Local Real Estate Comments and Ramblings


Blogging for business

I consider myself fortunate that I started in real estate when I did, back about 6 or 7 years ago. There I was with a real estate license and had to figure out how to build a business.  That was really about the time that the internet was becoming the prominat way for buyers to search for homes. Recognizing that, I made the decision to learn and concentrate in on internet marketing as a core part of my business.

How my services are presented on the internet has evolved dramatically but one thing is still the same.  People want information.  New platforms like blogging and the growth of social networks has changed the way I work.  Gladly, ActiveRain has been a huge part of that.

Here's a story of how that's paid off for me recently....

Back in July the folks at ActiveRain did a contest to promote hyper local content.  The idea was to write 7 neighborhood specific blogs in 7 days.  Everybody who did it got 100 bonus points and of course would reap any rewards from the efforts.  I jumped on the idea and got to work.  I made a list of 7 neighborhoods to feature and got them posted 1 per day for the next 7 days.

Fast forward to October.  I got a phone call and email form a propective buyer that was moving to PowderSprings from Tallahassee. Its alwasy a good sign when they email AND call. :-)  Anyway they wanted to see homes in Oakleigh subdivison, a very nice swim,tennis neighborhood here in Powder Springs, Ga.  they had seen the post from back in July with all of the current Oakleigh home listings.  With my IDX service embedded in the post they saw all of the current listings as of that day.If you go to that post today you will see todays current listings even though the post is now several months old!

Oakleigh Subdivision, Powder Springs, Ga

We met and viewed some homes and hit it off pretty well.  However there was one sticking point.  They had to sell the home in Tallahasse before they could buy here.  I did a search on ActiveRain for Florida agents and found Joe Manausa who is the owner broker with C21 First Realty in Tallahassee.  As it turned out he also lived in the same neighborhood as my sellers..  Joe and his top notch team got the home in Florida under contract in less than 30 days! Outstanding results in todays tough market.

We closed on the on the home in Oakleigh yesterday and my clients are unloading the moving truck today.  They'll be in their new home for Christmas!

So a simple blog post and some networking here on ActiveRain led to the sale of a home in Florida and a home in Georgia.

Yeah,  I think this internet thing will be around for while...





Bob Southard
Broker - Owner  Atlas Realty Service LLC #75911
1% Listing Commissionand BuyerRebates



CALL ME DIRECT: 770-656-9134

Buy a home, Sell a home, in Powder Springs, Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth, Smyrna, Dallas, Hiram,and Cobb, Paulding, Douglas, North Fulton, South Cherokee, County, Ga. Call me for all of your real estate needs.

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Comment balloon 62 commentsBob Southard • December 23 2009 01:22PM


HA!  Indeed.  I believe this "Internet thing" will be around for a while too.

All of my business has come from the Internet since 1995. 

Love it.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Those hyper local posts are amazing, aren't they? I just do not like writing 'em because they are so boring!

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 10 years ago

Congrats Bob!  This is a true testimony of how Active Rain works in the 'real' world!  The hyper challenge was fun AND it created results for many of us - as I'm sure will continue to do so in 2010. Hat's off to you and all the best in the new year - see you in the rain!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the great post! I just joined Active Rain two days ago and am looking forward to getting my first lead from a posting. It's great to hear success stories like this.

J. David Lampe, Boulder Real Estate Specialist

Posted by David J. Lampe, Realtor - Web Savvy Denver (Your Castle Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Great post.

Lenn, that is truly an amazing thing and now I believe that is possible.

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) over 10 years ago

Cool story. It's great when everything works out!

Posted by Amy Law (Alliance Properties) over 10 years ago

Most of my business comes from the internet too.  I recently had a lady from Virginia apply for a home loan via my website and I was able to refer her to someone in her town through my AR connections.  I love this internet thing. 

Posted by Chrysti Tovani, Sacramento Real Estate Agent (Lisa Drake Properties ) over 10 years ago

Yeah, we think this internet thing will around for a while too...great that it worked out so well for you both!

Larry & Sheila

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 10 years ago

Great story.  There are so many success stories here at AR I don't know how anyone could even begin to suggest that it doesn't work.

Posted by David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 10 years ago

Love a happy ending. It is true when you give you get so much more!

Posted by Kimberly Harris (Real Estate One,Macomb County, MI) over 10 years ago

Awesome! Love to hear the success stories on here.

Posted by Scott Taylor, REALTOR (Realty Center - Orlando - Ocoee) over 10 years ago

I too believe in the power of the internet.  I would love to have someone contact me because of what I write, or just because they have become familiar with me through ActiveRain.  I know it will happen and I hope soon.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Commercial Real Estate, LLC

Posted by Charlie Gantz, J.D., M.B.A. (Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay) over 10 years ago

Makes you wonder what the next great thing will be.

