charlottesville real estate

Jim Duncan’s Blogging Philosophy

By Social Media
Jim Duncan, Nest Realty

Jim Duncan, Nest Realty

My friend Jim Duncan is a blogger. He’s also a REALTOR® and an entrepreneur.  Jim has been firmly in the lead, using social media and blogging, specifically to help build his business and maintain relationships with referral sources and future customers. Jim offers a nice balance when he blogs, spanning the personal and the professional, including musings about being a dad alongside thoughts about local policies and the real estate market.

Jim’s not selling on his blog — he’s blogging — which I appreciate. His posts are always informative, sometimes controversial but always interesting to read. Because it’s what he most wants to write, Jim gives the reader a great sense of what it’s like to live and work in Charlottesville, Va.

A couple of days ago, Jim shared a link to a post written by Hugh MacLeod which, as Jim said, perfectly summed up his blogging philosophy in one sentence.

People should come to your blog, not because somebody drove them there, but because it was important for them to come there.

We DO spend a lot of time talking about goals, evaluation, measurement and yes, “driving traffic,” but ultimately that’s not it at all. It’s about sharing valuable content, engaging in a way that’s authentic and thereby drawing those who are interested in what it is you have to offer. I’m FAR more interested in only having five visitors to my site if they are commenting, interacting and doing business with me, than 10,000 visitors who stop by and don’t contribute to the conversation at all.

I admire Jim’s philosophy, and subscribe to it myself. Do you agree?

How do you describe your blogging philosophy?


Five Steps BHG Real Estate III Should Take Right Now

By Social Media
BHG Real Estate III has a new Web site, too

BHG Real Estate III has a new Web site, too

You may have heard something about Real Estate III, now BHG Real Estate III, and its new relationship with Better Homes & Gardens.

You can find a wealth of local news coverage about the arrangement, if Virginia real estate is of interest.

There has been a small social media spanking underway on CvilleNews. Several people pointed the situation out to me as a potential case study for this blog. I’ve written about this kind of digital communications misstep before and how to avoid it, in Five Ways to Avoid a Social Media Spanking. The story, in short, is that Denise Hood, marketing director of Real Estate III endeavored to correct some misinformation about the company’s new franchise/endeavor/relationship with BHG in a way that was, let’s say, not thought through all the way.  Read the comments on this post for the full firestorm.

I am sending a virtual hug to Denise Hood. I’ll bet she hasn’t had a worse day at Real Estate III than this one. It’s tough being in communications and having to engage in social media without being given the proper support, training, caution or insight that many of us have gained through years of study and practice in the social media space.

But that’s that. And BHG Real Estate III needs to move on.

Five Steps BHG Real Estate III Should Take Right Now

1. Define and refine messaging around the new relationship so it is crystal clear to even the most casual reader.

2. Conduct message training, not only for the people responsible for BHG Real Estate III communications but for all its agents, employees and other stakeholders. It’s critical the whole organization understand and be able to talk comfortably about the company and how it has changed and will change.

3. Invest, immediately, in social media coaching for Denise Hood and anyone else in the organization who engages in social media or media relations on behalf of the company.

4. Develop a strategic digital communications plan designed to focus the organization’s monitoring of all media, to define the process and guidelines for social media engagement and identify the goals for evaluation.

5. Engage, again, with those who have taken you to task (and yes, Denise, I mean you), by admitting that your initial engagement wasn’t the best, that you were merely being loyal and defensive on your employers behalf, and that you’ve learned from all this. Don’t go away. Stick around. There are people engaged in social media who want to help you be successful and only by developing relationships in the online community will you benefit from that, and by extension, so will your company.