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Opinion Editorials

NAR Losing The PR Battle?



Does This Yun Make You Look Fat?

NAR headquarters
NAR Headquarters
photo credit: dannyfowler

As a member of NAR, the bottom line is that it is a marriage. Some days we agree on everything and run along like a happy couple, other days, I look at the dress and think, yes, it does make you look fat- suddenly it blurts out of my brain through my mouth before I can take it back- today is one of those days…

I am reading a blog post in the Wall Street Journal and as I read down towards the comments I grow more and more alarmed at what the damage to the association may really be. As it goes, I try really hard to see the both sides of every coin but in this instance, it is getting harder and harder to believe NAR has a chance of regaining much credibility unless they make major change in the ranks at NAR, right now.

Sand is Slipping Through The Hourglass

It may be time for NAR to take a look at the source of the controversy in which it lost its position as “fact” in the real estate arena and once and for all acknowledge it and cut the losses.

As We All See It

Yes, NAR, Mr. Yun makes you look fat. Mr. Yun is fantastic at measuring statistics, but as a voice, he no longer has one. It may be time to move Mr. Yun to a new post within the same division and allow someone with a fresh voice to lead the conversation. It is now time to step up, clear the slate and regain control of the conversation before it’s too late.


I do not make these types of suggestions lightly. With all due respect to NAR, all you need to do is take a read of the comments in this Wall Street Journal post to realize that what consumers are reading is fast becoming “fact,” regardless of the truth.

My Suggestions:

  • Cut Yun from the public eye (Publicly remove him)
  • Replace Yun with a person of credibility with likable qualities
  • Regroup your public relations forces and enter into the media mainstream
  • Retool your online team to engage blogs, websites, and other forums where consumers congregate
  • Create and Social Media Marketing Team of outsiders to guide you

What is “Social Media” and why am I right?

(source wikipedia)

Social Media Expanded Definition: Social Media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into content publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.

Social media uses the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation and voice over IP, to name a few…

I’m right because what is on television is no longer perceived as truth, what is found online is, and if you are not out in popular sources of media, only a fraction of consumers are hearing your message. If you need further proof, simply read the comments to this blog post and search around in other popular consumer media centers and you’ll quickly understand what we’re seeing.

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.

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  1. Chris Lengquist

    January 29, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Benn, love ya’ bud. But don’t agree with ripping the NAR on this point. (Though I do love to rip the NAR) Reading the article and through the comments shows a complete lack of understanding as to how housing can and should be used as an investment.

    But first, your personal home is just that. It’s a home. Not an investment.

    Second, buying investment real estate on speculation and not sound fundamentals will only lead to trouble, if only eventually.

    And lastly, I loved the comment by the professor that said, and I quote, “That’s insane. If one of my students made that calculation, I would fail them.”

    Why? Because they also did not take into account depreciation? Or cash flow before taxes. Or was it because they forgot to calculate principal reduction? I’m confused.

    Yes, there are closing costs. Maintenance. Agent fees. Leasing expenses. So figure those in. I’ll bet you find it exceeds the stock market. In fact, I’m confident of it.

    Want to see my wife’s 401K?

    Now the fact that the NAR has completely glossed over the downturn in much of the country is part of the problem. Just like it was part of the problem when they wouldn’t recognize the fact that appreciation was happening at unsustainable rates for a few years.

  2. Benn Rosales

    January 29, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Chris, and it wouldn’t be lovely if someone named Chris logged into that blog and millions of others and said “hi, this is Chris from N.A.R. and stated just exactly what you did and engaged the conversation. You’ve only made my point, Mr. Man!

  3. Chris Lengquist

    January 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm


  4. David

    March 7, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Great Post: check out:

  5. Sunny Jim

    March 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    The NAR engages in the despicable practice of jiggering their sales numbers to deceive buyers. This is not true only of their overall phony forecasts, but in delisting/relisting actual homes for sale to rig the “original” price and days on market.

    Because this is an important and newsworthy practice, I will cite a single and newsworthy example: the home of the NAR president. In 2006, the WaPo ran a story how the home of the NAR president was not selling. The paper-money blog picked this up and did some online price investigation. From the WaPo story and a simple Google search, let’s look at the business practice of delisting/reslisting using the newsworthy example of the NAR president:

    Purchase price (2001): $1.3 million.
    Assessed value (2005): $2.6 million.
    Original asking price (2006): $1.95 million.
    Reduced asking price (2006): $1.45 million.
    Really reduced, current price (2008): $1.2 million.

    Yet Redfin says that the “original” price is $1,285,000 when the true original price is $1.95 million from two years ago, as stated in the 2006 WaPo article. And in spite of sitting unsold for over two years, Redfin lists this as active for only 159 days.

    So realtors can and do jigger the “original” price and the days on market precisely through this delisting/relisting mechanism.

