Sometimes It’s O.K. to Talk Bad About Your Market

Most real estate blogs focus solely on the good things about an area.

I get it. It’s your job to promote the area and tell readers and potential customers just how great it is.

You don’t make money when people decide not to buy in your area.

But this strategy can make for a pretty boring blog. It gets boring to read and I’m willing to bet it gets pretty boring to write too.

But I can tell you that it actually pays to talk bad about your market. Not your market as a whole … otherwise why are you there … but certain aspects of it.

See, our readers are smart. Smarter than we give them credit for most of the time. They know when something seems too good to be true, it probably is. By highlighting some of the “not so good” aspects of your area, you can build up incredible loyalty and trust with readers.

They’ll know you’re going to shoot them straight, and not just shovel them a bunch of bullshit about what you want them to hear.

Is traffic bad in some areas? Is there higher crime in some areas? Are some places run-down and, well, just not so nice? Your readers deserve to know the bad just as much as the good.

I love the market I write about. Even though I’m far too young to live there, I think its paradise for the right kinds of people, and so my enthusiasm about the place shines through in most of my posts.

But there are definitely some issues, and I’ve never been afraid to point those out.

For instance, there’s an ongoing IRS investigation into how certain things were financed and paid for.

Certain amenities that first attracted people to the community are being phased out.

There was even a meth lab bust a few weeks ago in this quiet little retirement community I cover.

Look at this one which resulted in a $253,000 sale:

sinkhole-comment

(Here’s the article they were referring to in their comment.)

Now when you create content that runs counter to the “rah rah rah” and “everything is just peachy keen” thoughts that some people want to harbor about their town, you’re bound to get some haters:

One of these days you just might print something good about The Villages. All I see is negative publicity for The Villages or stories about other retirement places that someone should check out. What exactly is your agenda?

But don’t let that stop you. For every one person who hates what you’re doing, there are a multitude of others out there who will appreciate your honesty:

From a prospective resident:

For what it’s worth, Ryan, my husband and I think you are doing an awesome job.  TV is truly Disneyland for adults, however, it is definitely not for everyone.  We want to hear the good, bad and ugly as there is no such thing as “perfect” in this world.

From someone who is already a resident:

Keep up the good work in keeping us Villagers informed as to what’s going on. I believe that it is helpful in knowing how some people try to take advantage of we senior’s generosity and compassion. The approach of our local newspaper in only telling stories that paint The Villages in a rosy hue does a disservice to its readership. A famous eastern newspaper’s motto: “All the News That Fit to Print” is in line with your publication’s approach.

And I have many many more I could share, but I think you get the point.

The bottom line is this: Don’t be afraid to write about things that might be unpopular with a segment of your audience or things that may even turn people off about buying in your area. Chances are, they’ll find out about whatever it is soon enough, and be pissed that you never told them.

Honesty is always the best policy, and it can also pay pretty well too when you use it to your advantage.

Comments

  1. Tom Malcolm says

    Hi Ryan,

    I could not agree more. If the idea is to gain the trust of our audience, the last thing they need is a rosy white-washer spouting sunshine 24/7. Guess what? It rains once in a while!

    Thanks Ryan,

    Tom

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