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Austin Texas Realtors Get The Scrooge – Bah Humbug



nar-scrooge.jpgWe’re at the mercy of a bottomless pit. Where does the money go? Cash goes in, but nothing comes out but more stuff being sold to us- stuff that come complete with the 8 floppy disc set for proper setup with your Windows 3.0 or higher operating system- but runs in DOS.

Never mind the antiquated crap flung by vendors at the behest of the national and local boards- seriously, let’s talk about my new Austin Board of Realtors Bill that came in the mail today:

Invoice Dated: 11/15/2007 Due: 12/15/2007 (just in time for the Holidays)

2008 Abor Dues $125.00
2008 TAR Dues $97.00
2008 NAR Dues $80.00

2008 Trepac Investment $35.00
I won’t be paying this this year….or ever.

(Here’s the really weird part)
2008 ABOR Image Campaign $30.00 (MANDATORY- WTF?)
2008 NAR Image Campaign $30.00 (MANDATORY- WTF?)
2008 TAR Mobilization Fund $10.00 (WTF?)

Total Due: $407.00

I was thinking- NAR, TAR, and the other AR-o-saurs, why not pay me to come here and blog? It would save us 1000s of dollars in humiliating ad campaigns that will be torn apart in the media. Why not save us in Austin alone with 9000 members $540K… Why not call on some of us out here on the front lines for a little Q&A on the realities. Why aren’t you asking us for help? Why aren’t you doing anything but exactly what is expected? Ever heard of a box? Ever stepped out of yours- take a deep breath, inhale, exhale, stretch your legs, open your eyes, and take a really good look around already! I have no interest in helping NAR, let them take my $30 from the $80- let them eat ramen! Don’t you think my children would like something extra for Christmas this year? Sixty dollars goes a really long way? Why should I eat ramen this Christmas for your silly image campaign? My image is fine.

Mandatory, my ass. You people should really be ashamed- scrooge you!

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Chris Johnson

    November 20, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    An eleven dollar an hour employee lectured me regarding this in 2003. I didn’t pay then because I was flat broke. I got a lecture, “We need to pass laws that help us all…”


  2. Benn Rosales

    November 20, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    are you talking about the repac fee?

  3. Chris Johnson

    November 20, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    yeah–this was when I was an agent.

  4. Benn Rosales

    November 20, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    They would not dare lecture me, 11 buck an hour or $300k per year. This is not about my wallet, it’s about if I was the CEO of NAR, the last thing I would be doing is authorizing a mandatory fee for an image campaign, nor would I advise the local boards to do it. A qualified CEO would be out on the public airwaves making the case 8 months ago, not damage control on the backs of agents- it’s utter bs.

  5. Chris Johnson

    November 20, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Ah, but they would. Our board–Columbus Ohio–had such an astonishing sense of entitlement back then; they gave it a shot. The results, to her, were unpleasant.

    But then again, we all need to shake off the self importance.

  6. Carson Coots

    November 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    When asked what the realtor of the future looks like… all Dale Stinton could come up with was “flash-gordon”. This is the realtor of the future… iphones and such? Get real and say something about the value they will bring and how NAR will support it.

  7. Agent for Movoto

    December 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    horrible. keep holding out.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.



Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.



Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.



Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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