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Are You a Renegade Realtor®? Just Wondering …

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For those of you who know me even a little bit, you have often heard me say, “I can’t STAND real estate agents” as I roll my eyes in utter disgust. Ugh… My life would be so much easier if it weren’t for so many of those “people” that have those “real estate licenses”. Yes. I can be quite the little ranter. Someone once called me down off of my soapbox long enough to tell me that I should call become a Renegade Realtor®. Pretty sure they were joking, but it DOES have a nice ring to it …

A couple days ago I read REALTOR MOST DESPISED – AN OPEN LETTER (an absolute MUST READ) where RE comrade (and fellow Genius) Realtor® Benn Rosales looks at the current real estate agent “situation” through the eyes of the public and makes some dead-on observations about the perception of Realtor®.

That post got me thinking, and those who know me, know that me=thinking is not always productive and often gets me into trouble. Well, this time it brought back some memories, as well as an itch that still needs to be scratched.

If you have read my “real estate rants” for any amount of time, then you probably read: Perception = Reality: Real Estate Agents Suck – in which I go off on the awful, yet well-deserved reputation that has followed real estate agents throughout the decades. (Funny thing, if you type “Real Estate Agents Suck” in to Google, a version of this post pops up as #1. I outrank an agent-hating FSBO. Gotta love that Google-Juice, there!?!)

Of course, I AM a real estate agent, a Realtor® in fact. Many of my BFF’s are in “the business”, too. (For those of you without the “luxury” of raising a teenager (lucky you) and having to learn the “code”… BFF= Best Friends Forever.) And, I completely stand behind what I wrote. But I also stand behind the small-but-growing population of RE agents that seem to “get it”. Maybe a “new wave” of agents will become the motivating force in the paradigm shift that NEEDS to take place in the world of real estate and rebuild a better reputationa better business.

Now, I have found (over the past year) that many of the others who share my view are mostly here, in the Blogosphere – other real estate agents whose skins crawl at the current image propagated by a large chunk of “our” industry. (Is there a correlation between “those who blog” and “those who promote stereotype busting“? Hmmm … Maybe.)

Anyway, so now what?

What needs to happen now? We all know that things need to change. (I can say “we” because I know that there are not any of those “other” agents reading this.) What forces need to rise above the Blogosphere … enter into the real-world of real estate and hijack the current reputation and turn it into something that we can all be proud of? What are YOU actively doing to change OUR reputation?

Are YOU a Renegade Realtor®? … just wondering.

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. ines

    October 23, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Woooo Hoooo!! Pretty awesome Mariana! I can tell you that you are probably right about the blogging Realtors…..we’re a different breed.

    I am a Renegade Realtor and will blog away until I have bloody fingers.

  2. Mariana Wagner

    October 23, 2007 at 3:54 am

    A different breed indeed. Now, let’s go take over the world.

  3. Todd Carpenter

    October 23, 2007 at 3:59 am

    It’s funny, because I’ve had so many RE agents and Loan officers ask me about blogging, and how they can get business through it. I’ve also had a relative handful ask me about blogging because of their advocacy of the industry. It’s the advocates who go on to blog.

    The greatest thing about blogging is that it’s a affordable and effective marketing tool that only the “good guys” seem to have the creativity and thoughtfulness to implement.

  4. Vicki Moore

    October 23, 2007 at 4:11 am

    You are awesome. I’m getting a feed right now.

  5. Mariana Wagner

    October 23, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Hi Todd – You said it perfectly. The advocates ARE the ones out there blogging.

    Hey Vicki, Thanks!

  6. monika

    October 23, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Mariana…You ROCK! That original post took on a life of it’s own! LOL!
    I’m one of those REALTORS whose skin crawls when I hear and see what some other agents do. Change happens but it sure does seem to going slowly!

  7. Lovely

    October 23, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Did someone say “Renegade”?? I’m in 🙂

  8. Carey

    October 23, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Mariana congratulations on being a genius!

    Part of the reason your skin crawls when dealing with the “other” agent is because they do not know who they work for. It has become so much about getting a check (especially in this market) and not so much about doing what is best for the client. I love it when I get a new agent or a discounter(who only gets part of the cooperating compenstaion) making offers on my listings. I know I can beat them into submission because it is only about the bens for them. The referrals keep rolling in when you know who you work for and communicate that through action and words to the client.

  9. Benn Rosales

    October 23, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    haha Mariana, what a kick ass post, and a kick ass way to kick off your contribution to agent genius- absolutely fantastic! I heart renegades.

  10. Mariana

    October 23, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Monika- HEY THERE! I just hope that at some point some critical mass is obtained and the current slow-go turns into a hurricane of action.

    Lovely – OF COURSE you are in! Duh.

    Carey- You hit the nail on the head: Are you working for your client? Or are you working for the Benjamins? It makes all the difference in the world.

    Benn- Wow! Thanks! Your recent post really re-fanned that fire that I have in my head about this issue. I *heart* renegades, too!

  11. Bonnie Erickson

    October 24, 2007 at 1:54 am

    Hmmmm. Out of the box, into blogging, like quality, look out for the client instead of me? Sounds pretty revolutionary to me! Quality, professional, REAL? Has anyone thought about putting the REAL back into REALTOR? If all of that makes me a renegade, then I’m in, too!

  12. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 24, 2007 at 3:36 am

    Putting the REAL back into REALTOR… I like that.

  13. Nicole Mills

    November 1, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Geez, I’m so glad I’ve started hanging out here! Great Post, Mariana!

    I found AG through Bloodhound (I think, anyway…the memory isn’t what it used to be), and I have to say that AG is definitely more my speed. Bloodhound is wise & worldly, but doesn’t quite feel like home to me. If there’s room for one more Renegade…

  14. Toby & Sadie

    December 17, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I love it! Renegade REALTOR®! I think I am one and didn’t even know it. Wait till I tell my wife 🙂

  15. Mariana

    December 18, 2007 at 10:04 am

    I think it should be an official NAR Designation: Renegade Realtor…

  16. Lesley

    September 26, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I am a complete renegade realtor! After this post I am ready to leather up and kick some bad realtor butt!

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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