Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog

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ARE YOU FOR REAL? Making Authentic Connections Online ...and Off...

 Horese farm. Asheville, North Carolina real estate

 

"At 5 am, in this paludal hinterland,                   
a lone roadside figure bristling  with electronic
and photographic gear must present a curious sight."

Indeed! And I know exactly who that lone roadside figure is...a REALTOR® out on the land looking for photographs that best represent his or her new listing.

S/he knows that when prospective clients go to Localism.com to search for properties of interest, the quality-laden photos  s/he places there will have an impact on their decision to contact or not contact her.

                                                                          

PHOTO taken at 5:00AM by J.T.Narrin, Photographer for the Firm
EDIT      J.T.Narrin, Photographer is MY SON ..a reason to smile

 

That REALTOR® could be any one of us.... It's happened to me...My client found me by searching online.
She Googled  green building , then "real estate for sale" in my home town (Asheville, N.C,), et voila, there I was courtesy of ActiveRain.   She read my BLOG. She even paid me the ultimate compliment of subscribing to it, although later she confessed she subscribed not because of my eco-wise ramblings, but because she loved the photos there!   She wanted data- how much would a 100AC  tract + home cost? Where was the nearest college campus?   and so forth.

Her initial email went something like this: "I read your BLOG at AR. You seem to be a knowledgeable REALTOR®. I've been spending lots of time online looking at listings. There's XYZ listing on realtor.com  that looks like it would be a perfect ...then she told me the data from her printout.

To which I responded, something like this:"Thanks so much for connecting with me. Sorry to disappoint you, but that property sold about three (3)weeks ago, however  If you will tell me what's most important to you in your search for the "right" place, I am here and ready for the challenge!" BTW, here's a vital  link to North Carolina's Law of Agency.  Please let me know that you have read and understand it."

Sounds simple enough, doesn 't it? But when you give it some thought, this whole process deserves some serious consdieration.

 Surveys and Questions.

  1.  Real estate market surveys tell us that 70-80% of real estate clients begin thier search for properties online. That's old news to most of us by now.  But I've been thinking about how that trend could change things for all of us.
  2. Do you think our role  changes  when we no longer are first in line personally to "turn on the house lights" to reveal the information our audience seeks? 
  3. What affect online research has on our business when we greet the characters in the on-going drama of property sales and acquisition online?
  4.  Do you think it's important to be ready to  "hit our marks" on that stage?

 

realtor as problem -solver in Asheville, N.C.

 

Just seems to me that it  makes sense to be ready competently to  interpret information our clients already have gained,  then to take on the role of problem-solver.

A problem-solver knows how to put a finger on, organize,  and manage the entire "production"...In the practice of real estate this means  making meaningful connections and coordinating the entire real estate transaction process.

 

 

 Making Authentic Connections Online ...and Off.  

In techno-terminology, connectivity and speed are almost synonymous. But I like to think of connectivity in terms of making authentic connections with my colleagues and clients in the good old-fashioned neighborly way,whether that is online or off.   To me, there's nothing like  personal investment  --that personal touch that weaves into a cooperative tapestry

Which brings me to the subject of community, local wisdom, Localism.com,  and how YOU think our articles and photos at Localism.com  meet the need for making real connections  that I believe to be at the very center of a successful real estate practice.

Let me know what you think!
green-o-lina

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Asheville NC Real Estate Journal for RESOPURCES & REFERRALS -Mountain Homes and Land Legacies- Asheville 1031 Realty© 2014.  Designations: NAR GREEN®, EcoBroker®, Eco Certified ®Real Estate Consultant, ePRO®. Unauthorized reproduction of any information including photos and graphics on this site is a violation of existing copyright laws.  All rights reserved.

he Necessary Disclaimer! We disclaim liability for damages or losses, direct or indirect that may result from use of or reliance on, information contained in the blog or for accuracy of comments or opinions of visitors to our blogs.

