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Opinion Editorials

Daniel Rothamel- AG’s Best of Writer series

The AG Best of Writer series is a culmination of the editorial team’s picks of a variety of authors’ most significant articles that have impacted the real estate industry. We hope you enjoy this look back and be sure to read the comments to the articles, as in many cases, they’re just as interesting as the articles themselves.

I wish more real estate bloggers would use Twitter

10.12.2007: “I admit it. I am into the whole social media thing. Facebook? Check. LinkedIn? Check. Twitter? Check. I am a self-professed information junkie, so I find these sites fascinating. I have also found that they are a great way for me to stay in contact not only with my clients, but with other RE.net bloggers out there. I have met plenty of new bloggers and made some great contacts by using Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter seems to be lacking a significant real estate voice, however.”

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How your business can benefit from social media right now

10.14.2007: “Did you ever go to a school dance? Was it awkward for you? Were you paralyzed by the fear of having to dance with a classmate, the fear of being rejected, the fear of embarrassment? The current Internet environment can be a lot like that sometimes. Let’s face it, if you are a real estate agent who is surveying the current Internet landscape and trying to figure out what your next step is going to be, it is very easy to get confused and to suffer paralysis. The Internet provides so many marketing opportunities that the choices can sometimes seem overwhelming.”

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Welcome to social media for real estate 101: Twitter

10.24.2007: “My post on social media in real estate was pretty well-received, which I was glad to discover. While I was writing the post, it quickly became apparent to me that one post was not going to be anywhere near enough time to cover all the things that I wanted to cover. It was also suggested to me that perhaps readers could benefit from a more in-depth look at social media to go along with my general primer. That is the beauty of social media at work, people. I write one blog post, people make suggestions to me through the comments, Facebook, etc., and here I am writing follow-ups. It’s a beautiful thing.”

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What I want from the National Association of Realtors

03.16.2008: “As group, the blogosphere has been pretty tough on the National Association of REALTORS. Much of it has been absolutely warranted. Some of it has been, in my estimation, overly harsh at times. I’m not particularly interested in adding to the already voluminous canon of NAR criticism. I am, however, extremely interested in seeing things change. So in this case, I think I might have to forgo my desire for the former, in order to fulfill my desire for the latter.”

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I will gladly pay my NAR dues. It’s a no brainer

05.01.2008: “I don’t know if you noticed, but fellow Agent Genius Bill Lublin wrote a post that started an interesting debate about the National Association of REALTORS. Barry Cunningham, host of Real Estate Radio USA, and blogger in his own right, posed an interesting question towards the end of his show on Wednesday. He asked the following: If, tomorrow, you could access the MLS anytime you wanted to, and you never had to pay NAR dues again, would you? Well, Barry, I’m glad you asked! My answer: HECK YES!”

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It’s time for the real estate industry to get engaged

06.04.2008: “This post was brought about by a thread on my local association blog about whether or not we should be feeding our listings to Zillow. I’m not going to re-open that debate here (so let’s try not to hi-jack the comment thread with Zillow diatribes). I want to discuss what I see as a schism developing between the attitude of consumers and the attitude of real estate professionals. I hope that by addressing this issue, the industry can avoid what could be a very messy break-up with the public.”

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Is “free” a bad thing?

07.09.2008: “One of the most interesting things about the current information age and Web 2.0 is the prevalence of “free.” Almost everything seems “free.” You can upload videos for free on YouTube, you can share pictures for free on Flickr, you can have crazy amounts of email storage for free on Gmail. The trend of free services continues in the real estate space– upload listings and have profiles for free on Trulia and Zillow, blog for free on ActiveRain, upload your real estate videos to Wellcomemat for free, the list goes on…”

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Your website sucks

08.21.2008: “Don’t talk to me about how great your website is. It sucks. No, really. It does. Mine does, too. Sure, it has all the bells and whistles. It has this really slick IDX search function, with a really cool lead capture feature that sends you an email within seconds so that you can respond to your customers in record time. It has a listings page that shows off all of your properties in all their photographic glory, with descriptions more eloquent than Shakespeare. There is page after page of information describing you and your services, and your promises, and the neighborhoods you work in. Heck, maybe you even have a blog, pushing interesting content to folks every day. Well, it still sucks.”

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Want your creativity to take flight? Constrain it first

09.28.2008: “Create something. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Having trouble coming up with something? Why? I just said, “create something.” I didn’t give you any crazy rules, or tell you what you had to create, just go and make something. That should have been easy. But it’s not. One of the funny things about creativity is that it functions best when it is all bound up, when it has walls to bang up against, when it has a space that needs to be filled, constraints to keep it in check.”

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What my dad taught me about basketball and real estate

10.21.2008: “My Dad is smart. I’ve talked about my Dad’s honesty before, but my Dad is also a very smart guy. He won’t tell you that. He’ll tell you that he was barely an average student through high school and college, and that he goofed-off a lot more than he should have. Since I know he won’t tell you, I’m going to tell you that my Dad is a smart guy, and I’m going to share with you one of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me…”

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Realtors should be more like travel agents

12.04.2008: “I know you’ve heard the comparisons before… “The Internet is going to disintermediate REALTORS just like it did travel agents.” Such a comparison is easy to make, especially given the fact that the man who shook up the travel industry with Travelocity.com also started a site you might have heard of– Zillow.com. I am now of the opinion, however, that REALTORS should try to be more like travel agents, well the successful travel agents, anyway.”

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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