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Opinion Editorials

Mariana Wagner- AG’s Best of Writer series

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The AG Best of Writer series is a culmination of the editorial team’s picks of a variety of authors’ most significant articles that have impacted the real estate industry. We hope you enjoy this look back and be sure to read the comments to the articles, as in many cases, they’re just as interesting as the articles themselves.

You know you’re a real estate agent if… top 40 ways

11.08.2007: “You know you are a Real Estate Agent if …
1. Your car (or mode of transportation) has as many filing cabinets (or places that files can be stuffed) as your office. 2. Your monthly cell phone minutes are almost in the 6 figure mark. 3. You can effectively answer the phone, reply to an email, send a fax, eat your lunch, review title work, send a text message, (throw a sheep), and set a showing at one time.”
Read more…

A national MLS will not work and here are three reasons why

03.02. 2008: “On the Twitter vine there has been tweets about the National MLS possibilities, with people from both sides of the fence offering opinions. I have heard the argument for it to replace all the little MLS boards around the country with one National MLS. Although the people who think it is a good idea bring up some good points, I do not agree with them and will not be discussing those points in this post.”
Read more…

The art of social Cadillac-ing

04.28.2009: “This post has been driving around in my head for some time now and reading Benn’s recent post: Does Nice Make You Credible really put the pedal to the metal in my head… I was watching some target marketing the other day. Yes, some of you would call that “watching commercials” … but it is more than that. I was watching the HGTV network and one of my favorite marketing pieces that was aimed at my demographic (30-something, upper middle-class professional) came on. It was an ad for a new Cadillac. It was not my favorite Cadillac ad, you know … the one where the girl asks, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?” because THAT one rocks. This particular ad talked about how Cadillac owners are not people who enjoy “social camouflage” … woah. That was a great term. Social Camouflage.”
Read more…

How to dominate your geographic niche farm for less than $84/month

06.05.2008: “In addition to being an active real estate agent and an industry technology trainer and coach, I also teach new agents how to jump into the wonderful world of real estate. I teach them how to look for business, how to be confident and competent, and ultimately how to be successful. One of the things I talk about is niche marketing – which in most cases is the same as a geographic farm. (No, not a 100 acre plot of land with sheep, chickens, a large red structure and tractors…). I know this really has nothing to do with cool web 2.0 gadgets and phraseology, but I still find it a useful part of my business plan and I want to share it”
Read more…

The secret life of a Generation X consumer… my story

02.04.2008: “With all the hullaballoo surrounding Generation Studies in relation to real estate in recent Gen Y articles here, on Agent Genius (…and beyond …), I thought this would be an excellent time to share a version of an article I wrote on ActiveRain sometime in late 2006. I know it is not a Gen Y article, but I DO have a point in sharing it… I am sharing this because I am a firm believer that the generation you are a part of plays a part in WHO you are, as a consumer. Granted, it is only a PART, but I believe it is important nonetheless.”
Read more…

Top 5 reasons why you wouldn’t hire a penguin as your next Realtor

11.17.2007: “Often I am asked why there are not more penguins in the business of real estate – here in North America. Although it may not seem obvious to everyone, there are really good reasons why a potential Buyer or Seller would not hire a penguin as their next Realtor®. Reason #1: Penguins do not have the patience to deal with the random phone calls that other Realtors® have to professionally deal with on a daily basis.”
Read more…

10 part series on how to use blogging in real estate

“There are approximately 23,454 blogs about real estate, according to Technorati. (Or, Search Real Estate Blogs Here.) But why? Why are real estate agents writing, maintaining and promoting their blogs about real estate? Of course many RE bloggers enjoy writing and like the social aspects of the Blogosphere. But ultimately… Your Real Estate Blog should help your real estate business grow.”

  1. Use blogging as a farming tool
  2. Answer FAQs just once
  3. Become a niche expert (by Jay Thompson)
  4. Humanize the online real estate experience
  5. Referrals and networking
  6. Making the phone ring
  7. Market your listings
  8. Stay ahead of your peers
  9. Promote your team and real estate business
  10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Joe Boylan

    December 27, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Wise choice! Congratulations to Mariana. We work in the same market as Mariana and Derek, they are consummate professionals and an absolute pleasure to do a deal with.

