One of the great things about conferences, especially one that features bloggers as the main attraction, is that you meet some incredible people and find out some incredible things. Some of them are so fantastic that they make you scratch your head and go… “Eh?”
The Believer is one of those things.
Despite the name, this is not the blog of the World Evangelical Alliance. Nor is it an Obama supporter site. It is a site about Swedish real estate, but written in English. (!)
The author, Magnus Svantegard, apparently thought that maintaining an awesome blog filled with pictures, screenshots, and compelling content is too easy and boring. So he thought to do it in a foreign language. C’mon, which of us bloggers hasn’t felt that way, where constantly updating a blog with interesting content gets so easy we sleepwalk our way through it unless we did it in Urdu, or ancient Swahili, or in Braille. Oh yeah… none of us… that’s right.
So that fact alone would make Magnus my shoo-in for Blogger of the Year. But wait! Not only does he blog better in a foreign language than you do in your native language, he’s also a handsome Nordic fella. But wait! Not only does he bear a striking resemblance to Aragorn, but he also works for a company that has a yacht. And takes said yacht to Cannes. To events where they apparently have so many yachts that they have to have separate yacht registration:
So… when are we gonna have yacht registration at Inman?
In any event, I know that real estate is local. And real estate blogging can become hyperlocal, sometimes intentionally, sometimes because that’s just what happens when you have a bunch of folks interested in immovable assets like land and houses talk to each other all the time. There is, however, much to be learned by looking at practices in an entirely different country, under different legal and cultural regimes.
For example… I learn from The Believer that there is indeed a darkside to not having 23095214098 MLS systems and 2350921 listing websites:
However, earlier this week Lars Kilander, CEO of Mäklarsamfundet (the Association of Swedish Real Estate Agents), made it easy for many papers this week to create selling headlines with the quote (my translation) “We don’t believe it is better with more listing services, it just gets more complicated for the buyers“.
Insight like this is simply unavailable here in the United States for the simple reason that we don’t have a single listing service for the whole country. Yet. (Although… give the boys and girls at Trulia and Zillow some more time….)
In any case, if you’re at all interested in some of the meta-issues in real estate, technology, and marketing, then you owe it to yourself and your readers to check out The Believer. Blogroll it. Read it. Learn from it.
And see if your boss is amenable to the idea of yachts as a sales tool.