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Fierce Competition


Competition

Main Entry: com·pe·ti·tion Listen to the pronunciation of competition

Pronunciation:
\?käm-p?-?ti-sh?n\

Function:
noun

Etymology:
Late Latin competition-, competitio, from Latin competere

Date:
1579

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1: the act or process of competing : rivalry : as a: the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms b: active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply 2: a contest between rivals ; also : one’s competitors

When I got into real estate, I knew there would be competition, but NEVER did I imagine it would be so fierce!  In my immediate real estate market, stories of my clients walking into open houses and declaring openly that they were working with us – they got attached like bloody chum in a sea of sharks!  Horrible and unprofessional to say the least.

Then came blogging and social networking – what a relief to be able to share stories and experiences with like-minded professionals who saw us as colleagues, not “competition”.  The ability to network and ask questions across the nation while making connections – it was so pleasant to be able to swim in a predator-free ocean.

New Competition Challenge

But then the next challenge appeared.  Our site was successful; our innovative local blog was getting results and soon started being used as an example to other Realtors.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s very humbling to walk into a showing and having the listing agent get excited and say “OMG!! You are Ines from Miamism!…..I’ve been following your every step!”   Then to see top producers plagiarize our content, or nasty competitors try to play dirty tricks and report our site to Google as “spam”, or use keywords in our profile for a porn site.   So then I realized that at the local level, Internet competition was just a fierce or even worse!

And then a light bulb went off when reading Jack Leblond’s post on SEO and Mark Eckenrode’s post on Marketing – our goal is to attract people that want to do business with us, if you copy me……there goes THAT strategy.  If you are malicious…..then sorry, I totally believe that it will get back to you.  If you are not truthful about your intent, you will only be cheating yourself.

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Be Smart – use common sense

For those of you that are looking to get into this medium and start a blog or a hybrid-site like many of the Agent Genius Contributors have, please pay attention and learn from what’s out there but don’t copy.

  • Jay Thompson’s style may not suit you in Washington or Mariana in Ohio or Teresa in Orlando
  • You will need to strategize and find a way to personalize it and make it your own
  • You bring value to the industry, write about it and why you are different
  • If you don’t have time to market yourself in the web2.0 medium, make sure whoever you hire will not hurt your reputation by doing things that are unethical
  • Go out and read other blogs, learn from them, ask questions. Don’t copy your competition
  • Did I mention “Don’t Copy”?

What I find amazing is that I had never crossed paths with certain local agents in my real estate career and now consider them “rivals” because of their shady Internet practices.  I know we have to work harder than ever because of the condition of the real estate market – but I wish we could keep it clean.

Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    September 15, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Ines – Funny, I just wrote this great post called “Fierce Competition” on my blog. No, not really…I’m just kidding. Actually I find this very interesting as I’ve seen a few things (not on a personal level) recently that were flat out “copied” from elsewhere and it made my stomach turn. I’ve read a lot of other blogs and when I do and something has given me an idea or concept, I’ve asked the author to allow me to use their idea, but in my own way. Recently, Brad Nix, gave me some incredible inspiration and told me to go with it. I think those of us out here who are trying to do things the right way are more than happy to share and inspire each other, which is why people who outright copy you will never get it. I feel like everytime I speak to an AG writer, the conversation usually ends with them encouraging me to use, borrow, adapt, or to do something they came up with, so its amazing to me to think that someone would blatantly steal, when if they were working in the community and understood how passionate and helpful most of you are, they wouldn’t need to steal, but could benefit from a friendship instead.

  2. Jack Leblond

    September 15, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    When I was a boy, my Mom drilled into my head “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” In other words, don’t bash your competition – they do a good enough job on their own.

    When I was teaching web design classes, I would tell my students that no matter how big the internet gets if you say something you shouldn’t, or copy somebody else’s work, you’ll be amazed and how small it quickly becomes.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    September 15, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Ines, I’ve read your article four times now and what resonates so strongly with me is your choice of word, “colleague.” Many people that are new to the space don’t understand that the culture is not of offline vicious back stabbing, it’s a collaborative effort to better ALL of our businesses.