    Joe and Jennifer Boylan

  2. Mariana

    December 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Joe! We love you and Jennifer :))

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Opinion Editorials

5 secrets to a more productive morning, free of distractions

(EDITORIAL) Productivity is king in the office, but sometimes distractions and other issues slow you down. So what can you do to limit these factors?

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distractions stop productivity

Regardless of whether you’re a self-proclaimed morning person or not, more efficient mornings can be catalytic in your daily productivity and output. The only question is, do you know how to make the most of your mornings in the office?

5 Tips for Greater Morning Productivity

In economic terms, productivity is a measure of output as it relates to input. Academics often discuss productivity in terms of a one-acre farm’s ability to produce a specific crop yield, or an auto manufacturing plant’s ability to produce a certain number of vehicles over a period of time. But then there’s productivity in our personal lives.

Your own daily productivity can be defined in a variety of ways. But at the end of the day, it’s about getting the desired results with less time and effort on the input side. And as a business professional, one of the best ways to do this is by optimizing your morning in the office.

Here are a few timely suggestions:

  1. Eliminate All Non-Essential Actions

    Spend the next week keeping a log of every single action you take from the moment your eyes open in the morning until you sit down at your desk. It might look something like this:

    • Turn off alarm
    • Scroll through social media on the phone
    • Get out of bed
    • Eat breakfast
    • Take shower
    • Brush teeth
    • Walk dog
    • Watch news
    • Browse favorite websites
    • Get in car
    • Starbucks drive-thru
    • Arrive at office
    • Small talk with coworkers
    • Sit down at the desk

    If you do this over the course of a week, you’ll notice that your behaviors don’t change all that much. There might be some slight deviations, but it’s basically the same pattern.

    Now consider how you can eliminate as many points of friction as possible from your routine. [Note from the Editor: This may be an unpopular opinion, but] For example, can you skip social media time? Can you make coffee at home, rather than drive five minutes out of your way to wait in the Starbucks drive-thru line? Just doing these two things alone could result in an additional 30 minutes of productive time in the office.

  2. Reduce Distractions

    Distractions kill productivity. They’re like rooftop snipers. As soon as they see any sign of productivity, they put it in their crosshairs and pull the trigger.Ask yourself this: What are my biggest distractions and how can I eliminate them?Popular distractions include social media, SMS, video games, news websites, and email. And while none of these are evil, they zap focus. At the very least, you should shift them to later in the day.
  3. Set Measurable Goals and Action items

    It’s hard to have a productive morning if you don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to be productive. Make sure you set measurable goals, create actionable to-do lists, and establish definitive measurements of what it looks like to be efficient. However, don’t get so caught up in the end result that you miss out on true productivity.“There’s a big difference between movement and achievement; while to-do lists guarantee that you feel accomplished in completing tasks, they don’t ensure that you move closer to your ultimate goals,” TonyRobbins.com mentions. “There are many ways to increase your productivity; the key is choosing the ones that are right for you and your ultimate goals.”In other words, set goals that are actually reflective of productivity. In doing so, you’ll adjust your behavior to come in proper alignment with the results you’re seeking.
  4. Try Vagus Nerve Stimulation

    Sometimes you just need to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand. There are plenty of ways to shut out interruptions but make sure you’re also simultaneously cuing your mind to be productive. Vagus nerve stimulation is one option for doing both.Vagus nerve stimulation gently targets the body’s vagus nerve to promote balance and relaxation, while simultaneously enhancing focus and output.
  5. Optimize Your Workspace

    Makes sure your office workspace is conducive to productivity. This means eliminating clutter, optimizing the ergonomics of your desk, reducing distractions, and using “away” settings on apps and devices to suppress notifications during work time.

Make Productivity a Priority

Never take productivity for granted. The world is full of distractions and your willpower is finite. If you “wing it,” you’ll end up spending more time, energy, and effort, all while getting fewer positive results.

Make productivity a priority – especially during the mornings when your mind is fresh and the troubles of the day have yet to be released in full force. Doing so will change the way you operate, function, and feel. It’ll also enhance tangible results, like income, job status, and the accolades that come along with moving up in your career.

