Category Archives: Colorado

Blogger Spotlight; Phil Leto

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Phil Leto in person, and the experience was one of the inspirations behind creating an event where bloggers can meet face to face. Phil’s been blogging at Denver Lender for years. His eclectic style covers everything from Denver real estate news, to providing a wayward home for New York Jets fans.

What inspired you to create a real estate blog?

Several years ago, a friend of mine was fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He started a blog to document his fight with cancer. His blog answered questions that people were afraid to ask and was a passive way for him to stay connected with friends and family. Using a blog to answer questions and stay in touch. Brilliant!

What do you like to blog about?

Anything. When I started blogging I never intended to be a mortgage savant.

Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?

I have a twisted sense of humor, I read a lot, and I’m quite observant. When all else fails I go to “the internets” to find topics.

How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?

I’ve always seen blogging as a passive way to keep in touch with past clients and attain new clients. There have been other benefits. I’ve been contacted by real estate agents who enjoy my blog. I’ve developed relationships with bloggers across the country. I’ve reconnected with friends who’ve left the Denver area. Recently a friend who I haven’t seen in quite some time stumbled across my blog while searching for pizza joints. You just never know who reads your blog and what blogging will do for you.

If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?

I’ve been meaning to get my picture taken at Glamour Shots.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

The Mortgage Reports. Calculated Risk. Osman Parvez. Mark Cuban. Freakonomics. Lenderama.

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

Dustin Luther of Rain City Guide, the godfather of real estate blogging. Todd Carpenter, the godfather of mortgage blogging. Al Gore, the godfather of the internet.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?

7.1, on a Richter scale, 7.1 is enough to do serious damage. I actually understand the code (php) behind wordpress.

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

Try not. Do or do not.” – Yoda

Blogger Spotlight; Vali Wimberly

I read Vali Wimberly’s blog. Why? Because Vali writes to me. By that, I mean she writes about what I’m interested in. Specifically, she writes about what’s up in Denver. So many RE & Mtg agents spend so much time trying to prove they are an expert, they miss at gathering a readership. You don’t need to focus on real estate to have a great real estate blog. Something we will focus on during Blog Fiesta!
What inspired you to create a real estate blog?

My blog is focused on giving people the scoop on what’s going on in the Denver community with real estate and everyday happenings.

What do you like to blog about?

The good things happening in the Denver area and to spotlight that the real estate market is not nearly as bad as the media makes it seem. My theory is you don’t have to sell the tar out of Denver—It sells itself just show all that there is to offer and that is a sale’s technique enough.

Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?

Blog topics come about in everyday living and daily activities. If I’m out hiking a mountain enjoying Colorado it’s something people may want to know more about or may never get to do so I blog about it. New housing projects are always a great topic because people can drive around and see something going on but they don’t know exactly what it is being built so I try to write about the projects.

How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?

My vision is not a traditional real estate agent ‘market yourself’ plan but rather to sell my knowledge and specialization in the downtown Denver area.

If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?

Well, my blog is new and I am constantly changing things and adding items on a daily basis. I still have yet to determine the layout that I want and that is something I am deciding on now. I’m trying to give value added information and links and yet not giving so much that it looks busy and gives the reader a sense of information overload.

In addition to your own blog, you also contribute quite a bit of content to Active Rain. Can you explain the motivation or strategy behind this?

Active Rain is a huge real estate community that I feel allows agents from all over to connect and learn from one another. It’s interesting to learn about how RE is done in other parts of the country and share experiences.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Denver Infill, St. Paul Real Estate Blog, Rain City Guide and Inman News

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

Typepad has been a great platform for me. Feedburner & Technorati are some behind the scenes necessities and optimization. As for an information resource I like the Downtown Denver Partnership’s site.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?

I am probably a seven (and occasionally a 2). Blogging doesn’t require that you’re a techie just that you have a good working knowledge of computers.

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

Don’t ‘search’ for your blogging voice just write and let your unique personality show.

Blogger Spotlight; Meredith Hanson

Meredith Hanson blogs on Active Rain, and is a real estate agent for Mountain Living. If you’ve been reading these profiles from the beginning, it should be obvious to you by now how popular Active Rain has become as a medium for blogging. We’ll discuss this in detail at the Blog Fiesta.
What inspired you to create a real estate blog?

