Jim Cronin is owner and author of the Real Estate Tomato, a real estate marketing company that offers "juicy blogging advice for Realtors," as well as industry information and training and Web site services.

Why the tomato reference? The RealEstateTomato.com Web site states that the tomato is an "unfinished fruit. Ripe, round, red and attractive on the outside, but somewhat amorphous and liquidy on the inside; versatile and tasty; a symbol of growth and production and a projectile of disgust. All these elements define our aim."

Cronin will speak during the Bloggers Connect workshop at the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9.

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?

It can’t get much worse, so I can only hope to see things stabilize and give us a foundation from which to build on again.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Well, blog, blog, blog and blog some more, of course. Leverage social media to survive.

What sparked the idea to start your company?

When people started calling me asking me to show them how I was having so much success blogging, it made sense to start a company offering development and training as a service.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

Managing the growth. The bigger we get, the more complex it gets.

Can you share any future plans, goals?

We have just launched what we refer to as the Tomato Matrix, which is a private social platform for the hundreds of clients that we have trained to connect, share, network and learn from each other. It is going to be a huge part of our connection to our clients and their connection to each other. We believe that it will take us to yet another level in our service, education and client retention.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

Some people will stop at nothing to try to tear you down. Dealing with attacks has been a fight I never realized I would have to be so conscious of. It hasn’t been the most fun lesson, but the most profound.

What would your second career choice be and why?

I have always been a talker, salesman and consultant — so anything that lets me do those three things. A sports agent always seemed like an exciting career.

What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?

You really don’t want real estate advice from me. I’m a tech guy …

What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?

Realtors are very outgoing, so it is really easy to network with them. Most of our business has come from word of mouth, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Realtors are a talkative bunch.

Tell us something we don’t already know about you …

Our family tree includes two direct descendants who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Four hundred years later, my brother, sister and I have all moved to California, forever ending the lineage of our family as "Cape Codders."

Hear Jim Cronin speak during the Bloggers Connect workshop at the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9.


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