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Opinion Editorials

How to be an even better Realtor professional in a competitive world



Second to the transaction

How many times have you, the Realtor, been the second to the transaction? The second to list the home, the second to show property to a new home buyer? The mere fact that you’re the second party points to the failure of the first party to deliver, or so it would seem.

Although you know the most realistic reason the first party likely did not deliver were the high expectations of the client to begin with, for example their price was too high on the listed property, or maybe the buyer expected a lot more home for a lot less money.

The “second time around” client is more often than not softened to market conditions, and more willing to come to terms with reality- this is often a win for the second to the transaction and most Realtors know this.

Treatment of the first party

But why, if Realtors know this, do they besmirch the first party to the transaction? There is this inherent desire to tear down any gains the first party may have built your very foundation on.

For example, my new insurance carrier mentioned I could call their direct competitor, but just I wait until I filed a claim. I paused and asked, “so when I need to file a claim, I need to call you directly to make sure I got every penny I deserved, that you will fight for me day and night in comparison to the “other guy,” right?” He digressed and told me all about their 1-800 number I would call for a claim… I thought so.

Not just real estate

It isn’t just the real estate industry, it’s any industry that involves sales and competition, it involves any industry that involves humans and their insecurities, even in the corporate world where high level consultants play, and it is just that- a delay and stall tactic where weak minded individuals look at a foundation and point out something they disagree with and place blame while they scramble to come up with something they could do differently knowing full well that first and seconds to parties and transactions are often truly just part of the process of the client reaching their own conclusion that the first party was right in their recommendations in the first place.

I wonder how many of you begin second party to a transaction by tearing down your peers in the industry? I wonder how many really realize that it is a pure sign of weakness not to understand that foundations were meant to be built upon, not torn down? I wonder how many realize that this is actually incredibly unprofessional and demotes the previous work by the actual client as the client is and always has been the primary decision maker.

Learning to deal with unprofessional behavior

At the end of the day, I’ve learned to deal with the unprofessional behavior of professionals in many industries, and am never shocked at what I contend with being a party to any transaction as I am often an intermediary between both, but yesterday, something brilliant happened, something wonderful, something inspiring.

I contacted a very competitive vendor yesterday- not competitive to me, but competitive in the real estate industry on the association level. I asked this individual who they believed to be their top five competitors in the industry and why. He agreed wholeheartedly to convey the list, but he prefaced with this, I’d like to send the list, but I’d like for you to understand that the reasons they do some of the things they do are necessary and not necessarily indicative of a bad product. Some of the nuances of this particular product from vendor to vendor should be met less with criticism, but with deeper evaluation as what may appear as a defect to you may in fact be a value (I’m paraphrasing).

Wow. How powerful is that? It not only sold me on this gentleman’s breadth of knowledge in the line of products I’m attempting to evaluate- in fact, it blew me away. It blew me away because for a change I didn’t doubt a line of promises similarly to the insurance carrier above, rather, I wanted to know more, ask more, and his recommendations immediately had value. Here was a guy prepared to tell me the truth, secure in his own product, and willing to go as far as he needed to assist me in my evaluation.

I’ve never brow beaten a competitor behind their back, that’s way too easy, but I had also never taken that step further to articulate a foundation. Looking forward, the value of doing so is clear.

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. Ben Goheen

    May 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the food for thought. With so many sharks in the water, it's great to see someone being honest about their product.

    btw: my insurance agent (who I only saw 2 times in 10 years) gave me the exact same line about the personal service when I switched to another company. "They don't have an office in the area, who are you going to talk to?" Uh, the person at the other end of the 1-800 hotline, same as what I do now.

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Opinion Editorials

Facebook fights falsehoods (it’s a false flag)

(EDITORIAL) Facebook has chosen Reuters to monitor its site for false information, but what can one company really do, and why would Facebook only pick one?



Reuters checks facebook

So Facebook has finally taken a step to making sure fake news doesn’t get spread on it’s platform. Like many a decision from them though, they haven’t been thorough with their venture.

I am a scientifically driven person, I want facts, figures, and evidence to determine what is reality. Technology is a double edged sword in this arena; sure having a camera on every device any person can hold makes it easy to film events, but deepfakes have made even video more questionable.

Many social media platforms have tried to ban deepfakes but others have actually encouraged it. “I’ll believe it when I see it” was the rally cry for the skeptical, but now it doesn’t mean anything. Altering video in realistic ways has destroyed the credibility of the medium, we have to question even what we see with our eyes.

The expansion of the internet has created a tighter communication net for all of humanity to share, but when specific groups want to sway everyone else there isn’t a lot stopping them if they shout louder than the rest.

With the use of bots, and knowing the specifics of a group you want to sway, it’s easy to spread a lie as truth. Considering how much information is known about almost any user on any social media platform, it’s easy to pick targets that don’t question what they see online.

Facebook has been the worst offender in knowing consumer data and what they do with that data. Even if you never post anything political, they know what your affiliation is. If you want to delete that information, it’s hidden in advertising customization.

Part of me is thrilled that Facebook has decided to try and stand against this spread of misinformation, but how they pursued this goal is anything but complete and foolproof.

Reuters is the news organization that Facebook has chosen to fact check the massive amount of posts, photos, and videos that show up on their platform everyday. It makes sense to grab a news organization to verify facts compared to “alternative facts”.

A big problem I have with this is that Reuters is a company, companies exist to make money. Lies sell better than truths. Ask 2007 banks how well lies sell, ask Enron how that business plan worked out, ask the actors from Game of Thrones about that last season.

