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I’ve Got No Chains To Hold Me Down


This was a big week in beagledom, what with Uno winning top honors at the Westminster Dog Show. If there had been an obese beagle category, I’m sure Tobey would have come out ahead as well. But I can report he’s proud to be of the same breed, the same company.We’re told as puppies children that we’re judged by the company we keep, rightly or wrongly.

This often makes it difficult to take an objective view of those close to us and leaves us taking a stance in defense of the indefensible. There’s a marketing conference taking place here in the Valley in a couple of months. You may have read about it elsewhere. I’m not attending.

If Brian was the apparent lead for the conference I would have considered purchasing a ticket. Brian has a proven track record of successful Internet marketing and I gladly would pay to hear how he’s done what he’s done. But if it is Brian’s conference, it’s impossible to tell for all the baying coming from the Bloodhound in between another round of personal attacks against those who dare have an independent thought.

You can read all about the latest flare-up of the ongoing cold war between sellsius and Greg elsewhere, along with the inevitable (and tardy) pleas for peace and cordiality; there is no need to rehash them here.

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Rather, I suggest this. If this marketing conference is Brian’s baby, the time has come to take a visible lead and separate it from the Bloodhound. If you attach yourself to such an explosive personality, getting hit by blowback is inevitable. And that’s a shame.

To my mind, this conference will be defined as much by those leading lights of the real estate blogosphere who do not attend as by those who do. My hope is to meet up in person with some attendees for a beer or seven before the event; a $150 social hour’s not my cup of tea. In fact, as I learned at my first brokerage, the best learning often comes over a beer and not in a class. That’s especially true depending on the instructor.

Of course, the leading lights aren’t the target audience as they already have learned how to build their business on the Internet. So maybe their absence can be dismissed easily by some. But to others, the silence will be deafening.

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Written By

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.



  1. Benn Rosales

    February 17, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Note: Agent Genius has no position on any of what is happening around the net. Our focus is here on our readers and contributors and we aim to keep it that way. We are absolutely focused on rebarcamp08 and SxSW and our coverage of those events.

    I had hoped that my lack of involvement in such unprofessional events would have signaled that Agent Genius has no position on it at all with the unfortunate exception that some of our friends are involved.

    I do however encourage our writers to cover what they believe to be events of interest and will not ask Jonathan to remove this article in that spirit- he has every right to voice his opinion.

    I would ask that any comments in this post remain professional and that you not fall victim to what some accuse others of doing.

    Benn Rosales


    February 17, 2008 at 3:03 am

    OK Benn,

    Cute dog 🙂

  3. Benjamin Bach

    February 17, 2008 at 6:38 am

    I agree with Jonathan 100%. I’m tired of the whining from certain corners of the, and I wouldn’t pay to hear the bloviating first hand.

    PS Benn – do we need a disclaimer if we say something not nice about Greg ?

  4. Matthew Rathbun

    February 17, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I hear what Benn is saying and VERY much respected the fact that AG was not involving itself. I’ve simply got enough drama in everyday life. That being said, it seems to me that there are benefits (such as increased traffic) that are a by-product of this type of exchange. So here is my question…. Do individuals wish their blogs to be tabloid rags in the Food Lion check-out aisle, where people read it just to see what that silly celebrity is up to this week; or conversely do you want your blog to be a place where thoughts, ideas and productive exchanges flow? I would rather be a respected entity with a smaller readership, than big numbers drawn by Jerry Springer type tactics. Unless of course, I am blogging for money and product / event promotion as opposed to real content and being of benefit to

    I am modifying a joke I heard yesterday: “I once went to a fight…and a blog broke out”… Again, hat’s off to AG concentrating on content. Thus far this is my favorite place to be.

  5. Benjamin Bach

    February 17, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Hey Mathew
    We’re glad to have you here – we try to be a reader centric rael estate blog.

  6. Bob Carney

    February 17, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I was going to comment but deleted. (nothing derogatory about here, just the whole bashing thing.)

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    February 17, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Before I wrote anything, I sent a message to Lani to let her know something was coming. Anyone following me on Twitter can attest. And compared to a past post on the subject, I think this one was positively puffy.

    Benn wrote long ago that AG is not the anti-BHB. I can respect that. I think it’s the right way to go. But I don’t believe that means any actions taken there that impact the industry (or our little niche) should go ignored.

    If I were trolling for traffic I could have posted this on my own blog. But by its own mission statement, AG is the place to “talk about whats hot in technology, new and inventive real estate business models, the nature of the real estate industry, hot topics that impact consumers and so much more…”

    We discuss marketing all the time here … sometimes even to those not in Gen. Y. This is as much as anything a discussion of how to market oneself (or not to), presumably much the same lesson that will cost $150 down the line. This is about some of our peers (good on ya, Jay) in our little niche walking away from possible traffic and taking a stand against the type of flaming that shouldn’t be a common occurrence in our real estate blogging community.

    I’m not thrilled with a disclaimer following my post but I am glad that the post was left to stand and that as a contributor here I have the ability to write what I choose. The hypocrisy of selective censorship was one of Joe’s points, as I recall.

    As I wrote, we are judged by the company we keep. For those of us writing for the blogs, that also can mean that BHB is part of the company we keep even if by association and not in fact. Taking a stand doesn’t have to be inflammatory. Look at how Dusting handled it.

  8. Jay Thompson

    February 17, 2008 at 11:15 am

    “Agent Genius has no position on any of what is happening around the net. Our focus is here on our readers and contributors and we aim to keep it that way.”

    I can respect that. But given that your target readership would seem to be real estate professionals (as opposed to say, local “consumers”) I would think that was is happening around the net would be of interest to the bulk of the readership here.

    Perhaps the entity that is Agent Genius has no position, but I don’t think of AG as an “entity”. I think of it as a collection of innovative real estate practitioners.

    Regardless of one’s opinion of Greg, or “the post”, one can not deny that Greg is an influential person in the real estate blogiverse. When such an influential person steps out and writes something that causes an obvious emotional reaction in so many, I would think the AG readership would be interested in hearing what the AG collective thinks.

    Kudos to “the management” for letting the post stand, but to be honest, I don’t get the point of the “disclaimer”.

  9. Linda Davis

    February 17, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    When I first ventured outside my little local blog, I was directed to read all the most popular blogs including BHB. I assumed, because he speaks with such authority, that the top dog was some sort of marketing genious and sold a gazzillion houses a year like Mr. Shaw. I found myself going back again and again to read his stuff and even when I could understand him, I still didn’t get him.

    I thought it was just me….not being intelligent enough to understand him. Then I found out there was a lot of people just like me but most won’t put their opinion in a comment or write a blog post.

    There is a whole group of us who applaud you. You just won’t hear it.

  10. Brad Coy

    February 17, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    From a readers viewpoint: (even if it is inevitable and tardy)

    Every time one of these attacks break out and the pissing matches start, we beyond the few in your inner circle of the just get left feeling empty.

  11. Teresa Boardman

    February 17, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    . . and exactly why is it we write about BHB or the hound himself. Like I said a month of posts ago, yawn.

  12. Teri L

    February 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Tardy, but not a plea-

    >If you attach yourself to such an explosive personality, getting hit by blowback is inevitable.

    It’s not inevitable, it’s a choice people make.

    >And that’s a shame.

    I couldn’t agree more.

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