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Agent Genius Real Estate Magazine Redesign



real estate magazineAG Redesign has recently undergone a major facelift and network update to better serve the readers of AG.

Readers will now have a better user experience with added benefits and features and as with our previous redesigns, we’ve lead the real estate community and never waited for what others do to dictate our direction, and today is no exception.

Agent Genius’ site and logo redesign were aimed at keeping the site structure streamlined and focused on aesthetics and flow of information.

Ribbon cutting:

So what has changed on Agent Genius?

  • You can now visit pages of our authors (e.g. Jim Duncan) where you can read their bio, check out their local blogs and as a bonus, when you read any of their articles in full, their social networks are listed under their names (and we invite you to connect with them).  You can also see a full list of all Agent Genius authors.
  • You can now leave threaded replies to comments by clicking “reply” in a specific comment.
  • You can rate articles on AG (above the comments area of each post), share articles directly to your own social networks and see who else liked each article.
  • The sidebar features tabs for easy access to articles and comments and if you scroll down, you’ll see the social media starter guide, highlighted columnists, the Agent Genius Facebook Fans, keywords and the top rated articles.  This is a great area for beginners to play around with!
  • Organization of the site header has changed- you may now read content according to their category, and the navigation at the top is more streamlined with expanded options.
  • With our new layout, we’re able to virtually double the amount of content on our front page.  Properly categorized articles will remain on the main page much longer before being filed into their respective category archive.
  • Site speed is vastly improved, although traffic increases have countered our advances during peak hours. We’ll be porting to our new servers within the next seven days which should alleviate bottlenecks.
  • Above are simply the highlights and there is more coming.  This is the end of phase two, and we’ll be discussing more over the coming days on where AG is heading, so stay tuned.

It’s all about YOU:

As part of our vision for the long term, commenters have always been valued as highly as writers and if you haven’t noticed, commenters may join AG which unlocks dofollow backlinks and makes your chosen social networks show up next to your name on every single comment you leave on AG (full details here).  This feature is still in beta, so click “Reach Out” at the top of the page and it will notify us of any feedback you might have.

New to blogging, social media or heck, even email?  Check out the Agent Genius Learning Center where you will find articles categorized by topic ranging from tech tools to Twitter.  We have long term plans to make this section much more robust!

The nitty gritty (the design)

There are some finer details on the site that may go unnoticed to some, but for those of you who geek out on webdev trends or graphic design, here are some brief notes:

  • The color palette is in line with the Spring 2010 trends, using a vibrant blue as a pop with calmer greys and whites.  Elementary blues, forest greens, muted crimsons are out and bright pops in blues and corals are in.
  • Out-of-the-box fonts (such as Times New Roman or fonts with extravagant serifs) were avoided and AG’s logo and site font were meticulously chosen..
  • Image thumbnails have been a part of the AG design for some time, but the scrolling feature HEADLINES as well as content-rich thumbnails below the feature will be the highlight of many new themes for 2010.

We have much more in the works for AG so stay tuned!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    November 1, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I started coming here due to the recommendation of my SEO guy back in February. Now I can’t leave. It’s my home page now – both at the house and the office. I use posts regularly in one-on-one training with agents, and in our weekly sales meetings.

    There’s a reason the nation’s best blog authors are here – Ben and Lani. Thanks for your awesome creativity and leadership!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Janie Coffey

    November 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    toasting a glass of champagne to you!

  3. Jason Sandquist

    November 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    @LaniAR so you just decide to skip over the Fall-Winter color trends? 🙂

  4. JamesMalanowski

    November 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Since I get your content in my RSS reader, the one change I don’t like is the summary-only in the RSS feed. If the content is compelling enough for me to want to come over and comment I’ll click on over and do so.

    But worse, is that there is no link for the reader to click on from the summary to come over to view the rest of the post so folks newer to the RSS reader thing may not realize that there is more to the post and just keep on truckin’. I believe that that is an issue with the FeedBurner summary option (if you’re using FB, that is) that you may want to rethink.

    Otherwise, you’ve done a good job with the design. Less clutter and easier to read.

  5. Benn Rosales

    November 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    James, thanks for commenting and brining that up because it’s as good a place as any to tell the masses that full feeds will return. We had a lot of complaints about the copyright header in the feed reader and venues we intentionally syndicate to are penalized by it for the most part so we removed it. Consequently, we immediately had 14 content pirates pop up within a week, so the partial feed stops that in its track to a large extent. We’re working on an in-house solution right now to meet both needs, so bare with us.

    That’s interesting about the no click thru ability in your feedreader, that hasn’t been my experience, so I’ll look into it.

    I personally am not a fan of feed readers, and I think RSS is equal to the plight of grocers issues with grapes, but we do recognize that it is important to many and continue to seek the middle where RSS is concerned.

    Welcome to AG, I hope you’ll step in from the feeder more often and leave a thought.

  6. JamesMalanowski

    November 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the quick response and clarification. I guess I should have been more clear. There is no “click to read more” link at the end of your feed. I can click over from the reader, but for those that aren’t familiar with the difference between the full feed and a summary feed it may not be immediately obvious that there is more to the story. Here’s how this article looks in Google Reader: has recently undergone a major facelift and network update to better serve the readers of AG. Readers will now have a better user experience with added benefits and features and as with our previous redesigns, we’ve lead the real estate community and never waited for what others do to dictate our direction, and today is no exception. Agent Genius’ site and logo redesign were aimed at keeping the site structure streamlined and focused on aesthetics and flow of information.

    Ribbon cutting:
    So what has changed on Agent Genius? You can now visit pages of our authors (e.g. Jim Duncan) where…

    I understand your position on RSS, but it sure does make it a lot easier to organize and follow all the blogs that I do. I don’t mind summary feeds … If the intro grabs me I will click over. But I don’t buy grapes without testing them either. 🙂

    I just wanted to point out there was no “read more” link as part of the feed. Thanks again for the response and keep up the good work!

  7. JamesMalanowski

    November 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    As an aside … I also would prefer a summary feed for my own blog, but killed it when I realized that feedburner didn’t append a “read more” link. If you come up with a solution I’d love it if you’d share.

    • Benn Rosales

      November 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

      I actually do have one, I’ve just not actually done it just yet, let me get it running, and we can crowdsource it together =]

  8. Benn Rosales

    November 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I understood what you were saying, but thanks for the clarification none the less. Good lookin out!

  9. Doug Francis

    November 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t get to show up every day but always find something useful when I do. Let’s just say that most of the content that I read on AG is worthy of some CE credits.

    Hopefully this will be the last design change for at least 30 days… okay?

  10. Ann Cummings

    November 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Really like the changes, especially the threads being tied together. Love the look and feel of the home age – makes it very inviting to pull up and chair and stay awhile!

  11. Jon Karlen

    November 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I really like it! Definitely big improvements. (Site speed increase is very noticeable!) Makes it a lot easier to find the articles you are looking for. Very nice changes. 🙂

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

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aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

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With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

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Click here to continue reading this story…

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Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

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zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

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Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

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…Click here to continue reading this story…

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