Editor's note: This is the thirty-fifth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of other weblogs...
One of the more interesting developments in the blogosphere is the number of fine niche-topic blogs. The Southern California Real Estate Blog is one of them.
The Southern California Real Estate Blog is an excellent information source about real estate, including prices and trends in the sale of residential real estate.
Fran Vernon and Rowena Emmett are the successful realtor duo who publish the blog. Of course, they're from Southern California -- La Canada (near Pasadena) to be exact.
It turns out that Fran and Rowena are pretty well known in Southern California because they've been selling real estate together for over 15 years. They started by going on a listing together at the urging of their (then) broker. They decided it was definitely more fun to be partners. They even have their own business website, www.FranandRowena.com.
The blog provides great information for buyers and sellers of real estate. Recent posts covered an interesting range of topics for realtors and homeowners alike. One recent post discussed a new practice on the California real estate scene, of realtor rebates to sellers and buyers. (Oh, you haven't heard about those rebates in your neighborhood? Neither had I before reading Fran and Rowena's blog.)
And then there is the recent post about the outlook for the California real estate market next year in 2005 (prices and interest rates are expected to go up in California).
In addition to the posts you'll find a set of links to other real estate blogs and websites from all over the United States. With so many sites out on the Web today, I find it a tremendous benefit when a site that I know and trust puts together a set of subject matter links.
The blog is all the more useful because of the approach Fran and Rowena take. They keep the content front and center. The design is simple and doesn't distract. And just like the best realtors, they don't try to "hard sell." This is what they told me about their blogging philosophy:
"We do not know if blogging has actually helped our real estate business. Actually, no client has ever told us they have read our blog. Our purpose is not to get business ... you will note there is no commercializing on our blog. No ads for us nor for our listings. Our purpose is to give information about real estate and related topics." One of my favorite things about this blog is how consistent -- and consistently useful -- it is. Fran, who does most of the blogging, posts every other day. This is exactly as a blog should be, with dedicated posting on a regular schedule. Just consider how many "living dead" blogs are out there, that haven't been updated in weeks or months, and you'll know what I mean. Fran and Rowena have kept at it for about a year.
The Power: The Power of the Southern California Real Estate Blog is in its dedication to providing useful real estate information and not hard selling. It's by two real estate professionals who know their profession well and who serve the public and other professionals equally well.