Since Reuters is a company, some other bigger company could come along, buy them, and change everything, or put in people who let things slide. Even Captain America recognizes this process. “It’s run by people with agendas, and agendas change.” This could either begin pushing falsehoods into Facebook, or destroy Reuters credibility, and bite Facebook in the ass.

If some large group wants to spread misinformation, but can’t do it themselves, why wouldn’t they go after the number one place that people share information?

I really question if Reuters can handle the amount of information flowing through Facebook, remember almost a 3rd of the whole world uses Facebook. 2.45 Billion people will be checked by 25,800 employees at Reuters? I can appreciate their effort, but they will fail.

Why did Facebook only tag one company to handle this monumental task? If you know that many people are using your platform, and such a limited number of people work for the company you tasked with guarding the users, why wouldn’t you tag a dozen companies to tackle that nigh insurmountable number of users?

I think it’s because Facebook just needs that first headline “Facebook fights falsehoods”. That one line gets spread around but the rest of the story is ignored, or not thought about at all. If there is anything Facebook has learned about the spread of fake information on their platform, it’s how to spread it better.

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Opinion Editorials

Will shopping for that luxury item actually lower your quality of life?

(EDITORIAL) Want to buy yourself a pick-me-up? Have you thought of all the ramifications of that purchase? Try to avoid splurging on it.



shopping bags

In an era of “treat-yo-self,” the urge to splurge is real. It doesn’t help that shopping – or what ends up being closer to impulse shopping – provides us with a hit of dopamine and a fleeting sense of control. Whether your life feels like it’s going downhill or you’ve just had a bad day, buying something you want (or think you want) can seem like an easy fix.

Unfortunately, it might not be so great when it comes to long-term happiness.

As you might have already guessed, purchasing new goods doesn’t fall in line with the minimalism trend that’s been sweeping the globe. Being saddled with a bunch of stuff you don’t need (and don’t even like!) is sure to make your mood dip, especially if the clutter makes it harder to concentrate. Plus, if you’ve got a real spending problem, the ache in your wallet is sure to manifest.

If that seems depressing, I’ve got even more bad news. Researchers at Harvard and Boston College have found yet another way spending can make us more unhappy in the long run: imposter syndrome. It’s that feeling you get when it seems like you’re not as good as your peers and they just haven’t caught on yet. This insecurity often arises in competitive careers, academics and, apparently, shopping.

Now, there’s one big caveat to this idea that purchasing goods will make you feel inferior: it really only applies to luxury goods. I’m talking about things like a Louis Vuitton purse, a top of the line Mercedes Benz, a cast iron skillet from Williams Sonoma (or is that one just me?). The point is, the study found that about 67% of people – regardless of their income – believed their purchase was inauthentic to their “true self.”

And this imposter syndrome even existed when the luxury items were bought on sale.

Does this mean you should avoid making a nice purchase you’ve been saving up for? Not necessarily. One researcher at Cambridge found that people were more likely to report happiness for purchases that fit their personalities. Basically, a die-hard golfer is going to enjoy a new club more than someone who bought the same golf club to try to keep up with their co-workers.

Moral of the story: maybe don’t impulse buy a fancy new Apple watch. Waiting to see if it’s something you really want can save your budget…and your overall happiness.

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Opinion Editorials

How to ask your manager for better work equipment

(EDITORIAL) Old computer got you down? Does it make your job harder? Here’s how to make a case to your manager for new equipment without budget worries.



better equipment, better work

Aside from bringing the boss coffee and donuts for a month before asking, what is an employee to do when the work equipment bites.

Let’s be frank, working on old, crappy computers with inefficient applications can make the easiest tasks a chore. Yet, what do you do? You know you need better equipment to do your job efficiently, but how to ask the boss without looking like a whiner who wants to blow the department budget.

In her “Ask A Manager” column, Alison Green says an employee should ask for better equipment if it is needed. For example, the employee in her column has to attend meetings, but has no laptop and has to take a ton of notes and then transcribe them. Green says, it’s important to make the case for the benefits of having newer or updated equipment.

The key is showing a ROI. If you know a specific computer would be a decent upgrade, give your supervisor the specific model and cost, along with the expected outcomes. In addition, it may be worth talking to someone from the IT department to see what options might be available – if you’re in a larger company.

IT professionals who commented on Green’s column made a few suggestions. Often because organizations have contracts with specific computer companies or suppliers, talking with IT about what is needed to get the job done and what options are available might make it easier to ask a manager, by saying, “I need a new computer and IT says there are a few options. Here are my three preferences.” A boss is more likely to be receptive and discuss options.

If the budget doesn’t allow for brand new equipment, there might be the option to upgrade the RAM, for example. In a “Workplace” discussion on an employee explained the boss thinks if you keep a computer clean – no added applications – and maintained it will perform for years. Respondents said, it’s important to make clear the cost-benefit of purchasing updated equipment. Completing a ROI analysis to show how much more efficiently with the work be done may also be useful. Also, explaining to a boss how much might be saved in repair costs could also help an employee get the point across.

Managers may want to take note because, according to results of a Gallup survey, when employees are asked to meet a goal but not given the necessary equipment, credibility is lost.

Gallup says that workgroups that have the most effectively managed materials and equipment tend to have better customer engagement, higher productivity, better safety records and employees that are less likely to jump ship than their peers.

And, no surprise, if a boss presents equipment and says: “Here’s what you get. Deal with it,” employees are less likely to be engaged and pleased than those employees who have a supervisor who provides some improvements and goes to bat to get better equipment when needed.

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