BlogMyHome.com

Our 15th and 16th domain registrations were BlogMyHome.com and ForSaleByBlog.com. We now get bulk discounts through GoDaddy.com

So – what do readers think of this business plan? We were thinking that, when you hit BlogMyHome.com you get some type of Google Map showing all homes listed on the site. And a very simple signup option.

When you sign up, a WordPress blog under your username is created, under a subdomain for the town your home is in. So your URL would be something like Kirkland.BlogMyHome.com/ben. Everyone in the sub domain Kirkland.BlogMyHome.com has access to that group blog.

We were thinking of doing this for free for now and mostly as an aid to people trying to sell their homes. Possible revenue would be google ads, $X/mo strategy, or possibly selling out to someone like For Sale By Owner.

Thoughts? Help us out and brain storm in the comments section if you have a few minutes.

10 Comments

mattMarch 20th, 2006 at 9:59 am

Seems like a neat enough idea. You’d probably have to do something like kirkland.wa.blogmyhome.com to avoid town name collisions.

The only other thought is that when you’re looking for a home, you want one source that has everything – looking in 10 different places for a home is a pain, so people who are looking on their own (not waiting for a realtor to show them stuff) usually uses some kind of MLS listing service.

A service like blogmyhome.com would only be somewhat useful if it was showing a small percentage of homes available. What would help that would be MLS integration, so you can show all homes available and indicate which ones have blogs.

KatMarch 20th, 2006 at 10:00 am

And to add to this…. I would see it not necessarily as a FSBO thing (although, that is why we thought of it). It wouldn’t be meant to replace realtors or the MLS or anything, but a way to add more information about a house for sale and get exposure. Like, a seller could add pictures of the flower garden one day and explain how they added the dahlia blubs last week, or blog about the park four blocks away that allows dogs to run off leash, or that 47 trick-or-treators came on halloween…

And the ForSaleByBlog would be the same premise as houses, only for all sorts of stuff…. boats, cars, businesses… heck, if you are really passionate about that Prada handbag and could blog about it for a while, that could go up there.

mattMarch 20th, 2006 at 10:26 am

By the way, I searched for [google maps real estate] and found several sites doing this. You’re niche is the “blog” part of it, but I’m not sure how much value the blog concept alone adds.

This one, which integrates craigslist, rocks: http://www.housingmaps.com/

AdministratorMarch 20th, 2006 at 10:31 am

Again, as Kat mentioned, this is largely a “for more info see …” service, not a way to sell your house. I find it very amusing that, when selling something in the $500K range, that they give you a paragraph to describe the product.

70% of all people looking for homes start online… so why not make it idiot proof and quick to put up as much info as you can. Part of sales is getting the customer excited. I, personally, can’t really do that in person, but I can online.

MLS listing services kick but, but they only give you a very broad overview.

Also – people could use this to just blog about their home… it doesn’t have to be all about sales.

TobiMarch 20th, 2006 at 11:00 am

Very nice idea but I am sure you’ll have lots of competition and a very crowded space if you go too mass market. Think very specific niche market and become very specific. I just think that most of us crumedgeons (I mean my own kind here) wouldn’t use a service like that but rather stick with a realtor and good old seeing things in person.

KatMarch 20th, 2006 at 11:25 am

I guess my point isn’t that you are replaing your realtor at all… ultimately, you would work with someone to go see the house, etc, but who doesn’t first find look through all the listings, then research the neighborhood and do a drive by AND THEN contact a realtor? The blog about your home thing would just get you additional exposure and isn’t that the point of a house sale?

In the last week and a half in the house selling/buyer venture that I have been exploring, I have found:

1. realtor sites
2. people creating their own (really bad) single-page websites about their own homes
3. both of the above cross listing on craigslist
4. people uploading additional pictures to flickr to subplement those that their realtor posts.

And then there is this guy: http://kirklandweblog.typepad.com/ who is selling his house… and how is he doing it? He’s writing a blog about Kirkland, and oh, by the way, he has a house for sale. I don’t know how successful he’s been (although I walk by the house every day and in the last three days, the for sale sign has been down). As much as I can figure, he works at Amazon, and they have been using the cross-selling by blog idea for a long time now. This guy even lives someplace where there is absolutely no drive by traffic.

mattMarch 20th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

First, I would make this for “sale” properties or not-for-sale properties – mixing these will confuse the shit out of people.

Second, I’m hearing two directions:

1. Using a mapping system to find properties that people have written about. This seems like a feature, not an end unto itself. The fact that properties can be mapped isn’t adding any new functionality.

2. Allowing people to write detailed sales pitches on their house, including lots of descriptive text, historical information, town and location information, lots of pictures, etc. – This is what seems like a somewhat unique idea. Your point that realtors use 5 sentences to describe a half a million dollar house is something. It’s crazy, but people just accept it. You could shake people up on this notion, and it makes for a great sales pitch.

I’d focus on #2, which is to provide a place for people and/or realtors to post real content on a house for sale. Then #1 is really just a navigation feature.

mattMarch 20th, 2006 at 2:45 pm

You could write some account management automation scripts (basically talk HTTP with manage.editme.com) and use EditMe. This would give you the content management platform in a turnkey solution. Frankly, I don’t think the blog is the ideal format to make a home brochure, but call me biased. :)

AdministratorMarch 20th, 2006 at 3:04 pm

The thing I liked about Word Press is that it’s got a bazillion pre-done templates ( http://themes.wordpress.net/ ) that I can pre-install for people and it’s ridiculously easy to switch between formats and it’s a 3 line perl script to install. It also has the concept of “pages” – which, really aren’t that different from posts (you can see what a “page” is at http://mudabone.com/aietc/?page_id=335 – which is basically a page without the blog nav added. WP also has plugins for most photo sites (like Flickr) and is almost infinitely configurable by anyone who knows how to use a web site with an proficiency. Hundreds of plugins: http://wp-plugins.net/

But – http://EditMe.com isn’t a bad idea. It’s probably easier to use. What would you charge me you capitalist fucker? :) This has to be free until the momentum gets going.

And – the reason I like the blog idea for this is because it allows an extremely simple way for people to come up with “stories” like “this is our garden, blah, blah, blah”.

And – it’s not a brochure… it’s just random info about your house.