PAULA'S SOUTHAMPTON BLOG: BLOGGING HELPS TO HUMANIZE THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL....

BLOGGING HELPS TO HUMANIZE THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL....

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 RESEARCH CAN BE DONE IN THE MOST SURPRISING PLACES!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!!

HISTORY BOOKS FOR RESEARCHThere 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 earliestBLOGGING IS A CRUCIAL PART OF MARKTING AND BRANDING 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                     **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

 http://www.hathawayhamptonhomes.com

MY REAL ESTATE SHOWS:

http://www.realestateshows.com/671362

http://www.realestateshows.com/671345

http://www.realestateshows.com/651587

http://www.realestateshows.com/flyer.php?id=654265

 

Comment balloon 34 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • August 25 2013 06:53PM

Comments

Paula: You bring up such an interesting point. Since coming back to Hawaii, I've been digging way back to what was, or interesting tales, with just about everyone I blog about. I believe it is personalizing an experience. And so many things are "miss" remembered.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 5 years ago

Hella: That sounds to me like you are on the right track....I can't help but think that this is the way forward for those of us who want to establish ourselves as the go-to agent in a given area---doesn't mean we can't sell in other areas; just that our "following" will be there always for the niche area.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Paula, I loved the story and history lesson.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) about 5 years ago

Kathy: Great! I think we all can take advantage of the opportunity to tell a story about an area---I just read Andrew Moorers' post on Maine and even though I am not ready to move, I felt the pull just by his simple statements about the simple life in Maine! What a great thing we can do for our areas and our business!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Thanks Paula for a great insight into your topic on blogs.  It is very important to come across as the neighborhood expert, and writing about local events and history is always a grab the attention of your audience.

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) about 5 years ago

Hear, hear! The humanity - that's why buyers and sellers still use us almost every time.

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) about 5 years ago

I could not agree more. It helps define our likes and dislikes...which is what our buyers and sellers want.

Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) about 5 years ago

Great examples of all the ways that blogging can benefit us as professionals ... AND those we hope to serve, whether that be an individual or a community or etc.  We as an industry do a great service through our blogging ...

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 5 years ago

Dan: I believe you are right and the reason it is so easy for me to create the local posts is that I feel so connected....I feel so connected because I sk so many questions and on and on and on...it really is self perpetuating after a while.

Brad: Glad you caught on to that! I think if it were a concerted effort on the [art of all agents and brokers to be the best blooger about your area, then we have another reason for being and that is always good!

Jefffery: Yes and it helps the buyer and seller decide who they want to call for help when they decide to sell or buy. As a blogger we stand out in thee crowd.

Gene: I agree---the more the better too.

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I just went back and read that old blog post of yours and I can see why it has 5000 clicks, I am going to come back and reread this one every now and then when I inevitably lose focus and need to recharge.

Posted by Scott Larson, Park City, Utah Real Estate News (BHHS/Utah Properties) about 5 years ago

Scott: Thank you! Please feel free to use anything I offer up here on AR...I get a real thrill from that! :)

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I totally agree with  you all great points that you have presented regarding the idea that blogging helps to humanize the real estate professional and industry- i guess thats why I love posting neighborhood and community events.

Posted by Michele Cadogan-Cell 917-861-9166, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker - (Fillmore Real Estate 2926 Ave J Brooklyn NY 11210) about 5 years ago

Michele: I think it is the very best thing we can do for pour profession...Good to hear that you are doing it!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Paula- excellent post.  Any of us can provide the dates and names of events or talk a little bit about what's going on but writing a blog so that you provide some real information... where you humanize it by offering your perspective adds a layer that cannot be measured.  And, BTW, you make a good point about the Hamptons.  When I think of the Hamptons, I think of all of the celebrities, etc with money who play there. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 5 years ago

Paula, I do love to write a bit of history, and I love digging for it even more! Fantastic information to those who want to find something to write about.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago
Hi Paula, I used to write a lot about area events accompanied with photos. I thought I would change tactics a bit and bring some current issues up that need to be discussed. I love the local histories and the communities that have been featured here in the rain and hope they continue. I think I have learned so much and really enjoyed the many anecdotal tales.
Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) about 5 years ago

Kathy: Isn't that the case? The first time I was aware that the history of the place was so vast and so available if I just asked, was when the late Peter Jennings who lived here until his last days held a gathering of his closest friends and invited many of his local acquaintances just to have a discussion of what it is like to live in the Hamptons as a celebrity. His comment, and with the nodding agreement of almost all the other celebrities, was that this was the only place in the whole country where he could walk freely amongst the population and never feel intruded upon. The deep respect that the majority of original Hamptonites held for anyone who wanted to remain as anonymous as possible comes from the idea of their own privacy and need for annonimity...After all, the names of so many locals carry the life history of the earliest settlers and that in and of itself could also be a burden if not respected by the general population. That form of celebrity can be punishing indeed if someone wants to invade the much sought after privacy. Finding that out at that time gave me the idea to start talking with some of the members of these early families. With assurances that it would be held in strictest confidence I had opened a door that I found was readily open to me because of the understanding I now had of the difficulty of being a descendant of one of the first colonists. So many have gone now and there are fewer and fewer willing to divulge anything---I still find them now and then and it is a blessing to be able to talk with them and to learn new tid bits every so often.

