The Internet has created a buffer so to speak between the agent and the buyer with their desires and their needs. It is this very safe place that I am going to talk about here; most agents have no idea how important the internet is to this particular buyer.

It is a very different world out there once an agent starts blogging about the real estate business; the actual results of which can be surprisingly rewarding.

You may find a whole new type of buyer; a buyer who has just begun to look and who may not have had the negative experiences that many have had by the time they get to us.

Here is a person who may want information about an area before they look for houses there--they don't want to waste an agents time before they are ready or they simply don't want to make a mistake when they do buy a home.THE GOOD THAT WILL COME FROM BLOGGING

The internet is a comfort zone where a buyer can relax and search at their leisure, taking the time to learn as much as they can before they commit to an agent--before they get "tied down" to a real search in a real market, in a specific location. Think of it as a "travel" guide for a buyer--much of the information searched for in real estate is to find out about an area. How do I know? Because that is what I have found in my blogging experiences--buyers "stumble" upon my blog posts all the time! They find me when they are doing the research needed to get ready to start looking in an area here.


This brings me to my point of writing this article: So many agents and brokers are still unaware of the use of the internet for building and creating new businesses.

Good, rich and accurate content is rare on a large real estate IDX, and even more rare on a corporate "Big Box" real estate site! What an opportunity for a company to make a "local" statement, and yet they are the worst at creating that long tail connection!

I prefer to use the internet to the benefit of my business; almost exclusively, my communication and my participation on the internet is for the business of real estate. Rarely do I participate on Twitter or Facebook. I find those sites to be frivolous and mundane, especially now since I have found my "sea" legs and know what is needed to get good results when someone does a search for real estate in my area!

BUYERS NEED A COMFORT ZONE BEFORE THEY BUYLinked In, Google + and ActiveRain are my choice for spending valuable time on the internet. Local information is my goal; to be able to convey the special "personality" of each one of the Hamptons is my goal.

I publish my local content on these sites because that is where most people who search the internet go! I will tell you that from a value standpoint, there is no question that the internet has it all over other forms of advertising and marketing!...But you need to balance all of it and make sure you do enough of the right kind of internet engaging to get the job done!



Time is best spent blogging and getting the word out about your particular area...with your name and face established as the go-to-person for that location.

Blogging is the best form of interaction on the internet where results MATTER; forget what others say about Facebook and Twitter and how they "connect" you to buyers and sellers.

A strong, informative, colorful and interesting blog post is the way many buyers decide on an area they want to live in today.

---Why not make them want to connect with YOU?




                                     **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:



Comment balloon 42 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • March 20 2013 01:15PM


"their desires and their needs". 

Thank you for writing that.

"their wants and needs" has never rolled easily off my lips.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Lenn: It is so true--it seems so trite to think of "wants and needs" when it comes to houses! You are too funny...I gave that the same kind of thought as I was writing this..for the same reason!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Hi Paula - love this post - like your use of the term "long tail connection" which is all about getting local which I agree with fully. I thought I was the only realtor who was not a Facebook fan!! I place my internet time on AR, my own site, and G+. Regards Dave

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - about 6 years ago

Dave: That sounds very effective! I added LinkedIn because I find myself more and more involved with using the website as a source of industry for FB I can not find any reason to go there---especially when I get "Facebook notifications" that turn out to be absolutley nothing but a way to get me to log on. When I get ther to see waht my notifications are, there are none!!! Does not make for a happy camper as far as I am concerned! There are many other reasons I don't go there anymore...

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Blogging is a great way to share stories about your area.. and provide a place where potential clients can get to know you.  I combine the blogging with Facebook and Twitter to help extend my reach! You can customize those notifications so you only receive what you want.. or nothing at all. Best,   Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 6 years ago

Kathy: Glad to hear FB and Twitter work for you! As imentioned above I get these "You have new notifications" emails and when I log on---you guessed--nothing!!! I don't use FB and don't really want to but they keep sending these false notifications and I feel manipulated---which goes back to the reason I no longer use FB!! The irony of it all! If I want to connect with someone from my high school or a family member that I haven't spoken to in quite a while I call them. I have yet to hear someone quantify their success with real estate on either one of those sites.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Paula, Can we get an "AMEN", wow you're so correct about blogging and the social medias we use. Linked-in, Google+ and the RAIN work for me.... great post and love your characters...

