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Growing the Conversation at AG

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Although we spent last night dreaming of all the ways to punk readers of Agent Genius, Benn thought we should keep things on the up and up. So, today would be the perfect time to make an announcement so big that either your head will pop or you’ll feel called to go eat ice cream!!! Keep reading…

Recently, a commenter came out of nowhere and mixed things up right away. Always on point, thorough and often funny, these comments have catapulted a new blogger into the forefront of rational thought in the real estate blogiverse. Benn invited him to come join AgentGenius.com and we are proud to announce Bill Lublin as the newest contributor on AG! This Philly Real Estate Broker has joined the fold to speak amongst the best and brightest in the real estate conversation.


bill lublin=new AG contributor=genius!


Things to know about Bill Lublin

(1) “I can get in a disagreement with someone and then take them out to ice cream.” Yes, that’s a quote from Bill. Seriously.

(2) Instead of whining about the status quo, Bill is very hands on with leadership- he’s a 2008 Chair of the Professional Standards Committee, a member of the NAR Risk Management Committee, and the Chair of a Presidential Workgroup. Dang, when do you sleep, Bill??

(3) Bill’s no dummy (or at least the bio on his website that I’ve copied and pasted from says so)! He has a degree from Penn State, has a bunch of letters on his business card (GRI, CRBM, etc) and is the former President of the Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTORS, was appointed to GPAR REALTORS Hall of Fame in 1998, and has been a State Certified Real Estate Instructor since 1979! Sounds like an overachiever to me, let’s beat him up for his lunch money! (just teasing, Bill- you can keep your lunch coins)

(4) Bill used to be in Cirque De Soliel and had to quit on account of his real estating taking up too much time.

One of those things is false, but the other three are impressively true! On a serious note, I had a long conversation over the phone with Bill today and learned that despite his heavyweight credentials and leadership roles, he is an extremely down to earth guy with an awesome sense of humor and will appreciate ice cream and Cirque De Soliel being mentioned in his debut.

Please help us in welcoming Bill Lublin to Agent Genius!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Bill Lublin

    April 1, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    So much for setting expectations low enough for me to meet them – 🙂

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    April 1, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I am incredibly happy to see Bill join the family! I finally get to be a big brother, awww…. It’s just not the fact that I am no longer the rookie author; but I have REALLY enjoyed Bill’s insight and comments on many posts. Awesome to have you to read!

  3. Andy Kaufman

    April 1, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Welcome Bill!

    Can’t wait to hear about the cirque.

  4. monika

    April 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Well… I can’t wait to read more. So Bill will you be in DC in May?

  5. Rob Aubrey

    April 1, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Welcome Bill. Look forward to some Philly slant. You can take the boy out of philly

  6. Jim Duncan

    April 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Well done, Bill. Welcome.

  7. Daniel, the Real Estate Zebra

    April 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Lani,

    It’s not nice to tell falsehoods about people being in the GPAR Hall of Fame. 😉

    Bill,

    Glad to see you aboard. Loved your comments, now looking forward to your posts.

  8. Vicki Moore

    April 1, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Welcome to the crew. Looking forward to hearing you stir it up.

  9. Liz Luby

    April 1, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Bill…you don’t waste any time! Nice work. I’ll be a faithful reader. Best, Liz

  10. Jay Thompson

    April 2, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Excellent!! I didn’t “meet” Bill until recently, but have been impressed with his candor and humor (and he writes really long comments — longer than me!)

    Welcome aboard!

    Penn State huh. I used to work with Joe Paterno’s son. Not that that really matters.

  11. John Lauber

    April 2, 2008 at 5:25 am

    That’s super Bill. I live and work just outside of Philly myself. I definitely need to keep an eye on you now. Looking forward to your posts.

  12. Mark Lesswing

    April 2, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Bill, you are as engaging in print as you are in person!

  13. Laura S Flournoy

    April 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Me too!
    …. I didnt see an answer to Monika about DC in May?
    Will you all be there? And will you attend the Gen X & Y work session?

  14. ines

    April 2, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Penn State??? PENN STATE!!!! there goes the neighborhood.

  15. Bill Lublin

    April 2, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    @Matthew – always wanted to have a big brother – but boy are you old 🙂
    @Andy- I worked the Cirque in the Show “O” – I was the guy that cleaned the big bucket of water
    @Monika – Yes I will be in DC and hope to see lots of you guys there too! I would love to have the opportunity to actually meet the faces in front of these beautiful minds!
    @Rob – But you can’t take the Philly out of the biy…. What street did you parents grow up on? I may have sold a house there 🙂
    @Jim – Thanks You got me started – Is this a case of be careful what you wish for? 🙂
    @Daniel – High Praise from the worshipful Zebra!
    @Vicki – Thanks – Hope to live up to the crew’s high standards!
    @Liz – See what an inspiration you were?
    @Jay – Working with JoePa’s son – being next to greatness (I mean he was next to greatness working with you !)
    @John- Loving the Rock! – I have a house in East Pikeland I need to get sold – 360 Western Rd- Check the MLS and hook me up please!
    @Mark – Thanks for your kind words – we’ll talk in May 😉
    @Laura – I fly to LA tomorrow so I was remiss in getting on line today (actually had to do office stuff- what a drag) Yes I will be there and I would love to attend the session if it doesn;t conflict with Rosk Management or professional Standards Meetings (I had that commitment first) but I hope to meet as many of the geniuses as possible
    @Ines – Yes, Penn State (Formerly the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania founded in 1855) – Not the first time I made values plummet by my mere presence –

    Thank you all for your welcoming remarks and your patience with my fumbling attempts at writing, and thank you Lani and Benn for your invitation as well as your warmth and encouragement – you are all truly special people

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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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