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Draw Your Line In Our Sand- NAR

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registered.jpgAthol made a comment that we’re tiny compared to NAR.  While this may be true, we are not afraid of NAR.  We’ve had four law firms offer to take on the NAR on our behalf (pro bono) that believe the case could be won and/or resolved in our favor.  I for one have never been afraid to fight the good fight, but in this case, having directly asked NAR legal if there was any remedy that would allow realtorgenius.com to remain open, the answer was a swift ‘no.’  NAR was made aware that I would allow the chips to fall where they may where public relations were concerned, NAR was not concerned.  I simply agreed to discontinue use of the domain, and will. 

Here is the positive & where you can take the stand many of you have asked me to take:  with all of the publicity and having NAR legal & Public Relations’ full and upright attention, I’m inviting you to speak out in this thread.  The entire post & comments in their entirety will be sent to NAR Legal, Inman News , Bloodhound Blog, & NAR Public Relations with no exception.  You can speak on any issue, including trademark infringement, commissions, lack of health & life benefits, MLS control, or any other issue you see fit.  We will moderate offensive language, or unprofessional off topic remarks only.  Your name can be anonymous or public, that is your choice.  Your private information will not be released to anyone.

Sincerely,
artist fka “Real**r Genius”

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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Chris Lengquist

    October 4, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    BR – To me you will always be known as the Artist Formerly Known As RealtorGenius. Though I do like the new “logo”. Cool.

    As for the NAR, they should concern themselves with raising the woefully low education standards for real estate professionals. Not understanding agency, fiduciary duty and/or client satisfaction are so common that those flaws are taken for granted.

    But NAR would rather press forward with making every man, woman and child in America a licensed agent that knows how to properly pronounce REALTOR.

    Try taking on some issues that matter out here in the field. Like a government only concerned with it’s size and budget the NAR will, on occasion hit a home run. But often times is out in left field on some pork barrel project that doesn’t have any bearing on those of us selling houses, raising families and trying to stay in compliance with the IRS.

  2. Concerned Reader

    October 4, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    I’m not a licensed Real**r but do work closely with industry professionals. That said, from my perspective, it is astounding that an association OF Realt**s has an entire department (or departments depending on the “infringement”) that is dedicated to suing and putting out of business the very people that pay their salaries. I understand that the NAR headquarters practically have gold toilet seats while their usefulness has been deteriorated into nothing more than an overly aggressive governing body pinning down people they feel don’t agree with them and their “talking points.”

    How ironic that a contributor of Bloodhound Blog would be aggressively reprimanded rather than the thousands of domain owners that have existed happily for years. Hmmm…

    I repeat what others have said- NAR should focus efforts on creating a positive image for Real**rs rather than continue 80’s marketing campaigns that promote the letter R over the practice of real estate. What a shame- the NAR could truly be an amazing association, but the dinosaur mentality is quickly proving them to be useless. I think most Real**rs could live without the $2 discount on HP products if it means not selling their sould to a “union” that refuses to protect their due paying members.

    I’m not sure that a suggestion for improvement exists- I think that ship sailed over a decade ago.

  3. Chris LaBarbera

    October 4, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Its too bad that you had to change domain names…..but the PR will probrably cause your site visibility to increase drastically. Great job on the logo on the front page. Keep up the good work.

    -chris

  4. john harper

    October 4, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    I love the thrill (not really) when some alligator lawyer gets me on the phone and threatens to sue my pants off. Reminds me of the Redfin incident earlier in the year.

    I like your new url and if this real estate gig doesn’t work out, you can always fall back on graphic design.

    The NAR continues to display their lack of intelligence. Genius is not a term I would associate with them.

  5. Brian Barringer

    October 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    How about Reeltor? realtar? reealtor? realator reltor? Would they beef with that?

  6. Richard Johnston, RE/MAX

    October 7, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Well, I think if they allowed you to get away with it, then other sites would follow and NAR would have to defend its actions. I believe most people understand that a Realtor is a member of NAR and not somebody who just holds a real estate license. There are many benefits to being a member of NAR including the California Association of Realtors, & Southland Regional Association of Realtors. It’s important the general public knows they are working with agents who hold a higher level of standard.

    Richard Johnston, RE/MAX OTB Estates
    San Fernando Valley REO Expert

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Opinion Editorials

3 things to do if you *really* want to be an ally to women in tech

(EDITORIAL) Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce.

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More and more women are leaving their positions with tech companies, citing lack of opportunity for advancement, wage gaps and even hostile working conditions as some of the reasons why.

What’s better for the tech industry and its employees than cultivating inclusive and diverse departments? Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce. To name a few:

1. Be open to listening to different perspectives.

It can be awkward to hear so many reports of workplace politics stacking against women, especially if you’re not a woman!

Instead of getting uncomfortable or defensive – ask open ended questions and be interested in a perspective that isn’t yours and may be unfamiliar.

Don’t seek to rationalize or explain the experiences you’re hearing about, as that can come off as condescending. It’s common for women to be interrupted or spoken over in team gatherings. If you notice this happening, bring the conversation back to where the interruption began. Offering your ear and counting yourself as responsible for making space will improve the overall quality of communication in your company.

Listening to and validating what women have to say about the quality of their employment with a company is an important step in the right direction.

Expressing something as simple as “I was interested in what you had to say – could you elaborate on your thought?” can help.

2. Develop an Employee Resource Group (ERG) program.

An ERG is a volunteer-based, employee-led group that acts as a resource for a particular group of employees. An ERG can help to foster inclusiveness through discussion, team-building activities and events. It’s common for a department to have only one or two women on the roster.