    Buyer beware. And thank goodness for the web — let’s all look forward to the near future when Google and others make the MLSP obsolete and reduce transaction fees from 6 percent to less than 1 percent.

  6. Bob

    March 20, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Benn, I have been calling for Yun’s removal for sometime. Thanks for speaking up. It starts with credibility and as long as Yun has a voice, NAR has none.

    Sunny Jim, some MLS systems no longer allow for cancelling and then immediately relisting a property to manipulate market time.

  7. Hunter Jackson

    July 2, 2008 at 8:59 am

    I agree completely. Cut Yun from the public eye. He is the one everyone quotes and laughs. I am very interested to see how the Nar lawsuit judgment will start to affect everyone…

  8. John

    February 4, 2009 at 3:37 am

    The National Association of Realtors is a group of shameless liars. The cat is already out of the bag and isn’t going back in.

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Opinion Editorials

Sci-fi alert: Building cities on quantum networks becoming reality

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) The University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Tech Lab has created quantum networks that demonstrate the possibilities for future cities.



Quantum network connections in theoretical city at night time.

The University of Bristol is home to the largest quantum entanglement-based computer network in the world. Its Quantum Engineering Technology Lab, led by Dr. Siddarth Joshi, has been spearheading the development of a method of encryption called Quantum Key Distribution that may soon revolutionize information security.

First, what is quantum computing, exactly? (Giving a concise answer to that question is sort of like nailing jelly to a wall, but here goes…)

Much like a light switch, a conventional computer circuit can only be in one of two states at a time: On (1) or off (0). That’s basically how binary code works – by representing information as a series of discrete on and off signals, or high and low energy states.

Quantum computing makes use of a third kind of state that exists between those two.

Think about it this way: If classical, binary computing models rely on energy states of “yes” and “no” to communicate data, quantum computing introduces a state of “maybe.” This is because at the quantum level, the photons that make up the information in a quantum computer can exist in multiple places (or energy states, if you prefer) at once – a phenomenon known as “entanglement.”

Entangled photons cannot be observed or measured (i.e., tampered with) without changing their state and destroying the information they contain. That means quantum computer networks are virtually hack proof compared to traditional networks.

This is where Dr. Joshi’s team is changing the game. While previous attempts to build a secure quantum computer network have been limited to just two machines, the QET Lab has been able to establish a quantum encrypted network between eight machines over a distance of nearly eleven miles.

As Dr. Joshi puts it, “until now, building a quantum network has entailed huge cost, time, and resource, as well as often compromising on its security which defeats the whole purpose. […] By contrast, the QET Lab’s vision is scalable, relatively cheap and, most important of all, impregnable.”

If it can be successfully scaled up further, quantum encryption has countless potential civic applications, such as providing security for voting machines, WiFi networks, remote banking services, credit card transactions, and more.

In order for an entire population to be able to utilize a quantum network, fiber optic infrastructure must first be made accessible and affordable for everyone to have in their homes. In that sense, quantum cities are still roughly two decades away, posits Dr. Joshi. The technology behind it is very nearly mature, though. A simpler application of quantum encryption is practically right around the corner – think quantum ATMs in as few as five years.

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Opinion Editorials

5 ways to grow your entrepreneur business without shaming others

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) We all need support as business owners. Let’s talk ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur that do not include shaming your competition.



Entrepreneur women all talking around a meeting table.

The year 2020 has forced everyone to re-assess their priorities and given us the most uncertain set of circumstances we have lived through. For businesses and entrepreneurs, they were faced with having to confront new business scenarios quickly. Maybe your entrepreneur business was set to thrive as behaviors changed (maybe you already offered contactless products and services). Or, you were forced to add virtual components or find new revenue streams – immediately. This has been tough.

Every single person is having a hard time with the adjustments and most likely at different stages than others. We’re at the 6-month mark, and each of our timelines are going to look different. Our emotions have greeted us differently too, whether we have felt relief, grief, excitement, fear, hope, determination, or just plain exhaustion.

Now that we are participating in life a bit more virtually than in 2019, this is a good time to re-visit the pros and cons of the influence of technology and marketing outreach online. It’s also a great time to throw old entrepreneur rules out the window and create a better sense of community where you can.

Here’s an alluring article, “Now Is Not the Time for ‘Mom Shaming’”, that gives an example from about a decade ago of how the popularity of mommy bloggers grew by women sharing their parenting “hacks”, tips, or even recipes and crafting ideas via online posts and blogs. As the blog entries grew, so did other moms comparing themselves and/or feeling inadequate. Some of the responses were natural and some may have been coming from a place of defensiveness. Moms are not alone in looking for resources, articles, materials, and friends to tell us we’re doing ok. We just need to be told “You are doing fine.”

