Guy Johnson Trains Local Realtors to Use Internet Tools

Time out for kudos. Recently our very own Guy received a nice write-up in the Lake Tahoe Review. Although the first third is about what our broker has done with social networking, Guy carries the rest of the story with the many ways he stays on top of new technology trends, freely sharing his knowledge with anyone interested. In addition to regularly teaching tech classes for Chase Academy, Guy recently presented at the Women’s Council of Realtors and the Nevada Interactive Media Summit for Journalism Week presented at the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

If you are a potential real estate client, I highly recommend calling Guy for assistance. Not only is he a master of all the latest online tools, he is a skilled negotiator and provides excellent service. His direct line is 775-722-4011.


  1. diablo

    Guy and Diane,

    What if any compensation do you receive for running this blog?
    I think they should be transparent. Since that would be the ethical thing to do.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Phil

    There are listings here and providing them is called advertising. However I find them a bit out of date, and am curious why I don’t see more. Getting a listing to as many people as they can is part of the job of selling a home! If the home sells because of it, BINGO a monetary benifit of running the blog.

    There is so little advertising here for a popular blog, it could be used to generate money by itself.

    And we care why?

    Somehow I doubt that it is anything more than this. But so what if it is?

    I think these realtors are sticking thier necks out. I find this blog informative and interesting. I hope they continue, and if I where to need a realtor I would be calling them first.

  3. Reno Ignoramus

    “Compensation” for running the blog? The blog is Diane’s and Guy’s. I doubt they pay themselves. I would assume that the “Ads by Google” may generate a couple of bucks, but not much. I would hope that by now, after three years, the blog has earned Diane and Guy the well deserved reputation for being straight about the market, and not a couple of realtor shills. To that extent, I would assume that the blog has brought them some clients over the years. I sure hope so.

  4. SkrapGuy

    I believe that all the listings displayed on the blog are listings either of Diane or Guy. Most of the slideshow listings appear to be Guy’s. The Caughlin Ranch House was Diane’s listing and it sold a while ago. The infamous “red barn’ was also Diane’s, and it died a natural death. Rock House and City Lights were also Diane’s I believe. Why the hell else would Diane and Guy go to the time, trouble, and expense of maintaining this blog if it wasn’t to their business benefit? No doubt this blog has taken on a life of it’s own since the early days when Diane started it up. It has become the finest real estate clearing house of information around. Hell, I think Diane and Guy ought to put up a paypal link and ask for a few bucks from all the regulars. Where else can you get such great information, and entertainment?

  5. Diane Cohn

    Diablo aka Derrick, we receive no compensation for running this blog. In fact, it costs money. Domain fees, hosting fees, advertising fees, design fees and the constant fear of being sued by some extremist if we say something too controversial… honestly from a monetary standpoint this blog runs at a loss. Google Ads pay maybe $300 a year if we’re lucky, not nearly enough to cover expenses. I recently lost my free IT support, so now I have to pay $75/hr to move/replace the outdated videos on the side, which is why they so stubbornly remain. Cost/benefit analysis doesn’t pan out in a crappy economy, so we limp along with no comment-editing plug-in and some outdated videos. Caughlin Ranch & Rock House sold, Mayberry was withdrawn, and I believe City Lights is still for sale. The slide show of listings belongs to Guy. I no longer take listings because sellers can’t grok the truth and convincing them otherwise is a waste of time and not my talent.

    RI is correct. The intent of the blog, to provide honest, free information, provoke discussion, and build a community as we have was to hopefully attract like-minded clients with whom we could close successful transactions. This strategy has worked well since inception, but in the past six months, business has been particularly lean, and I question the future of this market and the industry for the next several years. Truthfully for me, the real value of this blog has been the forward-thinking commenters who opened my mind to a future that was unfolding that I could never have imagined, based on minutia, observation, facts and small clues unseen by the masses, allowing me to think ahead and act accordingly.

    For all you contributors who add so many thoughtful ideas, questions, theories, sources, facts and share so freely with the rest of us without resorting to name-calling and childish bashing of your opponents… I am truly grateful.

    And if you guys want something changed on the blog, at this point SkrapGuy’s PayPal collection idea is your best bet.

  6. BanteringBear

    Diane posted:

    “I no longer take listings because sellers can’t grok the truth and convincing them otherwise is a waste of time and not my talent.”

    Kudos. Now, if only more Realtors® would take your lead… While I have no statistics to back it up, I firmly believe that fantasy priced listings contribute to lower sales volume. There’s only so much a shopper can stomach before putting their wallet away and returning home.

  7. Grand Wazoo

    So, are you no longer a full time Realtor these days Diane?

  8. Diane Cohn

    Wazoo, that’s correct.

  9. BanteringBear

    Keep blogging, Diane- even if it’s not about real estate. Perhaps you can create a little “Sign of the Times” sidebar for your “doomsday” posts, etc. I think you’re good at it. You don’t need a PhD to speak to what’s going on. We’ve seen where the “best and brightest” have taken this country, and it’s time, and beneficial, for our voices to be heard. I enjoy your posts that go beyond local real estate. Just my two cents.


