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Opinion Editorials

RE BarCamp SF: Take a Chance and Present



SF Graphic

RE BarCamp is quickly approaching, and in less than three months, we’ll all be getting together in San Francisco for what’s going to be an amazing day full of real estate, technology and most of all, awesome people.If you’re like me and you’re talking to people about RE BarCamp, I’ll bet you’ve had to answer the “What is a BarCamp?” question over and over again.

While the official, ” It’s an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.” response might be a good first answer; I didn’t really feel that it conveyed the energy of the event too well.

Thankfully, I just happened the find this list of  “Stuff To Know About BarCamp” that I had saved from a previous BarCamp the other night and I thought it really does a good job conveying what sets it apart from a normal seminar/convention.

  • RE BarCamp is ABOUT YOU.  This isn’t one of those conferences where you sit back and wait for something to happen… you MAKE this stuff happen! Pitch in! Lead a session!
  • RE BarCamp is NOT ABOUT YOU.  It’s about everyone here.  Be ready to share all of the cool stuff you are working on, but also be prepared to listen to what others are doing. RE BarCamp is about relationships, not selling.
  • Take a chance and present!  What do you have to lose?  All of us here feel the exact same apprehensions.  This may be your lucky break!
  • You will learn more here than you’ve ever learned anywhere else… if you make yourself available to it.  Go to as many sessions and meet as many people as possible. Even better, go to sessions you know nothing about and by people you don’t know
  • The beauty of an open grid is that we also get the chance to practice our negotiation skills.  if someone has a similar talk or has put themselves in a time slot you covet, talk to them about switching or merging. it’s all about collaboration.
  • Everyone participates. ways to participate: volunteer to help, give a session, record your notes on the wiki, clean up, etc.  BarCamp needs both giving and receiving to function.

Pretty cool, eh?  I think it really helps paint a better picture of the type of event that we’ll be putting on and I’m hoping that will help set the tone in moving forward as we start gearing up for July.

Moving on, I’d like to focus on the “Take a chance and present!” line from the list above.

Looking at the RE Barcamp RSVP list. I’m beside myself in anticipation of what types of sessions are possible with participants of this caliber.  If you’re interested in Real Estate 2.0 and the evolution of the industry, this is going to be the place to be.

Over the next few weeks, I thought it would be really cool if we could start settling on which topics that we’d like to present on and start blogging, talking, twittering about it.

I’m going to be on Daniel Rothamel’s ZebraTalk show this Thursday at 12pm EST talking RE BarCamp and if you have an idea for a session that you’d want to lead, call in and let’s get the conversation started.

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  1. Vicki Moore

    May 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    RSVP – check. Twitter – check. LinkedIn – check. Anything else I should do?

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    May 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I’m most likely going to be a mid-day drop-in … that’s the day I’m flying in to SF for the whole thing. Wife wouldn’t let me get away with a fourth night in the hotel. 🙂

  3. Morgan

    May 7, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I’d love to participate/present whatever – I’m thinking video. Let me know – looking forward to it!


  4. Andy Kaufman

    May 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Vicki – Just get ready to participate. Thinking about leading a session?

    JD – No problem. Make sure to RSVP & make it down when you can.

    Morgan – Whatever you want. I figured we’d talk about it at lunch tomorrow.

  5. Jay Thompson

    May 7, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I just added a couple of topic suggestions on the wiki.

    I don’t have travel arrangements yet, but am thinking I’ll be in SF on Monday.

    Andy – as we briefly discussed, do you think one of you local types could post some hotel suggestions — that would be convenient to both BarCamp and Connect? Or maybe we’ll just all crash at your place. 😉

    Wonder if putting a “I need a room mate” section on the wiki would be helpful?

  6. Andy Kaufman

    May 7, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Jay- Let’s definitely put a room mate section on the wiki. great idea.

    Honestly, I’m not the best person to ask about downtown SF hotels. I’ll ping some other SF city folk and see if they can help us out on that one.

  7. Jim Duncan

    May 7, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Hook me up with a hotel recommendation, please!

  8. Marc Grossman

    May 7, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Andy, I have reasonable reservations at the Galleria Park Hotel, which is just a couple of blocks away, but don’t know of their availability.

