Agent/Genius holds a lot of history
Fully 9,000 articles still live here on this site, along with hundreds of thousands of comments, and so much meaning in every single one of them. We have accomplished so much in the real estate industry. We launched REBarCamp right here, and we took on NAR, vendors, crappy antiquated products sold to agents, and we ushered in a new era of technology in an industry. There were so many flame wars that we literally had ’round the clock debates about the future of the industry. Many of the changes we argued for, members take for granted today as normal. We certainly didn’t personally change an industry, but we challenged an industry to change itself, and we give that credit to those who took on that challenge.
Going back through the early pages of Agent/Genius, especially 2007-2008, at one time we provided a platform for hundreds of writers, up to 90 at one time, many of whom we still call dear friends, and that you’ve probably seen on stage. If you search “Twitter 101” here on AGBeat and read the comments, you’ll witness the very first Twitter article ever written to the real estate industry, and see many recognizable names, and you might be surprised at some of their comments. The same goes for Facebook and many other social tools. To me it’s quite moving – they were awesome times. We were even awarded an Inman Innovator Award in 2008 that still graces my office.
I can remember when we first hit 50k readers a month, I had to hire Lani to help herd all of the cats that were writing for us, and I recall Jonathan Dalton writing “Behold the Mega Blog” just after we became a real brand with our iconic orange that you still see today in our current logo and theme on The American Genius (minus our running man logo with the slogan “are you keeping up?”)
Agent/Genius was never about me, or the individual voices here, it was always about our readers – hence my dismay at signing autographs at the Inman Conference in San Francisco; I was both honored and terrified at the same time.
I could write all day about the beautiful memories we have of Agent/Genius, but right now, we’re looking ahead. The American Genius is who we are, again, the first to see a problem in the real estate industry, and bring in other industries, who share the common identities outside of their titles, that identity being entrepreneurs. You deserved a news publication that wrote to you and still writes to you as professionals. If you read AG, then you were likely the first to know that Gowalla was shuttering, and that Facebook had snatched them up at the last minute. We’ve cut our teeth on so many stories that you heard here first, only to watch jealous competitors regurgitate the story and fail to give us our due credit or attribution (which still happens today, three times just in the past two weeks).
Taking on business has been an immense challenge worth fighting, but it couldn’t be done properly by fighting the politics of the industry in which we were born, here in the pages of The American Genius. You deserve better.
So as you see, the Agent/Genius flag is being lowered, but not out of defeat, but because we won – we’re bigger, better, and stronger than ever, and what’s coming in the very near future from us will be even greater. The American Genius raises the bar for the professionals we have served from day one, and although our growth left some behind that love the fight and fodder of insider politics, those things have no place here on The American Genius. We’ll still cover economics, housing, indicators, and commercial real estate that real estate pros should be sharing with their audience, knowing it’s truthful, accurate, and that we are typically first to publish. That’s been our mission, because our real estate, and entrepreneurial family deserves the news now, as do our nearly 5 million other readers.
I should have written this to you two years ago, but I wasn’t ready to let go. And for that, I am sorry. We’re not done with real estate, no, we’ve grown a lot, and we see publishing in the real estate space in a new light, and we’re about to turn those lights on for you.
And with that cryptic message, Agent/Genius signs off the air today, but The American Genius Network begins.
Thank you so much for eight wonderful years, for adapting, and for your strong support of The American Genius.
Founder, Publisher, and humbly yours,