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Opinion Editorials

Agent Genius Ranks #19 on Top Real Estate Blogs According to GeekRealEstate

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I have no idea how Geek Real Estate came up with their list, but it IS a great list and I just wanted to share.

Oh, and our very own Ines’ Miamism ranked #47, Daniel’s Real Estate Zebra made #49, **Mike Price’s MLBroadcast (sorry for the oversight …) made #44, and Teresa Boardman’s St. Paul Real Estate Blog ranked a stealth #16.

Way to go you guys!

**Update.

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Drew Meyers

    February 15, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I just clicked on the Geek Real Estate link and was re-directed to this site – https://www.century21waldorf.com/

  2. Hi, I'm Jeff Turner And I Got Here Before Rudy

    February 15, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I got Century 21 Waldorf as well. Are you saying they are geeks?

  3. Kelley Koehler

    February 15, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    think she meant geekrealtors.com?

  4. Ines

    February 15, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I’m always happy to make it on any list ( well…maybe not EVERY)

    Shall we make a list of our own? How about our own list of penguins?

  5. Mike Price

    February 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Marianna, Guess I’m chopped liver but my blog did come in at number 44. The list is at GeekRealtors.com. GeekRealEstate is indeed a C21 agent. Wonder how long it will be for they get the infamous NAR slap down for that domain name? To answer your question on how they did the rankings, they combined Google Page Rank with Technorati and Alexa Rankings.

  6. Mariana

    February 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Well… Nice to see y’all are paying attention! Apparently, I wasn’t. Geek Real Estate .com DOES redirect to some C21 site. Nice. I fix-ed it. Thank you for your patience… Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

  7. Mariana

    February 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Mike – Der. I fix-ed that one too. Sorry for the oversight. [refresh]

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    February 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Call me pissy but …

    My Technorati rank’s higher than much of the list. My Alexa rank is with most of the list, not that it makes that fact relevant in the slightest. My page rank is with the rest of the list.

    I’m behind a local blog that features one or two posts a month and none since mid-January.

    Of course I’m free to submit my own site but screw that. I’m not invisible. Neither’s my site.

    Whatever.

  9. Mike Price

    February 15, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I was just teasin ya Mariana but thanks for the link love just the same. 🙂

    JD, this list showed up in my technorati back links the other day, I’ve spent more time on it with these last couple of comments than I did when I saw it in the first place. You’re visible to anyone who matters, and that’s all that really matters in the matter, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

    MP

  10. Benn Rosales

    February 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    They’re gonna get a spanking from NAR, what a shame.

  11. Larry Yatkowsky

    February 16, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Does NAR mean Not Always Right?
    Methinks someone must have thought this before because with big brother watching I rarely have original thoughts. .>)

  12. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Hello every one. My name is Vlad. I was the one responsible for compiling the list and I apologize for missing anyone. Feel free to submit your blogs.

    It was my oversight regarding “geekrealtors” domain and not an attempt to infringe. In fact our goal was to bring a little more exposure to some great real estate blogs out there.

    @Johnathan Dalton- I believe there is another Arizona blog on the list. If my memory correct there are three Arizona blogs on the list. Your blog was not on the list until I read this thread. Now it is. Unfortunately the list updates only once a week.

    I also believe the fact that list is out there is more important what place your blog is at. Just think about it as an extra link to your website.

  13. Benn Rosales

    February 16, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Vlad, welcome to agentgenius.com

    I certainly understand why you used it, in fact, the original name of this site was realtorgenius.com until NAR said NO… You may want to be proactive and make the switch now because the c&d is probably going to be in your box in a few months (if not days or weeks). It was meant merely as an fyi, because I assure you, we at agentgenius.com don’t really care.

  14. Mariana

    February 16, 2008 at 10:45 am

    NAR= Not Always Right … LOL!

    Vlad – Hiya! Thank you for taking the time to put that list together.

  15. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 10:48 am

    @Ben. Thanks we’ll do all we cane to keep up our list, even if takes different domain.

    @Mariana. Thank you.

  16. Michael Price

    February 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Vlad, be sure to come back and comment when you move it to a new domain. Are you considering any additional metrics to rank the blogs?

  17. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Michael,

    I will definitely let you know about the new location of the list.

    I am not sure if we are ready to consider other metrics. Although all three Alexa, Google PR and Technorati statistics can be scrutinized, it is not possible to keep these statistics inflated for a longer period of time. I think for now combination of these three will do it. But we are opened to suggestions.

  18. Laurie Manny

    February 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Mariana, just went over to check it out and found myself on the list. Thanks Vlad!

  19. Mariana

    February 16, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    YAY Laurie! 🙂

  20. Jonathan Dalton

    February 16, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Vlad – appreciate the link but still a little wary of the concept. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the Technorati rankings, Alexa rankings (which ain’t worth much) and the rest. Blogtopsites tracks traffic. Is that better? Is traffic the goal?

    Not so sure …

  21. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Jonathan,

    Blogtopsites also gives you a link via redirect, we give a clean friendly link. Besides not every blog on our list has installed “blogtopsites” badges on their websites. We can have fun trying, can’t we?