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Opinion Editorials

Is the tech industry layoff bloodbath coming or is it already here?

We have large online communities for job seekers, and we can affirm that the layoffs are on the way, but there is a silver lining for all involved…

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layoff time

If you were on Twitter at the end of last week, you probably saw a dribble of conversations about layoffs in tech coming, and today, the volume was turned up to 10 on social media. Several founders have said they’re cutting parts of teams and are nixing contractors. We’re about to be in a recession, y’all, and we can ALL feel it coming.

While this has been happening all of this calendar year, a pending recession is kicking the stock market in the teeth (especially in tech), and combined with a slowdown in fundraising, fuel has been added to what was simply kindling, and layoffs are already rapidly escalating.

JD isn’t the only one hearing it, my inbox has slowly been lighting up on this topic. In response, Joshua Baer noted that it’s a great time to scoop up talent. Love or hate him, he’s right.

There is a lot of data on tech layoffs, for example, Layoffs.FYI has been tracking meaningfully since COVID began, pulling info from public reports. We expect they’ll be busy for the next few months.

While VC funding in 2021 was at a global high, so far, 2022 has shown a significant slowdown, according to CrunchBase. Many believe valuations are tumified, a bear market is believed to be upon us, and tech firms are struggling to increase profitability, all combining to a bubble about to burst.

As Baer noted, the silver lining is for anyone looking to hire. It’s bad news for anyone about to get a pink slip, but it’s also empowering to know that candidates are still in the driver’s seat in this market and negotiations are still in their favor.

We at AG have communities dedicated completely to job seekers and employers, and have created neutral ground on which they can meet, and they do by the thousands (Austin Digital Jobs and Remote Digital Jobs).

We’re not seeing the “bloodbath” of folks with pink slips in hand yet, BUT today, a dozen mid- to senior- level technologists reached out to me personally that got laid off Monday morning.

With our finger firmly on the tech employment pulse, we agree with the assessment that layoffs are coming.

More on this topic: “Why are tech layoffs coming after such great Q1 earnings?!”

Here’s the TL;DR version in memes:

The end is nigh?
tech layoffs in memes

Seems about right

In and out Morty, a quick 24 hour adventure!

Diversification is the key


The May 2022 stock market

Insert angry title here

It’s fedish!

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Opinion Editorials

40% of newly-onboarded employees are already looking for another job

(EDITORIAL) The job market has been booming. That’s right, 40% of newly-onboarded employees are looking to make a move, AGAIN!

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Employer look at a hiring candidate, seated across from each other while one takes notes to determine hiring employees.

Currently, in the United States, employees are changing jobs every 4.2 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic and other economic factors have accelerated that rate.

Two of every five workers who switched jobs in the past year are already looking for work again according to a survey published in April by Grant Thornton.

21% of American workers changed jobs in the last 12 months according to the company’s State of Work in America survey.

“The power is going to the employee right now,” said Tim Glow, who leads Grant Thornton’s employee listening and human capital services team. “They are in the driver’s seat.”

Those leaving jobs say pay and benefits are huge factors in leaving. However, of the 40% looking to make a move again, many say the pay increase they took when changing jobs wasn’t enough to keep them in their current job.

The Great Resignation is creating an opportunity for employees, and employers are looking at increased pay and benefits to keep workers happy.

Employees making a shift successfully are willing to leave a job again for a better work environment. And experts say more pay or better benefits are valid reasons to continue looking for new employment.

In the past, experts recommended staying at a job for three-five years before moving, but The Great Resignation has changed the status quo.

So what can employers do to keep their workers?

Gallup’s research shows employers that create a strategic, values-based program have a better chance of keeping and attracting employees. Highly engaged teams – that employ a holistic approach to wellbeing – quadruple their potential for success. And according to the American Psychological Association, 89% of employees are more likely to recommend their company if the organization supports wellbeing initiatives.

Employees not engaged with employers who build engaged teams can search for companies that live by that approach.

As Jerry Cahn of Forbes says, a better term for this period of employee power might be the Great Exploration. Employees looking for something more have a chance to do just that. And employers that offer more have a better chance of acquiring and retaining their team members.

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