This is another part of a series of 3 posts on blogging and how important it is to the real estate community, nationwide. Without this form of marketing, I would be just another bump on the face of the Hamptons real estate market. Real estate agents are a dime a dozen here in the Hamptons and there are now 15 agencies with a maximum number of desks in each--all filled. (there were 6 agencies in 2008) Now is the time to grab the opportunity to build a blogging platform if you haven't already.
If not now, when? If not this, what? Blogging needs to be treated as a primary form of marketing for the real estate profession....
BLOGGING HELPS TO HUMANIZE THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL; it humanizes us better than any other form of marketing and we need that! Little known information that you can glean from local families and stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next are a perfect source for a great local blog. I view blogging as an anti-dote to the "virus" of the giant syndicated websites...they are becooming more and more established and they feed on our lifeblood: Our Listings!!
There are many sources to look for local information; many facts about the history of Southampton, East Hampton and Bridgehampton were lost in the 40's and 50's or even after that. Due to the level of interest in the Hamptons as a place to "Play In The Sun", we have lost a major piece of our history to the droves of summer revelers from across the globe. The subject was dropped from the vocabulary of the locals because it was considered "tacky" to brag about your roots and the history of this area. It was more important to appear to be on the up and coming trendy parts of the Hamptons than to appear to be a "local"and a "farmer"!
The history of our community has taken a back seat to the publicity seeking media hounds looking for the celebrity who has become the norm here in the Hamptons. The stories are now more about the activities of this segment of the local population and less about the founding fathers and their surviving offspring.
People, the buying public loves it when they find out a little known fact about the area where they live or want to live! They consume the information as if it were nourishment for the soul. They keep the stories in their minds and thoughts and they tell them to friends and others who may want to live here too. It is an ongoing and growing resource for business.
Research can be done in the most surprising places: Old attics in houses that are about to be sold, estate sales of old books, stores carrying local used furniture and antiques---The owners of these places are a fountain of information!
WHAT WAS IT BEFORE IT IS WHAT IT IS?
I have found that asking this question can open up a treasure trove of things to blog about: "What was it before it is what it is?" I make a game out of it and engage those who have lived here for their entire lives--usually the Baby Boomer generation and older. They love to share what they know about a place that has evolved into it's current existence.
When an agent is able to open a closed door to a home buyer they have added a degree of trust that did not exist before. Any time there is information shared about a locale, (interesting, valid and valuable information that is) the level of trust rises and the relationship becomes more sound.
Not only that, there is a sense that this agent will be able to answer many other questions that the new buyer wants answers to---we all know that is what homeowners, new to an area, are going to be looking for anyway, right?
WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THE KIDS?
This is quite possibly the most important question you can answer for a young family. When a new homeowner settles in with the family in tow, the most important thing that they ask is "What can we do with the kids?"
I discovered that one of my local posts has been visited so many times on the internet that it could only be because there is a huge need to fill the population in on kid-friendly things to do here in the Hamptons. Knowing that I have made it my major focus in my local blog posts...I keep looking and finding new things to add too.
With almost 5000 clicks on my blog post: SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK... WHY I CHOOSE TO LIVE HERE: I have seen the light!....This is the way into the hearts and minds of the buying public. Inform, inform, inform and you will see the results that I have seen...a never ending source of new business and repeat business too!
ENGAGE THE ELDERS OF THE COMMUNITY...
When I first moved to the Hamptons I was in my 20's and I was enraptured with the names of streets and roads here. I found out that the older the street the better the chance of a really interesting name:
- Eel Pot Ally
- Further Lane
- Steven Hands Path
- Majors' Path
- Highway Behind the Pond
- Dog's Hole Highway
- Pudding Hill Lane
- Louse Point
These are just a few of the names of streets and roads here which captured my imagination and become the topic of more than one dinner party during my earlier days here. All of these roads were the original paths used by the earliest settlers and were obviously named after the most relate-able use.
The Indian names are even more enchanting and seem to bring all of us into the reality that we are just recently joined as residents of this incredible land.
- Wickapogue Road
- Pantigo Road
- Sagaponack Road
- Apaquogue Road
- Poxabogue Pond Road
- Tuckahoe Road
- Shinnecock Road
More often than not, I have been able to engage the elder population here; conversations always seem to go into the past when I talk with them. What an incredible source of information! Nursing homes are particularly fascinating; I have been to visit several of the elderly folks there. They love my probing questions about the way they were raised here....where they came from and where they lived as children. Most went to a one room school house for their education and because they were farmers generally, there were special allowances for the early hours kept by the young. 5:00 was the time they were up to herd the cows to pasture; milking time was just before the cows were let out to pasture and this was a time for the school children to apply their earliest chores. These stories are mundane but so enlightening to me; how times have changed and the last 50 years have been the most life altering!
LOOK FOR THE THINGS THAT NO ONE ELSE SEES....
There is a fountain of information available to all of us if we are just willing to see and hear it. As you do your day to day real estate business there are opportunities like no other profession for you to do your research for your local blog. Take advantage of each and every one of them: People you meet, those whom you know have lived in the target locale for years can supply a generous amount of information if you take the time to tell them what you are doing. Tell them that you are interested in what they experienced as a young person in the area and that you need their knowledge to expand your local blog posts. They will want to help you out once you have told them what you are doing with the information. Ask them about places that were in your area in the past---soda fountains, movie theaters, five and dime stores....etc. Ask them to share their own stories so that you can write about them...they will love that!o
Keep the history of your area alive! Make the public aware of your efforts to inform them.
KEEP YOUR LOCAL POSTS VIBRANT AND ALIVE!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill: http://www.elliman.com/paulahathaway
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