October 3rd, 2016
My answer to most problems involves building a website. It was my answer when my managing broker at the real estate office wanted me to come up with a way to market myself. Agents are always trying to showcase their expertise and unique value they add to a transaction. In that respect I was no different. For my clients I could offer logic and reason to offset their emotional investment in a property search. I also brought 5 years of experience in property management which I used to court the local rental market.
I’d been meaning to play around with WordPress anyhow so I decided to make a blog that focused on real estate statistics and a practical approach to real estate. I gave it a cartoony feel – I even licensed a cartoonish font called Grobold from a French foundry. I whipped up some pig graphics in Photoshop and went with a three little pigs theme. I called it StrawStickStone.
I ran the blog for a little over a year, updating three times a week. Given the heavy research I was doing for the site this publishing schedule might have been a bit intense. (I learned from these mistakes and originally set myself a more leisurely pace of one article a week for the RentConfident blog.) Over time I started tossing in graphics with silly captions, which went over well with my readers.
StrawStickStone was last updated in 2014 but a handful of the articles still get comments – particularly the one that deals with what happens to renters when their landlord dies. One series in particular (about evictions in Cook County) has been cited in numerous Ph.D. theses. There are several topics in that blog for which I’m still the top Google result several years later. In fact, when trying to come up with articles for my new blog, I will frequently discover that the top online resource on a given topic is none other than my old blog. Somewhat awkward.
Update March 2018: In January of 2018, StrawStickStone was hacked. At this time it is offline and the domain is sitting empty until such time as I can repair the damaged code and restore it.