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How the Heck Did I End Up Here?



Andy Kaufman’s BarCamp Block badge

In case we’ve never met, let me introduce myself. My name is Andy Kaufman and I’m a founding member of the MyEastBayAgent team out in the Bay Area where we specialize in working with investors and selling bank owned REO properties.

If I HAD to describe myself, I’d say that I’m part snarky agent and part super geek who radiates an egoless kind of cool… but I’d rather not talk about myself, so pretend you never saw that. Besides, if you’ve seen me around on facebook or twitter, you’d probably already know most of that anyway.

One of the recurring themes that I’ll be talking about here on AG is community. Building and feeding a vibrant community that works together to help everyone achieve their goals is how we’re building our business, and I’d love to share with you how we’re going about doing it.

Looking back, I had been unknowingly doing this in some capacity for the past 15 years, but the concept that I could create abundance through building and contributing to communities didn’t really take hold in my consciousness until about a year and a half ago. Not to say that I hadn’t been exposed to the idea, but that’s when it finally clicked.

In August 2006, I was the the end of my rope. As I was immersing myself in the Bay Area tech community and building my knowledge of social media and bleeding edge technologies, I found myself migrating away from real estate. As luck would have it, I saw that Blogging Systems was hiring Community Managers to support their new product, a blogging platform which they called Community Publisher.

Community building is hard work. It’s extremely time intensive and needs to be done with authenticity and passion in order to succeed and it was soon became apparent that the model that we were working with just wasn’t going to work. As a result, in early 2007 I found myself back at square one.

Even then, with a floundering business and an abandoned blog, I knew that I had a growing network and unique knowledge base along with a burning desire to keep adding to both.

Most importantly, I had a seedling planted in my psyche that would lead me to where I find myself today. I was convinced that I could utilize social media technologies to transform my existing network into an active community and that by feeding and providing value to that community, opportunities would come my way…

…yada yada yada, now I’m here on AG. Sure, I’ll fill in the blanks as time goes by, but I wanted to spare you from what, in draft form, was turning out to be a monster of a post that no one would read completely without falling asleep.

Long story short, I’m super excited to be here and I’m looking forward to seeing you around.

flickr photo credit: brian solis / Taken at BarCamp block.

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Brad Coy

    December 22, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Andy Kaufan… a genius? I though you knew. Great to see you blogging again and in a forum were you can really put your talents to work. I know I’ll be reading.

  2. Brad Coy

    December 22, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    err.. that’s Kaufman. Sorry Andy.

  3. Mariana

    December 22, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    YAY for Andy! (Your picture kills me, BTW) Nice to see you here on AG!

  4. Benn Rosales

    December 22, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    It’s about time… better later than never.

  5. Andy Kaufman

    December 23, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Brad – glad you cleared that up

    Mariana – you like that, eh? I’ve got more where that came from.

    Benn – pipe down over there. don’t you have a fire to go and throw gas on? 😉

  6. Mike Mueller

    December 23, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Glad to see you here Andy!
    Woo Hoo!

  7. Jeremy Hart

    December 27, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Way to go, Andy! Nice to see you on AG!

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Business Marketing

Easy email signature builder quickly updates your info

(BUSINESS MARKETING) When’s the last time you updated your email signature? That long? You might want to look at just sign, a new, quick, and easy, email signature generator.



just sign email

The last thing any of us are thinking about right now is email. While we’re all staying safer at home, though, it’s a good time to think about all the little things that need our attention, but typically get neglected: clearing out the email inbox, unsubscribing from things no longer relevant, and updating our email signatures. Why the email signature?

Oftentimes, we change emails when we change jobs and forget to change our signatures to reflect our new address. The same is true with social media; if we happen to change jobs, due to our own choice or by necessity thanks to the virus, we may need to update our social media profiles accordingly, especially if the new job suddenly makes this a requirement.

One of the fastest ways to update your email signature is with a generator. An email signature generator can help you quickly make a professional looking signature in about half the time it would take you to manually add each individual component.

Just Sign is one of the quickest options I’ve seen. This email signature generator is ultra simple, ultra easy, and ultra effective. It allows you to add clickable social links, a profile picture or logo, and all relevant contact information. It also allows you to choose a color scheme and tailor the formatting a bit to your preferences. As you begin to add options to your signature, you can see a preview of what the final product will look like in the right-hand panel.

Just Sign welcome

This allows you to make any necessary changes before downloading the finished product. When you have your signature perfected, simply click the purple “generate signature” button and you’re ready to go.

Just Sign is an easy, quick way to check another thing off your to-do list while we’re all at home. If you have already updated your signature, you might save this link for later use as it’s a good idea to revisit your signature a few times a year. Oftentimes, I revise mine simply to keep the attached picture updated. Have you updated your signature lately? Do you plan to? Let us know what you think of Just Sign.

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Business Marketing

How one employer beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.



Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make personnel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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Business Marketing

in 2021 the EU will enforce ‘right to repair’ for phones and tablets

(BUSINESS NEWS) The EU says NO to planned obsolescence by…letting you fix your own stuff? The right to repair has started to make headway again.



Right to repair

Not to be a loyalist turncoat about it, but sometimes the European Union comes out with stuff that makes me want Texas to go back to being Mexico, and then back to being Spain.

The latest in sustainability news from across the pond is that in 2021, the Old World is saying no to Euro-trash, and insisting on implementing:

Right to repair laws
Higher sustainable materials quotas
Ease of transfer for replaced items (ie: letting you sell your old phone without the need for jailbreaking anything)
and Universal adaptors for things like phone chargers, and connection cables


Consumers worldwide have been feeling the pinch of realizing their (cough cough, mostly Apple brand) technology not only breaks easily, but either can’t be fixed afterwards, or requires costly branded repairs.

The phenomenon has given rise to rogue mobile repair shops, Reddit threads, and renegade fix-it philanthropists like Louis Rossman. And while they certainly HELP, the best thing for a problem is to cut it off proactively. Since companies were making too much money not picking up the slack, the EU’s decided to take the steps to force their hands.

I’m always on my soapbox, but I’ll stack another one on top for this: Planned obsolescence and the assumption that a company has any right to tell you you can’t repair, restore, revamp, or re-home your own possessions are obscene. And to be fair to Apple fans, it’s not just in tech—it’s in damn near everything that’s not meant to be EATEN. Literally.

I bought a STAPLER for a volunteer gig I had. A good, sturdy Staedtler one that I figured would serve the project and continue to stand me in good stead for a while. After a few dozen price tags attached to baggies, the stapler jammed, as staplers do. No worries, you find a knife and wedge out the stuck staple…except I couldn’t. Because the normal slot for that was covered by a metal plate literally welded in place so that I couldn’t perform a grade-school level fix on something I paid for less than 24 hours prior.

Rather than stand behind a product that’s supposed to last, companies, even down to simple office ware, have opted to tinker away to force consumers to trash their current products to buy newer ones. Which I did in the stapler case. A rusty second hand one that didn’t HAVE that retroactive BS ‘Let’s create a problem’ plate on it, meaning no company but the resale non-profit I was helping out in the first place got any more money from me.

Consumers are wising up, and fewer lawmakers are still stuck in the fog of the 90s and 2000s surrounding our everyday machinery. The gray areas are settling into solid black and white, and SMART smart-businesses here stateside will change their colors accordingly.

Now while we’re all still quarantined and hoping for these laws to wash up onto American shores…who has craft ideas for the five-dozen different chargers we all have?

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