“Even with the F28 jet and private airplane terminal thrown in, no one was showing any interest in the property,” reads a November 9 entry, referring to a hefty 22 million dollar price reduction on Wayne Newton’s lavish estate, Casa de Shenandoah. It’s just another day on the Great Las Vegas Homes real estate blog.
Las Vegas is not a simple, quiet town even by day. Diann Tonnesen, co-owner of the firm behind GreatLasVegasHomes.com and author of the site’s blog, seems to be both a fan of the Vegas glitz and an advocate for its livability. Among the tourist-friendly headlines mentioning famed celebs like Liberace, there are a dozen more titles that have locals in mind. In one entry, Henderson Nevada in Top 20 Safe Cities of 2012, Tonnesen describes what can be viewed as a minor setback, “Ironically, in 2008 Henderson also made the Forbes top 10 list for the most boring cities to live in . . . As a resident of Henderson, I am delighted with safe, and ‘boring’ is just fine with me.”
In case anyone reading this has no idea, just southeast of the Las Vegas strip is Henderson NV, a cozy community with a propensity toward suburban comforts and safety. It is a sizeable suburb, however, and such a cultural departure from the rambunctious strip that it gives realtors license to call the Las Vegas area “family-friendly.” If you’ve ever raised an eyebrow at the phrasing before, believe it now. Tonnesen firmly stands by it,
“[Las Vegas] is a vibrant and fascinating community and so diverse culturally. We have fabulous restaurants, awesome shows (especially now that we have the Smith Center), and year round outdoor activities. Friends and family love to come visit us. Plus it is a golf mecca, and as a golfer I totally appreciate that too.”
The thing I found most refreshing about the Great Las Vegas Homes blog is that it’s updated regularly, at least twice per month. If there’s a new Vegas show premiering, festival coming up, or local housing policy changes pending, readers will know about it. Tonnesen has crafted the blog into something of a one-stop shop for all things Vegas real estate and culture; the result is both engaging and informative. I was especially thrilled to have crime mapping tips, Vegas Halloween festivity updates, and beautiful property listing photos all on one page.
Tonnesen sneaks in a bit of self-promotion, but the bragging is not without merit: the Tonnesen Prudential team has not only been locally active for over 30 years, but ranked consistently high on a number of Vegas realtor lists. The blog is especially useful to first time home buyers who are worried about finding and financing a home with a trusted source – Tonnesen gives occasional shout-outs to lenders with which her firm has formed close and long standing relationships.
The blog advocates for other realtors as well – well, realtors in general. Tonnesen uses Great Las Vegas homes to emphasize the importance of home shoppers relying on real estate agents as opposed to third party sites for listings. In our talk she said,
“We see tons of clients that miss the boat because they think there are better deals available than what reality is. To make matters worse, these sites are knocking out the mom and pop realtors . . . I absolutely think we should ban data feeds to these sites altogether. The local agent sites are much more in tune with what is really going on, they provide current data and it is a shame to lose the best agents because we are helping our competition price us out of the market.”
Thus an important lesson is lying among the property listings, policy updates, and posts featuring Vegas culture: the blog exists not only for fun and exposure, but solidarity. If third party sites have the budget to create both an engaging user experience as well as hefty internet marketing campaigns, then a small, independent blog like that of Great Las Vegas Homes must work ten times as hard to be seen.
When home shoppers choose to search through local realtors, they won’t just be supporting an underdog, but receiving the most accurate listings from a professional who knows every nook and cranny of their community intimately. If your community is Las Vegas, Nevada, I highly recommend you check out the greatlasvegashomes.com blog, because Diann Tonnesen’s writing is everything Vegas and real estate; or as she puts it,
“I love love love Las Vegas! . . . I feel I know the market better than anyone - after 30+ years I guess I should have a handle on it!”
Visit the blog here.
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