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Opinion Editorials

Let The Threats Begin

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BRING IT


It happens a couple times a year. Last year, I think I only got one because we slipped in our Google rankings. After making a few changes to my site and starting the blog, I’ve managed to work my way up the results page again.And it never fails, when my sites start moving up. The threatening emails begin.

Disgruntled webmasters, mostly. Some try to be ‘anonymous’ and others are outright about their identity. Most of the agents are smart enough to not send me threats directly, but I can usually track the webmaster back to the agent.

You know what? If my site passes yours in the SERPs, that’s not my problem. Go do better yourself. Don’t try to threaten or intimidate me.

And you know what else? I don’t care if you don’t like how I get my site higher than yours. I own hundreds of domains and I am my own hosting facility. I can do lots of stuff cheaply that would cost you a lot of money without the kind of resources and ability that I have. I bet it sucks to be you.

But hey – I’m far from perfect. If you learn about some new case law that hasn’t crossed my path yet, and you want to let me know of a brand new compliance issue, I’ll be thankful and make the proper changes. You don’t need to phrase it in the form of thinly veiled threats.

You don’t scare me. Get out of my Inbox.

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at KelleyKoehler.com, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Mike Price

    February 6, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Why would someone do that? Unless you are using someone else’s trade name, trademark or service mark in your keywords and/or google ads, how could you be threatened? I don’t quite get it.

  2. Ines

    February 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Kelly – you get threats? that’s absurd!! THE NERVE of those people!

  3. Benn Rosales

    February 6, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    We’ve gotten the same threats as well, and once found our site backlinked from dead pages with zero rank. There’s some shady crap that goes on in SEO, and there are some shady webmasters, but what’s worse is that for a price, your ranking can sleep with the fishes.

  4. JeffX

    February 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    I get a ‘threatening’ email apprx 2-3 times per month, everything from ‘I’m gonna hack your site down’ to ‘Im gonna kick your a** if/when I see you in person.
    It means you’re doing something right…keep at it.

  5. Ines

    February 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Oh man! Now I fee horrible and unloved and not-popular and all those things that go along with hate mail. I FEEL LEFT OUT!!

  6. Kelley Koehler

    February 6, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Mike – you’re thinking too logically. Why does a bully push other people around unprovoked?

    Ines – you’re welcome to have my hate mail! I’ve had enough.

    Benn, Jeff – good to know I’m not the only one!

  7. Orlando Florida Homes For Sale

    February 7, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Sounds like road rage in the SEO world. I can’t imagine someone doing this either but people never cease to amaze me. Congrats on your ranking!

    I wouldn’t let the disgrutaled webmaster bother you it just means that they are not doing what they should for their client to get the ranking and there just mad because they know they have to suceed.

  8. Greg Cremia

    February 8, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I just received the second complaint about my site from the MLS committee in the last 3 months. My site has been in the top 4 serps for 4 months.

    It’s funny how they don’t have a problem with the other 800 agents in our MLS doing the same thing. All I can say is “bring it on”.

  9. Teresa Boardman

    February 8, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    They really hate me. 🙂 I have even talk to some CEO’s of some pretty big companies that used to have my slot. I am thrilled to be so hated.

  10. orlandoluxuryhomesearch

    October 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

    wow..nice
    Some try to be ‘anonymous’ and others are outright about their identity.

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Opinion Editorials

Your business model doesn’t have to be a unicorn or a camel to succeed

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s not unusual for people to suggest a new business model analogy, but this latest “camel” suggestion isn’t new or helpful.

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Camels walking in desert, not the best business model.

This year in 2020 I’ve seen a great deal of unique takes on how our system works. From 45 all the way down to children instructing adults on how to wear masks properly. However, after reading this new article published by the Harvard Business Review, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so out of touch with the rest of the business world. Here’s a brief synopsis on this article on business model.

The author has decided that now of all times it’s drastically important for startups and entrepreneurs to switch their business tactics. Changing from a heavy front-end investment or “startups worth over a billion dollars” colloquially called “Unicorns” to a more financially reserved business model. One he has tried to coin as the “Camel”, using references to the animal’s ability to survive “long periods of time without sustenance, withstand the scorching desert heat, and adapt to extreme variations in climate.”

The author then goes on to outline best practices for this new business plan: “Balance instead of burn”, “Camels are built for the long haul”, “Breadth and depth for resilience”.

