Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

Is That a Foot in Your Ass or is That the RE.NET



This quote…

Regardless of what I say here or elsewhere, the incestuously cliquish part of the will insist that it is talking only to itself. Okayfine. [sic] I am talking only to the ninety-and-nine. If your objective in reading BloodhoundBlog is to build and improve your business, do not do as they do. Don’t treat people as leads, and, whatever you do, don’t treat them like idiots. Don’t insult them to score points with your buddies. If you find you’ve stepped in shit, admit it at once, clean up what you can and move on. Greg Swann

… is proof that the ego of Greg Swann has been allowed to swell over.  You’re absolutely right that we are often to polite in how we encourage others.  In Lani’s post regarding the Black & White video you’ll note Lani’s point was not so much about the message of the message, but the delivery.  I’m not sure how anyone can mistake an observation like that for bragging that it is the way forward or call it pandering.  Many do not like being on camera- so here’s an alternative versus steal this idea for your own.

Ego is ego.

When I created it was based on the idea that large group blogs were blogging to the consumer was actually false.  Consumers do read the blogs agents create, but rarely opine.  So my idea was, if agents would just be themselves and speak as they would normally speak, they might grab a real consumer market share.  I also wanted a blog that removed the self-serving condescending ego from the mix- just straight up conversation related to real estate.  which led to the creation of the ag badge (shown below and seen on sites all over the Internet).  It’s pretty clear on that we speak to each other, but from a consumers perspective, you rarely see a conversation about how much wealth the writer made today off of the backs of consumers.  We’re (the professionals) are not as obsessed with the commission as others portray, and we’re regular professionals like everyone else. We’re honest and to the consumers who read us, that’s priceless.

The idea that Greg believes we do not know our audience is actually absurd, and further proof of arrogance.  We write in the proper perspective, and in that spirit we leave room for our consumer to discern their own impression of the profession.  We believe that this honest approach in the long run will turn more readers in, than out as we are not blasting our opinions at them as many blogs do.  In fact, I place reader comments in the most expensive real estate on the page- for the world to see.  Not many blogs even bother to give the slightest bit of attention to the passing consumer or the agent commenter as “an actual contributor” of, but we place it front and center.  We also participate in the we follow rule to reward those that contribute by comment.  I do not know of any other blog that is more comment contributor focused than we, even if that contributor is an actual consumer. Further, we make it quite evident that the photo of the AG contributor comes dead last as the point of whoever contributes is genius and ultimately the point.  In other words, we might know a thing or three about a thing or two.  The fact that we’ve elivated to the point we are in less than 100 days aughta give anyone pause.

We do not care about the opinions of other blogs, and our stats prove that we’re doing many things right- is there room to grow?  Absolutely, but we do not need to backtrack (as many group blogs will) to try new directions (to be honest about who we’re writing to or who we are), we simply move forward from an honest foundation (we’re just talking, you’re welcome to chime in)- and many large blogs have begun to get that what is doing must work,  and the talent here isn’t ramming their beliefs down peoples throats or using a bully pulpit to spew radical hatred of all things real estate.  It’s an honest discussion of an agent failing in their market, observations by a mom about her son, a showing gone crazy and how the agent and client had a laugh together.  The material of absolutely relates in many ways to everyday people- consumers like us.  And I give a hearty “go f’yourself” to anyone who says otherwise and doesn’t understand that our mission is to relate to our consumers.  We represent the industry from coast to coast, and honestly, I’m proud of the contribution here, and this contribution is just that, a contribution rather than an oppressive “you can’t argue with me”- you’re right, but it isn’t that we can’t, it’s that no one cares enough to bother.

Greg is right that folks should speak up when something is bad, but in this instance, it wasn’t badWe’re not wrong, and we’re surely not going to admit shit when the smell is obviously on your carpet.  If you think we’re endorsing a clever approach to a video message, you’re f’n right on that fact- and in a nice way, many are begging for alternatives to some of the previous video attempts made by even our own, Daniel Rothamel, among others. 

Criticism is welcome, but that’s about all that is tolerated.  Honesty with the consumer will always be celebrated, no matter how harsh or sweet the delivery.  Greg Swanns contribution to real estate, the consumer, and the profession is invaluable, and my remarks here should not be misunderstood.  I’ll stand behind genius when I see it, but we’re not about to sit by and be talked down to like some child flying by the seat of their pants. 

You mind yours, and we’ll mind ours.  If you think you’ve ruffled the feathers of AG, you’d be dead wrong, you’ve only solidified what is all about. 


