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Opinion Editorials

Draw Your Line In Our Sand- NAR



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 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.

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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  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.


  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

Job listings are popping up left and right, so what exactly *is* UX writing?

(EDITORIAL) While UX writing is not technically new, it is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent. The job titles are everywhere, so what is it?



UX writing

The work of a UX writer is something you come across every day. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints these writers work on are interface copy, emails, and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find these writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must-have. Excellent communication skills are a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post. But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater user experience design team. In larger companies, some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of the writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User-centric design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

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Opinion Editorials

Have an in-person job interview? 7 tips to crush the competition

EDITORIAL) While we all know the usual interview schtick, take some time to really study for your next face-to-face job interview.



Job interview between two women.

So, you’re all scheduled for an in-person interview for a job you’d kill for. It’s exciting that you’ve made it to this step, but the question is, are you ready? Especially with remote interviews being the new norm, your nerves may feel shaken up a bit to interview in person – but you’ve got this! And many of these tips can be applied no matter the interview setting.

We all know the basics of a job interview: dress nice, get there early, come prepared, firm handshake, yada, yada, yada… However, it’s good to really sit and think about all of the requirements of a successful interview.

There are seven steps for crushing a face-to-face interview. Do your homework upside down and inside out in order to walk into that room.

Which brings us to the first step: know everything you need to know backwards and forwards.

This can be done in two steps: getting to know the company and getting to know yourself. By doing website, social media, and LinkedIn research, you can get a feel of the company culture as well as the position you’re interviewing for.

By getting to know yourself, have a friend ask you some interview questions so you can practice. Also, take a look at your resume through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Make sure everything is clear and can compete with other candidates.

The next step is to anticipate solving future problems. Have some insight on the department that you are interviewing for and come prepared with ideas of how to better this department. (i.e. if it’s marketing, give examples of campaigns you’ve done in the past that have proven to have been successful.)

Step number three requires you to go back to the research board and get some information on the employer. Find out who you’re meeting with (head of HR, head of the department, etc.) and make your self-presentation appropriate for the given person.

Next, work on making the interview conversation a meaningful one. This can be done by asking questions as people like to see you take an interest in them. Also, be sure to never answer the questions as if it’s your regular spiel. Treat each job interview as if this is the first time you’re presenting your employability information.

With this, your next step is to have stories prepared for the job interview. Anecdotes and examples of previous jobs or volunteer/organization experiences can help bring life to an otherwise run-of-the-mill resume.

After this, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. Don’t jump on the couch in the lobby like you’re Tom Cruise on Oprah, but definitely portray that you’re excited and up for the challenge.

Lastly, make a good impression by being impressive. Be professional and in control of your body language. Put yourself in the mindset of whatever position you’re interviewing for and show them that you have what it takes.

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Opinion Editorials

The benefits of remote work are just too good to overlook

(EDITORIAL) Employees scream it from the rooftops and businesses don’t want to admit it: Remote work is just too beneficial to pass up- and here’s why.



Work from home written with scrabble letters.

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

Less happily, many people lost their job during the pandemic, but they ended up having more time to put toward their passions or were compelled to get creative with their remote business ideas to ensure a consistent stream of income.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Allowing your employees to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they work from home full time. There are benefits to having your employees work in an office part of the time – say, two or three days – and working from home, in more familiar surroundings, the rest of the week.

In this way, your workers enjoy some freedom and independence while retaining the ability to interact face-to-face with their peers. That provides human interaction, which can play a substantial role in terms of improved mental health for your staff.

Happy employees means healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

Whether you are a small business owner or have crafted your work to tailor toward a life of remote labor, this is an opportunity for someone who has dreamed of being a digital nomad. You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Multi-member Zoom call on a Apple Mac laptop with a blue mug of black coffee next to it.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

When you’re a business owner, this can be incredibly useful when you outsource tasks to save money. You can find a higher quality of performance by searching for contractors anywhere in the world and it doesn’t limit you to workers who live near to your office.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

 In the end, remote work typically saves money for every person and entity involved. Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

According to FlexJobs, employees or remote business owners may save around $4,000 on average every year for expenses such as car maintenance, transportation, professional clothing in the office, or even money spent dining out for lunch with coworkers. Eventually, the costs add up, which means extra money in your pocket to take that much-needed vacation or save up for a down payment on your first home.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

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