“If you can e-mail, you can blog,” says Lockhart Steele, blogger of the real estate-centric Web site Curbed.com and managing editor of Gawker Media. Steele, whose Curbed.com site scores 200,000 unique visitors a month and boasts the New York Times as an advertiser, extols blogs as marketing devices.

Steele, who won an Inman Innovator Award this year in the Most Innovative Media Site category, reports on real estate events in New York from an offbeat perspective.

“If you can e-mail, you can blog,” says Lockhart Steele, blogger of the real estate-centric Web site Curbed.com and managing editor of Gawker Media. Steele, whose Curbed.com site scores 200,000 unique visitors a month and boasts the New York Times as an advertiser, extols blogs as marketing devices.

Steele, who won an Inman Innovator Award this year in the Most Innovative Media Site category, reports on real estate events in New York from an offbeat perspective. “It’s a blog about New York City, and everything in New York comes back to real estate,” Steele noted in an Inman Stories video.

Steele said that the Property Grunt, a New York broker, “gets clients because of his blog.” Steele commented that blogs get high ranking in Google’s natural search.

If media recognition is any indication, Curbed has definitely made its mark. The site gets mentions in New York Times stories and has been cited as a source in Forbes.

“You – the real estate agent – write a blog about what you’re doing and it ends up high in Google,” Steele said.

“You can build an audience in a grassroots way,” said Steele, who noted that the process is extremely simple. “Go to Blogspot.com, sign up, and just enter what you want to call your blog. They host it, it’s free. You type in your entry and it goes up.”

Steele started writing a blog about his lower East Side neighborhood in 2001. He thought it would interest, at most, “a dozen of my friends.” Inspired by the success of his neighborhood blog, he launched Curbed.com, a blog for all New York City.

A blog is a frequently updated Web site, Steele said. “The most recent info appears at the top of the page.”

Curbed updates information 10-12 times a day.

“We try to give the honest down-low about what’s happening in the New York neighborhoods,” Steele said. “We have the inside scoop about what’s going on in the real estate market.

“A blog can be serious or not, and it links to other sites with a little blurb before the link,” Steele said. “We cover everything from serious stuff to a firm coming out with a line of perfumes named for New York neighborhoods.”

Sometimes, Steele said, Curbed will throw out an unconfirmed report, saying something along the lines of, “We heard a crazy rumor that Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are going to buy a nightclub,” and get responses back confirming the rumor. “Or they’ll write in and say, ‘That’s total B.S.'”

Because blogs are known as highly personal and honest, they can demonstrate credibility to potential real estate clients, Steele said.

Tall and thin, the hazel-eyed, brown-haired Steele could pass for a college senior, and his perspective is equally fresh. “It’s fun to get up in the morning and know you’re going to share some thoughts with them (your readers),” he said. “And they’re going to send you their ideas. You’re creating a conversation.”

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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