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Opinion Editorials

Defining Your Content – Blogging & Socially



original image courtesy of dramaqueeennora

Are you a Superhero?

We have a lot of questions to wrestle with on this issue. We all wear many hats, and I want to talk about all of them! I want to demonstrate my broad range of talent and knowledge, and I certainly want to be as inclusive as I possibly can be- I want to be a Superhero to everyone! Right?

Not Always

If you’re doing a local blog, and your business is local, then be local. People are not searching for a person in particular in most searches- they’re searching for information, so why not give it to them?

They Really Don’t Care About You

So it’s up to you to make them care. Every time you’re with a client, are you listening to them? I mean really listening to them…

Ask them questions:

  • How did you find me?
  • What did you mostly search for when online?
  • What did you think of the places you found?
  • Did you find the information to be absolutely solid?
  • How long did you search?
  • What took you so long to decide to buy?
  • What was your obstacle?
  • What search sites did you use?
  • Was there information you could not find specifically?
  • What could have helped you make a decision to buy or sell?
  • Have you seen my blog?
  • What did you think?
  • What information could I put there to help other buyers and sellers?

Buyers & Sellers are Your Fountain of Youth

A converted buyer or seller is the most valuable audience you have. Forget about other Realtors in your market, forget about the real estate blogging community and what they may think- just do your damn homework.


Ask to buy your clients dinner the very first day you meet, and take a list much like the one I’ve already described.

What Good is All of This?

Simple- this is your audience, and you have them right in front of you, and if you are like most, you’re looking for material. Once your clients have closed a home in the neighborhood with you, you now have participants who are intimately involved in your blog- how awesome is that? You also have tons of material and plenty to focus on.

Why This is Better Than Pulling From Forums

Because, you haven’t converted the asker into a buyer or seller from the forum, so technically, they’ve not gone far enough in the process to really lend valuable feedback. You need to know what finally converted your buyer or seller, right? You want to repeat or replicate their input to bring exactly that buyer or seller over and over again.

The Key to Open Doors

Each time you sell in a different price point (you know your market) repeat the above. Learn what differences there are between your various sets of buyer and sellers. Evaluate what marketing is most valuable to them, and what pulled them into the market, and find a middle in your blog.

Invite Them in

No matter what you do, invite them in! Ask them if they wouldn’t mind participating in your blog in the future to help other buyers? Would they mind writing about their experience? Would they mind helping you in your new neighborhood? Offer them a nice rate reduction on their future sale for their participation in neighborhood cheerleading! How?

In your meetings ask and invite!

  • Are you on Twitter?
  • Are you on Facebook?
  • Are you on Myspace?

Ask and Promote!

  • Do you blog?
  • Do you have a small business?

Socialize Your Consumer

If this is a neighborhood you frequent, invite all of your clients out to dinner on you! Socialize them, introduce them, and solidify relationships. I’ve found it is most useful to have a sit down rather than a BBQ. This allows you to use your knowledge of each client specifically to make connections rather than folks standing in an awkward corner. This is a networking dinner, this is where we talk about our social networks, small businesses, and your goals in building a stronger neighborhood in promoting their interests, not about asking for referrals.

Stay tuned, more to come…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Matt Thomson

    July 23, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I really like this list…I feel I do a pretty good job of doing many of the things that you’re talking about here (asking and promoting, socializing them), but not as intentionally as I should. I like your list of questions…things I stumble around but generally don’t ask directly.

  2. Irina Netchaev

    July 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

    You are so right! We are so busy asking our real estate social friends, looking at reports, etc when are consumers are right in front of us. Love the list and suggested question. Something to chew on (while sitting down of course :-)) and implement!

  3. Rocky

    July 23, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Very good points. Engaging the client is just as imporant as getting them to buy. This is where and how you find the ever elusive “referral!’

  4. Paula Henry

    July 23, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Thansk so much Benn! Often, I get so involved in the transaction, I forget many of these things. You’re right of course, who better to ask how we are doing online than a client who just found us online. With their help, we can cetermine what is working best. Can you say AHA moment?

  5. Paula Henry

    July 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Okay – That was supposed to be determine and who is puurple?

  6. Chris Lengquist

    July 23, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Benn, I would agree with everything but argue this one point. Your readers DO want to know about you. More than the about page. I’ve noticed a definite trend. When I open up, on occasion, I get more response. Pure business is found boring. I think people do want to know who they are reading…for better or worse. But a little goes a long way.

