Urban Myths about Real Estate Blogging

Posted by: Pat Kitano on February 19th, 2008

Since I speak in front of many real estate agents who don’t know a thing about blogs, I hear the same urban myths associated with blogs.

These myths seem to be circulating among real estate agents as a way to halt the spread of blogging in the real estate industry. Why? Some real estate agents who don’t believe they can blog, or just don’t want to see bloggers as their competition, are threatened by the success stories and buzz associated with blogging.

The urban myths get started in part as a way to preserve the status quo.

I admire and congratulate Louis, Jessica and their team for developing a blog forum on HomeGain, particularly when blogging (for lead generation) is perceived to be directly competitive to HomeGain’s business model of selling leads. And Louis knows it… Louis’ post, The Case Against Blogging is a direct poke… he defines by exclusion some of the obvious qualifications needed to blog:

1) Can’t write?
2) Rather buy leads than spend time to blog?
3) Want to sleep more? – then don’t blog.

Most bloggers agree, only about 5% of agents seem capable of blogging. But then Louis misses the point by presuming blogging isn’t effective (read article points 2, 4 and 6), and it’s these points that invite counterpoint from success stories like Laurie, Jay and Brian. Bloggers by and large are a civil lot and won’t be provoked into this futile argument vis-a-vis the presumption that blogging is a waste of time… we can only shake our heads because we know the naysayers who want blogging to disappear just don’t want to be convinced.

Simply put, bloggers know blogging is effective marketing in many ways beyond lead generation.

Here are a few urban myths about real estate blogging:

If I start a blog, readers will start attacking me in the comments section and I have no control over them.

Yes that happens, but rarely. The readers that interact with bloggers almost always identify themselves so it’s imperative that they also make a decent impression.

Also, bloggers can approve all comments before publication so nasty, irrelevant or undeserved comments are easily deleted. On Transparent Real Estate, this is the only ridiculous comment I’ve ever received in 1 1/2 years… the commenter started out logically but just got frustrated and went with baser instincts… and of course, I’ll post all comments…

“Kitano is a quack and has no freakin’ clue what he’s talking about. All these self-proclaimed ‘experts’ on real estate processes probably couldn’t tell the difference between a mortgage and a quit claim deed.”

If I start a blog, my employer and I will be liable for anything I write, and even the smallest misinterpretation can get us sued.

Yes, anyone publishing, communicating or talking to any media has the same liability. Just use common sense, don’t liable and slander (just for obvious reputation reasons) and adhere to the same discretion you would normally use at an open house (don’t mention anything that may be construed as an FHA violation).

And yes, a blogger has been sued, but I think this is the first incidence we’ve seen in the real estate blogosphere… and the suit has established some ground rules on how far one can criticize a business without attracting lawsuit rage.

It’s too late to start a blog because everybody is doing it.

Unbelievably, real estate blogging is right on the ground floor now. Bloggers who start now eventually “own” their city and its neighborhoods in the search engine rankings.

I was in SoCal – Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego – an area with a population of at least 20 million, and among blogger friends there, we could only come up with about 15 known bloggers (ActiveRainers were below our radar). In the Dallas Fort Worth area, we only know of one blogger!

This is a myth where the buzz is quantum leaps beyond reality.



10 Comments on “Urban Myths about Real Estate Blogging”

Louis Cammarosano

Hi Pat
Thanks for exposing some of the urban myths about blogging.
I don’t contend that blogging is not effective, just massively overhyped as a business tool.
We still can call out by NAME, not NUMBER the bloggers who actually sell real estate through blogging.
I would contend that more people make money selling blogging services and software than do using blogging to sell real estate.
I’ll be posting “The Failed Promise of Re.Net” in the coming days, so I’m sure I’ll be hearing from you.

