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Opinion Editorials

I Love These Calls

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“Jonathan?”

“That’s me.”

“Are you, uh, still, uh, working real estate in the, uh, Glendale area?”

“Arrowhead Ranch and all the rest, yes I am.”

“Okay, hold on. I have someone who wants to talk to you.”

Here we go, kids!

“How are you today?”

“Doin’ great (and so happy to be bothered by a telemarketer pushing useless leads.)

“That’s good. So let me ask you, would you like to be working with more buyers and sellers?”

Of course not. Clients are for chumps. “Sure would, but not if I have to pay for the leads.”

“(giggle)Oh … well, if I told you it was a monthly subscription would that matter.”

Oh, well if it’s a MONTHLY subscription. “Not whatsoever.”

“Okay, have a nice day.”

Adios, lead generation scum.

On a not-whatsoever-related note, check out Doug Quance’s post – especially the YouTube clip at the bottom. Sums up my feelings about Trulia Voices and those who fall all over themselves to provide answers to those unwilling to pay for expertise.

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Word.

  2. Chris Johnson

    November 28, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, I have astory about this.

  3. Charleston real estate blog

    November 28, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Jonathan, I used to get bugged, now I have fun.

    After the quick pitch …

    “I thought you wanted to buy some real estate but it turns out you want to sell me something.”

    Click.

  4. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I like telemarketers. They provide hours of entertainment for me when I have been drinking. I know that is awful, but I really don’t care…
    And re: Trulia Voices? I just logged on and answered a few questions … where I learned that (for the most part) the only other agents trying to impress the other agents out there.

  5. Gordon Corsie

    November 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Right on, if what they were selling worked, then agents who bought into their program should be dominating their local market right?

    Ask the sale agent that question and listen to the tapdance you get!

  6. Lani Anglin

    November 28, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, I love the phone call to the OFFICE, “are you the lady of the house?”

    I was taught improperly at a young age to be ugly to telemarketers. As a joke, dad would hand the phone over and have us say “my daddy’s busy with the crack pipes, can he call you when his mouf isn’t numb?” or when older, “father says I am to be beaten if I cannot properly screen calls” and such.

    Now, before the pitch I just immediately say “please remove this phone number from your list, never call back and have a nice day”… click. Ugh- phone spam!

  7. Teresa Boardman

    November 28, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    ah yes those stilted scripted calls. One thing I like to do is when they ask if I would like more buyer leads I say “please no more, absolutely not!”
    They can never overcome that objection. 🙂
    What I really get a kick out of is the email asking me if I would like to be number one in the search engines. If they did their homework they would see that I already am.

  8. Norm Fisher

    November 28, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Can you imagine having to make a living selling such a useless service?

    Teresa, your thoughts reminded me of an exchange which one of my agents shared with me.

    Ring, ring.

    Hello, Charles speaking.

    This is so and so from such and such … and we have a service which will put you on the first page of a Google search for only x dollars a month!

    Mmmm. How much does it cost to be on the fifth page of Google?

    Why would you want to be on the fifth page?

    Because I’m so busy I don’t have time to get around to all the leads that I have coming in now.

    Oh, well we don’t offer that service.

    Oh well, thanks for calling. Bye. 🙂

    Does anyone ever get the math question wrong?

  9. Athol Kay

    November 29, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    OMG I’m getitng confused. I was reading this post in my feed reader and thought “wow I have to write about this on agent genuis”.

    That video is awesome.

  10. Benn Rosales

    November 29, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Norm, I’ve not had anyone say they have, although Kris Berg did say she only comments here to practice her math…

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Opinion Editorials

How to sound more confident in your next interview or office email

(OPINION/EDITORIAL) After COVID, collectively, our social skills need a little TLC. What words and phrases can you use to sound more confident at work?

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Interview with woman and a man opposite as they each sound more confident/

In-person work communications are on the rise, and it’s no surprise that, collectively, our social skills need a little bit of work. CNBC shares some examples of common phrases people tend to use when uncomfortable – and what you should use to replace them to sound more confident in your next interview or office email.

After explaining a personal philosophy or situation, it’s all too common to say, “Does that make sense?” Aside from occasionally sounding patronizing, this question more or less implies that you believe your worldview or lived experiences to require validation. CNBC suggests saying “I’d like to hear your input” or – if you’re in an inquisitive mood – asking “What are your thoughts?” instead.

This invites the interviewer to give feedback or continue the conversation without devaluing your own perspective.

CNBC also recommends getting rid of weak introductions, listing examples like “For what it’s worth” and “In my opinion” in order to sound more confident. Certainly, most of us have used these phrases to recuse ourselves from perceived criticism in meetings or emails; the problem is that they become an indicator of lacking self-confidence, at least for employers.

Simply jumping straight into whatever it is you have to say without the soft-paws introduction is sure to be appreciated by higher-ups and colleagues alike.

Passive voice is another thing you should remove from your communication when trying to sound more confident. For example, saying “I performed this action because…” instead of “This action was performed because…” shows ownership; whether you’re taking credit for an innovative decision or copping to a mistake, taking responsibility with the language you use is always better than removing yourself from the narrative.

“I’m not positive, but…” is yet another common phrase that CNBC eschews, opting instead to start with whatever comes after the “but”. It’s always good to maintain a certain amount of humility, but that’s not what this phrase is doing – it’s getting out in front of your own process and undermining it before anyone else has a chance to evaluate it. Regardless of your position or responsibilities, you should always give your thoughts the credit they deserve.

Finally, CNBC suggests removing perhaps the most undervalued phrase on this list: “I’m sorry.” There is absolutely a time and place to apologize, but “sorry” gets thrown around the office when a simple “excuse me” would suffice. Apologizing in these situations belies confidence, and it makes actual apologies – when they’re necessary – seem hollow.

The language people use is powerful, and as arbitrarily contrite as the workplace may inspire many to feel, humility can absolutely coexist with confidence.

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Opinion Editorials

10 tips for anyone looking to up their professional work 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 crush your work goals.

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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 work 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

The actual reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. But why else would you work for one?

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leadership Startups meeting led by Black woman.

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: Flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in the popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When employees find themselves personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits in the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are maybe a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth. This allows them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters. Instead, it’s a clue that work environments that facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

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