TELL ME A STORY....A Story About Real Estate and Local Information..
Note: This is the third in a series of posts about the importance of blogging to real estate agents and brokers--starting it, keeping it going and doing it with continuity. We are in the middle of a major shift in real estate brokerage; I feel we, as professionals have an opportunity to lay claim to what we thought we had but we don't--our local real estate market. Trulia and Zillow and the like have taken the most valuable thing we have: Our listings and our content! Now we can reclaim them by becoming the informed as well as the informer in our niche areas! The public NEEDS our local knowledge in order to make informed decisions!
Seven years ago, I decided to start blogging---Barely knowing what Blogging meant, I jumped into it with both feet and started telling stories about where I live. I found that local history about Southampton was rich and available to those who cared to seek out and study details of this very early English settlement.
I did that at the urging of fellow members here on ActiveRain--"You need to tell people what is going on in your area" was the theme of most blog posts at that time...So I started in.
I used sales data and photos of houses, the Village and surrounding areas and I used the "tales" of the area for local interest stories.
Little did I know that what I was doing was beginning a story line; a story line about where I live and what I love to do here...a story line that I have kept going now for many years. It has made a huge difference in my reputation as a local specialist; many sellers now contact me directly to list their houses and in most cases they found me on the internet. Buyers too appear, because they found me and my posts as they did a web search about this area, or because they were "house hunting" online.
OUTWITTING THE COMPETITION...
This story line has unfolded now for all these seven years, and now I see that what I was doing has put me in a very different place compared to where my competition is.
I have made the mark of a local expert now. As to the history of Southampton, I was astounded when I got an email from a descendant of one of the founders of Southampton, New York! He is a Great Grandson of the founder of Southampton Village, eight times removed! He and I connected via email and since he lives in the UK and may never ever get here to see the place his ancestor founded, it was gratifying to communicate with him! He found me when he did a search of Southampton Village and found a post I had written about Post Lane, a little known and historical street here in the Village. Named after his ancestral family, the street is less than 1/4 of mile long and was the original driveway to the Post Family Estate.
His name is Richard Post and he carries the same name as the man who owned most of Southampton Village in the 17th century. The first Richard Post was one of the first settlers here in 1640's and the King of England had bestowed upon him the greater piece of land that now lies in the central part of the Village.
When I got that email and then connected him with the Historical Society here in Southampton Village--I got the thrill of a lifetime! I was able, through my blogging, to connect a whole missing piece to the history of this beautiful Village---
What a story to tell my family and friends!...and it goes on, because as long as there is another story to tell about this area, I will tell it!
KEEP IN MIND:
Blogging is a great way to get the publics' attention.
In order to tell a story that will get read, you need to focus on the little known facts about an area. Keep this at the forefront of your mind as you blog about your selection.
I find the following methods work for me:
- Keep your eyes open for the latest NEW happenings in your area, i.e. museum exhibits etc.
- Write from the "place" you found in your own mind when you saw it or read about it--what peaked your interest?
- Look for the unusual or little known event, i.e.: there is an antique building in Southampton Village that was an original silversmith shop--situated on Main Street, it is an obscure, tiny gambrel roofed building separate and very different from all the other Village store fronts. It is now used as a school room for teaching precious metal jewelry making and it is one little known event that happens every 6 months. Limited to 3-4 people per class, it is one of the most interesting classes you could ever take--maybe even begin a business with the knowledge?
- Make sure you keep a log of all sales that take place in your area. Write about that as often as you can. Each time you write a piece about your area, you build upon the whole story line. Keeping it "Pithy" is crucial and this will work towards building your reputation and your business!
- Take advantage of local lore; many stories have come about in an area from the earliest families and the early existence of businesses, i.e.: "Flint Michigan is a city founded for the Automobile industry--a place where the founder of GM lived in the Applewood Estate; Charles Stewart Mott lived there from the turn of the 19th century until his death in 19--" (I spent most of my early adult life there) This is the stuff stories are made of and can be discovered simply by talking with the local folks.
These pointers may help you as you gather your thoughts about telling your story; build it and make it rich and full of life and full of data, people will read it.
People will read your blog posts and they will think of you anytime the possibility of buying a house in your area arises---or anytime a friend or friend of a friend needs a real estate service.
Keep it going and the public will find you. If they feel that you know the area so well, they will want to use your real estate services and their friends will too!...
**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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