Since launching our blog (and site) roughly 10 months ago, we’ve been committed to being an active participant in the real estate blogging community. Blogging was a relatively new concept for most of us. Afterall, we weren’t just blogging for our friends and family, but representing a new company and to many, a new concept in real estate. Needless to say, we’ve learned a ton. As a “blog team,” we pulled together a list of what we feel we have learned in 2006 from you — our readers and our fellow bloggers:
1. Bloggers have opinions…and aren’t afraid to share them — Bloggers are definitely a vocal bunch. For better or worse, they’ll say what is on their mind, often in the comments on our own blog. Honest opinions help us gain perspective on the real estate industry from real estate agents, mortgage brokers, landlords, appraisers, and others.
2. There’s a lot of knowledge out there — When we asked some of real estate’s most outspoken bloggers “Why do You Blog?“, increased knowledge came away as the primary reason. We agree — learn from all those who are willing to share what they know! Just reading through the content on the many real estate blogs out there will give anyone a good deal of open insight and passionate opinions on the industry.
3. Maintaining a blog is a commitment —Blogging truly does take time — and a lot of it. Here at Zillow, we are lucky to have many contributors — senior management, developers, program managers, and content writers all have a voice on our blog. Granted, not everyone at Zillow wants to post, but for those that do — we strongly encourage their participation. Of course, maintaining a corporate blog isn’t all writing — it also involves a heavy dose of listening and responding. We strive to answer every legitimate question that is posed to us in the comments of this blog.
4. Blogging is a great way to gain feedback from your audience by participating in the conversation — Regardless of what type of company you are, feedback is crucial to creating a better product or service, and the most instant, raw and often honest feedback can be found online (and often in the comments on our blog). Sure, we have 130 people working here that do their best to get it right the first time — but 130 perspectives is nothing compared to the millions of people who use Zillow on a monthly basis.
5. Blogging is FUN — We have many different voices on this blog (see # 3) that all add to the uniqueness of the site. What we have all learned this year is that while it can sometimes be hard to articulate ideas in writing, it sure is fun coming up with them. From highlighting our Famous Homes to discussing Our Hometowns, we’ve had a great time.
What have you learned in 2006 about blogging? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And speaking of feedback, we are planning on re-designing the Zillow Blog a bit in 2007and want to know what features you’d like to see us add. A way to access recent comments on the blog? Showing the most popular posts? Bios of our authors? Or simply more or different content?
Thanks for your participation on our blog this year, and for keeping us on our toes. We’re looking forward to an active and engaging 2007.