 

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* INFORMED CHOICES* THOUGHTFUL ADVICE* DATA INTERPRETATION*
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 Email me janeAnne@janeAnne.com  or give a call at: 828-776-0779

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Comments

Here are the questions that come up for me...let me know what YOU think!

 

  • Do you think our role  changes  when we no longer are first in line personally to "turn on the house lights" to reveal the information our audience seeks? 
  • What affect online research has on our business when we greet the characters in the on-going drama of property sales and acquisition online?
  •  Do you think it's important to be ready to  "hit our marks" on that stage?
  • Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    janeAnne, your blogs are always so beautiful. Your written descriptions and photos do paint a picture which hopeful all who see are impressed with. This is something I am finding challenging. My photos need work, I take an abundance of them in hopes of getting something I can use. And usually I'm good with words but this is an area I need to work on as well.

    Thanks for pointing all of this out. I acknowledge that the primary source of information is the internet, yet how hard do we work at painting that acurate description?

    Posted by Dena Stevens, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 11 years ago

    Dena...Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment! Much appreciated! Photos tell our audience about us in a heartbeat. Most often , when I inquire, my clients who come to me from my WWW connections tell me they were first attracted by the photos! It's a subject that bears consideration, eh?

    Do you think our role  changes  when we no longer are first in line personally to "turn on the house lights" to reveal the information our audience seeks? 

     

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Absolutely! Our roles have changed, turning on the lights is so minimal now it almost doesn't' happen. It almost scares me how many people almost buy with out actually seeing the house. I've not had this happen yet but do how agents who have sold houses sight unseen except virtually. You have given me something to think about today!
    Posted by Dena Stevens, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 11 years ago
    Interesting points to ponder!  Seems to me that the authentic connection is what differentiates the great agents from the bots and lead aggregators.  Where you find the clients is truly irrelevant-it's how you connect with and treat them that makes a difference. =)  We'll still need to turn on the lights-but it's not just the lights in the house-it's that little lightbulb over their heads!
    Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 11 years ago

    "Turning on the house lights" has, it seems to me, first as a consumer and, lately, as an agent, been only the tip of the iceberg in our important to those seeking a new home.  Far more important is the role as "native guide" through the underbrush of the entire process.

    With the advent of the internet, and its evolution in the real estate industry, we do need to take on the addidtional role of interpreter of what is being seen on the internet, the buyer's "eyes on the ground" to tell them what is not being shown in those photos.  Now, more than ever, with some people buying sight unseen (except virtually), we need to emphasize all the appropriate steps, particularly inspections and appraisals so that the buyers are as informed as they can be in these situations. 

    From the other side, we need to show our listings (and our communities) with their best faces on - but, always, and above all, accurately.  More pictures, better pictures, better words (not necessarily more - that's my personal downfall, if one word is good, ten MUST be better!). 

    Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago
    I love your articles and i always learn something new. Also,that Horse photograph is wonderfull.
    Posted by John Thomas over 11 years ago

    We think it's important to be viewed as a knowledgeable resource for an area, as in Localism.com.  However, we also find that many Buyers make the assumption that they'll get the best deal from the listing agent of a property.  In other words, if you don't have a slew of inventory, too bad on you.   There goes representation?  Great post.

     

     

    Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 11 years ago
    Tricia touched on our roles as interpreters. Too often consumers take Internet content as factual and timely when it's actually fictional and out of date. Real estate will always be a people business; technology just makes it easier for us to communicate and generate leads. How well we leverage that and respond in live situations will determine our level of success.
    Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 11 years ago
    Thanks janeAnne for this timely and thought provoking blog. I think when a client decides to contact us because of our connection with Active Rain, it will not be because of how many points we have earned but a combination of informative posts, comments that have been made, and photos/posts on Localism. Thats how they will decide our level of authenticity.
    Posted by Bill Westel, ECO (Eco-Steward Realty) over 11 years ago
    Great post and great photo from John.  Many Realtors will tell you that 100% of their recent clients began their property search online whether it was searching listings, areas of the country or real estate professionals, etc.  And we only have one chance to make a first impression with our listings or ourselves as Realtors.  The challenge will be to keep up with internet technology that changes on a daily basis.  Web-savvy 18-35 year olds are putting a lot of money into the real estate market and the best way to reach them is everchanging.  This group of buyers will certainly keep pace with the Baby Boomers if not quickly surpass them in buying power.  At least online marketing is a fun and rewarding challenge.
    Posted by Corey Atherton (Suncadia Real Estate Sales Company) over 11 years ago
    Great post.  It is obvious you put your heart and soul into your business.  Points are nice but contact is king.  Good luck.
    Posted by Ronnie Roach (PrimePay Business Services) over 11 years ago

    Wonderful photo--thought provoking post. I love the idea that you send a link to an agency description in your first response to a potential client. It is a good way to introduce agency. This is a disclosure in MN that needs to be signed at first substantial contact. That first contact is happening more and more often on the internet. I am going to adopt this practice.  Thanks for your ideas!

     

    Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) over 11 years ago
    That photo is wonderful!  Also, you raise some important questions.  I have come to learn that it is still the personal touch and professionalism that makes a particular real estate agent the best.  In that regard, I always followup internet contacts with phone calls and personalized information.  Often that does mean information gathering for a prospect.  I also think it is imperative to have the agency disclosure on your website and in your initial email so that the consumer knows the agency choices that are available.  Thanks for getting up so early to capture the peaceful of the day!
    Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 11 years ago
    I really love that photo!  I guess we all have to figure out how to have that magnetic Internet Personality to even have a chance in the running. 
    Posted by Cynthia Sloop (Community Association Manager) over 11 years ago
    Leigh...You have a way of calling 'em as ya' see 'em! I bet you must be an UMP!..;-)..When you said,
    " ...authentic connection is what differentiates the great agents from the bots and lead aggregators....z' I had to smile...now  tell me, (blush cuz I know not) tell what is a "bot"??
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Tricia...As far as I'm concerned , you are totally not wordy! i always find what you write worth taking the time to read and consider. That  being said...here is a case in point. You wrote' " ...we do need to take on the additional role of interpreter of what is being seen on the internet, the buyer's "eyes on the ground" to tell them what is not being shown in those photos. " 

    This was one of the things I was getting at in this post. Photos are SO important. I think that giving context to on-line clients turns around presenting an accurate picture...that's what I call "hitting our marks"..

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    John..I agree...the horse photograph IS wonderful!!! ...and that is despite the fact that my son took that photo. To me it is an example  of photography that captures a sense of place that our clients look for and may not find. I am hoping that Localism.com can offer this kind of option for them.
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Lisa and Robert...  I totally understand what you are saying about listings and inventory...however...not to despair!So many of our clients have found us NOT by that method, but by typing in to a search engine that element that moves them to buy....EX: green homes, environmentally-sensitive properties, eco-conscious developments....so...from our experience here in the Greater Asheville, N.C. area...if you write really solid articles for your BLOG on the subjects that touch into what is most important to your prospective clients/investors, you will have an appreciative audience, and plenty of business.

     That's one reason I think it is important NOT to abandon AR and "stuff" stuff into Localism.com. ..for me quality is the issue. and the solution.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Hi Bill...Nice to connect with you via AR, again! You write: "...a combination of informative posts, comments that have been made, and photos/posts on Localism. Thats how they will decide our level of authenticity. .." Yes...again..


    And I might add...possibly too we are looking at a level of dedication to professional quality that will be understood at some level by our readers...."doing it right"...and/or maybe even "doing it right the first, second , third and so fourth time(s)..adds up to success for all concerned, seems to me.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Corey...You made a point that was sort of in-between-the lines in my article. It's a great point about the nature of making connections online!    I want to underscore it...You wrote: "...we only have one chance to make a first impression with our listings or ourselves as Realtors. ..."

