Have you heard the story about a man who spent his entire life travelling around the world, only to realize that his favorite place was the city where he was from?
No? That's ok - I just made the story up, but it illustrates this little corner of the interwebs perfectly...
In 2004 when I became a full-time Realtor, most of the flyers and newsletters I got at my front door or mailbox were basically garbage - a black and white photo copy of some recent sales in the neighborhood or something similar.
I built my real estate business plan around doing newsletters right - writing and delivering a monthly newsletter that people actually wanted to read! (sounds crazy, right?)
Here's a copy of my very first monthly newsletter, printed in full color on high-quality glossy paper.
Month after month after month I delivered new issues around my neighborhood, and I emailed them to my Sphere of Influence. They must have been pretty good, too, because lots of people commented on them, and everywhere I went people wanted to talk real estate.
In 2006 I took newsletter writing to a whole new level by starting a blog, and ThePhoenixAgents.com was born (or more truthfully, the first iteration of it was born.)
By 2008 I had had enough Realtors and Loan Officers ask for my advice and help, that I decided to offer a professional service in the form of 8DollarFarming.com, and within six months of starting out I had a fair number of people subscribed to my newsletter service.
Unfortunately my timing was terrible, as the financial meltdown knocked many of them out of the business, and I was spending too much energy just trying to keep my real estate practice afloat to give the service the attention it deserved. By 2009 the site had been all but abandoned.
I spent the next half decade with one writer's foot in real estate, and the other foot stretched thin across as many interests as I could find!
Then one night over the recent Holidays, while surrounded by good friends and family, I asked myself why. Why was I applying myself so hard (and in many cases not as well as I would like) in areas where I was helping so few people?
If writing about home ownership and other Realtor-Lender-type things is what I'm best at, and there are plenty of good Realtors and Loan Officers who could use a little help staying in touch with their Sphere of Influence, why am I not doing that?
And so, around the digital world I have traveled, only to end up right back here at 8DollarFarming.com, and I couldn't be any happier!
- Chris Butterworth