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) about 6 years ago

Paula: Activerain blogs carry a big punch on Google. About 1-1/2 years ago I wrote a local blog about a specialized artist, and someone called me to find out how to get in touch with that artist. I'm sold.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 6 years ago

Hi Paula,  Such a well written post.  If the masses can't " get it " from your post nothing else will help !!!

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 6 years ago

Paula, great post and continues to validate what I believe as well, just have not been doing it long enough to come to that conclusion on my own yet.  I dabble in facebook and twitter, but agree on AR, G+ and Linkedin.

Posted by Scott Larson, Park City, Utah Real Estate News (BHHS/Utah Properties) about 6 years ago

Bob: They are cute aren't they--so comfy in the "green" palm of your hand! I agree with the Tri-Fecta of social sites for real estate are AR, LinkedIn and Google +! I just looked at a site that is being touted by INMAN News called "Brokur"...when I went on there and put in my own zip code, there are the same old, same old names with nothing else--these names are the agents who are agressivly signing up for anything that comes down the pike. Now, I don't know what BROKUR is so I can't make a judgement yet but when I see them asking for agents to sign up..."and don't forget to add your listings!" I get real suspicious. One more Trulia,...Zillow?? UGH! All they want is data to fill their data-base with OUR listings!

Hella: You can say that again! I get responses to this day on localism posts that I wrote several years back. That is proof enough for me that I am doing the right thing in all the right places...

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Talk to ten different people and you'll get ten different ideas on social media.  While I agree that Facebook/Twitter seem frivolous, I know people who regularly get business from it.  

Of course, first comes content - is it worthy enough?  Then comes where to put it to get the widest viewership.  It's like a jigsaw puzzle for me.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Hi Paula,  So true, so very true!   I have seen good things come from blogging.  People get to know you before they actually meet you.  It saves them a lot of time in our fast-paced world.   You have a relationship forged before they even arrive at your office.  

I, too, have had localism blogs pop up years later.  Amazing!

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Bill: Well, thank you so much! I do try to get the point across that the internet is multi faceted and to think that buyers just go to one place to look for houses and information about an area is way off the mark! We all have an opportunity to make AR a Go-To-Place for real estate and with information to support what we are selling in a certain location is paramount to a winning hand! IDX sites don't get to the nitti-gritti about places--my company's website does not even bother to give accurate information about the Hamptons--Why? Because they don't know what they don't know and they will continue to put all the snappy stuff out there that is nothing about us and the area we work!!! They miss the boat in my opinion!...just as most Big Box websites do!

Scott: You are terrific and I can see that you are going to be one of the "greats" here on AR! Why? Because as you say, "I have not been doing it long enough to come to that conclusion" That tells me that you are a very careful professional who is willing and open to trying new ideas on for size--that will make you a very quick study here on AR because you are mixing with the best of the best, in my humble opinion!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Margaret: Very well put! If I was so confident that I would get buyers or sellers from FB and Twitter, you bet I would be doing it! It has just never materialized for me....I guess just as AR or Google+ have not materialized for others---but for something to produce what I get from my blog posts on AR alone, would have to be overwhelmingly productive....and here on AR I am building a story liine that people end up following---does that happen on FB or Twitter? I would really like to know if you can tell me that because that to me is the missing link.

Elyse:Yeaaaay! I love to hear that! Congratulations to you because I know how hard it is to get there! Continuity in content and a big bunch of good solid data is what it is all about and they will be eating out of your hand! (well, maybe not that much!) ...they will love what you do!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Absolutely Paula and if done with links and interfacing with other social media networks it is a super powerful.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 6 years ago

zpaula, Great points and great direction to strive for. Congratulations on the star.

Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) about 6 years ago

Paula great blog. I actually do get some business from Facebook. I have recently started using Google+ and I'm still trying to figure it out. You would think if I know Facebook then Google+ wouldn't be any harder to learn. We'll see!

I've been trying to blog more consistently. I move so much with my husband being active duty military I wonder if blogging is as advantageous for me. I feel like when I start blogging about one area within three years I am switching to another area. I guess if someone finds an old blog I can always refer them. 

