Future of Real Estate Marketing was the first blog I ever read.

It was useful, well-written, and free from the pay-for-play stench that marked so much of real estate’s old trade media.

And in reading FOREM, I got to know Joel. I could see that he was smart. That he was level-headed.

That he could write – and think.

Keeping the faith

This week, I learned that FOREM had been shut down, quietly folded into Inman’s excellent group blog, NEXT.

Maybe it’s because I just turned 40, but this made me more than a little wistful. Like something that seemed new just a few years ago had run its course – and that I, now middle aged, was on the far end of that same arc.

I got over it. Inman is doing good things and I can still call someone “dude” without sounding completely ridiculous.

So what I’ve really taken away from this is a renewed commitment to writing. FOREM’s gone, but the notion upon which it was formed is still quite valuable. So we’ll keep working it.

Because good writing – as an implement of marketing or an expression of a brand – always wins.

Photos are emotionally potent. Video engages. Good visual design is useful and seductive.

But writing gives us an opportunity to do more.

Think about it: when you die, who will remember your Twitter stream?

How much can a potential customer really learn about the depth of your real estate knowledge or real brain power from your Facebook activity?

But we can, for damn sure, tell that Kris Berg is smart and knows real estate cold. Because the proof is there, spelled out with skill and style.

My impression of Redfin has been shaped as much by Glenn’s writing as it has by this or that new feature.

And how about us? Our clients know us by our work. But how do you know 1000WATT?

Writing is hard for most of us. The 200 or so words you’ve just read are like beads of sweat. I worked for them. And sometimes, for all the effort, they just stink.

But sometimes you get a point across. Or create a perspective that’s different. You lay a piece of yourself out on the table for inspection and come out OK.

All in all, it’s been worth it. So I’ll continue. Marc will continue.

And Joel continues, here, even as FOREM disappears.