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Who moved my cheese?



I am sure that as Genius Buddies, you have been asked to talk about blogging at local offices. Only 4% of real estate agents are blogging!! I find that absolutely bizarre and at the same time awesome…..more for us.Trick Question

Now, without sounding conceited or cocky (there is not a single ounce of that in my body…..although I have absolutely no lack of self-esteem), we have something here that a lot of others don’t. Some of us have not been blogging long but are taking full advantage of it for as long as it lasts and as my fellow genius Teresa Boardman said “There are marketing techniques that were never even dreamt of in the 80’s and I do my best to exploit them.”

So what am I getting at here? We use blogging to show what value we bring to the table, by blogging and sharing with each other we have become blogging experts. Our industry is looking to us to help them out and teach them to blog. Here’s the kicker…….if most agents are not even taking the time to read blogs, why would they even start blogging?

When I was asked 6 months ago to give a blogging class in the same market area I was honored but at the same time thought “what’s in it for me?”. Just last week I was asked by another broker to give a blogging class in my direct competing market.

……I’ll repeat that sentence to make a point…….

I was asked by another broker to give a blogging class in my direct competing market.

So I was supposed to jump for joy and share all my blood and tears with those same agents that stab me in the back share my farm area (not all are bad by the way…..just a couple). I politely declined.

Then I had a conversation with dear blogging friends and we discussed how we now have an added value to our services. This added value is that we blog, we are doing it and successfully. We COULD give it away (heck we do it at AG all day long), or we can actually get paid for it. Hmmmmm… that’s a concept.

So the purpose of this drawn out post was to make you think. Next time your local board, or another broker asks you to share your thoughts on blogging……will you say No, yes or how much?

***BONUS – whoever counts the correct number of times the word “blog, blogging or blogger” was written in the above post will get that delicious piece of Swiss Cheese***

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and 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.

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  1. Ricardo Bueno

    November 27, 2007 at 4:13 am


    I’d count the words to win the bonus but I’m afraid that by the time you mail the cheese it will have spoiled 🙁

    Speaking of blogging, Kathy McGraw and I held a class in Banning, CA. I suppose it was easier for me to host it given that I’m a Lender and not a Realtor so I wasn’t amongst competition. However, other Brokers in the local area were upset that we were giving away the “trade secrets.”

    In any case, to those that ARE blogging…blog on! Relationships are all about conversations. And a blog is after all just that, a conversation. One that we can use 24/7 to manage and generate new relationships!

    Great to see you here Ines.

  2. Jim Duncan

    November 27, 2007 at 8:42 am

    I actually do these infrequently in my market, but don’t look at it necessarily as competition.

    Eventually, they’re going to do it anyway, and I’d rather they do it right (or more right) from the start.

    Helping others set the bar higher from the start benefits us all – bloggers and Realtors. And hopefully, I’ll be able to dissuade some from even starting (it’s a lot of work!)

  3. ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Ricardo – glad to see YOU here as well. I think for the lending industry is a bit different because you are not only targeting the consumer but other real estate agents as well. Look at what Brian Brady is doing….he’s all over the place and we love him for it.

    Jim – I wrote this post to spark conversation because I agree with you. I don’t mind sharing at all and I constantly give it away and go out of my way to teach.
    My question though, since we have been doing it longer and have learned a great deal along the way, is whether our “blogging knowledge” is worth something, monetarily speaking.

  4. ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Ricardo – it’s virtual cheese….never goes bad! : )

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    November 27, 2007 at 9:25 am

    The same thought’s been on my mind for a bit … I have a title company who’d like me to teach a short version. I’m debating putting together a credit-hour version of a blogging class.

    But for that, CTC will be in play.

  6. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Jonathan – a credit-hour version sounds like a great idea without a doubt. What’s CTC?

  7. Benn Rosales

    November 27, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    agentgenius lends to your cred. which is why you’re here- you’re in the top tier. I’m so glad to read that you’re getting it.

  8. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Benn – I appreciate that – I think more of us are getting it every day.

  9. Jay Thompson

    November 27, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    One of the sadder facts of life is you can stand in front of 100 agents, GIVING AWAY the “secrets” and you’ll be lucky if 3 of them do anything with it.

  10. Lani Anglin

    November 27, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    15 references to the word blog, 18 if you count the bonus instructions, now where’s my chiiz? 🙂

  11. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    [SIGH] @ Jay! you are right…but like I said….more for us!

    Lani – the CHEESE QUEEN!! (I can’t believe you actually counted them)

  12. mariana

    November 27, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Ugh. I go back and forth with this.
    First and foremost I agree w/ Jay. I train for our local offices and it is a rare time that I teach something and anything I say goes past, “Wow. Great idea.” which leads me to believe that I could pull money out of my armpit with the word “BLOG” all over it and I would not have anymore competition than I do now.

  13. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Mariana – then why waste your time teaching?
    I think we wear our hearts on our sleeves when we blog and anyone interested needs to at least start reading.

  14. Benn Rosales

    November 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    … and commenting.

  15. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 9:43 am

    I *heart* teaching. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy – even if no one listens (or almost no one). I feel like at least I have made an attempt to educate the agents of today … but I have yet to discuss blogging at any length. …still on teh fence…

  16. Ines

    November 28, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    didn’t mean to ignore you Mariana – as long as you are teaching for you own reasons……although you SHOULD be getting paid IMHO.

  17. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I DO get paid, so it is all good!

  18. Ines

    November 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    AHA!! So you make my point! It’s ALL Good!

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.



The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.



instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.



When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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