  22. Dee Copeland

    February 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Awesome! I’m 74….look waaaaay down on the list! 🙂

  23. Vlad

    February 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Just in case any one follow comments here. In light of some suggestions the list was moved a new domain:
    http://www.top100realestateblogs.com

    Thanks every one for the feedback.

  24. Mariana

    February 21, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for the link, Vlad!

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Opinion Editorials

Improve UX design by tracking your users’ eye movements

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Research shows that the fastest way to determine user behavior and predict their response is by watching their eyesight. Use this data to improve your UX design.

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UX design being created by a designer on a laptop.

By design, an ice cream truck is meant to entice. It is colorful, stupidly loud with two whole songs from the 30s (usually off key because no one is left alive who can service those bells), and lots of colorful stickers that depict delicious frozen treats that look nothing like reality. If you need an off model Disney character that already looks a little melted even when frozen, look no further.

This is design in action – the use of clever techniques to drive engagement. Brightly colored decor and the Pavlovian association of hearing The Sting in chirpy little ding dings is all working together to encourage sales and interaction.

These principles work in all industries, and the tech sector has devoted entire teams, agencies, companies, groups, and departments to the study of User Experience (UX) explicitly to help create slick, usable applications and websites that are immediately understandable by users. Tools to improve utility exist by measuring user behavior, with style guides and accepted theories preached and sang and TED-talked all over.

The best way to check behavior is to observe it directly, and options to check where someone clicks has proven invaluable in determining how to improve layouts and designs. These applications are able to draw a heat map that shows intensified red color in areas where clicks congregate the most. An evolution of this concept is to watch eyesight itself, allowing developers a quicker avenue to determining where a user will most likely go. Arguably the shortest path between predicting response, this is one of the holy grails of behavioral measurement. If your eyes can be tracked, your cursor is likely to follow.

UX design can benefit greatly from this research as this article shows. Here’s some highlights:

Techwyse completed a case study that shows conversion on landing pages is improved with clear call-to-action elements. Users will focus on objects that stand out based on position, size, bright colors, or exaggerated fonts. If these design choices are placed on a static, non-interactive component, a business will lose a customer’s interest quickly, as their click is meant with no response. This quickly leads to confusion or abandonment. Finding where a person is immediately drawn to means you should capitalize on that particular piece with executable code. Want it boiled down? Grocery stores put Cheetos front and center, because everyone want them thangs.

Going along with this, Moz found that search results with attractive elements – pictures and video – are given much more attention than simple text. We are visually inclined creatures, and should never undervalue that part of our primal minds. Adding some visual flair will bring attention, which in turn can be leveraged usefully to guide users.

Here’s an interesting study – being that we are social animals, follow the gaze of others. If you’ve ever seen kittens watching a game of ping pong, they are in sync and drawn to the action. Similarly, if we notice someone look to the left, we instinctively want to look left as well. While this sounds very specific, the idea is simple – visual cues can be optimized to direct users where to focus.

The Nielsen Group says we look at things in an F pattern. I just think that’s funny, or at least a funny way to describe it. We follow from left-to-right (just like we read, and as websites are laid out using techniques first developed for newspapers, it naturally makes sense that we’d do the same). Of course, cultural or national differences arise here – right-to-left readers need the opposite. Always be sure to keep your target audience in mind.

Of course, there are several other findings and studies that can further promote idealistic layout and design, and it should always be the goal of designers to look to the future and evaluate trends. (Interestingly, eye tracking is the first option on this list!)

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Opinion Editorials

Easy ways to help an unhappy customer

(EDITORIAL) We’ve all had to deal with an unhappy client or two, and maybe some situations didn’t play out too well. Here are some simple tips that will help.

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unhappy client

Who here hasn’t had a client get aggravated for what seems like no good reason?

(Raise your hand!)

Who here hasn’t had that awkward “I hear what you’re saying, but…” conversation?

(More hands!)

Whether you’re providing marketing work, strategic planning services, graphic design ideas, or basic business advice, you’re going to run into the occasional client who Just. Is. Not. Here. For. It. And it can be so hard to help that unhappy client get back to a place where you can all come together to get the job done.

(Hands! Hands! Hands!)

Especially in this day and age of angry emoji reaction clicks, dealing with confrontational feedback can require a new level of diplomacy and tact. You’ve got an unhappy client who doesn’t have the ability to communicate their “why” to you, so instead, they go nuclear and your inbox is suddenly filled with the kind of unhappy vitriol you’re more used to seeing in your Facebook feed.

How do you handle it?

Because… you can actually handle it.

First and foremost, understand where the negative reaction is coming from. They’ve asked you for help with their cherished project. Maybe they wouldn’t be happy with anyone’s work. Maybe they can’t quite communicate what they want. Regardless of where the sticking point is, understand that the sticking point is (a) not your fault and (b) not going to be acknowledged by them.