  10. CommercialLender

    “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” (Bible, Eccliastes 11:1 NIV, written by famed, wise King Solomon)


    Diane, this market malaise will pass and in due time you’ll be rewarded for your hard work. Thank you, and Guy, and Mike, etc. Your site is instrumental in helping us all figure out our investment options in Reno/Tahoe.

  11. DonC

    Recognition for Guy is well deserved. I’ll echo CL’s sentiments that you should be thanked (and rewarded) for your hard work and for being a leader in new technology.

    This is a bit OT, but it’s worthwhile to think about how technology has made the process easier and more efficient. Years ago, when I was buying and selling houses every two years or so the process was horrible. You’d have to meet the realtor and try and explain what you were interested in, which is actually difficult because different cities offer very different housing choices. They they would pick out what they thought you might like and you’d drive around looking at the houses they had picked. They tried their best but it could be a time consuming and frustrating process.

    At one point I started convincing them to just give me the MLS book. That cut 80% of the time out of the process.

    Now with the internet and virtual tours it’s even simpler. My brother bought a couple of houses in CA recently. He’s in PA. He used the internet to pick out a few houses, flew out, looked, and made the offers. The buying process took some time — haggling over price and terms is still there — but the process of finding the houses was completed in half a day. You have maps, a street view, an aerial view. It’s absolutely great.

    So go get them Guy and Diane!

  12. DowntownMakeoverDude

    As always, Diane and Guy are at the forefront of using technology in their field of expertise.
    To Diablo, asking someone who runs a blog if they make money off it is a real insult, especially you in particular asking Diane and Guy that. Low blow man, low blow.
    Unless you are the Huffington Post-ish, very very few people make money directly off their blog. And as for indirectly making money, is there anything wrong with Guy and Diane gaining business because people/clients respect their opinion and hard-line reporting on this blog? Hell no. I HOPE that Diane and Guy have gained respect and clients in their business from this blog.
    While Diane’s posts have certainly influenced many people on the ‘buying’ side of things, it’s a shame her voice of reason isn’t heeded by sellers more often.
    And let’s cut Diane and Guy some slack on the ads; if I were a dellusional seller who had a real estate agent running the most popular real estate blog in the West, and my listing was shown there in an ad, I’d be elated that my overpriced house was being exposed to more eyeballs online. Besides, they take up like 5% of the overall screen real estate on the blog, it’s funny everyone is so drawn to them.
    Guy is way smart, and if he were my real estate agent, I’d be feeling pretty good knowing he’s being chosen to speak at all kinds of new media and social networking seminars. But that’s just me, because I know the power of social networking. There is an entirely new generation of homebuyers out there that religiously use these tools…and when this mess is over, even 5 years down the line, realtors who arent ready to reach out to these people using the networking tools this 30 and under generation is attached to, they’ll be left in the dust. And as we get older, we’ll keep using these tools 🙂 It may morph from trend to trend as time goes on (e.g. Twitter, Myspace, Facebook), but it won’t go away. It’s engrained in society now.
    I just felt Diane and Guy should get props for not only their in-your-face numbers and reality talk on this blog, but also their forward thinking on using technology most realtors overlook. So there you go 🙂 Props.

  13. Guy Johnson

    [caveat: I wrote the bulk of this response to the compensation question prior to reading Diane’s response. …not that we’re too far apart in our sentiments; just interesting to read another take.]

    diablo, Compensation?! Oh how I wish we were directly compensated for the time and effort we put into this blog. But direct compensation was never the intent.

    This blog certainly generates readers, followers and commenters. And from those individuals, an occasional query about a property comes our way. And then from those queries, an occasional client will transpire. And then from those clients we may eventually close a deal. And ultimately, it is from those closings, we receive compensation …after, of course, our broker takes his cut.

    I would describe the aforementioned as more indirect compensation; but compensation nonetheless.

    Phil, brings up a good point about advertising. We have been approached numerous times about posting ads from developers, builders, other websites, etc. We have declined in almost every instance…if for no other reason than we always try to avoid conflicts of interest, and strive to run an unbiased site. Yes, we do have an area of Google ad words on the right hand sidebar, but that hardly generates enough revenue to pay for the monthly maintenance costs of keeping the site up and running. [I now read in Diane’s response that the blog is actually operating at a loss.]

    Non-monetary compensation…

    Yes, most definitely, as SkrapGuy stated, “this blog has taken on a life of its own…” And Diane and I love that! The top-level posters (Diane, Mike and I) get as much out of the blog’s posts and comments as any other reader of the blog. You all rock! From the lurker to the regular commenter – one couldn’t exist without the other. …afterall we all need an audience. 🙂

    RI submitted, “I would hope that by now, after three years, the blog has earned Diane and Guy the well deserved reputation for being straight about the market, and not a couple of realtor shills.” And that it has..or so I believe. I have heard that we have many followers of the blog who are fellow REALTORS in the area. One could speculate as to the many reasons why other REALTORS might follow our blog. I tend to simply take it as a compliment.

    So goodwill, positive reputation, greater exposure, and knowledge gained; each is a benefit I gain from maintaining and writing for this blog. […I try not to think too hard about whether or not it is worth it.]

    And lastly, thank you all [in this thread, as well as in others] for your kind words, they are very appreciated. …I suppose I might add “praise” to the list on non-tangibles above.

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