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What I Learned at NARLANDO



Something I realized…

A few people have asked me what I learned at the NAR Convention this past weekend and after much thought, I realized that I went to the convention without the intention of learning.

I know, I know……pretty shallow

I program my brain to gain something from every experience and the goal of Narlando was to see my on-line friends, to have fun and to do some F2F interaction.  That part was a success and was lucky that Rick decided to join me and people actually verified he is real.

But how could I walk away from The National Association of Realtors Convention without learning?  That would make me brain dead, to say the least.

So here are 8 things I learned at NARLANDO:

  • Twitter people – or Tweople are REAL!!!  we met a few that introduced themselves with their Twitter name (Thank God or I wouldn’t have known who they were)
  • It would be sooo easy to kidnap Social Media Gurus

  • A couple of few pitchers of Mojitos can make white guys dance!

  • Social Media applications can make people really anti-social

  • Hilary Marsh, bka @hilarymarsh,  from is a real, live human being (with a great sense of humor, I may add)
  • put some creative real estate blogging minds together and they can plot some crazy ideas – like making @MrMiamism twitter….on Wednesdays!
  • If you bug Teresa Boardman enough she may come back at you with a

Bite Me!

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. Paula Henry

    November 17, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Ines – What a fun synopsis of NAR Orlando. Although I didn’t go, through video, blogs and pictures, I was able to learn a bit more about everyone who did go.

  2. Joel McDonald (@joelrunner)

    November 17, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for Sharing Ines! I loved the mojitos so much while hangin with you all at Narlando, I made a pitcher of them for poker this past Friday night. I followed your instructions from your video on to a tee.

    They were so delicious, I forgot about the fact that you & Rick’s recipe is a LOT stronger than what you get at a bar…

    Let’s just say that Saturday morning felt more like Wednesday.

  3. Jeff Turner

    November 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Ines… I’m not sure you could call what we did dancing. Just for the record. 🙂 And Joel, I agree. The Mojitos I made on Friday were way stronger than the ones in Orlando. And much better, if I do say so myself. 🙂

  4. ines

    November 17, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Paula – these events are more fun each time – I wonder if it’s me getting too comfortable or that everyone is just great.

    @joelrunner – you, my friend, are one of the twits that I would have never known by your regular name – It was such a pleasure to meet you and look forward to many other get togethers and mojitos.

    LOL @ Jeff – I have a feeling Kelley would agree with you with regards to the “so called dancing” – Funny how you guys are acquiring a palate for mojitos 😉

  5. Jennifer Fivelsdal

    November 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Ines from the pictures I have see you certainly had a great time with your social media friends. One of these days I will share in the fun.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dustin

    November 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    You would publish a photo of me holding up an entire pitcher of mojitos, wouldn’t you? Revenge will not necessarily be swift, but it will be fun. 😉

    And the mojitos may not have been as strong as your homebrew, but they sure were good. What a fun time!

    And finally, thanks again for taking part on the panel. I can tell from the feedback that the you’all (we should probably give *some* credit to Jim, Ginger and Teresa for helping out!) made a huge impact on many of the people in attendance!

  7. ines

    November 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Jennifer – I can’t wait for you to join in.

    Dustin – I should have kidnapped you when I had the chance – and correction it’s an “empty” pitcher of mojitos! LOL

    Thank you for including me in the panel – I’ve gotten tons of great feedback as well as fan mail 😉 It was an honor to sit next to Ginger, Jim, Teresa and You.

  8. Ginger Wilcox

    November 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Can’t believe we got mr.miamism to twitter on Wednesdays. Just to be clear, I saw those white boys “dancing” after mojitos. Mojitos make make them move, but the term dancing is being thrown around like anyone can do it. I think I have a broken shoe.

  9. ines

    November 17, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Hey Ginger – not only did you get @MrMiamism to twitter on Wednesdays but he’s even doing it from his crackberry! go figure! He said he’s getting a new one to be able to upload pics to Flicr – he thinks he has all the social media questions resolved! 😉

    We both have broken shoes….part of the “dancing equation”.

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Opinion Editorials

Dopamine detox to rewire your brain from internet addiction (it’s common!)

(EDITORIAL) So, you’re addicted to the internet. Whether your drug of choice is scrolling, posting, or interacting – it’s time for a dopamine detox.



Upside down photo of man holding iphone case saying "social media seriously harms your mental health" representing dopamine.

Ah, smartphones. The best friend we can carry around in our pockets. This small device that’s nearly glued to our hands gives us instant access to many worlds.

It’s exciting to see what’s up on Instagram, take up to six stabs at Wordle, and scroll recipes you’ll never make on Pinterest. It’s also a place where we can share the highlights of our life and, in return, get validation through likes.

With that validation comes a small rush of dopamine, something we’ve all become accustomed – and some of us addicted – to.

While I’m not addicted to posting, I would say I have an addiction to scrolling. I can’t make it through a 50-minute episode of “Dexter” without picking up my phone to check an app or two.

And there is that dopamine rush with it, where you feel like you’re the most up-to-date you’ve ever been. But what about when this becomes too much and we’re overloaded with information and feel bogged down by the constant updates?

First, we need to understand what dopamine is.

It’s a neurotransmitter that works in two spots in the brain: first, its production helps us begin movement and speech. Second, we feel it when we receive or expect a reward. It even creates a kind of “high” similar to what’s found in nicotine and cocaine.

So, if we expect these dopamine hits from social media and we don’t get those results, the dopamine crashes to the ground creating burnout.

Well, this can cause burnout. And, while tempting, the solution isn’t as easy as just deleting all of your social media and walking away clean. Additionally, “take a break” features are too easy to swipe away.

So what can you do?

Mana Ionescu at Lightspan Digital recommends a Dopamine Detox.

While breaking an addiction takes longer than a day, Ionescu recommends starting there and tailoring it to your needs.

Here is what she describes is necessary for a detox:

  1. Turn off all notifications on your phone. ALL of them. You will be looking at your phone every 10 minutes as it is. You won’t miss anything. We lose endless hours of productivity because of those pings.
  2. Tell people to call you if it’s urgent. And teach them the difference between urgent and important. So do keep call notifications on.
  3. Stop over-messaging. The more you message, the more you’ll get responses.
  4. Shed the pressure to respond right away to messages that don’t need a response right away.
  5. Take detox days. Nothing but calls, confirming meetings, and using the GPS is allowed on those days.
  6. Put your phone on sleep mode at night. You can, at least on iPhone, set permissions so that certain phone numbers can get through, in case you’re worried about mom.
  7. If you’re dating, remember that texting is for laughing, flirting, and confirming plans. Please pick up the phone and talk to that person to get to know them. I will not take you seriously if you just keep texting.
  8. And yes, we all know the game, whoever looks at their phone first over dinner picks up the bill.

This won’t be easy, but your brain will likely thank you in the long run. And, when you’re back online, hit up the comments and let us know how the detox went!

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Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

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Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.



Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

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