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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

No-reply emails have run their course, they don’t help customers

(BUSINESS MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.



no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using you can use and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Simple way to sent text, email appointment reminders to clients

(MARKETING) This new app has tons of automatic tools that help small businesses continue to move into the digital age with ease of use.




As the world becomes more heavily reliant on automated messaging and computer-mediated communication, we become more reluctant to actually speak to someone on the telephone. While I often find myself in this category, I also feel saddened by what Alexander Graham Bell must think. I digress.

We can certainly argue that a major reason we prefer to text or email rather than sit on the phone is for convenience. We can send a quick text while working, as it’s much more difficult to get away with a phone call on the down low.

That’s why it’s become so popular for places such as doctor’s offices and salons to begin using text and email alerts as appointment reminders. Now, Remindr is getting in on the action.

According to their site, “ is a tool for small businesses to schedule automated email and text message appointment reminders. Reduce your meeting no-shows by alerting your clients beforehand. Easily confirm appointments with your customers via text message.”

They proclaim that they’re “great for any business that schedules customer appointments or client meetings,” citing their top use cases as restaurant reservations, nail salons, personal trainers, barbers, tattoo shops, spas, real estate agents, independent car mechanics, and tech sales scheduling customer calls.

This is a win-win as it’s convenient for the customer, but also saves time on the business’s side because it eliminates hours of reminder calls. Additionally, the method supports the reduction of no-shows, which is incredibly important to businesses – especially small ones.

Remindr features include: text message, email, confirmation, reusable templates, schedule alerts, and easy user interface. With text messaging, businesses can send personalized SMS messages to customers from your Remindr phone number.

With email, businesses can send personalized email reminders to their customers through Remindr email addresses. Then, customers can confirm their appointment via text messages or email, and businesses can review confirmations on their Remindr account.

Businesses can create their own personalized reminder templates to pre-fill the reminder form (for example: “Hi NAME! We’re looking forward to your appointment tomorrow (DATE) at TIME. Respond YES to confirm your appointment.”) Reminders can be automatically sent via email or text at a predetermined time.

Remindr provides an easy user interface where businesses can start scheduling reminders instantly, use full-keyboard form navigation, and it is mobile friendly.

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Business Marketing

PHD job seekers shouldn’t scare employers, they should be welcomed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It’s time to change the narrative for PhD candidates on the job market. They have been through so much and can contribute just as much to your company



phd grad

Employers have historically been skeptical of hiring PhD graduates for jobs, but it’s time for that to change. It seems counterintuitive, but many employers are scared of candidates who bring such a high level of education to the table. They worry that PhD graduates will ask for too much money, get bored with the work, or not be able to perform in a non-academic setting.

PhD graduates may come from an academic background, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable asset to your business. As for them asking for too much money, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but academics are not exactly swimming in pools of gold. People don’t go into academics because they want to get rich quick – or at all. By earning their degree, PhD graduates have proven that they possess dedication and grit to persevere in an environment that requires resourcefulness and strong problem-solving abilities.

Another common fear employers have about PhD graduates is whether or not the work will be interesting enough to keep them around long-term. The reality is this is something you should be concerned about for all of your potential new hires not just graduates. Keeping your employees engaged in the work can be one of the most challenging parts of running a business. PhD candidates want the same things as everyone else. Indeed recently talked to an expert on the subject, Vay Cao, the founder of Free the PhD, a company dedicated to helping postgrads find their place in the workforce. She says, “What PhD candidates are looking for is that opportunity to prove themselves [and] learn some new things.”

PhD graduates have long suffered from these misconceptions, but modern business owners have the opportunity to change the narrative. By ignoring graduates, you miss out on the wealth of opportunities their experiences offer your business. PhD graduates are often innovators in their fields with excellent presentation and inter-personal skills. These candidates can bring unique skill sets and experiences to your business that may give you that extra edge on the market.

At the end of the day, your priority as a business owner will be to do what’s best for your business. Hiring and interviewing candidates from a wide range of backgrounds will always be to your benefit. Take advantage of these unique and highly educated candidates. They are an asset you can’t afford to ignore anymore.

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