Posted by Elizabeth Straessle, MRP, ~Military Spouse~ (All American Home Source Realty, LLC) about 6 years ago

Debbie: I agree--I use AR as my base and all my other blogging goes off those posts--it is just easier that way. My local posts have to be more frequent, I have found, because of the exposure and the pace being so much faster on Google+. That makes it more demanding but I am willing to do it if I get the attention I seem to get.

Mark: Thank you so much! It is hard work as I mention above but the payoff is well worth all the hard work...Good luck with your own blog posts!

Elizabeth: Do you realize how lucky you are??? You have an opportunity to become the specialist in each and every area you move to! You must spend time in each location, right? I see you spend about three years. If I were you I would create a check list or at least a list of things like:

  • Best restaurants in the area
  • Location of all parks
  • School names and addresses
  • Take many photos of the area you have lived in and keep a document file (in your computer) with date and place you lived and for how long
  • Keep a current and active file for all the military personnel whom you know and where they may buy
  • File that information as you would an address book, just more detailed and keep with the photos of each area.
  • Then make every effort to find out the fun things to do: County fairs, community picnics and favorite food  shops and/ cooking classes, dates of parades and other memorial affairs...

Do this for each area that you live in, and file it all in a folder named for each area--you can add to it as you go. When you prepare to move on to the next base, make sure you post your name and contact information for any local real estate agent you have met and got to know..not many--maybe one or two. After you move on to the next base, start the whole process all over again--You will have all you need if you ever get a connection or have a referral you want to give to someone. The internet is precious for the way it can help you organize your "stuff" so that it is easy to find---then you, my dear can be just as productive in one area as the next! Good luck!


Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

I recently started using Google+ and am just muddling my way through it. Sometimes it gets overwhelming -- all these social networking sites. But I do agree ActiveRain and Google+ are two of the best and most beneficial for us!

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) about 6 years ago

Great post! Making yourself familiar with the internet and how rewarding it can be for business is becoming more and more important.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) about 6 years ago

Hello! Great thoughts. Blogging has brought me so many friends and relationships -- and sales!

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) about 6 years ago

It doesn't matter how much I tell people to do it, many still do not comprehend the real longevitiy of blog posts on the Internet. Great post.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) about 6 years ago

Peggy: I use the concept of: If it is confusing to me and not any fun--I stay away from it! That's my motto and it works--if Google+ is too complicated and no fun for you then you are wasting your time! Find a venue that is fun to use--to "play" with and make that your place....until you are ready to go to the next thing! No one says You HAVE to do google+ and sometimes if you step away you can eventually get back to it when you are ready for a little more of a challenge. The reason I say this is that there is no one telling you what is right for you--you need to feel it is right or you will be wasting your time and thus, your money!...and the quality of your work will suffer!

Trisha: Right you fact I am willing to bet that if you are NOT blogging and you are a real estate agent you are going to be losing your place in the community as a specialist...losing it to someone who IS doing the local internet information. It is as simple as that and it could happen much sooner than we have thought it would--the time is NOW!

Erica: Great! Isn't it the most rewarding thing to do in our business? I have no problem saying to myself: "I will post something everyday--I will make the time for it because it is that important". And I make every effort to do just that!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Melissa: You know what? I find the same thing and that's's not like we don't try, right? ...and look what it does for us--from those who do not "get it": It get's us to write blog posts about how valuable it is to do that and in the process, we just may get read by the right person, a buyer or a seller who reads our posts and says: "Wow, this is an interesting take on real estate agents...I think I want to get to know this person and maybe use them when I buy--they seem to know all there is to know about this area I want to live in!" Isn't it fun??? :)

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Paula, it's true and yet I don't think blogging is for everyone, because not everyone wants to take the time to research and write. Just like school, how many really enjoyed doing papers and research? Few. Same here. Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 6 years ago

Sharon: But it does not take a "writer" to learn to blog---that, in my humble opinion, is the problem people have with blogging; they just don't understand that putting down on paper statistics or local information does not take a master writer! I was not a writer and I have expanded my writing now so that many people now read my posts! All it takes is an interest in becoming informed so you can inform...this wonderful business of real estate is not a matter of taking people into houses now and writing up offers---it is now much more than that. The public does not want to buy a house if they don't know anything about the state, the county, the town or village and the STREET they may end up living on! In my opinion, if you can talk, you can write--at least you can write information and statistics down in such a way that the public finds it interesting--nothing more than that! That is not going to require a degree in literature--as I said if you can talk and carry on a conversation, just write it down as if you are talking about it---that is the key; no mystery to it! And those who succeed at blogging have discovered that. Sorry about the run on response but i just had to say it--it may be that I will do a post on that topic!!! :)

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Also ... it's addictive!