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.

Continue Reading


  1. Benjamin Bach

    December 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm


  2. Larry Yatkowsky

    December 21, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Was Mr.Swann’s post or the video more rigtheous?

  3. Teresa Boardman

    December 21, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Yawn. I have a bad Blog and Greg said that it is evil. Yawn,it is still there. The world and the internet are both really big places. Many people have opinions. and so . . yawn, bye having trouble staying awke through this one.

  4. Todd Carpenter

    December 21, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I doubt Greg is going to apologize because I don’t think he’s wrong. I don’t think you’re wrong either. It’s just an opinion. Greg may have come on stronger than he needed, but the underlying point remains.

    I watched the movie for the first time in my feed reeder. I think it was Joel’s post about it, but it could of been another as the movie was all over the place. At first glance, I didn’t like it at all. It actually made me roll my eyes a bit. After reading all the positive comments, I just assumed I must be interpreting it wrong, and decided to bite my lip.

    But Greg’s comment reflected my opinion dead on so I finally decided to speak up. “Don’t overprice your home” might be good advice, but it comes off as low-balling. was all up in arms over the way Dubner & Levitt portrayed the industry in Freakonomics, but this sort of advice reinforces their position.

    I’m not an RE agent, but I understand the frustration of trying to list a house when the owner thinks it’s worth more than it is. I get it. But the other way to look at is, I don’t need to employ an RE agent to sell my house for less than it’s worth. I can do that on my own, or even get Redfin to do it. I work with agents because I want to get the maximum value possible out of my home. I trust an agent to know the market well enough to do that.

    I’d have to say, if the first thing an agent told me was to, “not overprice my home”. My reaction would be, “why is this guy already low-balling me? He hasn’t even seen my house yet.” To top off the movie, Daniel never even looked me in the eye when he said it. It’s the opposite of all his other great videos.

    I don’t really know if Gregg is attacking AG in his last post. I took it to mean that Daniel never should have put it on HIS blog in the first place. I also didn’t take it as “GREG SAYS X, and that is the way of things”. I just took at as his opinion. Maybe the context depends on if a reader looks up to him, or over to him.

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    December 21, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Well said Benn. I find it very comfortable here and I’m sure that was another goal you had in mind. Thanks, Howard

  6. Robert D. Ashby

    December 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Benn – I would tend to echo somewhat what Todd has to say. I do not take “sides” in this controversy for similar reasons. Neither are “wrong” as I stated in another comment.

    I do like the direction Agent Genius has gone in providing quality “consumer” content with a no BS approach. That is why I was willing to write here and take pride in doing so.

    As for the video and Greg controversy, I only state that it is good to focus on your targeted audience and know who that is. Here at AG, I write a little differently than I do at my own blog so it works a little better for your audience. Controversy, if properly directed can attract more “targeted” readers. Misdirected though, it can be destructive.

  7. ines

    December 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Different audiences, of course! Are we giving the negative opinion too much importance, definitely!

    There’s a saying in spanish that says “cada loco con su tema”!

  8. Missy Caulk

    December 21, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Hey,I like Greg, I like the video, I posted it on my blog.

    Someone sent me Greg’s rant, but I had already read it, and it is the truth, I have turned down 8-10 listings this year.

    We get it, sellers don’t. Any bit of encouragement is good.

  9. Ines

    December 21, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    What I don’t get is how the message of “don’t overprice” can be misconstrued as “low ball” – we need to pay attention at the way the consumer can interpret or misinterpret the message.

  10. Vicki Moore

    December 21, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    I thought the video was cute and creative. I’m lost by the insulting nature of Greg’s post.

    We have gone from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market in lightning speed. Not all sellers have been able to grasp such a dramatic change.

    I write what interests me and makes me laugh. Agitating and aggravating my audience is not my intention, but sometimes it happens.

    BTW: Don’t tell me what to do. I can think for myself.

  11. Innocent Bystander

    December 22, 2007 at 12:05 am

    See what happens when Kelman gets invited to the “Today” show, Swann merely gets the crumbs at Fox Business, and Rothamel decides to produce his own show on YouTube? Swann gets cranky, and Rothamel has to bear the brunt of it all. On the sidelines, Kelman is watching this soap with that trademark phony smile on his face.

  12. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius

    December 22, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Greg Swann’s Point Is?

