Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

26 responses to “Localism – Hyper Local Real Estate Sales Pitches”

  1. Ray Pepper

    I wonder how often they will promote/discuss 500 Realty, Red Fin, and Iggy’s House?

    I think I will wait for an ALTERNATIVE blog that will give REAL INFORMATION to the masses. Not just Realtor jibberish. I mean seriously….What do they really have to say? As for their Mtg Reps …Come on………….Title and Escrow…Please……… Active Rain….Good Lord….!

    Try to advise Buyers and sellers the truth and they drop your post quicker then me eating at the Bellagio Buffet in between Poker hands!

    Tim ..Start a blog of something like this………..THE END OF THE REALTOR AS WE KNOW IT……..or 6% ARE YOU NUTTS?……..

    We will promote it on our website! Don’t take too long..Our saavy investors may do it first. They keep watching Bubble and like it.

    Ray Pepper

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  2. Ubersalad, Ph.D

    Sure Tim…

    Every one of Ray’s post is a self-promoting signature…

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  3. budbrad

    The real estate crisis will be solved by……. a limited-access social network.


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  4. david losh

    Active Rain is a phenomenon I have yet to figure out. It does cater to many discount brokerage firms. It’s very hollow, but my last two high end listing leads contacted me through the site. It’s powerful.
    People must look at it. There are network groups that spend time there as people do here. I don’t really think it’s fair to pick on a new feature, but I agree having a Real Estate site give neighborhood reports is probably a reach they will never make.

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  5. Civil Servant

    Or, Ray, here’s a nutty idea: you could start your *own* blog on your site. If you’re pining for real information to be given to the masses, there is no better way to keep it real than to do it yourself. I’m sure Tim can attest to the fact that building readership takes time, but if you offer solid and relevant content that is presented professionally (ahem), people will want to read it. Not to pile on for sport, but wow I’m getting sick of these gassy, gasping 500 Realty ads masquerading as responses to posts. Their effect is that I skip them and discount 500 Realty as a business that is run by well-informed people I’d be comfortable working with. Ray, I suspect that your participation here in many cases has exactly the opposite effect of what you would wish.

    Ira, on the other hand: So reasonable! So helpful! So able to add perspective to a discussion and generally to communicate in complete sentences. Now that’s PR.

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  6. softwarengineer


    After reading the web site from the realitors; its like comparing Pravda to the Seattle times.

    Bloggers have freedom of speech [it is America ya know] and good blogs, like Seattle Bubble, encourage all opinions. The RE website you referenced would likely call most of us bubble brains “trolls”.

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  7. Ray Pepper

    Civil Servant I encourage you to use Ira. He is wonderful. I spoke with him a few times. In fact most Agents are wonderful people but working in an inferior system.

    I’m sorry you dislike my posts. But, I like the Bubble. When I get out of line I hope Tim just deletes the posts like they do at the News Tribune and Rain City. Why do you feel compelled to read my posts. Just skip em. Please.

    We have closed 5 deals for Bubble heads. Many people have found us from this blog and News Tribune. Many more find us from Google, Trade Shows, CNBC commercials, Listings, and mostly word of mouth.

    As for giving info to the masses and striving for that. Yes, all I want is for everyone to know that every property that is listed on the MLS has money that is the Buyers. In fact its the Buyers money anyway? Why give it away? Its insanity!

    Be happy you know we exist! But, at the very least tell the masses what you know already. Most everyone just doesn’t get it!…So Sad!

    Ray Pepper

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  8. Ben K

    Localism will never replace local / neighborhood blogs, two vastly different philosophies. Localism, at its heart is a real estate site driven by agents, loan officers, home inspectors,etc, so it’ll inevitably always have a real estate slant/bias/sales pitch. And, I’ll admit, the only benefit for me (albeit minute), is to drive visitors to my blog.

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  9. budbrad

    “Pravda” …..LOL!

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  10. TR @ WSB

    Thanks for the link etc. We are actually more than a “blog” – it’s in our name because that is how the site started and that is how our brand became known – but we are a commercial, fully advertising-supported, journalist-run local news site, and that’s why you found so much there. We average 10-11 reports a day, short and long, cover tons of local news ourselves (and as you noted, with contributor/reader help) from early morning through very late at night, and broke the half-million-monthly pageview milestone last month. (Would be more except that since we publish in blog format, most of our posts can be read without clicking to a second page like you have to do on newspaper etc. sites.) I haven’t checked out “Localism” yet but there is an avalanche currently of people trying to get into this game as aggregators or as what in the old-media business has the deadly acronym “UGC” — user-generated content — put up a site and say Hey! Come over here and write stuff so we can sell ads next to the stuff you write! Not gonna work. You can aggregate to your heart’s content, even government databases (like EveryBlock in Chicago), but you still need a human interpreter or two to data-mine and say THIS is the one restaurant closure notice you want to read … and to go to the community meetings (I’m writing up one from last night now) and say “here’s what was discussed that you should know about” .. and so on and so forth. (We have other sections too – lost/found pets, for example.) It will be fascinating to see who’s still left in a year. Some have already given it up, realizing it’s a better place for the indies to play.