    I think THAT bears repeating!

    WE only have one chance to make a first impression with our listings or ourselves as REALTORS 

    I'd like to hear more comments on this (an all other) comments.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Jane Anne, you put great effort into your posts, this one is no different. Photo is peaceful and a wonderful choice.

    Localism is an art form that needs honing, for sure. You take it one step further and ask us not only for local information and eye catching pictures, but a sampling of our professionalism and human spirit too. Tall order, but do-able with practice and mentoring!

    Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) over 11 years ago

    Teri...I got to thinking about the initial contact rule...and how to work with it in nonlocal space AKA the Internet...Sending a link to explain the Law of Agency in our team's first email response was/is my answer to the dilemma. THX for noticing it, and noting!

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    John...   You and Tricia both addressed the question of whether our role  changes  when we no longer are first in line personally to "turn on the house lights" to reveal the information our audience seeks...I have given this some thought myself, especially after having read your responses/comments.

    If we cast ourselves in the role of reliable interpreter  as you both suggest...then all we are doing is adding another dimension to a skill and knowledge base we already possess. So I guess my next question is...how do we become skillful in "another dimension"???  Could this be a cosmic question?? 

    Hmmmm...I'lll have to consider this further...

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    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Ronnie....You wrote..."Points are nice but contact is king..."

    This will be a one-word response...Exactly!
    and thanks for saying it so succinctly. I think it took me about 1,000 words to make THAT point.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Joan...You suggested to followup Internet contacts with phone calls and personalized information. That sounds like a Plan. I am wondering if you have found that this follow-up cements your relationship with potential clients...and also I'd like to know about the time-frame involved.
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Cynthia...You mentioned that you loved the PHOTO...

     That was one of the reactions I had, too!

    Seems to me that you and I are like most of our audience. THAT photo can demonstrate that you possess the sense of place-that answers the need of prospective clients/investors. I think that if we get up early...stay up late...offer our vision and share our local knowledge in a straightforward way, that "magnetic Internet personality" need NOT be so important...And so that is why the quality of our visuals serves all concerned.

    Let me know what you think..

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    janeAnne, I think I may be missing your point.  (Though, we've been under severe weather alerts, including tornado warning, off and on all day, and my brain is feeling a bit waterlogged, so that shouldn't be surprising.  Did get some neat "after the rain just before sunset" photos today, if I can just get them off the camera.)

    What is the "other dimension" that you're seeking/seeing?  That's the question/point I think I'm missing. 

    I don't consider the internet all that "other", but I've been playing around on it in one way or another for almost a decade now, and messing with computers since COBOL was a baby.  To me, it's just another tool for doing what I already do, which is communicate with people, be they Invisible Friends or potential clients; the trick is to learn how best to communicate with it and what changes we have to make in our approach to accommodate the tool we're working with.

    And, clearly, if I'm missing your point, I've got a bit of work to do on that one! ;-) 

    Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago
    Tricia...I was thinking intricacy....as an artist., that might be another perspective or another hue..or another sound, an inflection in the tone of voice...so, adding "another dimension" something new to the mix...sorry if I was vague...I just watched Numb3rs at your suggestion and now you see how it affected me!
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Sue...As I read your comment , I was struck with your view of Localism.com as an artform!!! That is what it can be. How to bring it to that point, "hone it" as you say is what this Active Rain community could offer, if we chose to design it in a thoughtful way. HOW? Let's talk about that.
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Excellent post!  JaneAnne, you've got what it takes to design creative posts with great pictures and clients will respond!!!
    Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) over 11 years ago
    Great post and a wonderful picture! Very well put-together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 11 years ago

    Thanks for your post, and I too love your photo. Keep up the great work!

    Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) over 11 years ago

    Hi Chris... Indeed, you are so on the mark! We are lucky to have very loyal clients,many of whom are arriving every week from our work at AR and LOCALISM.COM with smiles on their faces.