  9. Todd Carpenter

    May 7, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Last year, I stayed at the Mosser. It’s just a few blocks from the Palace, and from the BART.

    The rooms are VERY small, but clean and nice for the price. Not all rooms have their own bathroom, so you have to upgrade for that. I booked through at the last minute and it was around $130 a night.

    Also, the rooms do not have AC, but you’ll never need it. SF is always very cool in the Summer. I plan to book their again this year.

  10. Teresa Boardman

    May 8, 2008 at 4:46 am

    I volunteered to present a topic

  11. Jay Thompson

    May 8, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Todd – Please tell me $130/night gets you a bathroom….

  12. Maureen Francis

    May 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I am so totally excited about attending that I can barely stand it! Really.

  13. Todd Carpenter

    May 9, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Jay, yes $130 was the upgraded price for a private bath. And the bathroom was nice.

  14. Matthew Rathbun

    May 9, 2008 at 6:00 am

    I HATED agent meetings for a variety of reasons. 1.) 90% of what was said could be reduced to an e-mail. 2.) Hearing other agents brag or breach client confidentiality in a sad attempt to sell their listings was more than I could handle. Spend that time trying to find buyers, not telling agents about your sales. 3.) I simply can’t sit for two hours weekly (yes 2 hours – every week) listening to stuff I already knew. 4.) I wasn’t engaged – as an agent we would get overloaded with offers to do biz. Free lunches, give aways etc… I always wondered – if these loan officers, title companies etc, were so great how do they have time to take my time? Shouldn’t they be working with this huge client base that they want to share with me?!?!?

    I have worked for brokers who incorporated training and interaction into the meetings and dismissed vendors & bragging and been VERY successful at motivated and educating agents.

  15. Brad Coy

    May 11, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Don’t know why it sometimes takes me days to get around to catching up with some of these posts. At any rate: I just posted a session and sponsorship. Looking very much forward to July’s event. From what I’m seeing, this promises to be different – in a good way 🙂

  16. Andy Kaufman

    May 12, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    #9 – Marc, thanks for the recommendation. I’ll pass it along to people who are looking.

    #10 – Hey Todd, nice find on The Mosser. $130 in the heart of downtown SF is a steal.

    #13 – Maureen, so are we. REALLY looking forward to having everybody in town.

    #16 – Hey Brad, better late than never 🙂 Thanks for everything!

  17. ines

    June 25, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    better late than never! I’m in! what can I do? (and stop hogging the wiki Andy) 🙂

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Opinion Editorials

How to identify and minimize ‘invisible’ work in your organization

(EDITORIAL) Often meaningless, invisible tasks get passed down to interns and women. These go without appreciation or promotion. How can we change that?



Women in a meeting around table, inclusion as a part of stopping gender discrimination representing invisible work.

Invisible work, non-promotable tasks, and “volunteer opportunities” (more often volun-told), are an unfortunate reality in the workforce. There are three things every employer should do in relation to these tasks: minimize them, acknowledge them, and distribute them equitably.

Unfortunately, the reality is pretty far from this ideal. Some estimates state up to 75% or more of these time-sucking, minimally career beneficial activities are typically foisted on women in the workplace and are a leading driver behind burnout in female employees. The sinister thing about this is most people are completely blind to these factors; it’s referred to as invisible work for a reason.

Research from Harvard Business Review* found that 44% more requests are presented to women as compared to men for “non-promotable” or volunteer tasks at work. Non-promotable tasks are activities such as planning holiday events, coordinating workplace social activities, and other ‘office housework’ style activities that benefit the office but typically don’t provide career returns on the time invested. The work of the ‘office mom’ often goes unacknowledged or, if she’s lucky, maybe garners some brief lip service. Don’t be that boss that gives someone a 50hr workload task for a 2-second dose of “oh yeah thanks for doing a bajillion hours of work on this thing I will never acknowledge again and won’t help your career.”  Yes, that’s a thing. Don’t do it. If you do it, don’t be surprised when you have more vacancies than staff. You brought that on yourself.

There is a lot of top-tier talent out there in the market right now. To be competitive, consider implementing some culture renovations so you can have a more equitable, and therefore more attractive, work culture to retain your top talent.

