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I’m Number #1



number one

Like it or not, GeekRealtor’s little list of the top 100 blogs is causing quite a stir. Mariana posted that AgentGenius is #19, an impressive feat indeed, especially for a relatively new blog.


With the exception of the multi author blogs that are covering national real estate issues, like RainCityGuide, InmanBlog, BloodhoundBlog and AgentGenius, this ranking really means very little. In the end, for those of us who are real estate practioners supporting ourselves by selling houses, placement on this list is little more than a feather in our caps. The true measure, at least for me, is in my local reach. How am I doing at connecting with consumers in Metro Detroit? Do luxury home sellers in Oakland County seek out my blog, and understand that it gives their homes better exposure? Do home buyers turn to me for the advice they need on their next home purchase?

I will probably never have the traffic, alexa ranking, etc of a silicon valley blogger. Our consumer demographics are vastly different. Yet I know I have much better reach than others in my local market. I’ll settle for that.

Comparing hyper-local blogs to national blogs is irrelevant. It’s almost a valueless exercise. I’m happy for the people who appear higher on the list than I do, but none of them are in Michigan. So, Vlad, how about a list of biggest blogs by state? There are tons of us out there who are blogging for consumers. We have little interest (except when we put on our AgentGenius hats) in blogging for Realtors.

Thanks to Benn for the opportunity to share my thoughts here on AgentGenius. I’m happy to be part of this great group.

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  1. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm


    Great idea. We already have 3 or 4 blogs from Arizona. I see your point. We’ll keep that in mind!

  2. Maureen Francis

    February 16, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks Linda. You are a genius in my book. There is much to be learned from you.

    Vlad, glad you like the idea, You’ll always have people who will criticize what you are doing and how you are doing it when you try to rank competitive real estate agents. But I appreciate your openness to other’s thoughts on the matter.

  3. Vlad

    February 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm


    In the real estate we always have to think “location, location, location”. The local traffic will never beat the national one…. I understand.

    I think tough that list is turning out to be an interesting resource nevertheless. Hey I would never guess that Mr. Trump would not make at least the top 20 ;)….

  4. Missy Caulk

    February 17, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    First congratulations on being a genius. I like your idea about Michigan, but of course I am from Michigan.

  5. Teresa Boardman

    February 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Welcome Maureen and i quite agree. i don’t understand why the makers of the lists would include industry group blogs, blogs that are not about real estate at all and a little local blog like mine on the same list. Does it help me to be on these lists? maybe but at the end of the day all that matters is who is reading the blog, not how many.

  6. Vlad

    February 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm


    The as more blogs are submitted the list will change. The feedback like this has already helped me in many ways. I can assure you that I will remove the blogs that are not in any way related to real estate.

    All I can say I am human and humans make mistakes.

    Here is an example.

    Apartment Therapy blog (currently number 1 on the list). I added this blog because it was on many real estate blogrolls. However I think it would be more appropriate to list that blog in a “Home and Living” category. But since many real estate blogs had the link to Apartment Therapy blog listed under blog rolls like “Real Estate Websites” or “Real Estate Blogs” I went along and added it to our list.

    Don’t take me wrong, I think Apartment Therapy is a great blog. But in my opinion it should be considered a “home and living” website.

    I am sure there maybe other mistakes like that. As time goes on I will try to fix them.

    I am not quiet sure what do you mean by “industry group blogs”. Are you referring to blogs authored by multiple authors? Or networks like ActiveRain where each individual blogger has “his own” blog? Could you please clarify? Thanks.

  7. Ginger Wilcox

    February 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Maureen. So true. Even a blog list in a big state like California doesn’t mean much. Laurie Manny’s Long Beach real estate blog has huge readership in her area, but it means nothing to my little market. My blog is super local, which is exactly how I want it to be.

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Opinion Editorials

Shady salary transparency is running rampant: What to look out for

(EDITORIAL) Employees currently have the upper hand in the market. Employers, you must be upfront about salary and approach it correctly.



Man holding money in the dark representing false salary transparency.

It’s the wild wild west out there when it comes to job applications. Job descriptions often misrepresent remote work opportunities. Applicants have a difficult time telling job scams from real jobs. Job applicants get ghosted by employers, even after a long application process. Following the Great Resignation, many employers are scrambling for workers. Employees have the upper hand in the hiring process, and they’re no longer settling for interviews with employers that aren’t transparent, especially about salary.

Don’t be this employer

User ninetytwoturtles shared a post on Reddit in r/recruitinghell in which the employer listed the salary as $0 to $1,000,000 per year. Go through many listings on most job boards and you’ll find the same kind of tactics – no salary listed or too large of a wide range. In some places, it’s required to post salary information. In 2021, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act went into effect in Colorado. Colorado employers must list salary and benefits to give new hires more information about fair pay. Listing a broad salary range skirts the issue. It’s unfair to applicants, and in today’s climate, employers are going to get called out on it. Your brand will take a hit.

Don’t obfuscate wage information

Every employer likes to think that their employees work because they enjoy the job, but let’s face it, money is the biggest motivator. During the interview process, many a job has been lost over salary negotiations. Bringing up wages too early in the application process can be bad for a job applicant. On the other hand, avoiding the question can lead to disappointment when a job is offered, not to mention wasted time. In the past, employers held all the cards. Currently, it’s a worker’s market. If you want productive, quality workers, your business needs to be honest and transparent about wages.

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Opinion Editorials

3 reasons to motivate yourself to declutter your workspace (and mind)

(EDITORIAL) Making time to declutter saves time and money – all while reducing stress. Need a little boost to start? We all need motivation sometimes.



