When I first got into Real Estate, I came from a background in software development (including, most recently, web site development). Because of this background, as soon as I learned that people were meeting real estate clients on-line, it became my goal to create a profitable web site. Soon afterwards, I set out to create and maintain several profitable web sites.
When I first heard about blogging in 2003, I thought of blogging software as a way to do help me do just that. They say if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see everything as a nail. In my case I saw my task as content development, so every type of software I looked to me like a content management system.
With the rise of social networking, I began noticing a shift away from creating your own content on your own site to hanging around with your friends. In the last year or so, I’ve been repeatedly surprised by the extent to which people — including my colleagues, other Realtors® — are content to rent instead of own their online properties. This was driven home today by an outstanding article by CopyBlogger’s Brian Clark, Are You Someone’s User Generated Content? Clark points to many articles by leading bloggers discussing the regrets people have felt when they neglected their own Internet properties — their blogs — to explore social networking.
Clark sums up my own feelings about frittering one’s time on Facebook, (or mismanaging it on MySpace, if you prefer):
For me, there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating “user-generated” content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.
This metaphor should be especially apt to Realtors®, who know first hand the benefits our clients can derive from their own sweat equity.
Is your sweat equity being invested in your own online real estate, or are you remodeling someone else’s kitchen for free?