    I agree with you, it is important to "have what it takes" and of course this takes effort and energy. Our photographer was willing to rise before the sun to head out to get the photo y'all like (and so do our clients) but this early bird brought in the delight and appreciation that we in the real estate profession find nurturing...on many levels!

    THX for the compliment!

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Ryan...It's amazing how one incredible photo can open up a world of meaningful conversaton, eh? I asked the question..." Do you think it's important to be ready to  "hit our marks" on that stage? " and from the responses and comments here, I am guessing that "hitting your makrs" includes giving that extra effort to produce photos like the one here ...
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Jane,

    Great discussion thanks! Your son's photo is awesome!


    This post brings up the topic of using our skills, talents and gifts to enhance the relationship with our clients as to present the best we have to offer!

    A world of opportunity has been open to us, thanks to the awesome Active Rain Guys!  Let's cherish it, and cultivate it!

     It is so vital to the success of our AR and Localism site to showcase all we what we offer to the consumer, so that they might get to know us and determine if we would be the right choice for them.

    Likewise, I believe we have an obligation to showcase our own communities in such a way that the consumer can get a "true picture" of the "lay of the land" so to speak.

    One way we can honor our towns, and peak the consumer's interest is by uploading quality photos that illustrate our town's unique treasures. Wow them with the beauty of our surroundings! Shine the spotlight on our mountains, seas, lakes, deserts, rivers, farms, historic buildings. This is especially key in states that are seeing a lot of relocating folks, who are searching for that "perfect place"

    Do we want the consumer to come back for more? We need to give them something to Wow them! I would love to see everyone commit to presenting the type of photos like you see in your state's Travel Guide. This is what will attract them. Not the photos that they can see everyday on Realtor.com.

     AR members would do a service to their town and the cinsumer by posting regular subdivision homes and signs and street photos only on the blogs that pertain to that subdivision. After all, do we want every Localism locale to look the same? If the answer is yes, than continue to post those mundane home photos to the Localism uploads. Do we want to stand out from the pack? Do we want to draw the consumer to the beauty and amenities of our cities and states? Then please let's not make Localism a point game!

     Is it all about points? Or is it about our responsibility and stewardship of the marvelous platform we have been given? I hope we all get the "Big Picture"!

    Ginger

     

    Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago

    Goodmorning janeAnne- Thanks for putting this on the table for discussion. I am so concerned with the avenue Localism has begun to take. If we all could understand the vision for Locailsm, we would do the photo and info adding for substance not "stuffing" as you mentioned. Here are a few of the anywhere usa pictures (and there are already thousands, drowning out the credible, relevant and inviting photos :

    Turkey Vulture being rehabilitated at San-Lee Park in Sanford, NC   Evergreen, Cary, NC...Photo by Mike Jaquish   Carpenter Village ClubhouseQuick look -one minute and I find stuff that junks up the atmosphere, in my opinion. (fence, recent road work, and red fire hydrant..hmmm)

    If you can go to FLA for example and look at Chris ElizabethGriffith's pictures , Nick M.pictures..wonderful representations of the local flavor . Texas,Chris Tesch, a nice look around town. If I am a buyer wanting to see a town I am being transferred to or considering purchasing in, I would stay on Localism ONLY if the photos were of quality. And, if they WERE, I am certain would then look at the Realtor information to see how I could reach that person who knows alot about the area. I think that is the idea behind Localism and I am with janeAnne, it is about first impression and we need to be certain the photo is an identifiable and inviting. Certainly we want to represent neighborhoods, but lifestyles and landscapes are important to if they have substance or a reason. Lets launch Localism out of Beta and really be participants of something great. Forget about the points, contact is King!

    Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 11 years ago

    Ginger....yes....one of the notions I was considering when I wrote this article was (is still)  giving it our "best shot"...as you say, "we have an obligation to showcase our own communities in such a way that the consumer can get a "true picture" of the "lay of the land" ...."

    Do you know if there are moderators for Localism as there are for AR?

