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The internet and blogging are just tools … not the answers

Thanks to each of you (both Agent Genius contributors and readers) who have made this point before… the internet and blogging are just TOOLS, not the answers to all things real estate.

How True! I bring this up because I had this conversation (among many others) with Lani and Benn the other day … and it was NOT via email, NOT via phone and NOT via comments on a blog.

It was face to face.

I went to Austin, Texas and actually sat down, at the same table with Lani and Benn. I got to look them both in the eyes and have intelligent and meaningful conversations with them.

Please note: I did not use the word “mature” J (… and for those of you wondering what the rest of the elusive Benn looks like, I cannot tell you. He actually conducts all business and social interactions with a cup (or phone) in front of his face. I mean it.)

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Yes. The internet – blogging in particular – is what introduced Lani and Benn to me. (Yay for that!) But it was the evening I spent with them in Austin that “took it to the next level” making me really understand, appreciate and love WHO they are. (Although I cannot vouch for their opinion of me, as I was the only one in the rainbow stripey knee socks riding a small canon like a pony at the Austin capital building in the middle of the night… Long story.)

I think that too many people hide behind the computer – the technology – the web 2.0 instead of going out and doing some major hand-shaking, hugging and all around don’t-be-afraid-to-embarrass-yourself personal interaction.

The internet is a GREAT tool. I LOVE it. It exposes both us and our businesses to the world – in a medium that no other medium can. But once that introduction is made, it is the HUMAN interaction that really concretes who we are to our clients and other business professionals. Continually hiding behind a cup, er, I mean the internet will only take our businesses so far.

So, when you are building your business plan and figuring out all the cool ways to integrate the internet into your business, make sure you add as much (if not more) HUMAN interaction, as well. The internet may create clients, but it is your human interaction that creates clients for life … and friends.

Thank you Lani and Benn for making my short trip to Austin completely memorable. You guys ROCK!

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Article originally published January 18, 2008.

Written By

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?



  1. Lani Rosales

    January 18, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Mariana, I think you nailed it by noting that the Intenet is a great tool but the personal face time cements that pre-existing relationship online media creates.

    We really really really enjoyed having you in Austin- you’re way TOO funny (or is that from all the sharpies?)!!! I won’t tell everyone about your making our waiter nervous or the trespassing on the capitol grounds, or the cuss words we yelled at people at bus stops (or other things I just made up). 🙂

    ***btw- dang I look cute in that picture of us! haha

  2. Benn Rosales

    January 18, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    My feelings for having met you are equal and we really enjoyed watching you ride the cannon in your striped socks. Thanks for visiting us during your Austin trip, and hurry back with your Husband.

  3. Benjamin Bach

    January 18, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Y’all are some OG AGs

  4. Mariana

    January 19, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Benn – It was awesome! Derek can’t wait to meet you. Maybe we can all eat at the grirr next time we are in Austin.

    Lani – You DO look pretty dang cute! (A bit better than the one where Benn is sporting a halo…)

    Benjamin – May I ask what an “OG” is? Or should I not …

  5. Lani Rosales

    January 20, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Mariana- OG means “original gangsta.” Benjamin Bach and I are OGAGs (original gangsta agent geniuses) in our off time, most notably on Facebook.

    Ines- oh don’t be jealous, we filled her full of beans and Starbucks and sent her to sit in a cramped room with other people who ate beans and probably had Starbucks. 🙂

    When will you be coming to Austin? There are a million reasons….

  6. Lani Rosales

    January 20, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    HA HA HA HA HA HA, no I can’t believe it!!!

  7. ines

    January 20, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I’m jealous! REALY, REALLY Jealous!

  8. Ines

    January 20, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I’ll skip the beans – but I will HAVE to come up with a reason to visit Austin.

    (can you believe I entered the wrong sum?)

  9. Mariana

    January 20, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Ines! (the sums DO get tough if they are over 10 …LOL!) I can’t wait to meet YOU someday in person! Since I make it to Austin semi-regualarly so I can met you there too! 🙂

    Lani – OH! I thought it was some reference to OG Readmore:

  10. Ines

    January 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    are the beans the reason Mariana was on the canon?

  11. Mariana

    January 20, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Yeah … I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it may intimidate me … or imitate me … or incriminate me … or something.

  12. Ines

    January 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    OK – I promise not to make any jokes about how powerful the canon’s explosion might have been if it worked.

  13. Ken Brand

    August 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    There is much to be thankful for. That’s what your sharing makes me think, and feel. Thanks.

  14. stephanie crawford

    August 26, 2010 at 1:26 am

    BUSTED! I do that, I “hide behind the computer”.
    I use it to respond to as much as possible. I’ve often thought that I could convert more if I added a Buyer’s Rep, but I’m just not ready to let go yet.

  15. Alex Cortez

    August 26, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Good article, Mariana. I can say that in my market many Top Producers have little (if any) online presence. The fundamentals and old way of doing things still hold immeasurable value in order to succeed.

  16. Doug Francis

    August 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Plan a post or two a week… then spend the rest of the time with your peeps!

    I had to convince my 12 year-old to call his friend on the phone, rather than checking to see if he was logged onto X-Box Live. Folks, we live in a social world and HUMAN Interaction is essential!

  17. Stacie Wells

    August 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    The timing on this was perfect. I just had the opportunity to cement some online relationships with face to face time at REBCORL. Met several people in person who I chat with and see online all the time. In person definitely takes it to a new level. Now, if I can just get some face time with Mariana, Lani, and Benn…. 😉 (Maybe for a sock competition?)

  18. Rob McCance

    August 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Canon rides are cool.

  19. Teresa boardman

    August 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I like my computers more than I like most people.

    • Mariana Wagner

      August 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

      For as much as I agree with you, Teresa, … Being able to hug someone is infinitely better than “poking” them. Usually.

      • Alex Cortez

        August 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

        Mariana, maybe you are not ‘poking’ them the right ways. 😉

  20. Ines

    August 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I don’t know Mariana…..when it comes to T…I’m thinking poking is better 🙂 (she has matches, you know)

  21. Alex Cortez

    August 30, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Mariana, maybe you are not ‘poking’ the right way. 😉

  22. Lisa Archer

    August 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I am looking forward to some IRL facetime with Lani, Benn, Benjamin and Mariana when I am in Austin in a couple weeks.

  23. Teresa boardman

    August 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    That is true Mizzle but I don’t have the resources to fly to Colorado to hug you so you will have to settle for a poke.

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