What we want to do:

  1. Identify and minimize invisible work in your organization
  2. Acknowledge the work that can’t be avoided. Get rid of the blind part.
  3. Distribute the work equitably.

Here is a simple example:

Step 1: Set up a way for staff to anonymously bring things to your attention. Perhaps a comment box. Encourage staff to bring unsung heroes in the office to your attention. Things they wish their peers or they themselves received acknowledgment for.

Step 2: Read them and actually take them seriously. Block out some time on your calendar and give it your full attention.

For the sake of demonstration, let’s say someone leaves a note about how Caroline always tidies up the breakroom at the end of the day and cleans the coffee pot with supplies Caroline brings from home. Now that we have identified a task, we are going to acknowledge it, minimize it, and consider the distribution of labor.

Step 3: Thank Caroline at the team meeting for scrubbing yesterday’s burnt coffee out of the bottom of the pot every day. Don’t gloss over it. Make the acknowledgment mean something. Buy her some chips out of the vending machine or something. The smallest gestures can have the biggest impact when coupled with actual change.

Step 4: Remind your staff to clean up after themselves. Caroline isn’t their mom. If you have to, enforce it.

Step 5: Put it in the office budget to provide adequate cleaning supplies for the break room and review your custodial needs. This isn’t part of Caroline’s job description and she could be putting that energy towards something else. Find the why of the situation and address it.

You might be rolling your eyes at me by now, but the toll of this unpaid invisible work has real costs.  According to the 2021 Women in the Workplace Report* the ladies are carrying the team, but getting little to none of the credit. Burnout is real and ringing in at an all-time high across every sector of the economy. To be short, women are sick and tired of getting the raw end of the deal, and after 2 years of pandemic life bringing it into ultra-sharp focus, are doing something about it. In the report, 40% of ladies were considering jumping ship. Data indicates that a lot of them not only manned the lifeboats but landed more lucrative positions than they left. Now is the time to score and then retain top talent. However, it is up to you to make sure you are offering an environment worth working in.

*Note: the studies cited here do not differentiate non-cis-identifying persons. It is usually worse for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Opinion Editorials

5 secrets to a more productive morning, free of distractions

(EDITORIAL) Productivity is king in the office, but sometimes distractions and other issues slow you down. So what can you do to limit these factors?



distractions stop productivity

Regardless of whether you’re a self-proclaimed morning person or not, more efficient mornings can be catalytic in your daily productivity and output. The only question is, do you know how to make the most of your mornings in the office?

5 Tips for Greater Morning Productivity

In economic terms, productivity is a measure of output as it relates to input. Academics often discuss productivity in terms of a one-acre farm’s ability to produce a specific crop yield, or an auto manufacturing plant’s ability to produce a certain number of vehicles over a period of time. But then there’s productivity in our personal lives.

Your own daily productivity can be defined in a variety of ways. But at the end of the day, it’s about getting the desired results with less time and effort on the input side. And as a business professional, one of the best ways to do this is by optimizing your morning in the office.

Here are a few timely suggestions:

  1. Eliminate All Non-Essential Actions

    Spend the next week keeping a log of every single action you take from the moment your eyes open in the morning until you sit down at your desk. It might look something like this:

    • Turn off alarm
    • Scroll through social media on the phone
    • Get out of bed
    • Eat breakfast
    • Take shower
    • Brush teeth
    • Walk dog
    • Watch news
    • Browse favorite websites
    • Get in car
    • Starbucks drive-thru
    • Arrive at office
    • Small talk with coworkers
    • Sit down at the desk

    If you do this over the course of a week, you’ll notice that your behaviors don’t change all that much. There might be some slight deviations, but it’s basically the same pattern.

    Now consider how you can eliminate as many points of friction as possible from your routine. [Note from the Editor: This may be an unpopular opinion, but] For example, can you skip social media time? Can you make coffee at home, rather than drive five minutes out of your way to wait in the Starbucks drive-thru line? Just doing these two things alone could result in an additional 30 minutes of productive time in the office.