Clean work desk representing the need to declutter.

It’s safe to say that we’ve all been spending a lot more time in our homes these last few years. This leads us to fixate on the things we didn’t have time for before – like a loose doorknob, an un-alphabetized bookshelf, or that we’ve put off ‘declutter’ on our to-do list for too long.

The same goes for our workspaces. Many of us have had to designate a spot at home to use for work purposes. For those of you who still need to remain on-site, you’ve likely been too busy to focus on your surroundings.

Cleaning and organizing your workspace every so often is important, regardless of the state of the world, and with so much out of our control right now, this is one of the few things we can control.

Whether you’re working from a home office or an on-site office, take some time for quarantine decluttering. According to The Washington Post, taking time to declutter can increase your productivity, lower stress, and save money (I don’t know about you, but just reading those 3 things makes me feel better already).

Clutter can cause us to feel overwhelmed and make us feel a bit frazzled. Having an office space filled with piles of paper containing irrelevant memos from five years ago or 50 different types of pens has got to go – recycle that mess and reduce your stress. The same goes with clearing files from your computer; everything will run faster.

Speaking of running faster, decluttering and creating a cleaner workspace will also help you be more efficient and productive. Build this habit by starting small: try tidying up a bit at the end of every workday, setting yourself up for a ready-to-roll morning.

Cleaning also helps you take stock of stuff that you have so that you don’t end up buying more of it. Create a designated spot for your tools and supplies so that they’re more visible – this way, you’ll always know what you have and what needs to be replenished. This will help you stop buying more of the same product that you already have and save you money.

So, if you’ve been looking to improve your focus and clearing a little bit of that ‘quarantine brain’, start by getting your workspace in order. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to declutter and be “out with the old”; you may even be inspired to do the same for your whole house. Regardless, doing this consistently will create a positive shift in your life, increasing productivity, reducing stress, and saving you money.

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Opinion Editorials

How to identify and minimize ‘invisible’ work in your organization

(EDITORIAL) Often meaningless, invisible tasks get passed down to interns and women. These go without appreciation or promotion. How can we change that?



Women in a meeting around table, inclusion as a part of stopping gender discrimination representing invisible work.

Invisible work, non-promotable tasks, and “volunteer opportunities” (more often volun-told), are an unfortunate reality in the workforce. There are three things every employer should do in relation to these tasks: minimize them, acknowledge them, and distribute them equitably.

Unfortunately, the reality is pretty far from this ideal. Some estimates state up to 75% or more of these time-sucking, minimally career beneficial activities are typically foisted on women in the workplace and are a leading driver behind burnout in female employees. The sinister thing about this is most people are completely blind to these factors; it’s referred to as invisible work for a reason.

Research from Harvard Business Review* found that 44% more requests are presented to women as compared to men for “non-promotable” or volunteer tasks at work. Non-promotable tasks are activities such as planning holiday events, coordinating workplace social activities, and other ‘office housework’ style activities that benefit the office but typically don’t provide career returns on the time invested. The work of the ‘office mom’ often goes unacknowledged or, if she’s lucky, maybe garners some brief lip service. Don’t be that boss that gives someone a 50hr workload task for a 2-second dose of “oh yeah thanks for doing a bajillion hours of work on this thing I will never acknowledge again and won’t help your career.”  Yes, that’s a thing. Don’t do it. If you do it, don’t be surprised when you have more vacancies than staff. You brought that on yourself.

There is a lot of top-tier talent out there in the market right now. To be competitive, consider implementing some culture renovations so you can have a more equitable, and therefore more attractive, work culture to retain your top talent.

What we want to do:

  1. Identify and minimize invisible work in your organization
  2. Acknowledge the work that can’t be avoided. Get rid of the blind part.
  3. Distribute the work equitably.

Here is a simple example:

Step 1: Set up a way for staff to anonymously bring things to your attention. Perhaps a comment box. Encourage staff to bring unsung heroes in the office to your attention. Things they wish their peers or they themselves received acknowledgment for.

Step 2: Read them and actually take them seriously. Block out some time on your calendar and give it your full attention.

For the sake of demonstration, let’s say someone leaves a note about how Caroline always tidies up the breakroom at the end of the day and cleans the coffee pot with supplies Caroline brings from home. Now that we have identified a task, we are going to acknowledge it, minimize it, and consider the distribution of labor.

Step 3: Thank Caroline at the team meeting for scrubbing yesterday’s burnt coffee out of the bottom of the pot every day. Don’t gloss over it. Make the acknowledgment mean something. Buy her some chips out of the vending machine or something. The smallest gestures can have the biggest impact when coupled with actual change.

Step 4: Remind your staff to clean up after themselves. Caroline isn’t their mom. If you have to, enforce it.

Step 5: Put it in the office budget to provide adequate cleaning supplies for the break room and review your custodial needs. This isn’t part of Caroline’s job description and she could be putting that energy towards something else. Find the why of the situation and address it.

You might be rolling your eyes at me by now, but the toll of this unpaid invisible work has real costs.  According to the 2021 Women in the Workplace Report* the ladies are carrying the team, but getting little to none of the credit. Burnout is real and ringing in at an all-time high across every sector of the economy. To be short, women are sick and tired of getting the raw end of the deal, and after 2 years of pandemic life bringing it into ultra-sharp focus, are doing something about it. In the report, 40% of ladies were considering jumping ship. Data indicates that a lot of them not only manned the lifeboats but landed more lucrative positions than they left. Now is the time to score and then retain top talent. However, it is up to you to make sure you are offering an environment worth working in.

*Note: the studies cited here do not differentiate non-cis-identifying persons. It is usually worse for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.

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