Posted by Alan Brown, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) over 10 years ago

I think the internet is here to stay. Then what do I know??

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

Awesome story, Bob.  That's very inspiring for the rest of us.  I hope you get more success stories like that.  Happy holidays!

Posted by Will Goodson (Sheffield Properties/Private Label Realty) over 10 years ago

WTG on the closing of this home... and it was contingent on the buyers own home being sold also in a different state.....

I have FL. agents I can count on to take care of people I have been sending MLS matches to for quite a while. My FL. license is in force with a referral company and I can refer people all over the nation through this company I am with... I am so happy to be associated with them.

I moved to Chicago 2 months ago and I am happy to say when you find good agents in other states it is a God send!!


Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) over 10 years ago


Hats off to you! I'm glad I'm not the only one still reaping benefits from that hyper-local contest.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 10 years ago

Bob - I love to hear and read these stories. They have become much more abundant on the AR network these days.  I love the sentiment of the "In Time for Christmas" spin on your post, actually got a little teary eyed.

Thanks for posting about this, I have quite a collection folder (of which yours is now added) where I'm storing posts just like yours.  I'm Hoping to do a 2009 Best of "success" compilation post out of them sometime year end.  :-)

Happy Holidays!!

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Congrats on both the Google front and also hooking up with Joe!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago


I love hearing a success story because of those challenges we did back in the Summer! Absolutely awesome!!!

If anyone commenting or reading this post didn't get to do the contest back in July and would like to do it, please send me an email and I will contact you to give you the framework of how you can participate still. The kinds of posts our members wrote for that contest are the kind that DO result in business.

Have a happy Holiday Bob!

Posted by Bob Stewart, ActiveRain Ambassador (ActiveRain) over 10 years ago


That's a very good outcome.  As with most things, one has to be patient; then seize the opportunity when it presents itself

Posted by C. Lloyd McKenzie, Living Albuquerque over 10 years ago

The interwebs show some promise.  I've even heard of people meeting each other after communicating on the interwebs... 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Bob,  Awesome results, I am thrilled for you.  I joined the business just a year before you, but AR after you.  I need to do more hyper local blogging.  Well, after Christmas!  All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Bob, congratulations and it is wonderful to hear about your success.  I wish you nothing but the best for 2010!


Thea Agnew

Posted by Thea Byrnes, Just Tickled Pink (BeYoutiful HS) over 10 years ago

Great success story. Thank you for sharing. i asked Bob S to send me the details of the challenge.

Posted by Deanne Olivas, Your Home Matters (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Just today I was noticing some nice stats on my hyper local stuff. I plan to post on it soon. This is good stuff.

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 10 years ago

Congratulations on your sale from BLOGGING. It does work ! Keep up the great job and hopfully your next sale from bloggingwill be comming soon

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 10 years ago
Great idea about the subdivisions. I'll start on that tomorrow!
Posted by Trisha P Realty Group, "Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home" (Realty Executives) over 10 years ago

You did it for the points and you got dollars at the end. . what a novel concept!

Merry Christmas and I wish for you a 10 out of 2010

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 10 years ago

Wow!  Thanks everybody for all of the great comments.  It was a great transaction from beginning to end. I have to admit that I need to do MORE of the hyper local posts and local interest posts.  This stuff really works!

Posted by Bob Southard, e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton (Atlas Realty Service, LLC) over 10 years ago

Yes, the internet thing will be around for a while!  What a great idea to blog about neighborhoods individually -- I always love new ideas for blogs -- thanks!!

Posted by Lainie Ramsey, Lake Texoma Expert (Homes By Lainie Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

Bob, I did not participate in that contest. I have closed deals that have come from as far away as South America. So the Internet thing does work. I would not do it any other way. Great Christmas present for your clients and your self. Merry Christmas.

Posted by Frank Rubi, FrankRubiRealEstate.com (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) over 10 years ago

The new phone book is here, The new phone book is here! ....Now I'm somebody! 

If any of you remember that scene fro the Steve Martin Movie "The Jerk" you know what I'm talking about.

My post got featured on AR.. Now I'm somebody!  Thanks everybody for the feature and all of the great comments

Posted by Bob Southard, e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton (Atlas Realty Service, LLC) over 10 years ago

I got three clients from those Localism posts I wrote for the two contests last summer. Then of course, I quit writing Localism posts.  Now, I'm back on that boat!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 10 years ago


Great post, yhes the internet is here to stay and localism is an excellent way to promote yourself. Congratualtions!

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 10 years ago

Great post Bob and it's a testament to how things have changed and we need to adapt. 

Posted by Gary Pike (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers) over 10 years ago

Great story & congrats

Posted by Tina Gleisner, Home Tips for Women (Home Tips for Women) over 10 years ago

That is terrific Bob, I have been learning quite a bit from AR and how Social Networking can be a huge benefit for your business, way to go!!! and congrats on the sale, good job well done.



