Malok asked in the comments on my pre-Inman Connect Conference post for some insights. This is a shot at that.
The theme this year, as I mentioned before, was blogging. And they did a great job covering the topic. Real estate agents who’ve used blogging as a marketing strategy gave testimonials on how much business it has generated for them. And the numbers were impressive.
Sessions covered a wide array of blogging angles, from panels of real estate bloggers sharing tips on how they deal with comments, what they choose to blog about, what makes for a good real estate blogging voice, etc. Great stuff.
And, of course, many companies were on site offering tools to help real estate companies and agents get started blogging.
Sitting there watching non-bloggers learn about a marketing tactic that costs little to nothing and is capable of generating significant amounts of new business was an interesting experience. While every experienced blogger I heard speak made a point of mentioning that blogging takes time and can be hard work, that seemed to be glossed over by the audience who focused on the dollar signs.
While some of the attendees likely went home, started a blog, and found that it was a good fit for them, others surely started a blog that’s already growing stale. That’s not a big deal, since the cost of getting started is so low. In fact, one company was offering free t-shirts to people who created a new blog on their platform.
My suggestion to agents who caught the blogging bug at the conference was to start by reading other blogs and commenting on other sites. It’s hard to find a voice for yourself before you have a feel for the flow of a blog’s content, understand comments and commenting etiquette, and learn what seems to work for others when it comes to building an audience.
The other impression I got was that some people seemed to think that they’d already missed the blogging wave. Perhaps they think that once it’s the topic of a conference, the secrets out of the bag and the returns are diminishing. Personally, I don’t think that’s the case at all in real estate since it’s such a locally focused business. If you’re a real estate agent, can you honestly say that the area you work is overwrought with great real estate blogging coverage? I doubt it.
Overall, it was a great experience, and will hopefully lead to more great real estate blogs across the country.