It’s been a while since I have seen (or mentioned) a corporate blog I can really appreciate. Let’s be real here…most corporate blogs are full of suck…excuse my language if you are so inclined. The suckage generally results from a tragic misunderstanding of two basic, foundational elements of blogs. Those are a company’s understanding (or not) of why they are there and also of how they talk to people (or as I like to say: “who am I and why am I here?”…come on, who hasn’t said that more than a few times? College anyone?). Or more simply put, it’s a matter of having a vision and a voice. Today’s message has been brought to you by the letter “v”.
The world of corporate blogging is separated into 2 groups: the get-its and the get-it-nots. And let’s just say that if these 2 groups participated in a tug-of war contest, the get-its would be belly first in sand. And the ones that don’t get it often make the same few mistakes:
Why are they doing it? They heard blogging is cool and/or someone told them they should do it.
And how do they do it? By speaking just like their corporate website. Turn up that inner marketing copy voice, kids. It’s time to start bloggin’!
Most corporate bloggers make both of these mistakes. I drink their milkshakes. Can you still call it common sense when it’s in such short supply?
I have written plenty about my vision and voice. Speaking of my own voice, I am sick of the sound of it. So I won’t recount my narrative on these two things. Refer to tug of war reference above. I consider one of the folks with sand in their pants. Of course. Otherwise, I never would have brought this up.
OK, a point. I have one and now I will get to it.
I have so appreciated any praise I have received for getting this blog thing right (Dear Dad, I got your email). And so I pass it along to… Glenn Kelman at Redfin. Bravo! And I say “bravo” like never. I’m just not a “bravo” kind of a gal.
You know I have had my house on the market. Did I tell you that it sold and that I bought a new condo? Perhaps the radio silence was a clue? The good news is this: I’ll stop being cranky now. OK, now let’s all laugh about the fact that I may never stop being cranky. Anywayz, when I started my search, I went to Redfin to view listings in the area. And by creating a login, gave them permission to send me marketing mails. What I didn’t expect was that those mails would sound so…well, human. The marketing emails I get from them are posted to their corporate blog. And they actually sound more like blog posts, from a real person, than copy. Yes the blog posts were co-opted by marketing. Imagine.
When you think about who their target audience is, it makes so much sense. I think there are 4 types of people in the market for real estate (ooh, I like to separate people into types!). Think of 2 variables, time and money. Then create a four square matrix with those variables and consider the home buyer/seller that fits into each:
People with little money and little time. Or as I like to call them, renters (and no judgment folks; I was fortunate to get into the market when I did. Let’s call it home equity. Or “down payment”)
People with lots of time and lots of money. To those people I have 3 words: I hate you.
People with money but no time. I would put myself into this category, only because I was fortunate enough to get into the market when I did, like I said. No merit on my part…it’s just how the market played out.
People with little money, but more time. I would say that Redfin dominates this market.
Now, I should say that I didn’t use Redfin (but my buyers did). I have finally grown accustomed to paying for things I could do myself but that really aren’t worth it. When I try to do these things myself, I get pissy. So When it came to selling and buying, I honestly did not want to deal with the research, the appointment setting, the negotiation. Even typing those words makes my blood pressure go up. I should probably also tell you that my real estate agent is magic. His knowledge of neighborhood, agents and structures is almost frightening. And he tolerated my OCD.
Redfin didn’t know I wasn’t part of their target market when I joined their site. Obviously they use the tactic of harvesting the fruit and dropping the bad stuff. And I am rotten. This also allows them to capture people that may not be interested in buying their first home yet; they are just out their looking. The good news is that they will likely fall into the target mentioned above. And they have told Redfin to market to them…selves (?).
What it is likely that these people want is information. Perhaps (or even likely), they haven’t done this before. So they need a little education on the market (go ahead and ask the average person what the prime lending rate is…I’ll wait). And they don’t want someone to treat them like they are a fool (that comes later, during the negotiation process). Now watch Glenn break down the Case-Shiller Home-price Index. It totally makes sense and he does it like he’s at happy-hour. He’s their CEO and he doesn’t act the least bit jerky. He’s kind of charming in a geeky data kind of way.
So there it is. Best corporate blogging I have seen in a very long time. Hit those links above and givem a little interwebz juju.