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Opinion Editorials

Is there an “L” on my forehead?



Is there an L on my forehead?

I showed 3 properties yesterday to buyer customers who have been looking for some time, are in no rush to buy and know they have the upper hand in this market. These customers are professionals, they are educated, use all the tools available to them on the Internet and are waiting for that right house at the right price.

These customers also understand the inner workings of real estate and how important it is to work with a Realtor that knows the area, has an established relationship with other agents and will be honest with them about their choices. This is what happened at the last showing. Remember that most showings in Miami are “listing agent must accompany” and very seldom will a house be on lock box (unless it’s vacant, or it’s a non-local agent).

When we were done looking at the property, the listing agent handed me 5 property flyers with his contact information and decided to explain that those other properties may also fit my customers’ needs. Without being rude, I took the flyers and walked outside with my customers.

I did not even have to say a word, the customers looked at me with a puzzled look and went off without pause,

“Is this guy for real?

I bet his contact information is all over those flyers!

Does he honestly believe he understands our needs better than our own agent?

Does he think we don’t know how to look for properties on the web?

What kind of service is he doing to his seller if he’s handing out other listing information when we’re looking at this particular house?”.

Oh how I wish all my customers were this vocal, all I could do was laugh. So when you have one of those “Is there an “L” on my forehead?” moments, remember that today’s consumer DOES notice.

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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  1. Charleston real estate blog

    February 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Ines, I share your pain, I just wrote about an agent who had to meet us at a property to show his listing.

    “Not only did the agent not simply let us view the home but he was pushing his listing as a great investment, the best this, the greatest that, pointing out this, that and the other, etc. He didn’t know my clients, he didn’t know what they were looking for, it was just all about his listing. Maybe my clients would have liked the property more if he wasn’t so pushy, maybe not. But they remarked about his boorish behavior after we got into the car and drove off to see the next home on our list.”

    I don’t like “pushy” salespeople. We’re not selling used cars. My clients didn’t either.

  2. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Howard, I don’t criticize “pushy”, some people like that and it’s not up to me to say what style is right or wrong. You and I are obviously not pushy. There is a defined line of what to do and not to do with someone else’s customers – it’s not a fine line, it’s not questionable, it’s just RUDE.

    If you offend the buyer’s agent? what are the chances those people will buy that listing? What are the chances that agent will keep showing your listings? If you behave like that at a showing, I wonder how you will behave during the transaction…..I personally don’t want to find out.

  3. Charleston real estate blog

    February 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Ines, who really likes pushy? And no one that I know likes rude. There is too much desperation that leads to this kind of behavior. Think about this, did you get dozens of emails every day showcasing listings a couple of years ago. As if we can’t search the MLS for exactly what our clients might be looking for without a “reminder” about this or that listing.

    Pull don’t push might be far more effective.

  4. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Howard – I think we’re preaching to the choir here. I do think some people may not like pushy but assume pushy means more aggressive when it comes to negotiating. There are some agents in my local market that keep listings on the market after they have closed so that when you call their office to make an appointment they can say “that one is no longer available, but I can fax you 3 others that are similar”………it’s just WRONG!

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    February 8, 2008 at 5:35 am

    It’s the difference between aggressive and assertive. You don’t have to use a sledgehammer to negotiate. Oh well, they’ll always be out there in this and other fields.

  6. Missy Caulk

    February 8, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I think it is a backhanded way to say, “your Realtor may not be doing their job, so here are some more properties to consider”. Rude is a better word than pushy.

  7. monika

    February 8, 2008 at 6:17 am

    I know an agent who got fired by her seller for doing something similar. She stood in the kitchen of her listing and started promoting one of her other listings. Unbeknownst to her the seller was next door with a baby monitor and heard every word she said.

  8. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Missy – I totally agree, and my customers saw right through it.

    Monika – It is similar to those doctors that have to see patients in quantity now because of the insurance problems – it becomes a meat market and the personal touch is lost as well as business ethics.

  9. Greg Cremia

    February 8, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    This agent’s desperation is proof that this type of sales is not working anymore. I hope that he and his kind never figure it out.

  10. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I’m with you Greg!

  11. Chris Lengquist

    February 8, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “listing agent must accompany”

    I don’t think I’d survive long in your market. Mine would say “don’t bother me unless you have a question concerning the writing of a contract.”

    I mean, I’m not trying to be rude, but what a Colossal waste of my time. Of any listing agent’s time.

    Sorry for my comments. I just didn’t think anyone did this anymore. 🙁

  12. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Chris – it’s a huge issue, but we get used to it here. A lot of agents are so irresponsible that home owners cannot trust their property to a lock box. We just had a vacant property on lock box and showed up to find the master bedroom ceiling light had been stolen.

    Then proper etiquette becomes what the “listing agent’s role” is in the showing – I personally open the door, tell the cooperating agent what the main features of the property are and get out of the way.

  13. Charleston real estate blog

    February 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Chris, if it were a very high end property, then, a listing agent who meets and opens the property for a buyers agent is very understandable and generally speaking, they are very professional and simply answer a question if asked. They are “protecting” the property rather than using a lockbox for showings.

    In the situation I was describing, the parents were looking at buying a condo for their child in college rather than on campus living or renting an apartment. The price range was certainly not luxury, the seller must be a nervous wreck to not allow a lockbox. The agent probably was the only one in town who would agree to those showing terms and what you get is what you get.

  14. ines

    February 8, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    You get the same nut jobs here for Luxury properties – the ones that have to point out “here’s the kitchen” – but I’m not complaining am I?

  15. Mary Shelsby

    February 13, 2008 at 8:56 am

    We had an agent that did this in Rochester. In fact, not only did he hand out literature on his listings but also all other property in the area, with his business card clipped on top. He’d hand it right to my clients! About a year ago he opened his own shop and has been doing a ton of recruiting but no one has joined his operation. I keep waiting for a “going out of business” sign to appear.

  16. Ines

    February 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Mary – I wonder what these people think when they do this or are they so socially inept that they don’t realize it’s rude? Imagine having that guy for a broker?

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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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