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We have more readers here than video-watchers, so let’s just discuss the last ten years, rather than do a show.

When this blog started ten years ago today, I saw a great potential for realtors to use blogging to demonstrate their talents and abilities.  I thought if I could just get a few months’ head start then maybe I could beat the rush.

The rush of realtor blogs never materialized.

But as we moved through 2006 and 2007, it was clear to data-driven consumers that there was trouble brewing.  Real estate blogs written by non-realtors were flourishing, and I started commenting on the bubble bursting – and backed it up with MLS data.

The blogs that helped me build an audience:

Ben’s blog, with lots of help from CA Renter, a local commenter:

http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/index.htm

Rich Toscano’s blog, where everyone got into fights with powayseller:

http://piggington.com/

Calculated Risk and Bill McBride, who ran many of my foreclosure videos:

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

and Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking:

http://bubbletracking.blogspot.com/

I have met the authors of these blogs, and expressed my appreciation in person. But I’d like to thank them publicly for their dedication to educating the consumer, because without them, bubbleinfo.com would not exist today.

As the bubble began popping and the mass media got more interested, a writer for the L.A.Times named Peter Hong took interest in bubbleinfo.  He came to visit one day and rode around with me while we discussed the market and saw some of the evidence.

He had the great Don Bartletti contact me for a photo shoot, and the next thing I know, I’m on the front page of the Los Angeles times – above the fold!

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/02/business/fi-real-estate2

jim the realtor

My phone started ringing at 7am that day, and the first call was from ABC News Nightline.  A couple of weeks later, their reporter Vicky Mabrey spent 1.5 days with me, and the clients who were featured in the video ended up buying a handful of houses from us – even though I had never met them before the day we shot the video!

The article in the Times and the Nightline show both ran in April, 2009, which was the same month we hired Richard Morgan to assist us with helping buyers.  It also happened to be the low point of the San Diego Case-Shiller index!

The added media exposure, combined with the bottoming of the market caused the blog readership to explode.  We were working 100+ hours per week and scrambling like crazy to help everyone we could!  Richard and I have closed over 150 sales with people who came from the blog – thank you very much!

Our peak year was 2011, when we closed 73 sales, and a third of them were with blog readers.  Back then, the Google Analytics for bubbleinfo.com was showing around 12,000 unique users each month.

But in 2012 there was a gigantic shift in the market that changed things forever – the banks stopped foreclosing.

We had hired two great assistants and thought that, between REO listings and blog buyers, we’d be pumping out 70-100 sales every year.

But in 2013, we received no REO listings.  So I began a deliberate shift in the content of the blog in hopes of appealing more to sellers.

It was a big gamble.

Sellers are notorious for their lack of investigation – they just want their price, and grab an agent they think can deliver.

But I believed that showing pertinent data AND demonstrating my abilities would cause some sellers to hire me to assist them.  It hasn’t been an easy road, but 10 of the 21 listings that I closed last year were with sellers who came from the blog!

I say it hasn’t been easy because I think I have lost some blog readers who were interested in buying, but haven’t seen enough buyer-related content here.  But I still work with buyers!

Of my closed sales over the last 12 months, I’ve maintained about a 50/50 split between sellers and buyers.  I hope that buyers can benefit from all the content here, and that you contact me when ready – I want to help you!

But I have to keep a steady dose of seller-related content to keep sellers interested, and keep demonstrating why you should hire me to sell your home.

It has been a great ten years!  With over 5,200 blog posts and 2,000+ videos, it has been a fantastic outlet for me to share an insider’s view of the marketplace with you.  Thank you for being here, and let’s all stick around for another ten!

If you, or someone you know, is thinking of moving, I’d sure appreciate a call!

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