Opinion Editorials

AG shutters Agent/Genius

agentgenius

agentgeniusAgent/Genius holds a lot of history

Fully 9,000 articles still live here on this site, along with hundreds of thousands of comments, and so much meaning in every single one of them. We have accomplished so much in the real estate industry. We launched REBarCamp right here, and we took on NAR, vendors, crappy antiquated products sold to agents, and we ushered in a new era of technology in an industry. There were so many flame wars that we literally had ’round the clock debates about the future of the industry. Many of the changes we argued for, members take for granted today as normal. We certainly didn’t personally change an industry, but we challenged an industry to change itself, and we give that credit to those who took on that challenge.

Going back through the early pages of Agent/Genius, especially 2007-2008, at one time we provided a platform for hundreds of writers, up to 90 at one time, many of whom we still call dear friends, and that you’ve probably seen on stage. If you search “Twitter 101” here on AGBeat and read the comments, you’ll witness the very first Twitter article ever written to the real estate industry, and see many recognizable names, and you might be surprised at some of their comments. The same goes for Facebook and many other social tools. To me it’s quite moving – they were awesome times. We were even awarded an Inman Innovator Award in 2008 that still graces my office.

I can remember when we first hit 50k readers a month, I had to hire Lani to help herd all of the cats that were writing for us, and I recall Jonathan Dalton writing “Behold the Mega Blog” just after we became a real brand with our iconic orange that you still see today in our current logo and theme on The American Genius (minus our running man logo with the slogan “are you keeping up?”)

Agent/Genius was never about me, or the individual voices here, it was always about our readers – hence my dismay at signing autographs at the Inman Conference in San Francisco; I was both honored and terrified at the same time.

I could write all day about the beautiful memories we have of Agent/Genius, but right now, we’re looking ahead. The American Genius is who we are, again, the first to see a problem in the real estate industry, and bring in other industries, who share the common identities outside of their titles, that identity being entrepreneurs. You deserved a news publication that wrote to you and still writes to you as professionals. If you read AG, then you were likely the first to know that Gowalla was shuttering, and that Facebook had snatched them up at the last minute. We’ve cut our teeth on so many stories that you heard here first, only to watch jealous competitors regurgitate the story and fail to give us our due credit or attribution (which still happens today, three times just in the past two weeks).

Taking on business has been an immense challenge worth fighting, but it couldn’t be done properly by fighting the politics of the industry in which we were born, here in the pages of The American Genius. You deserve better.

So as you see, the Agent/Genius flag is being lowered, but not out of defeat, but because we won – we’re bigger, better, and stronger than ever, and what’s coming in the very near future from us will be even greater. The American Genius raises the bar for the professionals we have served from day one, and although our growth left some behind that love the fight and fodder of insider politics, those things have no place here on The American Genius. We’ll still cover economics, housing, indicators, and commercial real estate that real estate pros should be sharing with their audience, knowing it’s truthful, accurate, and that we are typically first to publish. That’s been our mission, because our real estate, and entrepreneurial family deserves the news now, as do our nearly 5 million other readers.

I should have written this to you two years ago, but I wasn’t ready to let go. And for that, I am sorry. We’re not done with real estate, no, we’ve grown a lot, and we see publishing in the real estate space in a new light, and we’re about to turn those lights on for you.

And with that cryptic message, Agent/Genius signs off the air today, but The American Genius Network begins.

Thank you so much for eight wonderful years, for adapting, and for your strong support of The American Genius.

Founder, Publisher, and humbly yours,
Benn Rosales

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Robert Drummer

    April 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Looking forward to the next chapter.

  2. Roberta Murphy

    April 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Heart was first caught in throat, then it soared. LOVE AMERICAN GENIUS! It is needed now, more than ever.

  3. Matt Stigliano - @rerockstar

    April 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Farewell AgentGenius. You were my introduction to who I wanted to be in real estate and helped guide me and shape me – both as a news source and a starting point. You introduced me to some fantastic people and gave me tons to think about. I’m honored to have been a writer with you, a trek that helped kick start my love of and understanding of the world of blogging. I will always be thankful for the countless hours you entertained, informed, and debated with me. Whatever may be coming, you will never be replaced.

    • agbenn

      April 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      An original AG old school throw back

  4. jay clarendon

    April 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    For those of us who led the industry in hardcore real estate blogging back in 2006-2007 we will always have sweet memories of Benn and Lani and AG.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  5. Doug Francis

    April 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I remember reading every article in 2009 and thinking, “wow, there is a lot that I need to learn…” Thank you writers of Agent Genius for helping me understand the potential of reaching consumers on the Interweb. Thank you, thank you!

  6. Eric Sachs

    April 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Several years ago you ran a story about our new, unheard of start up. It was a great moment for us and helped us launch our company and we are forever grateful. We love what you do and the voice you bring to the real estate industry. So, THANK YOU and we can’t wait to see where you go with American Genius.

  7. Ken Brand

    April 8, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Congratulations and Thank You for all you’ve done for so many. Personally and professionally, your impact on my success has been LARGE and lasting. Long live the King AG, All hail the new King, American Genius. Benn and Lani, thank you, speed, grace and success.

  8. lorennason

    April 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Congratulations. Excited to keep reading as the chapters unfold.

  9. Gwen Banta

    April 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I’m happy for your leap forward, yet a bit emotional about letting go of the past. Thank you for everything – especially for being the skippers of my R.E. boat. You kept me on course, and I will follow my captains…

  10. Brandon Alderete

    April 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Y’all are the best.

  11. Jon Aston

    April 8, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Congrats on both past and future successes. XOJA.

  12. Ben Martin

    April 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    While I was never an agent, and certainly never a genius, I’m proud to have once been affiliated with AG. I’ll be in ATX in a few weeks. Let’s meet up!

    • agbenn

      April 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      We’d love to carve out some time! We’ll reach out for your itinerary.

  13. Lenore Wilkas

    April 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    You will be missed but I’m looking forward to the new version.

  14. Missy Caulk

    April 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Awesome for you and Lani, you are always ahead of the game. Thank you for training me in so many ways. Lani, the little bit of html I learned. Ha! Your wisdom and advice. So now that it is American Genius my question is, is that sorta like America Exceptionalism?

    “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace.”John F. Kennedy

    • agbenn

      April 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      It’s exactly American Exceptionalism! We both love you dearly Missy, thank you so much for your contributions to the industry, and your unwavering friendship with Lani and I. You’re the best!

  15. John Lynch

    April 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Just feels like AG has always evolved in a direction that fit my need for information and challenges…. from real estate and to topics on small business. A helpful place for entrepreneurs, great content, and I will enjoy the evolution of your Genius. Cheers!

  16. Gabe Sanders

    April 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Looking forward to your evolution to a better place.

  17. agbenn

    April 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

    You’ll still get that here, just minus one industries politics. 🙂

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