Opinion Editorials

Is That a Foot in Your Ass or is That the RE.NET

This quote…

Regardless of what I say here or elsewhere, the incestuously cliquish part of the RE.net will insist that it is talking only to itself. Okayfine. [sic] I am talking only to the ninety-and-nine. If your objective in reading BloodhoundBlog is to build and improve your business, do not do as they do. Don’t treat people as leads, and, whatever you do, don’t treat them like idiots. Don’t insult them to score points with your buddies. If you find you’ve stepped in shit, admit it at once, clean up what you can and move on. Greg Swann

… is proof that the ego of Greg Swann has been allowed to swell over.  You’re absolutely right that we are often to polite in how we encourage others.  In Lani’s post regarding the Black & White video you’ll note Lani’s point was not so much about the message of the message, but the delivery.  I’m not sure how anyone can mistake an observation like that for bragging that it is the way forward or call it pandering.  Many do not like being on camera- so here’s an alternative versus steal this idea for your own.

Ego is ego.

When I created agentgenius.com it was based on the idea that large group blogs were blogging to the consumer was actually false.  Consumers do read the blogs agents create, but rarely opine.  So my idea was, if agents would just be themselves and speak as they would normally speak, they might grab a real consumer market share.  I also wanted a blog that removed the self-serving condescending ego from the mix- just straight up conversation related to real estate.  which led to the creation of the ag badge (shown below and seen on sites all over the Internet).  It’s pretty clear on agentgenius.com that we speak to each other, but from a consumers perspective, you rarely see a conversation about how much wealth the writer made today off of the backs of consumers.  We’re (the professionals) are not as obsessed with the commission as others portray, and we’re regular professionals like everyone else. We’re honest and to the consumers who read us, that’s priceless.

The idea that Greg believes we do not know our audience is actually absurd, and further proof of arrogance.  We write in the proper perspective, and in that spirit we leave room for our consumer to discern their own impression of the profession.  We believe that this honest approach in the long run will turn more readers in, than out as we are not blasting our opinions at them as many blogs do.  In fact, I place reader comments in the most expensive real estate on the page- for the world to see.  Not many blogs even bother to give the slightest bit of attention to the passing consumer or the agent commenter as “an actual contributor” of agentgenius.com, but we place it front and center.  We also participate in the we follow rule to reward those that contribute by comment.  I do not know of any other blog that is more comment contributor focused than we, even if that contributor is an actual consumer. Further, we make it quite evident that the photo of the AG contributor comes dead last as the point of agentgenius.com- whoever contributes is genius and ultimately the point.  In other words, we might know a thing or three about a thing or two.  The fact that we’ve elivated to the point we are in less than 100 days aughta give anyone pause.

We do not care about the opinions of other blogs, and our stats prove that we’re doing many things right- is there room to grow?  Absolutely, but we do not need to backtrack (as many group blogs will) to try new directions (to be honest about who we’re writing to or who we are), we simply move forward from an honest foundation (we’re just talking, you’re welcome to chime in)- and many large blogs have begun to get that what agentgenius.com is doing must work,  and the talent here isn’t ramming their beliefs down peoples throats or using a bully pulpit to spew radical hatred of all things real estate.  It’s an honest discussion of an agent failing in their market, observations by a mom about her son, a showing gone crazy and how the agent and client had a laugh together.  The material of agentgenius.com absolutely relates in many ways to everyday people- consumers like us.  And I give a hearty “go f’yourself” to anyone who says otherwise and doesn’t understand that our mission is to relate to our consumers.  We represent the industry from coast to coast, and honestly, I’m proud of the contribution here, and this contribution is just that, a contribution rather than an oppressive “you can’t argue with me”- you’re right, but it isn’t that we can’t, it’s that no one cares enough to bother.

Greg is right that folks should speak up when something is bad, but in this instance, it wasn’t badWe’re not wrong, and we’re surely not going to admit shit when the smell is obviously on your carpet.  If you think we’re endorsing a clever approach to a video message, you’re f’n right on that fact- and in a nice way, many are begging for alternatives to some of the previous video attempts made by even our own, Daniel Rothamel, among others. 

Criticism is welcome, but that’s about all that is tolerated.  Honesty with the consumer will always be celebrated, no matter how harsh or sweet the delivery.  Greg Swanns contribution to real estate, the consumer, and the profession is invaluable, and my remarks here should not be misunderstood.  I’ll stand behind genius when I see it, but we’re not about to sit by and be talked down to like some child flying by the seat of their pants. 

You mind yours, and we’ll mind ours.  If you think you’ve ruffled the feathers of AG, you’d be dead wrong, you’ve only solidified what agentgenius.com is all about. 

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Benjamin Bach

    December 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Amen

  2. Larry Yatkowsky

    December 21, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Was Mr.Swann’s post or the video more rigtheous?

  3. Teresa Boardman

    December 21, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Yawn. I have a bad Blog and Greg said that it is evil. Yawn,it is still there. The world and the internet are both really big places. Many people have opinions. and so . . yawn, bye having trouble staying awke through this one.

  4. Todd Carpenter

    December 21, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I doubt Greg is going to apologize because I don’t think he’s wrong. I don’t think you’re wrong either. It’s just an opinion. Greg may have come on stronger than he needed, but the underlying point remains.

    I watched the movie for the first time in my feed reeder. I think it was Joel’s post about it, but it could of been another as the movie was all over the place. At first glance, I didn’t like it at all. It actually made me roll my eyes a bit. After reading all the positive comments, I just assumed I must be interpreting it wrong, and decided to bite my lip.