This can mean that the day to day feels disconnected from concerns commonly shared by women. disjointed it might feel to be on a high performing team, without access to relatable conversations.

3. Be responsible for your company’s culture.

Chances are, your company already has some amazing cultural values in place. That said, how often are you checking your own performance and your co-workers performances against those high standards? Strong company culture and values sound great, but whether or not they’re adhered to can make or break the mood of a work environment.

Many women say they’ve experienced extremely damaging and toxic cultural environments, which lead to hostility, frustration, and even harassment. Take action when you see the new woman uncomfortable with being hit on at team drinks.

Call out those who make unfriendly and uncouth comments about how women perform, look, or behave.

Setting a personal threshold for these kinds of microaggressions can help you lead by example, and will help build a trustworthy allyship.

(This article was first published here in November, 2016.)

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Opinion Editorials

Serial procrastinator? Your issue isn’t time management

(EDITORIAL) Need a hack for your time management? Try focusing on your energy management.

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Your author has a confession to make; as a “type B” personality who has always struggled with procrastination, I am endlessly fascinated by the topic of productivity and “hacking your time.”

I’ve tried most of the tricks you’ve read about, with varying degrees of success.

Recently, publishers like BBC have begun to approach productivity from a different perspective; rather than packing days full of to-do items as a way to maximize time, the key is to maximize your mental energy through a different brand of time management.

So, why doesn’t time management work?

For starters, not all work time is quality time by nature. According to a study published at ScienceDirect, your average worker is interrupted 87 times a day on the job. For an 8-hour day, that’s almost 11 times per hour. No wonder it’s so hard to stay focused!

Second, time management implies a need to fill time in order to maximize it.

It’s the difference between “being busy” and “being productive.”

It also doesn’t impress your boss; a Boston University study concluded that “managers could not tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to.” By contrast, managing your energy lets you maximize your time based on how it fits with your mental state.

Now, how do you manage your energy?

First, understand and protect the time that should actually go into deep, focused work. Studies continually show that just a few hours of focused worked yield the greatest results; try to put in longer hours behind that, and you’ll see diminishing returns. There’s a couple ways you can accomplish this.

You can block off time in your day dedicated to focused work, and guard the time as if it were a meeting. You could also physically retreat to a private space in order to work on a task.

Building in flexibility is another key to managing your energy. The BBC article references a 1980s study that divided students into two groups; one group planned out monthly goals, while the other group planned out daily goals and activities. The study found the monthly planners accomplished more of their goals, because the students focusing on detailed daily plans often found them foiled by the unexpected.

Moral of the story?

Don’t lock in your schedule too tightly; leave space for the unexpected.

Finally, you should consider making time for rest, a fact reiterated often by the BBC article. You’ve probably heard the advice before that taking 17 minute breaks for every 52 minutes worked is important, and studies continue to show that it is. However, rest also includes taking the time to turn your brain off of work mode entirely.

The BBC article quotes associated professor of psychiatry Srini Pillay as saying that, “[people] need to use both the focus ad unfocus circuits in the brain,” in order to be fully productive. High achievers like Serena Williams, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates build this into their mentality and their practice.

Embracing rest and unfocused thinking may be key to “embracing the slumps,” as the BBC article puts it.

In conclusion, by leaving some flexibility in your schedule and listening to your body and mind, you can better tailor your day to your mental state and match your brainpower to the appropriate task. As someone who is tempted to keep a busy to-do list myself, I am excited to reevaluate and improve my own approach. Maybe you should revisit your own systems as well.

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Opinion Editorials

How the Bullet Journal method has been hijacked and twisted

(EDITORIAL) I’m a big fan of the Bullet Journal method, but sticker-loving tweens have hijacked the movement. Worry not, I’m still using black and white bullet points with work tasks (not “pet cat,” or “smile more”).

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It’s taken me some time to come around to the Bullet Journal method, because it took me some time to fully understand it (I have a tendency to overthink simplicity). Now that I understand the use, I find it very beneficial for my life and my appreciation for pen-to-paper.

In short, it’s a quick and simple system for organization tasks and staying focused with everything you have going on. All you need to employ this method is a journal with graph or dotted paper, and a pen. Easy.

However, there seems to be this odd truth that: we find ways to simplify complicated things, and we find ways to complicate simple things. The latter is exactly what’s happened with the Bullet Journal method, thanks to creative people who show the rest of us up.

To understand what I’m talking about, open up Instagram (or Pinterest, or even Google) and just search “bullet journal.” You’ll soon find post after post of frilly, sticker-filled, calligraphy-laden journal pages.

The simple method of writing down bullets of tasks has been hijacked to become a competitive art form.

Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at this stuff because I dig the creativity. But, do I have time to do that myself? No! For honesty’s sake, I’ve tried just for fun and it takes too much damn time.

With this is mind, this new-found method of Bullet Journaling as an art is something that: a) defeats the purpose of accomplishing tasks quickly as you’re setting yourself back with the nifty art, and b) entrepreneurs, freelancers, executives, or anyone busy would not have time for.

Most of these people posting artistic Bullet Journal pages on Instagram are younger and have more time on their hands (and if you want to spend your time doing that, do you, man).

But, it goes against the simplistic method of Bullet Journaling. The intent of the method.

And, beneath the washi tape, stickers, and different colored pens, usually lies a list of: put away laundry, feed cat, post on Insta. So, this is being done more for the sake of art than for employing the method.

Again, I’m all for art and for people following their passions and creativities, but it stands to reason that this should be something separate from the concept of Bullet Journaling, as it has become a caricature of the original method.

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