So then, the second step… remove yourself from the criticism. Even if they make it personal, remove yourself from the situation. Look at it in terms of the work. The client wants X. You feel you have given them X, but they see it as Y. Can you see it from their perspective? Because if you can, you are way more than halfway there. Where are they coming from?

If this is an external review, on Google or such, just ignore it and move on. It’s done. You can’t argue it. But if it’s feedback you’re getting from a current client and your project is still in play… seriously, take a deep breath and give it a harder look. It might feel personal. But is it?

The best assumption to make is that there is something else going on. If you can keep your cool and work with your unhappy client to determine what’s making them uncomfortable, in a non-confrontational way, and to get them to an acceptable delivery — you’ve won. Because you’re continuing to provide them the service they’ve come to you for.

So take a look at the situation, and figure out the best response.

1. Is the argument clear?
Don’t waste your time trying to establish whether you’re right or they’re wrong. Instead, look at framing it in terms of what the client is trying to accomplish. Ask them to give you specific examples of what they hope to achieve. Allow them to tell you what they feel isn’t good… in fact, encourage them to tell you why they’re unhappy with what you’ve given them. All of this will help frame what they’re looking for and what you need to give them in round two.

2. Is their feedback relevant?
Well, yeah. There are times when you know that your client knows nothing. But they feel the need to demonstrate that They Know What They Are Doing.

Let them.

Just let them tell you, and let it go.

And… keep searching for that nugget of truth in what they’re saying. Their feedback may seem ridiculous. But what’s at the heart of it? Look for that. Look at this negative reaction as a signpost for what they’re truly after.

3. IS IT WORTH DEBATING?
This fits right in with number 2. They feel passionately that you need two spaces after every period. Is this something you really need to argue? CHOOSE. YOUR. BATTLES.

If your client really wants to engage on an issue … two spaces, or the use of a particular phrase … then let them say their piece. Then say your piece. But giving them room for an out. And once again, think about it from their perspective.

Maybe it’s someone who didn’t spend all their time in their first post-college job debating the niceties of the Oxford comma. Does it ultimately matter to the overall success of the project? If it does… go to the mat. Show them, with respect, why it’s important. But if it’s just a point of pride for you, the provider? Can you let it go?

I can’t sometimes. So I get it if you can’t. But still, it’s a good point to keep in mind. A good question to ask yourself, as a provider of a service. Which sword do you fall on… and why?

Clearly, you shouldn’t just roll over because a client has turned nasty. But neither should you turn every unhappy client response into your personal cause du jour. When you encounter negative, hostile client reactions, take a moment. Try to see it from their point of view. At the very least, the shift in perspective will help you handle their concerns. And at best, you’ll re-frame the discussion in a way that gives you both a handle on how to move forward.

You might learn from the exchange. Or maybe you’re just right, dammit. But you still have to think about what’s worth getting worked up over.

Finally, don’t let it bring you down. If it’s serious enough that you have to part ways over their reaction, help them do so amicably. Point them in the direction of someone you think might be able to accommodate their ideas. Stay positive for them, and for yourself. Then chalk it up to experience, and take the lessons on to the next client.

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Opinion Editorials

This website is like Pinterest for WFH desk setups

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) If you’ve been working from home at the same, unchanged desk setup, it may be time for an upgrade. My Desk Tour has the inspiration you need.

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Man browsing desk setups on My Desk Tour

Whether you’re sitting, standing, or reclining your way through the pandemic, you’re most likely doing it from home these days. You’re also probably contending with an uninspired desk configuration hastily cobbled together in 2020, which—while understandable—might be bringing you down. Fortunately, there’s an easy, personable solution to spark your creativity: My Desk Tour.

My Desk Tour is a small website started by Jonathan Cai. On this site, you will find pictures of unique and highly customized desk setups; these desk configurations range from being optimized for gamers to coders to audiophiles, so there’s arguably something for everyone—even if you’re just swinging by to drool for a bit.

Cai also implements a feature in which site users can tag products seen in desk photos with direct links to Amazon so you don’t have to poke around the Internet for an hour in search of an obscure mouse pad. This is something Cai initially encountered on Reddit and, after receiving guidance from various subreddits on the issue of which mouse to purchase, he found the inspiration to create My Desk Tour.

The service itself is pretty light—the landing page consists of a few desk setup photos and a rotating carousel of featured configurations—but it has great potential to grow into a desk-focused social experience of sorts.

It’s also a great place to drop in on if you’re missing the extra level of adoration for your desk space that a truly great setup invokes. Since most people who have been working from home since the spring didn’t receive a ton of advance notice, it’s reasonable to assume that the majority of folks have resigned themselves to a boring or inefficient desk configuration. With a bit of inspiration from My Desk Tour, that can change overnight.

Of course, some of the desk options featured on the site are a bit over the top. One configuration boasts dual ultra-wide monitors stacked atop each other, and another shows off a monitor flanked by additional vertical monitors—presumably for the sake of coding. If you’re scrambling to stay employed, such a setup might be egregious.

If you’re just looking for a new way to orient your workspace for the next few months, though, My Desk Tour is worth a visit.

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