    1. Daniel’s first point: Buyers care about what the house is going to cost them.

    This from Mr. Swann: (emphasis added via quotes)

    Our customers are telling us in no uncertain terms what they want: More! Newer! Better! Faster! “Cheaper!”

    But even though too many homes are on the market, some of them are selling.

    Which ones? Those homes that offer the greatest “perceived value to buyers.”

    And where is that value perceived? In the quality of the home or in a “bargain price”.

    One of the things I like best about listing appointments is listening to the sellers tell me what is wrong, in excruciating detail, with each one of the competitive listings.

    At the end of the rant, I’ll say, “You’ve sold me.”


    “You’ve sold me. You’ve looked at each one of those houses like a buyer would, and you’ve told me why every one of them is overpriced. Now tell me why buyers won’t say the same kinds of things about your home?”

    2. Daniel’s second point: Don’t overprice it. This means price it to the market. Not “bargain price it” or “low ball it”.

    Mr. Swann again:

    We tend to be very careful about the listings we’ll take, because we want our homes sold in four days or four weeks, not four months.

    But that leads us to “the most important thing you can do to make sure your home sells while others languish: Price it to the market.”

    I want to talk about some innovative marketing ideas, but “no amount of marketing can overcome a too-high price.” If you are unwilling to “price your home to the market”, you might as well spare yourself the agony of listing it.

    So Swann’s point is what? There is no point as far as ideas go. They both expound the same ideas.

    Is it that Daniel uses simple sentences & crude drawings? Maybe he ought then condemn Hugh MacLeod’s cartoons or Kris Berg’s stick figures. Perhaps the haiku is next. Oh, that verbosity was beheaded.

  13. monika

    December 22, 2007 at 6:52 am

    I liked the video as well. Simple and to the point. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

  14. rudy

    December 22, 2007 at 9:47 am

    priced to sit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion Editorials

How strong leaders use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) We’re weeks into the COVID-19 crisis, and some leaders are fumbling through it, while others are quietly safeguarding their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how a strong leader can see their teams, their companies, their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always, but is amplified when a crisis like COVID-19 occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve our teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms. 
Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything is disrupted and people are now adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.
The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.
And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.
We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when we game plan, we strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.
That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

I just got furloughed. Now what?

(EDITORIAL) Some companies are furloughing employees, betting on their company’s long-term recovery. Here’s what you can expect and should plan for in your furlough.



furloughed woman

Are you furloughed? You are not alone! What now? What does “furlough” even mean? How will I get money? Will I still keep my insurance?

A furlough differs from a layoff in a few ways. Whereas a layoff means you are definitely unemployed, a furlough is at its core unpaid time off. Not all furloughs are created equal, though the basic concept is the same: to keep valued employees on ice without being on the hook for their pay until a financial turnaround occurs.

The good-ish news is that a furlough means the company wants to keep you available. When a company is unable to pay their employees for an extended (often indefinite, as is the case with COVID-19 closures) period, they may opt to furlough them instead of laying them off. This virus has decimated whole industries, at least temporarily.

Furloughed employees are forbidden by law to do so much as answer a work email or text while furloughed–or else the company must pay them. The first large waves of COVID-19 furloughs are in obvious sectors such as hospitality (Marriott International), airlines industries (Virgin Atlantic), though other industries are following suit with furloughs or layoffs.

Some furloughs may mean cutting employees’ hours/days to a minimum. Maybe you’re being asked to take off a couple days/week unpaid if you’re hourly, or one week/month off if you’re on salary. With the COVID-19 situation, though, many companies are furloughing bunches of employees by asking them not to work at all. This particular furlough will last ostensibly for a few months, or until business begins to bounce back, along with normal life.

So, what are your rights? Why would you wait for the company? Can you claim unemployment benefits? What about your other work benefits? I’d be lying if I said I knew all the answers, as the furlough packages differ from company to company, and the laws differ from state to state.

However, here are some broad truths about furloughs that should apply. I hope this information helps you sort through your options. I feel your pain, truly. It’s a tough time all around. I’m on your side.

The first answer people want to know is yes, if you’re furloughed and have lost all or most of your income, you may apply for unemployment benefits. You can’t be expected to live off of thin air. Apply IMMEDIATELY, as there is normally a one or two week wait period until the first check comes in. Don’t delay. Some states provide more livable unemployment benefits (I’m looking at you, Massachusetts) than others, but some income is better than none.

