Karen Brewer ’77, a Realtor in Darien, Conn., recently launched an interactive Web site during the slow market that followed the stock market’s fall. In a feature in the Darien Times, the site is described as “a combination of real estate news, community information and personal insights that encourage a dialogue with readers.”
Brewer is quoted as saying she thought a blog might help her communicate with “current and potential clients and friends,” but she wasn’t sure what it was or how to go about it until she got started.
“I didn’t know exactly what a ‘blog’ was, so I searched the Internet for ‘real estate blog’ and found nothing in Darien or in most of Fairfield County,” the article quotes Brewer. “Although blogs have been around for several years, no one around here was doing it.”
The Times piece goes on to say she jumped “into the void” and learned what she needed to in order to make the Web site dream not only a reality, but a really useful mechanism.
“A perusal of her site, thegoldcoststandard.com quickly indicates that this is far from a series of self-serving proclamations or a mere showcase of Brewer’s own listings. Real estate information includes market trends, stats and a schedule of Realtor open houses with images as well as categories of interest to both buyers and sellers. Brewer includes her own frank comments on the real estate scene and invites comments from readers which she generally posts.”
Brewer earned a B.A. in art history from William Smith College. The article about her blog follows.
Last year’s slow market fosters Realtor’s blog
November 2, 2009
Slow sales – or no sales – are daunting challenges to home sellers and realtors alike.
“But when the going gets tough, the tough get blogging!” says Karen Brewer, a long-time Darien resident and Realtor with the Darien office of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. Her recently launched interactive Web site, The Gold Coast Standard (thegoldcoaststandard.com), is a combination of real estate news, community information and personal insights that encourage a dialogue with readers.
Brewer made good use of her down time during the slow market last winter, conceiving the idea that the blog was a way to communicate with current and potential clients and friends.
“I didn’t know exactly what a ‘blog’ was, so I searched the internet for ‘real estate blog’ and found nothing in Darien or in most of Fairfield County,” said Brewer. “Although blogs have been around for several years, no one around here was doing it.”
Jumping into the void, she hired a real estate social marketing expert and learned how to design and maintain an interactive Web site, in the process acquiring a new vocabulary – the blogger’s lingo of “widgets, gadgets, dashboards, tags and keywords.”
A perusal of her site, thegoldcoststandard.com quickly indicates that this is far from a series of self-serving proclamations or a mere showcase of Brewer’s own listings. Real estate information includes market trends, stats and a schedule of Realtor open houses with images as well as categories of interest to both buyers and sellers. Brewer includes her own frank comments on the real estate scene and invites comments from readers which she generally posts.
The site also includes a variety of other topics which Brewer feels would be of interest to residents or potential residents of Darien and beyond, such as what’s new in Darien – both downtown and in neighborhoods, schools and cultural activities. Basic information is also accessible, such as the current Connecticut weather and the local Metro-North train schedule.
Saving time for her viewers, Brewer culls information from many sources including the Town of Darien municipal services, the library, schools, Darien Arts Center, Metro-North, American Towns and another blog site to which she provides a link: “All About Darien.”
The Gold Coast Standard is also linked with Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In, which Brewers sees as another way to expose friends and acquaintances to her blogsite and her “voice.”
“Readers can get statistics anywhere, but when looking for a Realtor they want someone that knows the area that they can trust,” said Brewer. “Old-fashioned Web sites don’t offer the opportunity to connect personally the way a blog does. I try to cull information from my real life experience as a realtor in Darien and to speak with a unique voice that I hope people will connect with.”
Nicole Lyon, founder of the “All About Darien” Web site, says, “Our two blogs definitely complement each other. Karen’s blog, ‘The Gold Coast Standard’ is based upon her own personal perspective, as a real estate expert, mother and resident, which I think makes it both useful and entertaining. On the other hand, ‘All About Darien’ strives to represent the collective perspectives of the community through a variety of voices, opinions and columnists. Both of our blogs are inspired by a love for and pride in our community. Karen is featured in ‘All About Darien’ as one of our real estate insiders.”
Karen Brewer is a Darien resident of over 20 years and an award-winning member of William Pitt Sotheby’s Darien office. Before entering the real estate field, she gained extensive experience in the business and communications field, holding several management positions with the New York Times including group director, advertising, and managing director of circulation customer service.
Her blog can be accessed at thegoldcoaststandard.com.