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Opinion Editorials

AG Gang Grows by One

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Okay, so maybe we’re not a gang, but I should note that more than one contributor here has an AG tattoo and may be packin’ heat (well at least packin’ a fancy pen).

In seriousness, we are *very* excited to announce that another genius has joined the bunch, so please put your hands together for Danilo Bogdanovic! Danilo is one of the original real easte bloggers and has been doing this for some time. You remember him from real/Diablog and he is one of Loudoun County, Virginia’s finest Realtors. He’s integrated social media into his business and you can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and various other social networks.

We look forward to hearing Danilo’s take on all things real estate and his uncanny ability break news, and we know that he will add a special spice to the agentgenius.com conversation!

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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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Matthew Rathbun

    June 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    VIRGINIA IS FOR BLOGGERS, BABY! Totally cool!

  2. Candy Lynn

    June 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Congrats to D!

  3. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 4, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Looking forward to being a part of AG and thanks for the opportunity!

  4. Jeremy Hart

    June 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Clap Clap Clap!

  5. Jim Duncan

    June 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Again with the math …

    Danilo is one of the most forward-thinking Realtors/bloggers/people out there, and we are privileged that he’s joined us here.

    Welcome, D!

    PS – Virginia ROCKS.

  6. Chris Shouse

    June 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Congrats Danilo look forward to reading your posts.

  7. Eric Blackwell

    June 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Hey Danilo!

    a) Congrats! Looking forward to your posts..
    b) Google Todd Kaufman…grin…me and Jay err…Jay and I (since he’s in first) still going strong.

    Eric

  8. Ricardo Bueno

    June 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Welcome to the club Danilo!

  9. Vicki Moore

    June 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I have a tattoo so you must be packin’. Welcome to the gang.

    Vicki

  10. Jay Thompson

    June 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    As long as he leaves Todd Kaufman county assessor behind, he’s welcome here. 😉

    (Goolge him if you don’t know the story…

    Welcome Danilo!

  11. Jim Duncan

    June 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Hey – did someone say Todd Kaufman, the Loudoun County Assessor was coming by? 🙂

    Jay – what’s a Goolge?

  12. Daniel Rothamel

    June 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    What a great graphic!

  13. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 4, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Excellent, and welcome. Look forward to reading your thoughts.

    @ Jim Duncan RE: Todd Kaufman – LOL, that was one funny situation. A prime example of what NOT to do online.

  14. Eric Blackwell

    June 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    definition: Goolge – The word that you type when you are tired and have used your LAST bit of brain power on solving the math equation! (grin)

    Best to all;
    Eric

  15. Bill Lublin

    June 4, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Danilo – Can’t believe you let Matthew get the first word in on this one – and wouldn’t you rather be a lover then a blogger – ooops different conversation
    Welcome – Really looking forward to reading your stuff.
    Does this mean that next time we have dinner in DC you pick up the tab for the group?
    🙂

  16. Russell Shaw

    June 5, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Lani used a real dumb picture of me. I think she really likes you, Danilo. Yes, Bill, it does mean that Danilo will pick up the tab. Welcome.

  17. Jay Thompson

    June 5, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Ok all you smart a$$es, give me a hard time about typing “Goolge”

    Go ahead, put it in your browser and see where you wind up…try Googel too…. and Gogole. Really, try them.

    The scary thing, and a testament to their branding, is you guys knew exactly who I was referring to, even with the mistake.

    Misspelled domain names and keywords can be valuable!

    My lovely home, Phoenix is frequently misspelled/typo’ed “Pheonix”. My blog is #1 on Google for the misspelled term “Pheonix real estate” and #2 for “Phenix real estate”. And dozens of people find it every day that way. I’ll sell them a house, even if they can’t type or spell….. 🙂

  18. Rich Jacobson

    June 5, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Oh, Goody! I’m not the newb anymore! Welcome to the AG crowd, Danilo. Nice dew!

  19. Matthew Rathbun

    June 5, 2008 at 5:15 am

    Jay: Glad to know that you cornered the niche market of illiterate consumers in “Feonix”. 🙂

    Danilo: My wife asked “Is that they guy we had dinner with in Richmond? Does he ever stop smiling?”

    Todd sends his wishes, but didn’t want to put it in writing, as he thought someone would put his face on a donkey’s butt….. you know what I mean…. 🙂

    Bill: Why can’t one be a lover and a blogger? Have you been married that long? Last night the kids were gone, the storm was over top of our house and the electricity was off…. I wasn’t doing no writing, you know what I’m say’in? Yet, here I am this morning right back on the blog! I have skills that way! 🙂

    VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS, BLOGGERS AND AWESOME FREAKING REALTORS!!!!!

  20. Heather Elias

    June 5, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Congrats, Danilo! AG gets a little bit better every day… =) (and Virginia bloggers rock, of course!)

  21. Robert D. Ashby

    June 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Welcome aboard and I look forward to seeing your contributions!

  22. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS

    June 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I got to hear all the gory Todd Kaufman details. Maybe we could convince D to regale us with the story when the anniversary of the imbroglio comes around.

  23. ines

    June 9, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I’m packing……so you must have the tattoo or is it Vickie?

  24. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 10, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Ben – maybe over happy hour sometime. We’ll see…

    Matt – I’m always smilin when there’s food and drinks in front of me 🙂

    Jim – Yes, Virginia rocks! And thanks.

    Bill and Russell – I missed the part about picking up the tab as part of the initiation process. (Lani must have “forgotten” to tell me)

    As for tattoos or packin…I’ll never tell 😉

    Now back to working on my local blog’s Gogole SEO. Better call Jay for advice on that one.

    Thanks everyone!

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Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.

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strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

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Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.

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Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

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Opinion Editorials

The one easy job interview question that often trips up applicants

(EDITORIAL) The easiest interview questions can be the hardest to answer, don’t let this one trip you up – come prepared!

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Women sitting nervously representing waiting for a remote job interview.

A job interview is tough, and preparing for them can seem impossible. There are some questions you can expect: what is your experience in this position? How would you handle this situation? And so on.

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But what about this question: what makes you happy? Though it may seem straightforward, getting to the right answer is not such an easy path.

Work engagement

According to research, less and less employees feel like they are truly engaged at work. Some blame the work environment but truth be told, it is not a company’s responsibility to make you happy.

Without a passion for what you are doing, you will never enjoy the job.

It is the best case for everyone. More engaged workers are more productive in addition to feeling like they serve a purpose.

Do your due diligence

So before finding yourself in an interview where you have to take an awkward pause before answering this question, the best thing is to do some research. It all starts with the job search.

When looking for a job it is easy to get caught up in high profile company names and perks.

For instance, although “Social Media Coordinator” may not be your thing, the position is open at the cool advertising agency downtown. Or perhaps the company offers flexible hours and free lunch Fridays. The problem is that these perks aren’t worth it in the long run. Working for a cool company can be exciting at first, but it is not sustainable without passion for the position.

It’s important to pay attention to is the position you are applying for.

Is this work that you are passionate about? Take a look at the job responsibilities and functions. Besides figuring out if those are things that you can do, ask yourself if they are things that you want to do. Is this an opportunity that will match your strengths and give you purpose?

Let your passion protrude

With all things considered, when asked “what makes you happy” at the next interview, you will be able to answer honestly. Your passion will be apparent without having to put on an act.

Even if they don’t ask that question, there is no downside to knowing what makes you happy.

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