Now I will admit that he’s not wrong on his take. It’s a well thought-out adjustment to a very short-term solution. You want to know why I’m sure of that? Because people figured this out decades ago.

The only place that a “Unicorn” system worked was in something like the Silicon Valley software companies. Where people can start with their billions of dollars and expect “blitzscaling” (a rapid building-up tactic) to actually succeed. The rest of the world knows that a slow and resilient pace is better suited for long term investments and growth. This ‘new’ business realization is almost as outdated as the 2000 Olympics.

The other reason I’m not thrilled with this analogy is that they’ve chosen an animal that doesn’t really work well. Camels are temperamental creatures that actually need a great deal of sustenance to survive those conditions they’ve mentioned. It’s water that they don’t need for long periods, once they stock up. They have to have many other resources up front to survive those harsh conditions the article writer mentioned. So by this analogy, it’s not that different than Silicon Valley’s strongly backed “startups.”

If he wanted to actually use the correct animal for this analogy, then he should call it a tortoise business plan. Actually, any type of reptile or shark would work. It would probably be a better comparison in temperament as well, if we’re talking ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Whatever you do, consider your angle, and settle in for the long haul.

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Opinion Editorials

10 tips for anyone looking to up their professional 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 stay on track and crush your professional 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 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

Why soft skills are even more essential in online era

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Since many of us aren’t seeing our co-workers in person these days, our soft skills are even more important in the online working space.

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Skype video chat with person writing in notebook. Soft skills are critical online.

When did we start thinking of “soft” as bad? I mean, we’ve got soft serve (excellent), softball (good exercise), fabric soft-ener (another industry I’m enjoying killing as a millennial). And we’ve got soft skills.

Or at least… I hope we do.

The shift to non-optional remote working has been difficult for a lot of us, especially for everyone who forgets to press mute before making sure the kids behave. But it’ll take more than being hot-mic savvy to make it through the foreseeable future. Brush up on these soft skills while we’re waiting on a vaccine, and it’ll make the coming months (years?) much easier.

1. Tone mastery

Do you know the difference between “Hey, Brenda, can we have a 1:1 at 12:30pm to go over the laser-equipped yoga pants presentation details?” and “Brenda, we need to talk…”?

If not, you might not have a great grasp on how to say with your typey-words what you can no longer say with your facial expressions. You don’t need to throw an emoji or exclamation point into every sentence to get your points across, but you do have the power to keep your coworkers’ heart rates in a safe range by explaining what exactly you need from them in your initial messages.

Use that power wisely.

2. Checking in

There’s no water cooler talk if there’s no water cooler, right?

Making and maintaining connections is more important now than ever, natural introversion be damned. You wanna be a star, don’tcha? Keep up relationships with public shoutouts, inquiries, and reaction images, and you’ll keep up morale while maintaining and boosting your potential for growth in the company.

Even if you’re not a small-talk kind of person, just a drop in for updates, meeting minutes, or sharing a relevant article via appropriate chatrooms and DMs can help hone your soft skills.

“Karen, this MLM article reminded me of your anti-Scentsy tangent you forgot we could all hear, maybe send this to your pushy ex-friend.”

“Hey, Ravindra, how’s the new laptop working out? All good? No ‘Kill all Humans’ protocols like the last one?”

Simple blips like this can add up like couch change. If you’re an admin, make a general chats section, and work in enough time in meetings to allow everyone to have a bit of a chat before getting down to business.

3. Make yourself available

This was important before the pandemic, honestly, but it bears repeating now, especially for everyone in a leadership position. If you’re not making time for check-ins, constantly cancelling meetings, or just generally enjoying being gone when people need you…figure out a way to not. Delegate what you can, bring on a VA, shorten that vacation, whatever you have to do. Everyone’s struggling, and being captain means your crew is looking to you. Don’t let the general air of desperation lull you into thinking a metaphorical keelhauling is out of the question—that extra power still comes with extra responsibility.

Keep yourself from double-bookings, cancellations, and absences as much as possible, and things will continue to improve internally… Even if they don’t in the outside world.

Aesop had a fable about an oak tree and a little river reed. When a storm came, the hardened oak tree fell and died, while the flexible reed bent with the wind and lived. We’re in the storm now, and everyone’s doing their best not to break. Keep yourself rooted friends, but the moral here is to soften up.

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