  2. Reduce Distractions

    Distractions kill productivity. They’re like rooftop snipers. As soon as they see any sign of productivity, they put it in their crosshairs and pull the trigger.Ask yourself this: What are my biggest distractions and how can I eliminate them?Popular distractions include social media, SMS, video games, news websites, and email. And while none of these are evil, they zap focus. At the very least, you should shift them to later in the day.
  3. Set Measurable Goals and Action items

    It’s hard to have a productive morning if you don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to be productive. Make sure you set measurable goals, create actionable to-do lists, and establish definitive measurements of what it looks like to be efficient. However, don’t get so caught up in the end result that you miss out on true productivity.“There’s a big difference between movement and achievement; while to-do lists guarantee that you feel accomplished in completing tasks, they don’t ensure that you move closer to your ultimate goals,” mentions. “There are many ways to increase your productivity; the key is choosing the ones that are right for you and your ultimate goals.”In other words, set goals that are actually reflective of productivity. In doing so, you’ll adjust your behavior to come in proper alignment with the results you’re seeking.
  4. Try Vagus Nerve Stimulation

    Sometimes you just need to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand. There are plenty of ways to shut out interruptions but make sure you’re also simultaneously cuing your mind to be productive. Vagus nerve stimulation is one option for doing both.Vagus nerve stimulation gently targets the body’s vagus nerve to promote balance and relaxation, while simultaneously enhancing focus and output.
  5. Optimize Your Workspace

    Makes sure your office workspace is conducive to productivity. This means eliminating clutter, optimizing the ergonomics of your desk, reducing distractions, and using “away” settings on apps and devices to suppress notifications during work time.

Make Productivity a Priority

Never take productivity for granted. The world is full of distractions and your willpower is finite. If you “wing it,” you’ll end up spending more time, energy, and effort, all while getting fewer positive results.

Make productivity a priority – especially during the mornings when your mind is fresh and the troubles of the day have yet to be released in full force. Doing so will change the way you operate, function, and feel. It’ll also enhance tangible results, like income, job status, and the accolades that come along with moving up in your career.

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Opinion Editorials

Is the tech industry layoff bloodbath coming or is it already here?

We have large online communities for job seekers, and we can affirm that the layoffs are on the way, but there is a silver lining for all involved…



layoff time

If you were on Twitter at the end of last week, you probably saw a dribble of conversations about layoffs in tech coming, and today, the volume was turned up to 10 on social media. Several founders have said they’re cutting parts of teams and are nixing contractors. We’re about to be in a recession, y’all, and we can ALL feel it coming.

While this has been happening all of this calendar year, a pending recession is kicking the stock market in the teeth (especially in tech), and combined with a slowdown in fundraising, fuel has been added to what was simply kindling, and layoffs are already rapidly escalating.

JD isn’t the only one hearing it, my inbox has slowly been lighting up on this topic. In response, Joshua Baer noted that it’s a great time to scoop up talent. Love or hate him, he’s right.

There is a lot of data on tech layoffs, for example, Layoffs.FYI has been tracking meaningfully since COVID began, pulling info from public reports. We expect they’ll be busy for the next few months.

While VC funding in 2021 was at a global high, so far, 2022 has shown a significant slowdown, according to CrunchBase. Many believe valuations are tumified, a bear market is believed to be upon us, and tech firms are struggling to increase profitability, all combining to a bubble about to burst.

As Baer noted, the silver lining is for anyone looking to hire. It’s bad news for anyone about to get a pink slip, but it’s also empowering to know that candidates are still in the driver’s seat in this market and negotiations are still in their favor.

We at AG have communities dedicated completely to job seekers and employers, and have created neutral ground on which they can meet, and they do by the thousands (Austin Digital Jobs and Remote Digital Jobs).

We’re not seeing the “bloodbath” of folks with pink slips in hand yet, BUT today, a dozen mid- to senior- level technologists reached out to me personally that got laid off Monday morning.

With our finger firmly on the tech employment pulse, we agree with the assessment that layoffs are coming.

More on this topic: “Why are tech layoffs coming after such great Q1 earnings?!”

Here’s the TL;DR version in memes:

The end is nigh?
tech layoffs in memes

Seems about right

In and out Morty, a quick 24 hour adventure!

Diversification is the key

The May 2022 stock market

Insert angry title here

It’s fedish!

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