    There are thousands of agents in every market and it is ridiculous for an individual to think that they directly compete with every one of them and that there should only be one agent per city. It’s equally ridiculous to think that there should only be one real estate blogger per city and the behavior of anyone who feels this way is as irrational as the thought that they should be the exclusive real estate blogger in their city. There’s not a fine line here, it’s very black and white- don’t do something online that you wouldn’t do in front of the competitor you are smearing and YOUR lawyer because *HERE* our culture is that we are colleagues more than competitors.

  4. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Matt – very funny! 😉 the truth is that many of us are learning as we go – and tons are being innovative – so the whole “copying” thing is definitely flattering – but there’s a right way and wrong way to go about it. Copying a whole post verbatim without credit is plain wrong and there is no excuse for it.

    Jack – not only does it become small, but your reputation can be ruined in a matter of seconds. (link corrected btw – thanks for that)

    Lani – you should have written this article….you have a way with words my friend.

  5. Teresa Boardman

    September 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for writing this. My blog works because it is me and it is St. Paul. copying it is the worst mistake anyone can make. . . yet they do. Like a blog is a magic bullet or something

  6. Matt Stigliano

    September 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Its funny because if you read my comment and Lani’s comment, you’ll get the point…twice. Except her’s is much better written. I think she went to college or something.

  7. Mack

    September 15, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Treating our colleagues in an ethical manner and with respect should go without saying but it doesn’t. I don’t understand why some agents seem to want to be adversarial. It just doesn’t make sense unless they think that is the only way to protect their clients.

    Are all the doctors in a city competitors or are they colleagues who treat each other with respect. We can all learn from each other just as I do in this and several other forums. Heck I’ve even made some online friends here.

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    T you would have died laughing reading a post about me being an architect and loving color as a little girl – in a blog authored by a man! LOL

    Matt – I think you copied her 😉

    Mack – I don’t get it either, but it’s rough. If we can’t even get along within the industry, how do we expect to have a good reputation in the consumer’s eyes? If a Realtor is willing to steal someone else’s client, what does it say about what they are willing to do for THAT same client.

  9. Kim Wood

    September 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    You have run against crueler than cruel in the fierce competition there, Ines! (The below doesn’t apply to you)

    I think competition can be a good thing – it tends to keep you on your toes and constantly working to improve and be the very best.

    Copying? Sheesh – Idiot is what I call them – they can’t come up with something on their own.

  10. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Kim – for the benefit of the doubt, there are some big dogs in Miami who don’t want to take the time to blog or learn about it, hear it’s important for their business and hire someone to take care of it. Those “hired” people then steal content and plaster it all over the Realtors blogs making them look really bad. It’s happened to me with several people here and it has taken a phone call for them to be absolutely embarrassed and they remove the content right away.

    I’ve definitely been in cruel hands…..but it’s all good! 😉

  11. Matthew Rathbun

    September 15, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Ines,

    I think we (ok, mainly me) tend to spend too much time worrying out our enemies (the folks stealing or screwing with your porn, er um, website) and not enough on realizing that the folks hailing you as a hero are far greater in number.

    All these things are long term – the haters are short-term and have no staying power; which is why they are pursuing the short cuts that are proven not to work.

    You’re awesome – keep the course!

  12. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 15, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    You are so cool Matthew – thanks for that. We do tend to forget that the positive far outweighs the negative and a few jerks cannot ruin it for us. You are right……it’s not easy and the ones taking the easy route and short cut, will probably NEVER be any good at it anyway.

  13. Rich Jacobson

    September 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Whenever I think of competition, I think of that line from the movie “GumBall Rally”…where the French driver rips the rearview mirror of his expensive Ferrari, and says to his co-pilot, “Whatsa behind me, she’s a no matter!”….that’s the way we should live. Pedal to the metal, and no looking back!

  14. ines

    September 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

    You’re funny Rich – until of course you are rear-ended and then it gets ugly! 😉

  15. Linsey

    October 1, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Ines,

    As someone that is still relatively new to the blogging world, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the warmth and openness of the blogging community. As I work on finding my own voice, I consistently read the wonderful content on so many of these blogs. I’m committed to growing my blog as part of my business. I know how important these connections are and that content is sacred. For those that jump into this world and copy content, they won’t be participating long. They are participating on a superficial, temporary level.

    I also will repeat what my kids hear frequently from me: ‘The ripples we create return to us.’ For those that are nasty, it’s coming back around.

  16. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    October 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Hey Linsey – it’s all about attitude and common sense – I have complete confidence that you will have a successful blog – keep at it and those ripples will return to you.

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