A couple of years ago, I became very passionate about the issues going on throughout the appraisal profession. In 2014, I formed a group on Facebook called 100% Real Estate Appraisers that would give Independent real estate appraisers a place to ask questions, post information, and get answers from other independent appraisers. As the years went by, the group became larger, with more and more appraisers coming out from the depths of their basements and offices to join in the conversations going on. Today we have close to 4000 members. Through this group, I started to become more familiar with other appraisers around the country that I would never have met before, appraisers that would soon make a huge impact on me professionally and personally.
I’m not going to sugarcoat things here. I will be as transparent and as honest as I can be in writing this blog. From 2014 to 2019, I wasn’t the most welcomed appraiser out there in this group. I made a name for myself by doing and saying all the wrong things. I set out to do and say the things that I thought everyone wanted to hear. I was too afraid to be someone else and go against the grain. I put out content and more that when I look back now, I can say I am embarrassed about. I aligned myself with some people that just fueled that fire to continue to do and say the wrong things, and well, it ended up just backfiring on me in a big way. I leaned on others who didn’t allow me to get my message across; instead, they used me to get their message across and well I didn’t own anything. In my mind, I was a fraud.
Fast forward to 2019, the year that will go down as the single most life-changing year of my life. It was July of 2019 that I entered into Rehab for Alcohol addiction. I spent six weeks learning about this addiction, learning about myself, and learning what it would take for me to advance in my life personally and professionally. I have written some previous blogs on this therefore, I won’t go into much detail on it; however, this was also the year that I learned something even more powerful… I learned how to be me and only me. Look, Rehab sucks but at the end of the day it taught me so many new and valuable lessons that I would put to use afterwards. One of those lessons was how to write, create, and combine them to post content that MATTERED to others and me. When I say content, I mean all content. Posts on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Emails, Texts and all other social media sites. Not just posts but also when commenting to posts on any of these various platforms. I stress mattered because anyone can create content, any can make a comment, but can you create content that matters to you and still have it matter to others as well? The answer is yes.
Let me take you back to my days of old. My days of grade school, high school, and College. I hated writing. I hated having to do book reports and writing papers that I would be graded on. Writing as well as Math were the two things I hated!! Just ask my dad, and he will tell you so many stories of trying to teach me fractions. Yes fractions and mark led to many issues especially coming from a mathematician that my dad was. UGH. We still joke about it, and when I met my wife, I told her that if we were to have kids one day, she would be in charge of Math and English, and there would be no debate about it. In grade school and high school, I was an average student just getting by, and in college… well, I failed out two times and then finally graduated at the ripe age of 30. Why am I telling you all about this? Well, for starters, it’s a bit of background, but for this blog it just goes to show just how far one can come if they set their mind to it.
Remember me stating earlier that I would meet appraisers that would just change it all for me? Let me introduce you to Blaine Feyen, Ryan Lundquist, and The appraiser Coach, Dustin Harris.. These three appraisers are 100% responsible for my blog page and my writings. Ryan, his blog ( http://www.Sacramentoappraisalblog.com ) showed me how to be an expert in my market as his blog focuses on the Sacramento, CA market area where he is all about stats, graphs and locational data. Dustin, the man, is a machine and is constantly putting out information to appraisers weekly, if not daily, to help them learn and become better appraisers. His blog and podcast ( http://www.Theappraisercoach.com ) just continues to deliver top notch information for the profession. Blaine.. ( http://www.realvaluecoach.com ) Blaine was the missing link in all of this for me. He not only took me under his wing to teach me better business and life lessons, he also gave me the courage, the confidence, and more to set out on my journey. it was actually one of his previous blogs that got me on a path of well being and success. This blog was actually inspired by his recently released 2 part series on Content on his Podcast “The Real Value Podcast”. The common denominator of all 3 of these guys… THEY OWN THEIR CONTENT. They live their content, they stand by their content regardless of what others say about it, they put a spin on it only they can, and it cant be replicated. They aren’t putting out the same articles or information that everyone else is. So that got me thinking… How can I put out content unique to me, owned by me, and yet still resonates with others? The simple answer is this… DO IT. What’s the worst that can happen? Others don’t like what I have to say? Others just don’t understand my views or what I am trying to say? If that’s the worst thing that can happen, then so be it. What I needed to do first, was figure out just how I was going to create it, the type of content I wanted and how I was going to make it unique to me, then Do It. I Did just that.
So here I am. Writing another blog post that is true to me and my thoughts. The key to all of this. It’s true to me. I have been writing my blog now for a couple of years, and when I look back at when I started, I see a huge difference in my writings and the way I write. In the beginning, I was writing with others’ ideas and thoughts in mind. When I got out of rehab, I leaped to start writing MY way about what I wanted to write about and make it mine. I think one of the biggest lessons I learned was this. If someone can search google and get 30 answers, then why write about it? Why are you just adding to that list? What are you going to accomplish by writing about something that has been written 30 times before with the same information thats already out there? Probably nothing, and you will not gain the attention of the reader. Anyone can google what an appraiser does. Anyone can google what an appraiser looks for on an inspection, and they will get 30 different articles to read. Anyone can write about how excellent their company is and how they are the best at what they do in their area; however, not everyone can write a blog on how they turned their business around by getting sober, learning the tools to make their life better, their struggles and how all of what they learned turned their business into a successful one. Not everyone can write a blog that allows the reader to fully understand how an appraiser learned to teach others how to measure a home correctly and, in turn, added value to an entire real estate office. Not everyone can write a blog, being open and honest about their personal and professional life. Combining all the skills I learned from others, being true to myself, and taking the leap to start writing, my blog was born and no one can take it away from me.
This isn’t just a blog for appraisers, although my examples are specific to appraisers because it’s what I know. This blog is for everyone. Be authentic. Be real. Be yourself, and through practice and time, you will find a unique way to convey your message.
So I know what you are about to ask me. How has this benefitted you in business? Let me first state that overall, writing has given me a freedom I haven’t had in my life. It allowed me to gain happiness personally and put all my thoughts down, which has allowed me to be professionally happy, and I will state this.. I write for me. As for the benefits professionally, there are many. 1) If anything I write can help someone out there, I did what I set out to do. I added value where it was needed. 2) My writings have either personally or via a specific topic professionally, have attracted people to my blog page, and have gained the relationships I most likely wouldn’t have ever had. 3) I have established myself in my market and maybe even further as an expert in my profession and someone to whom others can relate. 4) I have managed to leverage my blogs to gain business and have a monetary gain. 5) I have separated myself from everyone else out there that continues to put the same old information you can find on google. 6) and this may be the most important one of them all… Everything I write about and post is mine and mine alone.
Now, I tried my hand at a podcast and did a couple of episodes. I realized that wasn’t my thing and decided to put my energy into writing a blog that would be everything I wanted and not what others were doing. I have several pages of topics to write about, topics many won’t give a damn about, but they are essential to me and will be written for me.
So with that, did you see what I did here? I hope so. If not, let me say it this way… OWN your content.. OWN who you are and OWN every word you put down on paper. Find a way that resonates with you. Find a way to put out content that matters to you, others, as well as makes you different than everyone else. What’s the worst that can happen….