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Thursday WTF

Down Goes Mitt Romney

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Who does this leave in the race?

Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama

Mike Huckabee

John McCain

Some fellow named Ron something or other…

My Thoughts…

Have you ever been hungry, opened the fridge, only to realize its completely empty?

Welcome to Campaign ’08

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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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Jeff Brown

    February 7, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Haven’t seen it better said.

    Regardless of who wins in November, we should all record benchmarks of various subjects. A review after each year of the new president’s administration takes office will let us know how their walking is compared to their talking.

    Bush hasn’t done real well with this. Sad, but true.

  2. Dale Chumbley

    February 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Very well put Benn. Should be an interesting year.

  3. Corey

    February 7, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Why is Ron Paul not listed as a remaining candidate?

  4. Jeff Brown

    February 7, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Because so far, only about 1 in 20-23 voters take him seriously as a candidate.

    That’s not a qualitative judgment on my part, just a statistical fact.

  5. Benn Rosales

    February 7, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Ron who? but I’ll add this Ron fellow if you think he has a chance of winning…

  6. Daniel Rothamel

    February 7, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    As a card-carrying member of the GOP, I think I’m gonna be sick. . .

  7. Jay Thompson

    February 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I may move to Canada.

  8. Charleston real estate blog

    February 7, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Sadly, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, you generally get the same dismal results.

    Jay, it’s cold in Canada.

  9. Benn Rosales

    February 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I see a distinct difference in two of these from the other 2 plus one who is much like the first two.

  10. Corey

    February 7, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    So you vote based on who you think will win, not who should actually be elected?

    Ron can’t win because people like to believe what the media tells them, or does not tell them.

    McCain may be the main stream “front-runner” at this point, but he will not have the necessary delegates by June, thus we will be dealing with a Brokered Convention, at which time Ron will most certainly still be in the running.

    Pull your heads out.

  11. Jonathan Dalton

    February 7, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    > Regardless of who wins in November, we should all record benchmarks of various subjects.

    Solid, except there’s a carryover. Seeds of economic revival can be pinpointed back to the tax increase that cost the original Bush re-election. Signs of economic issues started to appear at the tale end of Clinton’s second term (if anyone remembers weekly earnings warnings pre-Tech bubble burst.)

    Sort of like the sports comparison of a college coach winning with the former coach’s recruits. Was it really the coach or being in the right place at the right time?

    (That answer, to me, depends on the coach … sometimes it’s the former, sometimes the latter.)

    Personally, there are more candidates worth of a vote than we had four years ago. That alone is a positive. Of course, my preferred candidate from my registered party’s still around.

  12. Jonathan Dalton

    February 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Corey – I think the last dark horse that dark may have been Garfield. I can’t see someone taking the lead in a brokered convention when few find him viable and none in the party structure find him palatable. Of course, he just may be electable when running against the other side but even that’s a bit of a stretch. And that’s all that the powers that be will be concerned with … who can win against either Hillary or Obama.

  13. Jeff Brown

    February 7, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Your point is well taken Jonathan. Those of us who pay attention know what was already in the works before a new president takes office.

    What I refer to most importantly is what the new guy actually DOES. Look at Carter’s first couple years and compare them to either Bush, or of Reagan, or Clinton. Talk vs Walk is pretty easy to chart.

    This is why Pelosi et al are all bitin’ the big green weenie with their base. They got elected by promising an end to the war and delivered warm air.

  14. Benn Rosales

    February 7, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Hey Corey- no need to get personal.

  15. Jonathan Dalton

    February 7, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I agree, Jeff … there’s a reason there are so many studies, not of the first year, but of the first 100 days. Which actually is more like five months when you include two to lay the groundwork from the election to the inauguration.

  16. Eric Blackwell

    February 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I could not agree with your sentiments more, Benn…the best man in the race just pulled out and we are left with squat. A very sad day indeed.