Luckily, some moms in Connecticut decided to declare an end to “Mom Wars” and created a photo shoot that shared examples of how each mom had a right to their choices in parenting. It seemed to reinforce the message of, “You are doing fine.” I don’t know about you, but my recent google searches of “Is it ok to have my 3-year old go to bed with the iPad” are pretty much destined to get me in trouble with her pediatrician. I’m hoping that during a global pandemic, “I am doing fine.”

Comparing this scenario to the entrepreneur world, often times your business is your baby. You have worn many hats to keep it alive. You have built the concept and ideas, nurtured the products and services with sweat, tears, and maybe some laughs. You have spent countless hours researching, experimenting, and trying processes and marketing tactics that work for you. You have been asked to “pivot” this year like so many others (sick of that word? Me too).

Here are some ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur (or at least, ideas worth considering if you haven’t already):

  1. It’s about the questions you ask yourself. How does your product or service help or serve others (vs. solely asking how do I get more customers?) This may lead to new ideas or income streams.
  2. Consider a collaboration or a partnership – even if they seem like the competition. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
  3. Stop inadvertently shaming the competition by critiquing what they do. It’s really obvious on your Instagram. Try changing the narrative to how you help others.
  4. Revisit the poem All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and re-visit it often. “And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
  5. Join a community, celebrate others’ success, and try to share some positivity without being asked to do so. Ideas include: Likes/endorsements, recommendations on LinkedIn for your vendor contacts, positive Google or Yelp reviews for fellow small business owners.

It seems like we really could use more kindness and empathy right now. So what if we look for the help and support of others in our entrepreneurial universe versus comparing and defending our different way of doing things?

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Opinion Editorials

Can we combat grind culture and injustice with a nap?

(OPINION EDITORIALS) A global pandemic and a climate of racial injustice may require fresh thinking and a new approach from what grind culture has taught us.



Sleeping cat with plant, fighting grind culture.

Information is delivered to us at warp speed with access to television, radio, and the internet (and more specifically, social media). We are inundated with messages. Oftentimes they’re personalized by something that a friend or family shared. Other times we manage them for work, school, or just keeping up with news. Many entrepreneurs already wear many hats and burn the midnight oil.

During this global pandemic, COVID-19, we have also seen a rise in awareness and attention to social injustice and systemic racism. This is not a new concept, as we all know. But it did feel like the attention was advanced exponentially by the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. Many people and entrepreneurs felt called to action (or at least experienced self-reflection). And yet they were working at all hours to evolve their businesses to survive. All of this happening simultaneously may have felt like a struggle while they tried to figure out exactly they can do.

There are some incredible thought leaders – and with limited time, it can be as simple as checking them out on Instagram. These public figures give ideas around what to be aware of and how to make sure you are leveling up your awareness.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Center for Antiracist Research – he has been studying anti-racism and has several books and interviews that help give language to what has been happening in our country for centuries. His content also delves into why and how white people have believed they are more than people of color. Here is a great interview he did with Brené Brown on her Unlocking Us podcast.

Tamika Mallory – American activist and one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March. She has been fighting for justice to be brought upon the officers that killed Breonna Taylor on March 13. These are among other efforts around the country to push back on gun control, feminist issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brené Brown – research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She has been listening and engaging on how racism and our shame intersect. She also speaks about how people can reflect on themselves and where they can take action to better our society. She has some antiracism resources on her website.

With all of this information and the change in our daily routines and work habits (or business adjustments), what is a fresh approach or possibly a new angle that you haven’t been able to consider?

There is one social channel against grind culture that may not be as well-known. At an initial glance, you may even perceive this place as a spoof Twitter and Instagram that is just telling you to take a nap. But hold on, it’s actually much smarter than that. The description says “We examine the liberating power of naps. We believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations. We install Nap Experiences. Founding in 2016.”

It might be a great time for you to check out The Nap Ministry, inspired by Tricia Hersey. White people are called to action, and people of color are expressly told to give time to taking care of themselves. Ultimately, it goes both ways – everyone needs the time to recharge and recuperate. But people of color especially are being told to value their rest more than the grind culture. Yes, you’re being told you need to manage your mental health and include self-care in your schedule.

Through The Nap Ministry, Tricia “examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations.”

“In this incredibly rich offering, we speak with Tricia on the myths of grind culture, rest as resistance, and reclaiming our imaginative power through sleep. Capitalism and white supremacy have tricked us into believing that our self-worth is tied to our productivity. Tricia shares with us the revolutionary power of rest.” They have even explored embracing sleep as a political act.

Let this allow you to take a deep breath and sigh – it is a must that you take care of yourself to take care of your business as well as your customers and your community. And yes, keep your drive and desire to “get to work”. But not at your expense for the old grind culture narrative.

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