My rainmaker and other team members were getting into it and I was seeing positive results from it.

What do you like to blog about?

I’m still just getting started but so far, topics relating to real estate, hiking, I will be blogging creatively about my listings and marketing in the future.

Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?

I have a google alert set up, current events

How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?

Utilizing the blogging to help drive potential clients to our website.

If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?

More frequent entries, more professional looking

In addition to your own blog, you also contribute quite a bit of content to Active Rain. Can you explain the motivation or strategy behind this?

Utilizing the blogging to help drive potential clients to our website.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

The lazy agent (for my entertainment), marketing ideas (if I don’t get any good ideas soon I will be scrapping that one), I am still looking around to find ones I like.

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

My rainmaker

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?

6

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

Stop looking and start doing!

Expert Panelist; Kristal Kraft

Kristal Kraft’s blog was the first real estate blog I ever came across that focused on Denver. So, naturally, she was one of the first bloggers I contacted when planning this event. Kristal is one of our expert panel members for Blog Fiesta. Tentatively, she will be discussing blogs as a tool for social networking.

What inspired you to create a real estate blog?

I started hearing about blogs a few years ago, in fact my Denver Real Estate & Relocation blog has a birthdate of November 2003, in blog years that’s a long time! My purpose though rather clouded at the time was to see if I could pull one together by myself. I choose a TypePad template to publish a few thoughts, then proceded to make every mistake in the book, like regurgitating the news. (yawn) It wasn’t long before my blog was left abandoned.

Eventually I saw the importance of blogging and post again. Traction came soon, I would get messages like, “hey when are you going to post the Denver Sales Statistics, the month is half over!” A thump on the head was what I needed to realize someone (maybe the only one) was paying attention. Yippee!

Last year a friend Bonnie Cox from RE/MAX Masters invited me to join Active Rain. Bonnie and I became friendly competitors in the race for points, blogging our brains out. It was at Active Rain that I got a blogging routine down.

What do you like to blog about?

My blogs are pretty eclectic. Photography is my passion, I love taking photos of Denver and our picturesque state of Colorado. I am a one woman Chamber of Commerce. When you love where you live, it’s not really selling, it’s sharing. Writing about and selling real estate in Colorado is a cinch.

Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?

Topics to blog on are endless. The problem is finding the time to compose a worthy blog. So often I get ideas, but run out of steam and the relevance passes long before I have time to work it!

How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?

Blogging is a natural for my marketing plan. I’ve had a top ranked Denver Real Estate website for a decade now. Blogging is just one more way to encourage people to find me on the web. My blog welcomes them to the many doors of my websites.

If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?

I would have created my own domain instead of using a hosted TypePad.

In addition to your own blog, you also contribute quite a bit of content to Active Rain. Can you explain the motivation or strategy behind this?

Social networking has many benefits. Thanks to Active Rain, I have found an amazing network of like-minded friends with whom to socialize and connect. We colaborate marketing ideas and teach each other technology. What I have learned on Active Rain thru specific subscriptions, far outweights any real estate seminar I could attend.

Many of my Active Rain blogs were crafted to help other bloggers learn how to use the network. For some reason, the AR developers never wrote a training manual. So I did. Now there are others doing the same thing. I love reading them, because I learn too.

My motivation is a Zen like thing, by giving to the universe, I receive.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

My feed reader is full of good blogs, I prefer blogs where I either learn something or are entertained. CopyBlogger, RE Agent in Ct posts bad and very funny MLS photos, Kevin Boer of 3 Oceans has a nice mix of both informative and funny, of couse Sellsuis and oh so many others.

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

Active Rain is a good place to get your blogging legs. Join up, read and subscribe to a few good ones, then jump in. Following the proper ettiquette a new blogger will be welcomed. When you reach a comfort level, get an “outside” blog and go to it.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?

Oh, this is a good one! I’d say I’m an “7”. I know just enough to recognize when to call in the Cavalry!

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

Do it. (unless you live in Denver, then forgetdaboutit!) 🙂