    Sadly, all of the remaining candidates to my knowledge have made the VAST majority of their money at the public trough (read: my wallet).

    Your right Jay! What does it take to get a RE license in BC or Calgary –grin

    Eric

  17. Larry Yatkowsky

    February 7, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Jay, Eric et al

    It’s prettier in Super Natural B.C. but the politics are just as crazy!
    Your good ‘ol boys and girls do however, offer great sport. Thanks for that.
    – License – start here https://www.bcrea.bc.ca/.
    Bring your cheque book and 6 months of time.
    As for Calgary – what is that? It’s too cold for anything that is alive.
    ps.: You’ll bring lots of experience with you when the 2010 Olympics are done and we head into a down market. .>)

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Housing News

Spare me your Excuse Party

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My business is slow because the market’s down. Buyers are hiding in the woodwork and sellers don’t want to think about selling right now. My marketing is just not working and I need something new and shiny. It’s the fall and it’s always like this in the fall. But when spring rolls around, and when that stimulus passes, and when those leads start rolling in and when that software brings discipline to my business and when I attend that conference and when I start reading blogs every morning, and as soon as this social media thing kicks in…and…and.

I don’t want to hear it.

Do you want to know the Truth: You don’t want it bad enough. Nothing more, nothing less. Nelson Mandela spent 28 years in a South African prison for his opposition to apartheid and overcame it to become the country’s president and and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Elie Weisel was put in Auschwitz-Birkenau at age 16 and not only survived but went on to become a best selling author, professor and lecturer. But these are special people, you might say. Regular folks  not only survive tragedy, extreme financial problems, disease, poverty but flourish to become what others deemed impossible, EVERY DAY. The human power of will is strong enough to surpass the toughest obstacles life can pose. You mean to tell me, it can’t overcome your slow season, anemic conversion rate or weight loss troubles?

You already know “The Dance”

We all have been through a period of time (albeit, short) when we were on the ball, focused and productive, locked in and intense. We all have gone Nazi on ourselves when we decided to lose weight and stop trying to do so. We all have tucked away Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Hulu, Drudge Report or HuffPost to focus solely on closing business. I don’t need to tell you the results because you  know them. You know exactly what works because you have done it before. So what’s stopping you?

Troubling Trends

Two trends that I see in social media on a regular basis bother me like a pack of flies in a backyard cookout. The first is the Extreme Honesty Bridge to Nowhere trend. This is when someone is brutally honest about the troubles that they’re facing and go public with them in their blog or social media sites. The idea here is to involve your peers in your struggle and have them hold you accountable for results by proxy. This part of the idea I actually like. What happens next is … nothing. They move on to the next best idea they have only to return with another lame post about the same thing. You can do whatever floats your boat to get your focus in order, but DO something. The second is the “I’m an Idea Collector” trend. This is when someone reads articles from blogs and newspapers religiously every morning collecting great ideas but never acting on a single one of them. That’s the ultimate preparing to prepare surefire recipe to wasting your time. Antidote: Take one idea per week and put it to work. Internalize it and make it part of your repertoir. Way before I became a contributor on AG, I read a post by Lani on how to find Creative Commons licensed images to use in your posts with Flickr. Since that day, that’s what I do every time I blog. I read another post from Ken on the power of sending handwritten notes to clients to generate referrals. Now, that’s part of my M.O. Reading great content is better than not reading it but not doing something with the information will lead you to the exact same place. Nowhere.

Harsh?

I hope I wasn’t unclear. Did you find this a bit harsh? I can understand that. But I hope knowing that this rant was not only directed  to you but to me as well, can heal some of those bruised feelings. Now go out there and DO SOMETHING.

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Opinion Editorials

NAR & Local Boards Should Go Back to Being Broker-Only Organizations

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puntAnd Agents Should Form Their Own Membership (Union)

I think that maybe NAR and local boards in their zeal to capitalize on dues by a larger membership may have bitten off more than they can chew when they allowed regular agents to join the boards (as is evident by continued tensions between the boards and average agents on the ground).