  7. bill lublin

    July 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Benn: As all of us get further into social media,we need to learn new habits, and ask new questions. Just as what’s your phone number ? Gave way to what’s your email? That question may need to give way to these new questions. Very perceptive.
    Great Post! ( Please have Rich apply the points for this comment to my AR account)

  8. Loans

    July 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

    “Have you seen my blog?
    What did you think?
    What information could I put there to help other buyers and sellers? ”

    I think I am going to use these more often now. I always felt a little shy asking others about my own site. i don’t know why but I guess I always felt that I would make the other person feel as if I am marketing him my personal website too.

    After reading your post, I think I should get over with this fear. I mean I am doing business with them, why not make a little friendly conversation about my site and if they don’t know about it (some people never pay attention to visiting cards except for only phone number) I think I am going to tell them about it but just to make sure that if this is the right approach, could other Realtors share their opinion about this?

  9. Nicole Boynton

    July 24, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for the post Benn. At the end of the day we all just want someone to care about our needs and opinions and the best way to express your interest in your clients is to ASK QUESTIONS! But don’t stop asking them questions and following up once the transaction closes. You are right about using their input to create a “lather, rinse, repeat” cycle. Once you know what converted them you can continue utilize this information to gain new clients.
    Now I have to go finish sewing you an outfit with “B” emblazoned on the chest and a red cape…

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Opinion Editorials

Your business model doesn’t have to be a unicorn or a camel to succeed

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s not unusual for people to suggest a new business model analogy, but this latest “camel” suggestion isn’t new or helpful.



Camels walking in desert, not the best business model.

This year in 2020 I’ve seen a great deal of unique takes on how our system works. From 45 all the way down to children instructing adults on how to wear masks properly. However, after reading this new article published by the Harvard Business Review, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so out of touch with the rest of the business world. Here’s a brief synopsis on this article on business model.

The author has decided that now of all times it’s drastically important for startups and entrepreneurs to switch their business tactics. Changing from a heavy front-end investment or “startups worth over a billion dollars” colloquially called “Unicorns” to a more financially reserved business model. One he has tried to coin as the “Camel”, using references to the animal’s ability to survive “long periods of time without sustenance, withstand the scorching desert heat, and adapt to extreme variations in climate.”

The author then goes on to outline best practices for this new business plan: “Balance instead of burn”, “Camels are built for the long haul”, “Breadth and depth for resilience”.

Now I will admit that he’s not wrong on his take. It’s a well thought-out adjustment to a very short-term solution. You want to know why I’m sure of that? Because people figured this out decades ago.

The only place that a “Unicorn” system worked was in something like the Silicon Valley software companies. Where people can start with their billions of dollars and expect “blitzscaling” (a rapid building-up tactic) to actually succeed. The rest of the world knows that a slow and resilient pace is better suited for long term investments and growth. This ‘new’ business realization is almost as outdated as the 2000 Olympics.

The other reason I’m not thrilled with this analogy is that they’ve chosen an animal that doesn’t really work well. Camels are temperamental creatures that actually need a great deal of sustenance to survive those conditions they’ve mentioned. It’s water that they don’t need for long periods, once they stock up. They have to have many other resources up front to survive those harsh conditions the article writer mentioned. So by this analogy, it’s not that different than Silicon Valley’s strongly backed “startups.”

If he wanted to actually use the correct animal for this analogy, then he should call it a tortoise business plan. Actually, any type of reptile or shark would work. It would probably be a better comparison in temperament as well, if we’re talking ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Whatever you do, consider your angle, and settle in for the long haul.

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Opinion Editorials

10 tips for anyone looking to up their professional game

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s easy to get bogged down by the details, procrastinate, and feel unproductive. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and crush your professional goals.



work productivity

Self-reflection is critical to a growth mindset, which you must have if you want to grow and improve. If you are ready to take your professional game to the next level, here are some stories and tips to help you remain focused on killing your goals.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, as the quote goes. And, in the workplace it’s bound to make you second guess yourself and your abilities. This story explains when comparison can be useful, when to avoid it, and how to change your focus if it’s sucking the life out of you.

2. Burnout is real and the harder you work, the less productive you are. It’s an inverse relationship. But, there are ways to work smarter and have better life balance. Here are some tips to prioritize your workload and find more ease.

3. Stop procrastinating and start getting sh@t done. The reason we procrastinate may be less about not wanting to do something and more about the emotions underlying the task. Ready to get going and stop hemming and hawing, you got this and here’s the way to push through.

4. Perfection is impossible and if you seek this in your work and life, it’s likely you are very frustrated. Let that desire go and learn to be happy with excellence over perfection.