Terry Smith

This can across the feed this morning. Knew this topic would come to a post soon. Why agents don’t get blogging , or don’t even know what it is, is because they don’t get Web 2.0, they’ve been so burned by Web 1.0 – RE vendors, (and you do need to be approved for access into the club). Basically, they think blogging is another come on, when the real truth is transparancy to agents and most importantly the consumer. Agents can’t believe there really is a cost effective marketing tool that gets results, just by putting yourself out there. They are afraid and don’t get the net.

Pat Kitano

Thank Louis. Someone asked me why I’m writing on the HomeGain blog… here’s my answer: http://transparentre.com/2008/02/21/why-im-writing-on-the-homegain-blog.aspx

Dave Marron


I’ve heard these urban myths as well. They are excuses agents use for not taking action. It’s just like another myth I hear from agents all the time. That’s the one where agents believe they shouldn’t call people who register on their website because online consumers want to be “anonymous”. This one always puzzles me because if someone is on your site and they give you their phone number chance are they want to hear from you – quickly.

I don’t think the myths you described are necessarily “a way to halt the spread of blogging in the real estate industry.” I believe market forces are taking care of that. In short, if Realtor® blogging was really an effective way to generate closed transactions more agents would do it. As Luis pointed out, some agents are fantastic bloggers and they generate business as a result. But, they are the exception. If “only about 5% of agents seem capable of bogging”, they won’t and shouldn’t blog.

If agents want to blog for the sake of gaining recognition among peers or getting speaking gigs and they enjoy it, that’s great. However, if they want to spend their time and expect to earn income as a result of blogging, they will likely be disappointed.

Brian Brady


I’ve read this a few times. You kind of telegraphed my restraint with:

“Bloggers by and large are a civil lot and won’t be provoked into this futile argument vis-a-vis the presumption that blogging is a waste of time”

My thought is: Look, blogging isn’t for everyone and it’s in its infancy. Nobody thought television was a cost-effective way to advertise real estate in the 70s but look at the success Russell Shaw has had.

Blogging is a new medium. Interactive marketing is a new medium. It’s one more way to fillet a fish. I would think people would be more interested in asking “How” rather than “How come?”

Ken Smith

There will be more bloggers sued as they have continued to write about topics and/or people they shouldn’t. More important I think we will see multiple cases of ethics violations against different agents based on their lack of thought before posting something on their blogs. Also have seen multiple blogs that clearly have some fair housing issues.

I hope everyone takes your advise and uses some common sense before blogging. Think about what you are saying before hitting the publish button.

Phyllis Harb

I think blogging is still “new” as were agent websites 10-15 years ago. I think that at the least, blogging links will help your web site and your blog rank higher in the search engine, which provides Realtors with more exposure – how can that be bad?

Louis Cammarosano

You are correct that blogging can be a produtive endeavor. But in order to do it I would think you would have to determine how much time you could spend on it and you have to make sure you do it right.

See also

Ben Kaeding

As a Technical Support Provider for Just Snooping.com, I am often times asked by Agents and Brokers how they can make their online marketing more productive. I have to tell them each time that organic website traffic is the most powerful and productive type of traffic a website can get. Providing services and information pertinent to the the visitor and their interests relative to the community products or services they are searching for. The real estate industry has changed very little over time with the exception of technology. Print media advertising is quickly becoming a waste of your marketing dollars while an investment in powerful Internet marketing tools is very often more cost effective and has a greater impact. I may be slightly predigest, as I do work for a Virtual Tour provider. I have to agree with author of this article. There is too many times an agent or Broker has given in to the false rumors and fears generated by those afraid to dive into or invest recourses into online marketing. My suggestion is to dive in, start a blog of you own or blog on others sites like this one. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions as a professional in the real estate industry.

Hunter Jackson

I completely agree with Brian. Blogging is not for everyone. Not for everyone at all. What you really have to look at is: Is it for you? That is the question.

I just started blogging a couple of months back. I found out…it is for me. It does bring me leads, yes. Also, it brings me opportunity. I get in front of people, and lets not forget the SERPS.

I greatly enjoy, and think it is very smart, the bullet points laid out.

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