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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

5 ways voice is changing the SEO game

(TECH NEWS) As voice assistants take over our lives, you may worry how your SEO fares in this new, uncharted territory. Let’s discuss.

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voice and SEO

SEO is a moving target. The standards change constantly so, despite years of experience, many web designers struggle to meet all the optimization guidelines. How, then, can any business confidently approach the web design process? It starts with recognizing those evolving norms, the newest of which is voice search.

Why Voice Search Matters

For years, the dominant SEO rule has been mobile first. The introduction of voice recognition systems, like Siri and Alexa, to smartphones has dramatically changed how we interact with devices. In fact, 20% of Google searches are voice searches with that number expected to grow rapidly over the next few months. Businesses and web designers, then, need to make sure their sites are voice ready if they want to stay relevant. Though the sites may stay the same visually, they need to gain a new edge functionally.

From The Ground Up

Modifying your website to support voice search isn’t as simple as many other SEO transitions, but if you take a ground up approach to the process, you’ll be able to reshape your website around those changes. Still, you’ll need help to do this correctly. When adapting your website for voice, SEO consultant Aaron Rains recommends hiring an expert for a full site audit and analysis to maintain your page ranking. You don’t want your page to take a rankings hit because you’re trying to keep up with the trends.

Expanding Your Device Options

In addition to its advantages from a mobile perspective, making the move to voice search also means expanding your site’s horizons by making it more accessible to new devices, particularly the smart home speakers that are gaining in popularity. Users are particularly comfortable with these devices because they rely on natural speech patterns rather than half-formed search terms. Children growing up with these smart speakers in their homes seem to view them as part of the family and will be native voice search users as they grow.

Snippets For Search

Part of updating your website for speech is optimizing the content to match changing search patterns. One of the key ways to do this is through the use of featured snippets.

Featured snippets are designed to help put your website in the #0 spot – the top ranking. To do that, you’ll want to put the answers to your most popular queries in the first few sentences on your page. This is especially for purchasing and local search since people frequently use voice search to find local businesses. If you can optimize for the most important snippets early on, you’ll be way ahead on the competition and have a greater ROI.

Rebuild and Reassess

After modifying your website for voice, you may find your rankings initially drop. That’s because you need to request your site be re-indexed. Otherwise, search engines won’t be able to match queries with your new site content. Re-indexing will put all of your new information into effect and make it possible for users to search using the featured snippets. Re-indexing your site will also help you ensure that you haven’t interfered with the crawl-ability of your site.

Experts expect half of all searches to be voice-driven by 2020, but since 50% of users with voice search access already use it at least occasionally, now is the time to act. Even if many users are still wary of voice search, you can’t afford to fall behind. Those users will still be able to rely on traditional text search mechanisms, but that won’t help voice enthusiasts. If you lose those early adopters now, they might not come back when you’ve caught up with the voice search revolution.

This editorial was first published here in March of 2018.

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Business Marketing

10 podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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headphones listen podcasts

So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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Business Marketing

A personalized daily digital marketing checklist

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website.

If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

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