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Challenge Yourself, Challenge Others

You might remember…

Not too long ago, I wrote “Blog, Blog, Black Sheep.” here on AgentGenius, because I felt slightly overwhelmed by the talent I saw around me in reading other real estate agent blogs. I was feeling a bit “beat up” in a sense, even though I had tons of encouragement and overall, I don’t think I’m a bad blogger. What I did think (and will always think) was that I could always get better.

In a recent post on ActiveRain I asked the question “Are we getting away from our roots?” The question wasn’t really to the general public, but more to myself, but through it I learned something very important – that I needed to begin focusing on real estate related posts a bit more. I didn’t learn it because someone told me, but I could feel my thought patterns shifting and my focus getting clearer. All posts relate back to real estate, but I wanted to beef up my real estate facts, info, opinions, and advice. I just felt that I was blogging a bit too much about the fluff and not enough about the core of what we’re here for – real estate.

And so the journey begins…

In last week’s post, “What’s the next step?,” I alluded to some changes and some of them have been taking effect. I recently signed up with AltosResearch in order to be able to provide market data with ease for my readers. In doing so, I have found myself studying the statistics much more and getting deeper into the movements of the market. When you’re sitting in an office meeting and can throw out a few stats for the market, it always makes the broker feel good too.

And then came Darren Rowse of I’m not 100% sure of how I came across him or how I heard about his blog, but he had just announced the “31 Days To Build a Better Blog Challenge” and I clicked through and read the post. What I saw was an opportunity to learn some new things, push myself to write more, and to focus my writing on specific tasks in order to train my brain.

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It’s only Day 3 at this point, but I’ve already found myself pushing myself to my blogging limits (well, the limit for now – it expands daily). I like the challenge – knowing that I have something that I must do everyday. A path to success, a road to better blogs, a journey to bring new readers and new business. As I do each daily task, I think of new offshoots to each task and what each of those can do. Right now, my brain is bubbling over with thoughts and I’ve even begun writing notes for future blogs – something I hadn’t done before.

Accountability and encouragement.

One of the bloggers I read, Chris Somers, suggested some people on ActiveRain get together and do it together to create some accountability and to encourage each other through the 31 days. I thought it was a good idea and I enjoy Chris’ work, so it was an easy choice. While emailing back and forth, we created a group on ActiveRain and it has quickly become a hang out for those working the 31 Days Challenge. By coming together as a group, there are ideas bounced back and forth and you get to see a different take on any given task. Much like why we join Kiwanis, frats, BNI, Facebook, or Twitter – like attracts like. We, as human beings, are drawn to the group experience. As we come together, we borrow from the strengths of our group and make up for the weaknesses of others. We learn how to correct our mistakes through advice from others. When you feel you’re lacking, find others who might be able to help give you some guidance.

Challenging yourself is never easy, but the rewards are always worth it. Challenging others is easy, but supporting them is a bit more difficult. Give to them what you wish you could receive and you’ll build a stronger individual through a stronger group. I’ll be challenging myself for another 28 days and then I’ll find the next challenge.

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Written By

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."



  1. Ok, what is the group called? I’m also doing the #31DBBB challenge and no matter how I search, I can’t seem to find the group on AR. THANKS!

  2. Brad Coy

    April 9, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Whoa .. Striatic.

  3. Bob Stewart

    April 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

  4. Matt Stigliano

    April 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Christina – Sorry about that, looks like Bob got you the answer.

    Brad – I thought I’d use the photos since all the posts were linked in a sense.

    Bob – Thanks for getting this up there before I did. Its been a long day.

  5. Missy Caulk

    April 10, 2009 at 4:50 am

    That was a great idea for them to start that small group. Always good to connect with people in large communities in a smaller way.

    I can’t keep up with all the links from people following the 31 Day Challenge. The response was overwhelming, to be trained by the Master.

  6. Matt Stigliano

    April 10, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Missy – I definitely found that it has gotten my charged up and ready for more. I view this as an opportunity to learn a few new tricks and to challenge myself to think a bit differently on some issues (see your own post about embracing change).

    There are a lot of posts to read and I admit I can’t keep up with all of it.

  7. real estate syracuse,

    April 11, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Iam a learner in the world of blog. Please give details about “ActiveRain “.

  8. Matt Stigliano

    April 12, 2009 at 8:20 am

    real estate syracuse – ActiveRain is a networking site for Realtors, a blogging platform, a SEO helper, and a place to learn new tricks and tools – all rolled into one.

    You can check it out at:

    I’ve used it to help strengthen my blogging skills over time. It also has a consumer element to it as the consumers use it to learn about real estate and localities through the massive amounts of blog posts available to them.

  9. Brad Coy

    April 16, 2009 at 2:12 am

    he takes some wicked good photos. I follow him on flickr. sorry to get off topic… I kind of bugged when I saw his photo.

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