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Opinion Editorials

Top 5 Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Hire a Penguin as Your Next Realtor®



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. Penguins have a very short temper and have been known to actually throw phones through windows when non-committed, uneducated callers refuse to listen to logic. However, on the flip side, there ARE the penguins who jump at every call, but then have no time for their actual
clients. Neither scenario is good.

Reason #2:
Penguins believe that the Internet is a fad and refuse to make their presence here. (I know this because I guarantee that NO penguin will log on and actually dispute me. So, if you are a penguin, and you have embraced the internet as a tool in your business, please speak up … I’ll even email you a fish if you leave a comment here.) Do they not believe that over 80% of all home searches start online? Oh well …

Reason #3:
Penguins believe in a strict dress code. Personally, I believe that it is important to dress nicely for your clients, but that definition of “nice” differs from agent to agent and client to client. Penguins refuse to think of real estate as anything but a Black Tie affair. Ugh … please!

Reason #4:
Penguins never return phone calls. Maybe it is their lack of opposable thumbs. Maybe it has something to do with just thinking they are better than everyone. Maybe I could just make up excuses for this irreprehensible behavior all day long…. Regardless of WHY they never return phone calls, the fact is that they do not. This shows a complete lack of professionalism and there really is no excuse.

Reason #5:
Penguins are just way too selfish and self-centered.
I once witnessed a penguin at a local coffee shop making a complete ass out of itself. Who would hire someone like that? Nobody is THAT important…

So, if you were considering hiring a penguin as your next Realtor® please think through all these repercussions.

Anyway, if real estate really is a people-business, I guess penguins have no place in it anyway.

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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  1. Melissa Kruse

    November 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Way to funny. Thanks for providing some humor on a gray Saturday. Of course I would expect nothing less from Colorado Springs best realtor.

  2. Laurie Manny

    November 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    HA, I want some of what you have been nipping on.

  3. ines

    November 17, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Say “no to penguins” – I can see them doing Colorado Springs with the cold weather and all….but we also have plenty in our HOT climate.

  4. Mariana

    November 17, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    I have decided (officially) that although real estate is no laughing matter, it provides some of the greatest humor in my life. And so do penguins.

  5. monika

    November 17, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    I really enjoyed that Mariana…I needed a good laugh today!

  6. Teresa Boardman

    November 17, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Now wait a second . . I thought Realtors were held to a higher standard? . . .

  7. Mariana

    November 18, 2007 at 1:41 am

    You know what Teresa? You ARE right! They ARE held to a higher standard, but I am sure you will agree that not ALL agents (penguins or otherwise) actually reach that standard …

    Monika! Happy Penguin Day! (.. I just made that one up.)

  8. Vicki Moore

    November 18, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Only a creatively strange mind could come up with that one. Completely awesome!

  9. Todd Carpenter

    November 18, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Vicki, I’m sure Mariana’s mind is perfectly normal… at sea level. There’s not much air up here you know.

  10. Laurie Manny

    November 18, 2007 at 10:21 am

  11. Todd Carpenter

    November 18, 2007 at 10:34 am

    I don’t know Laurie, I think this version relates better to the spirit of this post.

  12. ines

    November 18, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Laurie and Todd, you guys are a trip!

  13. Mariana

    November 18, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Vicki – Todd may be onto something there …

    Laurie and Todd – WOW! How did you get all that great footage from the recent NAR convention?!?!?
    …very cool. 😉

  14. Brian Wilson

    November 19, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Does this include the Penguin a la “Batman Returns”?

    Frankly, I think his hard-nosed business tactics and hypnotic umbrella would make him one of the finest Realtors we’ve seen, although his halitosis and butt-ugly face might count against him.

    Brian Wilson,

  15. Mariana

    November 19, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Brian – Maybe he is the rest of the penguins’ managing broker?

  16. Scoot

    November 19, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Hello, my name is Scott, I’m a penguin, I have embraced the internet, I act almost the opposite of how you’ve describe my species, are you bashing my species? please send me the fish!

  17. Mariana

    November 19, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Scott, and welcome to my post. I will email you a fish, as promised.
    Am I bashing a whole species? No. Of course not. Just the penguin agents. 😉

  18. Mariana

    November 19, 2007 at 11:39 pm

  19. Scoot

    November 20, 2007 at 12:10 am

    I have to admit, I’m not really a penguin. I may have been guilty of making fun of a species myself. I just wanted the fish.

    I don’t even know what a “penguin Realtor” is, again I just wanted the fish.

    Thank you, that was a good fish!

  20. Mariana

    November 20, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Yeah, I checked out your blog, and I think that you are most definitely NOT a penguin. (I noticed that you have opposable thumbs…)

  21. Scoot

    November 21, 2007 at 8:12 am

    …]Last night I posed as a penguin.[…

  22. Lisa Dunn

    December 5, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I have a nephew who will be very sad to see there is something penguins can’t do. He asked Santa for a pet penguin. Glad it wasn’t a pet realtor 🙂

  23. Mariana

    December 5, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Pet Realtor! Ha!

  24. Pensacola Real Estate News

    December 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I watched march of the Penguins the other night. I could clearly see that penguins would not make good realtors, but while watching the movie, somehow that thought never even crossed my mind. Kind of strange that I didn’t think of it. Not to mention they are pretty worthless at protecting their little ones, I can only imagine how bad they are at negotiating for their clients.

  25. Mariana

    December 16, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Karl – You know, March of the Penguins is a perfect PR video for my post …

  26. Ann Cummings

    December 16, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Hey Mariana – this was a hoot! I have to say I don’t get asked often at all why there aren’t more penguins in real estate, but when that first happens, I’m going to ingrain these reasons in my head…..just in case I do get asked that question! 😉


  27. Mariana

    December 17, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Ann! With all the snow you have been getting I am shocked that you haven’t gotten that question more often! 😉

  28. Mariana

    January 29, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Why is it that this post keeps “appearing” on other blogs … Is it magic? Or are there more penguin agents out there than I choose to believe?

  29. Mariana

    March 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    [For as much as I am NOT a Penguin agent, sometimes I DO wish I lived among penguins … sliding around on my belly, eating fish and dodging sharks.]

  30. Sue

    July 10, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Mariana, you certainly have a good and very clever sense of humor. I actually did a “farming” card with penguins once….one penguin was asking the other if he knew of a good realtor and the other penguin had his “arm” pointing (like you’re guy above) and was saying “Yes, Sue went that way”. Thanks for the post!

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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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