The Punted Football That Has Become The General Membership

It’s true, in every instance we’re told to get involved, however, involvement has become to complicated, that one hand has no idea what the other is doing.  Rules are consistently created by Broker boards, and enforced and agreed upon by the NAR that have absolutely no Agent interest protected.

So Maybe It’s Time to Protect Ourselves

Once upon a time, the membership really was Broker only, and maybe it needs to be that way again.  The birth of an actual membership of agents could be born with a proper voice at the table, similar to a real trade union with real votes in our best interest.

Such representation could beat down costs for Realtor.com, and other services we’re producing content for, thus reducing costs to the agent.  Such representation could seek out better, more competitive boards that would spring up in contrast to existing boards and the NAR.  It’s conceivable that an opportunity such as this could fracture the entire MLS cluster flip, allowing for possibly a smaller more nimble MLS that could be provided to the agent membership at a much more fair price as it has now cut out the middle men.

The Time May be Near..

…that enough is enough, that when and if a rule greatly disrupts the agents’ ability to adopt new technology, that a simple vote of no says that the massive bureaucracy that has become the collective board needs to clean up, scale down, and take it’s policies back to the drawing board for a decision that weighs all things equally.

The Broker Can Pick Up the Shortfall for NAR

This would force the Broker to pay a larger premium to the board and the NAR I’m sure, but in reality, that in and of itself would force Brokers to become more competitive where the rights and interests of their agents were concerned.

NAR would only need engage with Brokers, simplifying the conversation of progression.

The Agent Membership Now Represented

  • Has a larger voice, and choices.

Yeah, if they really want to go backwards in time, maybe we should. And yes, I am aware that there are independent versions of the current NAR that have never really taken hold, but if the current state of affairs continues, I can see a day in the future where the concept has a more stronger footing.

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Thursday WTF

Anti-DIY

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It might come as a shock to many, but I am extremely anti-DIY.

I am not trained as a plumber, electrician or mechanic and I have no interest in doing so even though I know it could potentially save me a lot of money.  I am not a REALTOR, lender, home inspector or stager and I don’t pretend to be.  I am a graphic designer, videographer, photographer, SCUBA instructor, welder, marketer and coder.

The things I DO are all things I either am or was interested in.  Only a few of them I got into because I thought they’d be business ventures.  The big issue is I value my time.  I know I’m only going to learn things I am interested in (there are many such topics) and that I should just pay people who are good at other skills to let them do what they’re best at.

The reason I mention this is that here and other sites in our industry are constantly encouraging REALTORs to do it yourself.  Don’t use/pay for a web site, just setup a WordPress site yourself.  Don’t pay for a single property web site, build it yourself.

I understand many people in this industry came from somewhere else.  Some of you are geniuinely interested in learning how to code a web site.  But to me, the tone has almost turned to a browbeating.   “You paid for that site? Why didn’t you just setup WordPress, it’s free!”

I mention this in many of my classes: if you run your business being chief cook and bottle washer, why can’t buyers and sellers do it themselves also? Now don’t get me wrong, I will use a REALTOR when it’s time to sell my house and buy a new one.  I value my time.  It’s not something I know how to do or want to learn (from a paperwork/liability standpoint, I teach REALTORs to market listings all day, so that I could do).

I really came to this realization at the Seattle REBarCamp and chatting with the ActiveRain guys.  I’ve setup close to triple digit WordPress sites now and didn’t see the point in AR.  The discussion was that there are (many) people who do not want to take the time to learn and setup a system and a turnkey site like AR is perfect for those people.  At least they’re blogging.

So I encourage those of you who are hesitant in setting up a new web site or becoming an “expert” overnight on a new social network: evaluate your time and consider letting someone help, otherwise the DIY concept may put this, and many other, industries out of business.

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