Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak in four sessions at the NRV Association of REALTORS® annual trade show and education fair. The topic was social networking and media, something that I've been covering regularly lately, it seems.
In the sessions, we talked specifically about the NRVLiving Real Estate Blog, as well as Twitter - two tools that I really find value in. There are any number of social networking sites, however, with many related to real estate (and of interest to the session members yesterday), while most are NOT even remotely related. Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, YouTube or Flickr might be ones you've heard of before, and there are seemingly thousands more; this blog would be considered a social media site, in fact.
I've been writing this blog for two years this December, and I read a lot of other blogs in order to find topics I want to discuss, laugh about, etc. On average, I'd guess I likely read five or six times more things than I ever consider writing about. As I talked with people yesterday, I realized that there are three main benefits I've received from writing here. They are, in order of importance:
- Education - I've become a much better agent and student of real estate as a result of the reading I've done.
- Relationships - The relationships with clients, readers, even other agents as a result of reading and commenting on other social networking sites has been a huge benefit. Professional relationships, personal relationships, they've all meant a lot to me.
- Impact on my business - Obviously, I need to be able to quantify my efforts, and based on the education and relationships things like this blog and Twitter have fostered, I can do that.
As I said, I read a lot. Most are industry-focused blogs about real estate, sites like VARBuzz.com and AgentGenius.com, as well as dozens of blogs written by REALTORs® and lenders from around the country - Blown Mortgage, RealCentralVA, Real Estate Shows, and Jay Thompson all have tabs open in my browser right now, and there are another 200 unread items in my feed reader. Most of my reading is real estate-related, but there's some golf and Hokie stuff in there, as well.
What do you like to read online? What blogs do you check on a regular basis, or have delivered to your inbox. Share some of them in the comments, and I'll post a follow-up post with everyone's recommendations - maybe we can all find something new and exciting to read!