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    janeAnne,

    I don't know of any moderators for Localism, but IMHO, that is definitely a  way to go for a time such as this.

    When some AR members upload photos only for points, (quantity versus quality) they detract from the beauty and desirability of their states and towns, and the whole purpose of Localism becomes corrupted!

    The consumers will not get the "true picture" and will be drawn away!

    Each state could have 2 or more moderators as needed. I don't see any other  way to fix the problem except by exerting some controls!  Unfortunately as things are trending now this seems like the only way to maintain a quality site!

    I will volunteer to do it, how about you?

    Ginger

     

    Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago
    Ginger, Thanks for the compliment.  I want my students parents as well as transferees to know the town that much better by Localism!  Build the community!
    Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) over 11 years ago
    Good Ideas
    Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago
    Love the horse photo.  Very unique.
    Posted by Debbie Creech (ERA Team IV Homes) over 11 years ago

    Brad~   Yes, that photo tells a tale. I think that is wy so many of us  are drawn to it.

    I also think that there is an unspoken message that this photo relays. Besides the fact that the property/listing is amazing and this is a real plus from the aspect of marketing for the seller, this photo also lets the audience know that it comes from a real estate professional who is sensitive to certain subtle aspects that are important to clients.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Michele~   

    Your photos aptly point out what could be a detractor ..such photos could turn potential clients away...As you wisely note: "...it is about first impression and we need to be certain the photo is an identifiable and inviting. Certainly we want to represent neighborhoods, but lifestyles and landscapes are important to if they have substance or a reason. Lets launch Localism out of Beta and really be participants of something great. Forget about the points, contact is King!"

    Now..how do we members of AR create that possibility?

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Ginger~

     How would you envision the moderators working on the Localism.com site? Would there by a review forum for content and photos (hard to do as we don't know the neighborhoods) or just a review of photos. If photos seemed not to represent the best "view" of a neighborhood, would the moderator contact the contributor of the photo to ask for an explanation and if not satisfactory then DELETE that photo? ..and make a record of points to be deleted from the contributor's score? 

    What if this person just was "littering" as you defined it...just thoughtlessly adding snapshots taken from his car while riding around a neighborhood...could/should she or he be penalized?

    This is an important discussion. We all are affected by the quality of photos. THANKS for your insights!

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    janeAnne,

    It was Michele who aptly named the practice of uploading a multitude of unattractive photos as "photo littering! There is certainly a need the need to "clean up our act" when it comes to uploading photos to Localism. In the words of Lady Bird Johnson: "Let's keep America Beautiful!"

    Let's show the beauty of our towns and country-side by the quality of the content we share with the consumer on Localism. 

    As I said in my earlier comments, I think it is imperative to the success of Localism that we showcase  the best our locales have to offer. How can that  happen by uploading 100's of subdivision photos to the town pages. I think Subdivision photos have a place on the Blogs about the subdivision, not on the Upload a photo to the "Town" function,

    Think of it like this: say that in a given state there are 10 agents posting to Localism. Now those 10 agents each go out and take 10 photos from one subdivision and repeat the process for 10 subdivisions. Now they all post these to their town pages. What do we have? 1000 photos of subdivision homes on the State  home page and 100's on the towns pages.

    This is already happening and the result is what Michele conned as "Photo littering". Go to some of the State's pages now and you will find a proliferation of photos of subdivision homes, roadwork, street signs, street scenes, (or should I say more like pavement scenes)  that dwarf and obscure the photos of the rolling hills, mountains, lakes, rivers streams, pastures, seashore, historic buildings and the like.

    The only way I see to correct this would be to institute some limits and guidelines  as to what photo content can be uploaded to the local uploads. Possibly limit the uploads to scenic photos, historic homes, photos that tell a story. Maybe only one photo from a subdivision (on second though that may not work either, because that would potentially put thousands of homes up on the states and town's pages.)