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  11. graham st

    Contest #5: vs. Localism: Rainier Valley has hella posts by a knowlegable resident… Farmers market produce lists, events, local political issues

    Localism has the name Rainier Valley in it’s database… but nothing else

    Don’t look for this to be updated anytime soon as commissions in the valley amount to less than most other neighborhoods.

    Advantage: Not e

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  12. Ben K

    I can say flowery stuff about my blog, too, but that won’t make it so.

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  13. explorer

    As TR pointed out, there is a difference between journalism on a local level, and someone trying to cash in on others labor and goodwill.

    Trying to emulate the already well known community newspapers, many of them already with their own sites, does not seem feasible. Unless you are willing to put both feet in like TR and acutally produce content worth reading.

    The weakness of Blogs in general are their lack of discipline and objectivity. Sometimes that can be a strength too, but you have to back it up with being open minded.

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  14. Civil Servant

    Ray, you have thick skin and I respect that. Lest you think I’m just a screecher, I wanted you to know that your second post on this page presents you — and by association your company — in a much more coherent and professional light. I may continue to skip the posted comments, but I bear no ill will.

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  15. Riley Smith | Coconut Grove Realtor

    I checked the site out earlier this morning and found many problems with it. For one, my town was listed as both a neighborhood and a city. We are not a city. And I am concerned about the whole idea of “sponsoring neighborhoods” – realtors sponsor them, but how do they pick which one?
    I do think that it is somewhat better than other local blog sites because it is linked with Active Rain which has an enormouse SEO power. When I first started blogging I linked to Localism (it’s older version) and I instantly came up on the first page of Google. So if you are a neighborhood business/realtor/school etc. and want instant SEO recognition than it is a very good thing.

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  16. Ira Sacharoff

    A couple of things:
    Ray, I’m glad you called me wonderful, but not sure that I agree that most agents are wonderful. Sure, some of them are kind, and generous, and honest, but I’ve also dealt with my share of lying scumbags.

    Re: Skyway blog- A couple of people get shot there, and nobody admits to living there. Real Estate agents call it West Hill, or Lakeridge, or Bryn Mawr, but most of the area is pretty nice and improving, and has the lowest price housing costs within a 15-20 minute drive to downtown Seattle or downtown Bellevue. There is a blog that includes Skyway, and the co-authors all live very close to’s

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  17. Ben


    I implore you to answer the question that I have asked many times and others have asked you as well.

    Why don’t you start your own blog? If you are passionate about sending your message out, this will be the best way. It does not have to replace your commenting here, it can compliment it.

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  18. cutienoua

    To Ray:
    I will gladly skip your post,unfortunately it’s sooo long!

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  19. Ray Pepper

    Ben you will be happy to know the blog is under construction. A webdesigner that wants to promote his services offered to start one. The name of it is too harsh and I told him it needs to be “nicer”. However, I do not want to maintain it or have anything to do with it other then blogging. With 3 kids, a wife who works 4 nights a week in the ICU, and this company, I cannot take on any more projects.

    Ray Pepper

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  20. softwarengineer


    I have three (3) web sites and I save key references and my articles there; its a great way to utilize history facts for future articles.

    My web sites get lots of hits too, but I still blog on several other web sites too. Sometimes my blogs [probably Tim's too] get copied and pasted all over the world. Its cool.

    Thank God for the internet!

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  21. Localism: Still a Wasteland | KOMO: We Want Some of that Action | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] to create an attractive platform on which small businesses would spend their advertising dollars. Our review of Localism’s Seattle-area offerings concluded that the site amounted to little more than sales pitches from “hyperlocal” [...]

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  22. Courtney

    By The Tim @ 1:

    Here’s another great example of Localism at its best: Shoreline

    Note the posts by Courtney Cooper. Barely any content, tons of links to her agency site, and a 145-word signature. If someone left comments like that on Seattle Bubble, I’d delete them as spam.

    At least the Shoreline page has five different authors. But the most recent post is still nearly three weeks old, and none of the stories seem like they would be all that interesting to someone living in Shoreline.

    PS Thanks:) LOL

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