    But Greg’s comment reflected my opinion dead on so I finally decided to speak up. “Don’t overprice your home” might be good advice, but it comes off as low-balling. RE.net was all up in arms over the way Dubner & Levitt portrayed the industry in Freakonomics, but this sort of advice reinforces their position.

    I’m not an RE agent, but I understand the frustration of trying to list a house when the owner thinks it’s worth more than it is. I get it. But the other way to look at is, I don’t need to employ an RE agent to sell my house for less than it’s worth. I can do that on my own, or even get Redfin to do it. I work with agents because I want to get the maximum value possible out of my home. I trust an agent to know the market well enough to do that.

    I’d have to say, if the first thing an agent told me was to, “not overprice my home”. My reaction would be, “why is this guy already low-balling me? He hasn’t even seen my house yet.” To top off the movie, Daniel never even looked me in the eye when he said it. It’s the opposite of all his other great videos.

    I don’t really know if Gregg is attacking AG in his last post. I took it to mean that Daniel never should have put it on HIS blog in the first place. I also didn’t take it as “GREG SAYS X, and that is the way of things”. I just took at as his opinion. Maybe the context depends on if a reader looks up to him, or over to him.

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    December 21, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Well said Benn. I find it very comfortable here and I’m sure that was another goal you had in mind. Thanks, Howard

  6. Robert D. Ashby

    December 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Benn – I would tend to echo somewhat what Todd has to say. I do not take “sides” in this controversy for similar reasons. Neither are “wrong” as I stated in another comment.

    I do like the direction Agent Genius has gone in providing quality “consumer” content with a no BS approach. That is why I was willing to write here and take pride in doing so.

    As for the video and Greg controversy, I only state that it is good to focus on your targeted audience and know who that is. Here at AG, I write a little differently than I do at my own blog so it works a little better for your audience. Controversy, if properly directed can attract more “targeted” readers. Misdirected though, it can be destructive.

  7. ines

    December 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Different audiences, of course! Are we giving the negative opinion too much importance, definitely!

    There’s a saying in spanish that says “cada loco con su tema”!

  8. Missy Caulk

    December 21, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Hey,I like Greg, I like the video, I posted it on my blog. https://AnnArborRealEstateTalkc.om.

    Someone sent me Greg’s rant, but I had already read it, and it is the truth, I have turned down 8-10 listings this year.

    We get it, sellers don’t. Any bit of encouragement is good.

  9. Ines

    December 21, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    What I don’t get is how the message of “don’t overprice” can be misconstrued as “low ball” – we need to pay attention at the way the consumer can interpret or misinterpret the message.

  10. Vicki Moore

    December 21, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    I thought the video was cute and creative. I’m lost by the insulting nature of Greg’s post.

    We have gone from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market in lightning speed. Not all sellers have been able to grasp such a dramatic change.

    I write what interests me and makes me laugh. Agitating and aggravating my audience is not my intention, but sometimes it happens.

    BTW: Don’t tell me what to do. I can think for myself.

  11. Innocent Bystander

    December 22, 2007 at 12:05 am

    See what happens when Kelman gets invited to the “Today” show, Swann merely gets the crumbs at Fox Business, and Rothamel decides to produce his own show on YouTube? Swann gets cranky, and Rothamel has to bear the brunt of it all. On the sidelines, Kelman is watching this soap with that trademark phony smile on his face.

  12. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius

    December 22, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Greg Swann’s Point Is?

    1. Daniel’s first point: Buyers care about what the house is going to cost them.

    This from Mr. Swann: (emphasis added via quotes)

    Our customers are telling us in no uncertain terms what they want: More! Newer! Better! Faster! “Cheaper!”

    But even though too many homes are on the market, some of them are selling.

    Which ones? Those homes that offer the greatest “perceived value to buyers.”

    And where is that value perceived? In the quality of the home or in a “bargain price”.

    One of the things I like best about listing appointments is listening to the sellers tell me what is wrong, in excruciating detail, with each one of the competitive listings.

    At the end of the rant, I’ll say, “You’ve sold me.”

    “Wh-uh-what?”

    “You’ve sold me. You’ve looked at each one of those houses like a buyer would, and you’ve told me why every one of them is overpriced. Now tell me why buyers won’t say the same kinds of things about your home?”

    2. Daniel’s second point: Don’t overprice it. This means price it to the market. Not “bargain price it” or “low ball it”.

    Mr. Swann again:

    We tend to be very careful about the listings we’ll take, because we want our homes sold in four days or four weeks, not four months.

    But that leads us to “the most important thing you can do to make sure your home sells while others languish: Price it to the market.”

    I want to talk about some innovative marketing ideas, but “no amount of marketing can overcome a too-high price.” If you are unwilling to “price your home to the market”, you might as well spare yourself the agony of listing it.

    So Swann’s point is what? There is no point as far as ideas go. They both expound the same ideas.

    Is it that Daniel uses simple sentences & crude drawings? Maybe he ought then condemn Hugh MacLeod’s cartoons or Kris Berg’s stick figures. Perhaps the haiku is next. Oh, that verbosity was beheaded.

  13. monika

    December 22, 2007 at 6:52 am

    I liked the video as well. Simple and to the point. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

  14. rudy

    December 22, 2007 at 9:47 am

    priced to sit

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