Another commercial broker takes the leap into the 21st century

I was excited to recently discover that a fellow commercial real estate professional has decided to come full throttle into the world of technology by creating a blog devoted to commercial real estate activities in Chicago.  The Chicago Commercial Real Estate blog will hopefully provide another well-written, frequently updated source of insight on commercial real estate activity in the Windy City.

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Commercial Real Estate Blogging Begins to Draw Attention

To be honest, I should say that it is continuing to draw attention.  In the last few months, I have had hundreds of readers visit my site to read what I have written or comment on my thoughts around commercial real estate, particularly in Chicago.  Because of the initiative I have made within my firm toward getting more outbound blog activity, it’s refreshing to see the Commercial Property News article, To Blogging … & Beyond!

I discovered the article thanks to David Stejkowski, author of The Dirt Lawyer’s Blog, a local blogger showcased in the article.  Brad Berton, the reporter on the article, acknowledges that real estate professionals are slow to adapt technology and the corporate real estate users are typically not the same demographic that is savvy on RSS feeds and blogging.  I observed something similar in my article for the Illinois Real Estate Journal – User Friendly: Smarter Kick-Off Forms.  As a result, using a blog as a means to demonstrate credibility and promote oneself and one’s services is currently an uphill battle in our industry.  However, I still feel very strongly that those of us who start early will have a distinct advantage over the coming months and years, as those late to the game play catch-up.  Just like I said a few posts back, I invite any employees at competing brokerage houses (or even corporate space users who would like to give this medium a test run) to contact me if you would like to start blogging – not only will I help you, but I’ll also add a link to your blog if it’s focused on commercial real estate.

Like I say, I’m a glass-is-half-full, there’s more than enough to go around kind of guy.  When it comes to blogging about commercial real estate, the more, the merrier.

Competitors are keeping an eye on me…

I guess it’s a sign that I’m doing something right.  A couple days ago, I was reviewing my subscriber rates at Feedburner.  For those of you unfamiliar with Feedburner, you can think of it as an RSS routing engine – my RSS feed for my blog is wrapped by Feedburner, allowing them to track statistics of RSS subscribers and usage via this feed.  As a result, I can get fairly specific feedback, like which RSS readers my fans are using and from what domain they are browsing.  Wouldn’t you know it, but under the “Uncommon Uses” tab, I found that there was one particular subscriber consuming my feed on their corporate Sharepoint site?  Click here to find out which real estate firm is keeping an eye on me.

To be honest, I’m flattered.  If my blog makes the grade to be syndicated to a corporate Sharepoint site, I’m going places.  In fact, I’m in such a good mood, that I will offer my blogging services to any commercial real estate firm that would like to get on-board.  Since I’ve been blogging for about 4 years cumulatively, if you have a broker or analyst who would like to start a blog for your firm or local office, I will take them under my wing – for a nominal fee – and teach them what they need to know to get started.  There’s more than enough room on the world wide web for a few more commercial real estate blogs and it would be my pleasure to advise you.  Email me via my Contact Me form and I’ll follow up with you directly.

I’ve been syndicated!

I finally know what artists must feel when someone commissions a piece of art from them.  As you know, I enjoy blogging – writing posts and sharing knowledge give me an extra bit of happiness beyond the general satisfaction I get at work.  So when my friend Kit Mueller, a mortgage planner and active blogger in Chicago, approached me about a week ago and asked me if I would provide him with an existing or new article to post to his blog as a guest piece, I jumped at the opportunity.  Now, I’ve been given opportunities to write for other publications in the past – .NET Developer’s Journal and Illinois Real Estate Journal – but this would be the first time that I would be writing a piece for someone else’s blog.  So much pressure!

Rather than recycle a piece I already had, I decided to go with a topic that would align with Kit’s customers and readers – the subprime mortgage market.  Since so much attention had been placed on the consumer market and residential mortgages, I decided to write a post about what’s been happening in the commercial real estate market as a result of the subprime woes.  Now that I’m syndicated, you can find the post on Kit’s blog or mine.  Note that his article has been slightly edited for his audience – can you find the difference?  Hint – there’s a small Midwestern city that I love to jibe.  Extra points if you can tell me why…