    Localism should be all about the vision we are trying to achieve. If the vision is to be Realtor.com with blogs, then we are heading in the right direction. If we are to reach for a higher standard and truly distinguish ourselves with exquisite visuals, content and information. then we need to change the course before it is too late!

     

    Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago

    Now, here's a question.  Ginger, you seem to lean towards the idea of "nature photos" as being what's acceptable on localism, with historical buildings only allowed.  However, there are many beautiful urban vistas, as well, even ones that aren't "historical" (well, yet, anyway) that it's entirely possible you would find unappealing but someone else would find very appealing. 

    So who's to determine what are "exquisite" visuals without losing balance and becoming a nature travelogue (and I'm all about nature, for what it's worth - live on 55 acres in the country for just that reason) OR urban blight?

     

    Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago

    Oh, Tricia. I truly did not mean to portray that only nature photos would work. There are some terrific photos of urban areas on Localism.

    For example look at Eric Bouler's photos of New Orleans. Urban photos surely have a place.

    What I am trying to get across is the importance of keeping the Localism sites a true reflection of the amenities of our particular areas. That can't be done by uploading 100's of subdivision homes that all look the same.

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

    Ginger

    Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago
    Everyone~ Good conversation going here...as Ginger noted...about the "importance of keeping the Localism sites a true reflection of the amenities of our particular areas" ....I'd like to hear any idea y'all have to offer .  I really loved Eric's New Orleans photos and narratives, too! Possibly the narratives are part and parcel of what we can offer (??)
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    jane Anne...I love that photo.  I think photos add greatly to the articles.
    Posted by Arlene Brown (Eco Steward Realty) over 11 years ago

     

     

    janeAnne~,

     

    You are the best. I have something I think I need to write that will follow your trail.

     

    Love Lou Jewell ALC

    Posted by Lou Jewell, ALC (United Country Real Estate -Land pro) over 11 years ago

    Arlene~ 

    I like to see photos that capture people's imagination and also tell the story of the property. In this case, the photo is of a listing that is one of the most beautiful parcels of land I have ever seen. The photo aptly depicts the parcel. If people were to visit the listing, they would not be disappointed. Authentic representation is so important...as you suggest.

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Great post, that IS what this is all about!

    Many thanks
    jo
    Posted by joanne Douglas (Terrie O'Connor Realtors) over 11 years ago
    I love your articles! Will read more of them. You're an awesome writer!
    Posted by Christopher Webster, Columbia South Carolina Real Estate For Sale (Carrington Real Esate Services) over 11 years ago
    Joanne...Glad you found and commented on this post. I like to think that if we take just that little bit of extra time, it brings as smile to many faces.
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Chris~ 

    WOW! Thank you so much for your comment. My "muse" has been missing for a week or so, but  I think you may have inspired a return! Would love to know if there are any particular subjects that intrigue you...

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Lou~

    Since you are my esteemed teacher, I am flattered and appreciative of your kind remark...and look forward to reading your article!!!!!

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
    Your BLOG makes me consider being a realtor as a profession. There sure are a lot of comments here. How will  you read and respond to all of the,? just wondering. I think it is important to be ready to respond with service for clients. I am a client at this point.
    Posted by John Thomas over 11 years ago

    You are so right on target.......Good hard work is its own reward!!

    To bear this out...this post is one of the TOP rated AND most active professional posts of ALL time in the network....

    The truth cannot be hidden!!

    =-)

    Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) over 11 years ago
    I'm excited to see the impact Localism has on the lesser-know real estate markets around the country.  Just think about all the data that can be packed onto the internet by one group of people (even a small group).  All which benefits the industry and professionals.
    Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 11 years ago
    John~ It's SO nice to know that this post has an-impact on your decision about your career as a real estate profession. Thanks you!
    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

    Alexander~

    When you commented, "this post is one of the TOP rated AND most active professional posts of ALL time in the network"I was surprised and delighted. YOU made my day...in fact you made my week! THX!!!

    Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

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