Also, most furloughed employees will likely continue to receive benefits. Typically, life and health insurance remain intact throughout the length of the furlough. This is one of the ways companies let their employees know they are serious about wanting them back as soon as it’s financially realistic. Yet some other benefits, like a matching 401k contribution, will go away, as without a paycheck, there are no contributions to match.

Should you look for a job in the interim? Can you really afford not to? What if the company goes belly up while you’re waiting? Nobody wants that to happen, but the reality is that it might.

If you absolutely love your job and the company you work for and feel fairly confident the furlough is truly short-lived, then look for a short-term job. Thousands upon thousands of positions have opened up to meet the needs of the COVID-19 economy, at grocery stores or Amazon, for example. You could also look for contract work. That way, when your company reopens the doors, you can return to your position while finishing off the contract work on the side.

If the company was on shaky ground to begin with, keep that in mind when applying to new jobs. A full-time, long-term position may serve you better. At the end of this global health and economic crisis, some industries will be slower to return to their former glory–if they ever do. If you’re furloughed from such an industry, you may want to shift to something else completely. Pivot, as they say. Now would be a good time.

The only exceptions are “Excepted” government workers in essential positions, including public health and safety. They would have to work while furloughed in case of a government shutdown (and did previously).

Furloughs are scary, but they offer a greater measure of security than a layoff. They mean the company plans on returning to a good financial situation, which is encouraging. Furloughs also generally offer the comfort–and necessity–of insurance, which means you can breathe a bit easier while deciding your next move.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

The cringe inducing and lesson learning tale of Poor Jennifer

(EDITORIAL) Video conferencing is becoming the norm, so make sure you don’t end up like poor Jennifer. Take some extra time and precautions against exposure.



poor Jennifer

Ever had that bad dream where you were giving a speech, but realized you were totally naked? If so, you’ll join us in cringing at the true life tale of “Poor Jennifer.”

We are all Poor Jennifer. We love Poor Jennifer. We stand with Poor Jennifer. Take a deep breath and prepare to relate far too well to a story this mortifying. You’ll want to tell her you feel for her and perhaps even offer up your own embarrassing anecdotes to let her know she’s not alone. Jennifer’s story serves as the ultimate cautionary tale for Zoom calls.

Working from home is a luxury/burden that was still surprisingly rare until the COVID-19 crisis sent office workers home in droves. IT departments across the country–and across the world–scrambled to ensure they had solid firewalls and valid VPNs locked and loaded on everyone’s computer. Everyone signed up for video conferencing tools. Zoom became a household name overnight, though other options are available, too.

Nearly everyone’s reality has drastically changed over the past several weeks due to the novel coronavirus–and in some cases overnight. With this global pandemic comes uncertainty, anxiety, and dread, meaning few of us are working at our own full mental capacity. Many professionals find themselves working at home, using new tools, and with new, often rambunctious, noisy, or needy coworkers, AKA children, pets, or life partners. It can be jarring, disconcerting.

If you’re used to participating in conference calls in an office environment, whether video or audio, you take them at your desk. Working from home can tempt one to mute the audio call and do some multi-tasking. Nobody can see you or hear you once you mute the phone, after all, and not every part of every call is important for your particular piece of the puzzle.

I’m not proud of it, but I’ve walked the dog or loaded the dishwasher while I muted a conference call during another department’s report. It’s not ideal, but I have to tell you…it happens. I am thanking my lucky stars today that we kept video conferences to a bare minimum at work.

What does this have to do with Poor Jennifer? Well, Poor Jennifer was on a team video conference call when she answered another call: nature’s. Yikes. Zoom caught it all, and her colleagues’ faces told the story. We see confusion, discomfort, then disbelief. By the time one of her colleagues tries to tell her, she obviously already caught a glimpse of herself on the porcelain throne and took care of the problem.

The whole scenario was over practically before it began, yet it’s a moment that will live on forever, because one of Poor Jennifer’s inconsiderate coworkers went ahead and posted the Zoom feed online. NOT COOL, BRO. As for Poor Jennifer, please know we get it. The world is coming to a standstill, and this weighs heavy on our heads. Your accident serves as a warning to all of us coping with a strange new world. And yes, we laughed a little, awkwardly, because we were taken by surprise and felt uncomfortable for you.

Please know, Poor Jennifer, that it could happen to anyone. Know that we’re on your side. Know that we think your coworker is in the wrong 100% for posting it. Most importantly, know that any minute now, some other unsuspecting soul will unseat you from your internet throne of ignominy. This is the beauty of the internet and our ridiculously short attention spans.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!