5. If you think you’re really awesome and seriously deserve more money, more responsibility, more of anything and are ready to drop the knowledge on your supervisor or boss, you may want to check this story out to see if your spinning in the right direction.

6. Technology makes it so easy to get answers so quickly, it’s hard to wait around for things to happen. We like instant gratification. Yet, that is another reason procrastination is a problem for some of us, but every person has a different way/reason for procrastinating. Learn what’s up with that.

7. Making choices can be a challenge for some of us (me included) who worry we are making the wrong choice. If you’ve ever struggled with decision making, you know it can be paralyzing and then you either make no decision or choose the safest option. What we have here is the Ambiguity Effect and it can be a real time suck. Kick ambiguity to the curb.

8. If you are having trouble interacting with colleagues or wondering why you don’t hear back from contacts it could be you are creeping folks out unintentionally (we hope). Here’s how to #belesscreepy.

9. In the social media era building your brand and marketing are critical, yet, if you’re posting to the usual suspects and seeing very little engagement, you’ve got a problem. Wharton Business School even did a study on how to fix the situation and be more shareable.

10. Every time you do a presentation that one co-worker butts in and calls you out. Dang. If you aren’t earning respect on the job, you will be limited in your ability to get to the next level. Respect is critical to any leadership position, as well as to making a difference in any role you may have within an organization, but actions can be misconstrued. There are ways to take what may be negative situations and use them to your advantage, building mutual respect.

You have the tools you need, now get out there, work hard, play hard and make sh*t happen. Oh, and remember, growth requires continual reflection and action, but you got this.

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Opinion Editorials

Why soft skills are even more essential in online era

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Since many of us aren’t seeing our co-workers in person these days, our soft skills are even more important in the online working space.



Skype video chat with person writing in notebook. Soft skills are critical online.

When did we start thinking of “soft” as bad? I mean, we’ve got soft serve (excellent), softball (good exercise), fabric soft-ener (another industry I’m enjoying killing as a millennial). And we’ve got soft skills.

Or at least… I hope we do.

The shift to non-optional remote working has been difficult for a lot of us, especially for everyone who forgets to press mute before making sure the kids behave. But it’ll take more than being hot-mic savvy to make it through the foreseeable future. Brush up on these soft skills while we’re waiting on a vaccine, and it’ll make the coming months (years?) much easier.

1. Tone mastery

Do you know the difference between “Hey, Brenda, can we have a 1:1 at 12:30pm to go over the laser-equipped yoga pants presentation details?” and “Brenda, we need to talk…”?

If not, you might not have a great grasp on how to say with your typey-words what you can no longer say with your facial expressions. You don’t need to throw an emoji or exclamation point into every sentence to get your points across, but you do have the power to keep your coworkers’ heart rates in a safe range by explaining what exactly you need from them in your initial messages.

Use that power wisely.

2. Checking in

There’s no water cooler talk if there’s no water cooler, right?

Making and maintaining connections is more important now than ever, natural introversion be damned. You wanna be a star, don’tcha? Keep up relationships with public shoutouts, inquiries, and reaction images, and you’ll keep up morale while maintaining and boosting your potential for growth in the company.

Even if you’re not a small-talk kind of person, just a drop in for updates, meeting minutes, or sharing a relevant article via appropriate chatrooms and DMs can help hone your soft skills.

“Karen, this MLM article reminded me of your anti-Scentsy tangent you forgot we could all hear, maybe send this to your pushy ex-friend.”

“Hey, Ravindra, how’s the new laptop working out? All good? No ‘Kill all Humans’ protocols like the last one?”

Simple blips like this can add up like couch change. If you’re an admin, make a general chats section, and work in enough time in meetings to allow everyone to have a bit of a chat before getting down to business.

3. Make yourself available

This was important before the pandemic, honestly, but it bears repeating now, especially for everyone in a leadership position. If you’re not making time for check-ins, constantly cancelling meetings, or just generally enjoying being gone when people need you…figure out a way to not. Delegate what you can, bring on a VA, shorten that vacation, whatever you have to do. Everyone’s struggling, and being captain means your crew is looking to you. Don’t let the general air of desperation lull you into thinking a metaphorical keelhauling is out of the question—that extra power still comes with extra responsibility.

Keep yourself from double-bookings, cancellations, and absences as much as possible, and things will continue to improve internally… Even if they don’t in the outside world.

Aesop had a fable about an oak tree and a little river reed. When a storm came, the hardened oak tree fell and died, while the flexible reed bent with the wind and lived. We’re in the storm now, and everyone’s doing their best not to break. Keep yourself rooted friends, but the moral here is to soften up.

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