or something, but I wrote it down on a sheet of paper and keep it beside my laptop. It said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. Less attention demands more relevance.” So I can send one more tiny memo out into the wealth of information out there, or I can be relevant by providing an interpretation, a unique viewpoint, create knowledge instead of regurgitating data. Go be relevant and useful.
Ask yourself a question Kelley
Like, why am I up so late when I could be sleeping? I’m waiting for my Bubblegum Interview a la Lani, so she can ask me the same question she asked Joel Burslem – what candy he likes best. I already have my answer ready. Lemonheads. If you carefully bite off the candy coating, you can get to the really sour center part faster. Really, it’s the best part of the Lemonhead.