Tag Archives: Interviews

Blogger Spotlight: Owen Raun

Owen Raun is EXACTLY why I started RBF. My blog, lenderama, turns three years old today. I have more blogging experience than 99% of RE.net, and yet, it doesn’t really matter.

I thought about making RBF an expert site, where I told my audience all about how to blog. That might work, but my own experience has been that while many of RE.nets experts have good advice, it’s not the only way to skin a cat. So instead, this blog’s platform is to get perspectives from every corner of RE.net. Even someone new to the game can have something innovative to offer. That’s the case with Owen. He’s teaching me all about how to use audio on the web.

Hi Owen. How did you come to the decision to start blogging?

There are two reasons.

I listen to a ton of podcasts but none of them discussed the mortgage industry from a b2b perspective.

The second is that I am fortunate enough to be on the Lender Advisory Council with Lendingtree.com and have learned a great deal sharing “best practices” with other lenders. I wanted to expand that sharing of information to a larger, more diverse audience.

If I remember correctly, you attended Inman Bloggers Connect right about the same time you started your blog. From the perspective of someone who was just getting started, what was your impression of the conference?

Correct, first one was Aug 07. Its a great place to get ideas, look at what is “new” and meet people that are genuinely interested in sharing ideas and helping each other. I also like the two – four person panels and the way they pack a lot of information into a short time.

One thing that impressed me about your first blog, was that it is driven by podcasts. What sort of tools do you use to audio blog?

We use Talkshoe.com to record the conversation. It’s pretty simple, just need a phone line. Once the call is recorded Michael Price with mlbroadcast.com converts them to an mp3 and distributes the final version to iTunes and other podcast directories. I like podcasts because they are easy to download to my iPod and listen to on the way to work or other places that I might find myself untoggled from a computer. Using iTunes makes it very easy to keep up with new things to listen to..

While the numbers are growing, mortgage blogging has not been nearly as popular as real estate blogging. Why do you think that is?

Part of the reason for this might be that the mortgage business is still a bit more technologically behind the curve than other industries. Also, the number of people in the mortgage business has shrunk considerably in 2007, so fewer people to participate in the blogosphere..

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Leadcritic.com, coffeeforclosers.org, bettercloser.com are some lead generation related sites, lenderama.com and themortgagereports.com for mortgage – Mlpodcast.com/blog and GeekEstate for tech, then many others. Podcasts include twit (this week in tech), IT conversations, Business Week podcast and all the NPR business, story of the day, and economy shows.

What advice do you have for agents who are just starting a new blog?

Be patient. Blogging is sort of like any other advertising medium. You might be working really hard expecting immediate results when in fact the results might be several months out. Blogging is sort of like direct mail, you can put it out there, think no one is paying attention to it, then out of the blue you get a comment, email, or phone call from someone wanting to do business with you.

The second piece of advice is to blog about subjects that are interesting, relevant, and new. Blog about things that know one else is blogging about . The chances of getting attention for a different view, opinion or approach are more likely to get you noticed than repeating what everyone else is saying.