Tag Archives: Interviews

Blogger Spotlight; Ginger Wilcox

I think it’s extremely doubtful that anyone has laid eyes on more real estate and mortgage blogs than I have. There’s 1325 URL’s in REMBEX and I bet I’ve seen two dead blogs for every one that I put in. In any case, It takes me about five seconds to review a blog for submission. If it’s current, written by an RE professional, and not a splog, it’s in. Why am I telling you this? If you are a blogger that found your blog in my index, and is now thinking it would be cool to do an interview here, and that it’s just a matter of time before I ask you because you know I must read your blog… well, you might be waiting for a while. I honestly don’t pay enough attention to know which bloggers are making the most of things. Sorry, I just don’t have enough time.

Anyway, I mainly read blogs only after the blogger has done something to get my attention. That’s the case with Ginger Wilcox. I indexed her blog quite a while ago. I don’t remember doing it. I may never have visited again except that Ginger started visiting the RBF. I know because she has a MyBlogLog account. I also know because she started commenting on some of the posts. My thought was, “Who is this Ginger Wilcox?” A little time spent reading her site and I find she’s a real estate brat like myself, using blogs to compete in one of the most tech savvy market’s in the world. She has my attention, and now you know how to attain it as well.

Hello Ginger, what inspired you to start a blog?

I have always considered myself to be at the forefront of technology- until this year! I kept reading about blogging in all of the different real estate magazines and decided I better step in – I felt like I was missing out on something huge and something I would be good at.

You also contribute to Active Rain. A common pattern I see with people who start blogging on Active Rain is that after a few months, they decide to start their own blog. From what I can tell, you simultaneously started blogging in both places. Is this correct? What motivated you to adopt this strategy?

Yes, I did start simultaneously. I redesigned my website and my company set me up with a wordpress.com account but I didn’t know what to do with it. I started surfing the net and found active rain. It was a great resource to learn how to blog. I am still active there, but BlogbytheBay is my primary focus. After a few months on wordpress.com, I decided I want to go one step further and have my own fully hosted version, so I moved over to wordpress.org.

Local real estate blogging has gained more traction in the Bay Area as just about any other market. Does it feel “crowded” yet? Have you knowingly competed head to head with another local blogger for a client?

I don’t feel crowded at all. Many of the Bay Area blogs focus only on San Francisco, and I work across the bay in Marin County. I have seen very few blogs in Marin, and even fewer done well. A few agents have set up blogs but abandoned them. I have not knowingly competed head to head with another local blogger for a client.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

I love soundbite blog.. The posts are very well written. I love that it has a lot of “spark”, and it is so unique in its appearance. I like Problogger to learn more about blogging. There is so much to learn! I like Transparent Real Estate. Pat is intelligent and has great insight into the world of real estate blogging. There are so many more- RSS Pieces, Real Estate Tomato, The Front Steps in San Francisco. My google reader is packed with blogs. I wish I could visit all of them more often!

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

Join Active Rain and find other AR members with blogs outside the rain. Spend lots of time on those outside blogs and see what you like and what you think works. Active Rain is a great place to practice, but I don’t think it should be anyone’s primary blog and you have to branch out of it. Realize that blogging takes a tremendous commitment. I think consumers hate to see very outdated or abandoned blogs, so don’t do it if you can’t be consistent.

Blogger Spotlight; Shailesh Ghimire

This interview is long past due. When I started planning the Blog Fiesta that ended up leading to this blog, Shailesh was a big inspiration. He had organized and moderated a blog seminar in Pheonix just a few weeks earlier that featured Jay Thompson and Gregg Swann. He was kind enough to advise me as to how I might structure the Fiesta, and I had been aware of his mortgage blog for a while, but on top of that, I was really quite astounded to see those two videos. Forget mortgages for a second, Shailesh is networking with RE agents by teaching them about blogging. What an awesome idea. That idea was one of the deciding factors in making a blog out what was just going to be a little get together.

Hello Shailesh, You’ve been blogging about mortgage stuff for about as long as I have. Back at the beginning of 2005, there wasn’t a blogging bandwagon to jump on, what made you decide to experiment with this medium?

Hi Todd. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to answer to some questions. I have always been fascinated by blogging. I started reading blogs back in early 2002 and had always wanted to have one of my own. I never could justify blogging before I got into loan origination. Even when I did begin originating with my wife, I felt I had to have some degree of experience and knowledge in the field before I put myself out there. It all converged in early 2005 and so I started blogging. I just did it because I felt it would be another differentiating factor for my clients.

How does blogging fit into your marketing plan?

Blogging is part of our online marketing plan. I was an online marketing manager of sorts back in 1999 for my employer, so ever since then I’ve recognized the value of a strong online presence. But as I’ve blogged I’ve realized there is more to it than just online market presence. Actually networking starts to happen and off line relationships being to develop. So, in a way blogging is starting to drive other elements of our marketing plan. It’s pretty cool how that is working out for us. Continue reading