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 Our Post Dispatch Interview and Why We Blog
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Sat, Mar 12th, 2005 11:56 pm

A star is born!

OK, maybe that's being a bit over the top...

Earlier this week I was interviewed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the local angle on a blogging article they were writing titled, "Are your workers blogging about the company?" You can find it on page E2 of the March 13 Business Sunday (Workplace) Section of the Post-Dispatch or on-line at in the business section.

Although the bulk of the article is about individuals who have gotten in trouble (at work) for their personal blogs, the STLagent blog- albeit not actually named- was their example of a successful blog that is making a difference for a local business (but come on guys, would it have killed you to plug my website!!!). ;-)

My first take on reading the article was that I'm struck by the irony of a Post-Dispatch story about people who have lost their jobs because of blogging which doesn't actually mention the rookie reporter the Post-Dispatch, um... "dispatched" for his "my boss sucks" blog.

However I'm still excited about being the one business blog in St Louis that they picked to highlight. Of course, there are very few businesses in St. Louis that have caught on to the benefits of blogging, but that's another subject entirely...

Anyway, it’s better than being “outed” for something embarrassing by the RFT!!! (For those of you who aren’t from St Louis, the RFT is our “second paper” that likes to out anonymous bloggers to their bosses to see what kind of turmoil they can create for a news story- which is how the rookie reporter at the Post found himself on the unemployment line).

So the question is, why do we blog? (A question I’ve even had to answer to Kimberly a few times…)

The short answer is to help you sell your home. The long answer is this: Real Estate, like a lot of other industries before it, is undergoing a major change thanks to technology. 70% of people searching for a home today will start their search on-line. That’s a significant increase even from a few years ago. However most real estate agents are (how can I say this nicely…) less than proficient when it comes to implementing technology.

When you list your home for sale, the thing that will ultimately sell it is getting people through your front door to see it. If no one knows it’s for sale, it will never sell. One of the tasks of a real estate agent is to drive awareness of your home- i.e. marketing. The problem with most real estate agents is they either don’t do any marketing at all, or they market their homes in the same way they were marketing homes 20 years ago. Unfortunately, technology has changed the game. An ad in the local newspaper won’t garner the same attention it used to.

Now it’s not as simple as saying one media has replaced another media (i.e. the internet has replaced the newspaper). Newspapers and magazines are still very much alive. Technology, however, has driven down the cost and difficulty of publishing; so today there are more newspapers and magazines for people to read (even though fewer people are reading).

There are now FIVE free magazines covering real estate sales available in area grocery stores where their used to be just one. Free neighborhood newspapers now come in the mail from a variety of small publishers to compete against the Post and their sister papers the Suburban Journals where none existed a few years ago. And with the ease of desktop publishing combined with lower printing costs, real estate agents can now produce newsletters and other direct mail which they could never have afforded to do a few years ago.

Then you have TV. Technology has changed this too. A few years ago, only the largest brokers in town could afford to buy 30 minutes worth of “junk” time on Sunday morning to feature a few of their homes. Today, Charter Cable has a Real Estate TV channel that broadcasts 24 hours a day.

Then you get to the internet (where again, 70% of people are now starting their home search). There are millions of websites today. Heck, 80% of the agents in town have one. There are so many sites, in fact, that it’s difficult not to be drowned out by all of them. As a result, most agent's websites get little to no web traffic.

Listing your home on a website that no one ever visits is kind of like advertising your St Louis area home in the Des Moines (Iowa) Register & Tribune- no one who's going to buy it will ever know it’s for sale. Search engines, which help people find websites, place a high priority on websites that are updated frequently and have lots of original content. And the easiest way to update and get original content- by blogging of course!

So by blogging, we’re putting the STLagent website on the map to draw visitors to see our client’s homes. And if you don’t think it’s a plan that works, then ask yourself how the Post-Dispatch found a 90 day old website and why they called and interviewed us over agents that have been in business for 20 years.

More important, our marketing efforts don’t stop there. Our commitment to our clients is to use technology to it’s fullest to help sell their home (and blogging is just one tiny piece of the puzzle). We’ve integrated newspaper, magazine, direct mail and TV advertising with internet and a state-of-the-art communication systems to help gain your home the most exposure we can get it-- and then be able to track and qualify the exposure you get.

Moving forward, we have other exciting technology we are working toward being the first real estate team in St Louis to have. Of course you’ll just have to keep reading our blog to find out what that is!

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in the technology industry which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director in 2005. In 2011 Sid launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc, while continuing to perform marketing and operations for Kimberly's team. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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