Posted by Deborah Grimaldi, (401) 837-9633 (Albert Realtors) over 10 years ago

That's fantastic.....and a great reminder....I often enjoy the community aspect of AR and forget to do the Localism part, for business. So good reminder!!!

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 10 years ago

I think using ultra localisms is a great way to pass information on to prospective buyers.  I am glad to hear that it worked for you.............................chris

Posted by Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate (RE/MAX Associates) over 10 years ago

Hyperlocal wins the day in the Google search engines. The more our AR community can write about neighborhoods, the better our results will be.Thanks for sharing our success.

Posted by Dave Roberts (Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty) over 10 years ago

Hey Bob, thanks for the mention but more importantly, thanks for the great referral!

Posted by Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate (Joe Manausa Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Active Rain is my number one source for business and leads.  I could not do business without the Internet.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Bob, great story for me to read this Christmas Eve. I'm planning to get at least 50% of my business from the internet in 2010. This just reinforces my thinking on it. Merry Christmas!

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 10 years ago

My New Years Resolution-- at least 20 hyper local posts in January! Points be darned!

Posted by Rebecca Fisher over 10 years ago

I also participated in the hyper local contest, and got the extra points, but didn't get any leads from it.  Now I think I need to write another series of hyper local posts to push up my presence on the net.

Posted by Bob Willis, Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) over 10 years ago

Hi Bob,  Terrific story and example of hoe 'Rainers find ways to help each other.  Hope your Holiday Season is the best eber !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 10 years ago

Great success story Bob!  Glad it worked out with Joe in a timely 30 days - now I know who to send my Florida referrals too! 

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

Interestingly enough I was debating the term "hyperlocal" blogging this week with a Gen X'er.  They have an even more focused definition than we do but however we define it, it works!

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

Yeah, I think it will be around for awhile, too, Bob. So will Active Rain. Your story shows that the result may not be immediate, but it may indeed come around.

Posted by Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux, Where Buying & Selling Works (Keller Williams Suburban Realty) over 10 years ago

Bob, Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing a great story with us. I will start as you did writing one blog per day for the next seven days, about the seven neighborhoods I know, best in San Francisco/San Mateo County.

Posted by Mayra Espinosa Realtor San Mateo Pacifica Homes, Pacifica -San Mateo,CA Real Estate agent, Buy,sell (Sequoia Real Estate| Call 650-996-8961) over 10 years ago

Bob, it goes to show that blogging and other tools really work if you use them


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) over 10 years ago

Great blog - gives me some great ideas - thanks

Posted by Brian Kasprzyk (Remax Southern Shores) over 10 years ago

That's a great Active Rain success story Bob. I hope you have more.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 10 years ago

Great! I was asked last week where my 5 buyer leads came from, and they all came from different places, which is why I'd like to say "don't put all your eggs in one basket" because they do come from all different areas i.e. referrals is my preference from past clients, from sphere, from open houses, signs,  Internet leads, ads in the Journal (a somewhat dying trend here) and just getting "belly to belly" with people you know and who know you.  Have fun  and have a Happy New Year! Catherine Kierzek, Re/Max Realty 100, Milwaukee.

Posted by Catherine Kierzek, CDPE (ReMax Lakeside) over 10 years ago

That is great news....and a great reminder to post more localism posts...

Posted by Sonja Adams (Samson Proprties) over 10 years ago

The internet has made us nothing but money over the last 11 years. We started very early and have reaped the results ever since. Although we are fairly new to ActiveRain we are already enjoying the results in a big way to say nothing of the wonderful exposure to other agents like you.

Posted by Liz Whittingham, Performances not Promises (RE/MAX Results Realty) over 10 years ago

The internet has made us nothing but money over the last 11 years. We started very early and have reaped the results ever since. Although we are fairly new to ActiveRain we are already enjoying the results in a big way to say nothing of the wonderful exposure to other agents like you.

Posted by Liz Whittingham, Performances not Promises (RE/MAX Results Realty) over 10 years ago


I love to hear AR success stories!  Not only were you successful with these Buyers, you're also successful with learning to market on the internet!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 10 years ago

Congrats Bob..you just never know...but i have a few questins:

  • can you direct me to a how to add that IDX to a blog
  • this blog site is it a free AR site or a paid for outside blog

thanks danad

Posted by Dana Devine (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Wow Bob what a great idea, idx in your blog. I hope I can hold on to all the business AR brings me!

Posted by Sherry Chastain, Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales (Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee) over 10 years ago

Just reviewing some of the great featured posts of the past today looking for inspiration and ideas for writing some new content for my lethbridge real estate blog.  I really do wish they would have more hyperlocal challenges or contests or just things that make you focus your content a bit for a period of time.  I find it motivating when they do.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

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