Posted by Rick Phillips, I care about you and your transaction. (Frankly Realty - Old Town) about 6 years ago

Paula, I must say, your comments are as packed with information as your blog post. Great job of touting the advantages of blogging. I was just contacted by a local agent today who had questions about blogging. I told him it's a real lead generator but it requires real commitment.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 6 years ago

Paula, you are the expert. I seem to get calls from out of state home buyers or home sellers which I believe is from my blogging efforts.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 6 years ago

According to my website I get a lot of traffic from social media and mostly from Activerain - yes!

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) about 6 years ago

Rick: You can say that again--addiction might be the best way to describe it because unless you feel that kind of attraction to blogging, it is very hard to fake it!!! :)

Tammie: Thank you! I love the topic and therefore it just rolls off the, er...the keyboard. I almost said tongue so as you can see the point I try to make is that blogging is no more difficult than talking--having a good conversation with the members and the public!

Pamela: That is the great thing about blogging: Even though it is crucial to focus on the local data and local happenings when we blog, it's reach is broader and further reaching than any other form of marketing.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Teral: That's teriffic!...and let's hope it continues because there is no greater shelf-life for your branding and marketing then blogging!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Paula - I wholeheartedly agree with the points you've made in your post!

Posted by Larry Estabrooks, 100% representation means NEVER DUAL AGENCY ! (Independent Real Estate Agent) about 6 years ago

Larry: Good then!...I will be looking for your next post, right? :) All kidding aside, it is a good thing you can see what the benefits are; that makes it so much easier to sink your teeth into a topic and get it down,..the website page!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Blogging has brought me many great relationships, new clients, and referrals.  Social media and blogging is a huge part of our business.  Great post Paula!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 6 years ago

Yes to this phenomenon and it is still finding its legs too. I got a call the other day on a post I did 2 years ago on B of A...Not only that, but quite a few times when researching a subject I come across an AR post of someone I know too...Amazing and thank you for sharing Paula

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

I want thank you for this post. .you have inspired me with your thinking and I will implement it using videos. .

You are absolutely right. . consumers now want to be anonymous until they decide they are good and ready. .blogging is a good avenue. .but combining them with videos and you are at another level. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 6 years ago

The Christiansens: that's good to hear---it is an art to be able to put out there often enough, what we know and how we do what we do...the blogging itself is simply a conversation..

Richie: I agree; I have run across numerous posts by fellow Active Rainers when I google something having to do with real estate! That is a real testimony to the strength of blogging but of AR also!

Fernando: You are so right! I do real estate shows (which I discovered right here on AR!) and there is a video capability but I must admit, I have great trouble getting the shows to show up, open and ready to be seen...I usually end up using a link and may lose some viewers because of that..any light shed on that topic would be appreciated!


Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago

I tried to teach several agents about writing local blogs.  They understood the concept but just could not get themselves to actually write on a regular basis.  As a result, they rapidly dropped off the map and wondered why they didn't get leads from the 2-3 quick posts.  Quality local material written on a regular basis drives leads.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Very inspirational post.  Thanks for the encouragement. I'm just getting started in the blogging area and I love reading about the importance of it. 

Posted by Liz McGinley, Service with Integrity Indeed! (Florida Indeed Real Estate, Inc) about 6 years ago

Bryan: You are so right! That is the key---consistancy keeps them coming back for more--it's like a good restaurant: make it tasty, colorful and consistant in it's goodness and they will come! i gave up trying to get my fellow agents interested in blogging--they think they have to be "writers" and that is the sticking point with most agents who don't take advantage of blogging!

Liz: It may take a while but as Bryan says above---""Quality local material drives the leads"!...that is the only thing you need to keep in the front of mind as you begin your blogging!...and keep it coming for them so that they think of you any time a real estate issue comes up. Good Luck!!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 6 years ago