Andrea: That's right--I love the digging too. Not many people have the courage to dig but I have found that the silent treatment will open doors that are closed to most other people. By silent, I mean I do not ever let on that I talked to so and so...those conversations are totally private and I let the individual know that too. I have had a hard time diggin up old journals but I found that the library does offer some really interesting records from the 17th century...and the one book by Howell was a God send at at time when I had given up ever getting a real look into the way life was back then...

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

William: I do too and I hope to read some of yours too--in fact I will go now and look at your blog to see if anything interesting pops up. Meanwhile, we do have an opportunity with the blogging thing, to stand out from the overcrowded profession we work in! I love sharing the stories and reading those from other members too! 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Paula- Wow, you've hit on something really insightful here. There have been over a dozen business books written in recent years about the Power of Storytelling.

Most of us are really bad at recalling facts and figures, but it seems that we humans have something in us that just loves a good story-- and we remember details from a story much better than disconnected facts.

What if agents who decided to specialize in a particular area didn't just relay all the facts about the area in their blogging, but aspired to become a storyteller for the area?

What a fanastic way to differentiate yourself from the competition!

Posted by Craig Ernst (Authority Marketing Stategies for Agents | AuthorityAgent.com) about 5 years ago

You seem to be a historian, at heart, and there are plenty of people like you who are enchanted with the often forgotten background of a place. I'm one of them.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 5 years ago

Craig: I am so glad you read this post and actually "got it" --My sole intent is to get the rest of the real estate community totally tuned-in to the concept of building the local image through telling stories about it. It frightens me that we are so close to losing everything we have as agents with the huge impact that the big websites (who will go un-named  here) are making on  our local markets. Just today I saw a Zestimate come through on my new construction listing, a $5.5 mil listing and they tell me it is now worth $2,6 mil!!! How do you think that impacts the buying public who are more and more looking at these two big websites and trusting that the information is accurate? The house which was originally my lisitng was just given to another agency as a co-exclusive and that listing agent put it on both of those giant websites and now we get to combat the low ball offers!!!

Jill: That is terrific and I wish you luck in building your local knowledge of the consuming public!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Paula, what a detailed and fascinating post! How right you are that the locals love to delve into the heritage of the surrounding area they call home. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) about 5 years ago

Paula - I think my son, and business partner, encouraged me to start blogging back in 2007 so he would not have to listen to the stories I love to tell.  Now, I blog about it--it's one of my favorite things about my job as storytelling is in my blood.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 5 years ago

Ralph: I thank you for reading this post and making your observation: "Locals love to delve into the the heritage of the surrounding area they call home"...That is exactly what I have found and it is gratifying to think that there are people who love it---buyers amoung them!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Norma: How great is that? I can relate to that--several of my buyers have said over the years: "You need to write theses stories down--put them in a book or something." Although the book idea has kind of disappeared for me I love that I have a place to write about it and that it does get read!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Paula

Your post is really a true pleasure to read I appreciate the time you take to give to others.

 

Posted by Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man (eXp Realty) about 5 years ago

Great topic.  I love local histories of places.  It does add interest, even if the main focus is not real estate, but it shows you truly know the area.

Posted by Gary Frimann, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) about 5 years ago

Paula, you summarized it in one sentence..

"There is a fountain of information available to all of us if we are just willing to see and hear it"

And yes, makes sense to post local - this is a great resource for local information (and for SEO, too.)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 5 years ago

The FAQ that get asked a lot are excellent fodder for blogging topics that are done in rotation. Revisited and updated like the news. Or something on the national level applied closer to home as the local first person the outside real estate buyer meets on line. YOU! Before they even step foot, drive over the town line to visit in person. Take everything you do on the road, make your office online and never closing for when they are ready to buy. Great blog post on the importance of blogging, your strategy.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

Like any good artist, it is so important to look for the things that no one else sees and contribute to the viewer (buyer's) vision in a way that is unique.  Wonderful post and yes Paula, I love the names of the streets and of course the tribes, all associated with the Hamptons.

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) about 5 years ago

Dan: Thank you so much!I do hope the readers get the point of what I am trying to say because we don't have much time before we are beaten down to nothing from the pressure of the large syndicates---and I believe there is even more in store for us in the way of change. The syndicates are taking over, literally and it does not look good going forward for the agencies out there across the nation.

Gary: You are right! The fact that we as agents know our marketplace like the back of our hands is the key to taking back that which we have lost.

Praful:Thanks so much...we really do have an opportunity don't we?

 

 

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Andrew: Glad you liked it and got what I was telling everyone: We really have an opportunity and we need to make every effort to make our markets as familiar to a new buyer as they are to us! You do that in your posts, I noticed...and it does work, does it not?

Joanna: You know what, I read a post written by one of my favorite authors today---Seth Godin wrote something in his post "Part Of A Community...." talking about the effect we can have on our communities if we "give" rather than "take" from them and we will have done more for our "tribes" than any other way:"What can I contribute today," might be the very best way to become part of a community. Relentless generosity brings us closer together."

I felt the irony of what he was saying because if we can incorporate that thinking into what we do here on AR, then we really will make a difference! Thank you for your opinion on this very important matter! 

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Great advice again Paula! I wish our area had cooler street names like yours does. :)

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) about 5 years ago

Pam: I am willing to bet that if you go back to the beginning in your area you will find the odd name here and there...maybe not as interesting as Eel Pot Ally but maybe even more interesting!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 5 years ago

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