Name: Jim Walberg
Bio: Jim Walberg has been a business owner and Realtor in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1970. He and his wife, Ann Marie Nugent, are the owners of The Bay Area Team with Pacific Union – Christie’s International.
This year Walberg was awarded the prestigious designation of a Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Specialist, and he earned his CIPS in 2012 – Certified International Property Specialist. He and his wife not only serve the real estate needs of the San Francisco Bay Area, but represent luxury properties globally.
He has been a featured presenter for national and international real estate conferences on topics ranging from the effective use of Social Media, to creating a global real estate practice.
Blogger Since: 2005
Do you have a schedule for writing? Some people write only when the urge strikes them, others only when they have time, and still others abide by a strict editorial calendar. How do you work this and has that changed over time?
I used to have a very strict schedule of writing and posting starting in 2005. My wife would joke that she was a “blog widow”. My laser focus was because I knew I had to get my content count as high as possible and quickly as possible. Currently there are over 1,000 blogs I have written. So, since I have the SEO horse power of content I am writing only about once a week now. I know it would help if I wrote more, but I have added in my Social Media strategies to the daily schedule so my time allocation for blogging more frequently than a week or so has changed.
Not looking for the “exceptional service” type of answer. What differentiates you from your competition? What do you have the guts to do that the others don’t? Do you buckle down and do cold calls? What is that secret thing? What is the one thing that you do that your competition does not?
To my detriment, I am not paying attention to what my local competitors are doing with blogging. If there is one thing that has benefited our real estate practice in the world of blogging and Social Media it would be discipline. I have a very set daily time blocked schedule for my Social Media and blogging activities that beings at 6:30 am, next 3:00 pm, and lastly at 8:00 pm.
Because of this focused “lead generation” activity I have closed 31 escrows from Realtor referrals just from Facebook alone. These are Realtors all over the country who either have a Buyer or Seller that needs our services in the Bay Area. I have never personally met the vast majority of these Realtors. We have just interacted on line. Three years ago if you had told me it was possible to create respectful, trusting relationships without ever being physically present with a person I would told you it was impossible. I humbly stand corrected.
Getting the word out. As a blogger, writing is one thing. Content distribution is another. Do you follow a specific plan once the post is published to draw in more readers? Social media, newsletters, reposting…
The posting schedule of my blogs are distributed to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google +. It will also be distributed to our local database of 1,700+. From time to time I will also use PRLeap to create a press release that expands the audience even more. This has seemed to do the trick with my “audience”. And, I am always open for more effective ideas with blog posting distribution.
Thinking specifically about technology and tools – what is the one thing that has had a significant and positive impact on your success and in what way? This could be a tool like Dropbox, a smartphone, social media. Something you bought, something you subscribe to, or something that was free.
For blogging, my one tool is WordPress. I could not pull off what I do without it.
Few people blog just for the fun of it. Most have a very specific goal in mind. What’s the metric you use to determine if your blogging is reaching that goal?
One of the main reasons I have been blogging since 2005 is to have the “Google Juice” that allows people who are ether searching for me, Bay Area real estate, or fun community events to consider get the information they want. We know that every person who is referred to us goes to Google and does a search in order to find out if this guy is for real and what does the world of social media think of him. So, when someone puts a search in for “Jim Walberg”, “East Bay Real Estate” any community events I expect they will find out what they need, and it will be me they contact.
What is the craziest, strangest moment you’ve had as a result of your blogging efforts?
My craziest moment with blogging happened with the Brokerage I use to own in the Caribbean, 2005 to 2010. I started writing a blog about the Caribbean as soon as we opened our doors. I had assumed it would take a year to get some traction. Within four months I received a call from the London Financial Times asking if they could interview me about the world of real estate in the Caribbean. I responded with, “Of course.”. However, I had no experience with Caribbean real estate other than in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
I asked the Times if they would send me their list of questions so I could do some homework before the live interview. They did. I immediately began my homework. And, when the interview was conducted I appeared to be the expert. When article was published it open doors with luxury developers from Europe that we are still connected to as their internet marketing arm for potential buyers. I never saw this one coming.
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.