More voices — the remedy for blogs with growing pains
The Real Estate Tomato’s Jim Cronin has some tips for bloggers experiencing "growing pains" (a topic he’ll be speaking to at a panel at Real Estate Connect San Francisco). These are folks who enjoy blogging and have made their blog the center of their online marketing strategy, to the point they are generating leads and are a recognized authority on the topics they cover. The greatest challenge to taking a blog to the next level is that the conversation on many industry blogs is dominated by real estate professionals.

"Blogs’ comments are, in most cases, a Realtor daisy chain," Cronin laments. Although that’s OK for sites designed for "Realtor-on-Realtor action" — like BloodhoundBlog or Agent Genius — it’s a problem for community-focused real estate blogs like those on ActiveRain Network. The key, Cronin says, is bringing in the "voice of the community." Inviting others to contribute will open up the conversation, giving your blog more content and more authority, he says.
Real Estate Tomato

Innovative operating structure: Work at home
On the blog Clearing Title, Pennsylvania-based title insurance agent Dave Wirsching picks up on a recent announcement by LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. that it’s come up with "an innovative new operating structure for its title insurance, escrow and closing services in Colorado." LandAmerica’s "New Frontier" initiative boils down to this: LandAmerica account managers are going to work out of their homes, "providing personal service to customers based on extended hours of availability for performing closings" at Realtors’ offices, "leased executive suites" and existing LandAmerica closing offices.

Wirsching’s not buying it: "This has nothing to do with serving the customer and everything to do with cutting costs," he says. "A+ for spinning cost control into a customer-focused initiative. D- for really serving the customer."

LandAmerica posted a $24.2 million first-quarter loss, and since the beginning of 2007 has cut the equivalent of 3,600 full-time positions and closed or consolidated nearly 300 offices and 54 production centers (see story).
Clearing Title

Realtor bikes while he works
A Realtor shares his tales of trading in a car for a bike at The Chicago Real Estate Local blog site. The Realtor, Eric Rojas, notes that he took his clients out on a biking trip to view for-sale properties. "When looking at properties that are relatively close together, riding makes a lot of sense," he writes.
The Chicago Real Estate Local

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