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Opinion Editorials

Agent Genius Party Gets Bigger

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Today, we are proud to announce two new Geniuses coming aboard, hooray!  I’m not going to pretend you’ll read a long intro, so let’s just dig in to Benn’s newest picks:


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Toby Boyce– Toby & Sadie go way back with the Real Estate blog scene.  Toby is practicing real estate in Delaware, Ohio and you can tell from his blog that he absolutely loves his city.  He has a masters in Business Administration and has a long rap sheet in the writing industry- let’s just say he oozes awesomeness, shall we?  Most of you already communicate with Toby on Twitter, but if not, add him now and go give him a hard time about joining AG!


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Matthew Rathbun– is destined to be the President of NAR, I give it only five years.  No joke.  Matthew focuses on Realtor education in Virginia and is actually paid by the Association.  Again, no joke.  He’s already a contributor on AG through his always thoughtful comments, so you already know him.  He’s like me in that he’s not afraid to admit he likes John Tesh (check out his Facebook profile for proof) or Dr. Seuss.  Like Toby, Matthew is an active part of the AG Twitter community (add him to your list also)!  Oh, and he has an absolutely *adorable* family!


Say hello to the newest additions to Agent Genius- you should send them flowers, partially eaten cookies, car parts or at least kind comments welcoming them!

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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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Jonathan Dalton

    March 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Welcome to the party, boys … just lose Sadie, Toby. This is a one-dog blog. (Don’t tell Daisy and Teresa I said that.)

  2. jeremy Hart

    March 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    awesome, awesome additions!

  3. KimWood

    March 11, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    AG, you done well! Yaaaay!!!

    Your readership will increase and those of us reading already will benefit greatly as well!

    Congrats to you both – I’m proud to “know” you !!!!

  4. Bob Carney

    March 11, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Geezzz they let anybody in this joint…Lani’s head must be still spinning.

    (congrats…nice additions, really)

  5. Sarah Cooper

    March 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Already had both of ’em in my feed reader — you guys have good taste! 🙂

  6. Ben Martin

    March 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Virginia in da hizzy! Had lunch with Matthew today and he will be a great addition. Matthew’s also a VARbuzz contributor.

    Toby’s got great tweets, so I know he’ll be rocking AG in no time.

  7. Candy Lynn

    March 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    And the Genius justs gets better! Now these guys have to remember how to use more than 140 characters.

  8. toby & sadie

    March 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m learning so much in my first day on the job attending the Ohio Association of REALTORS’ Legislative Conference. There has to be a story here. Health care discussion — putting me to sleep — so maybe not so much.

  9. Matthew Rathbun

    March 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Well, first let me say that I was like a little kid at Christmas when Lani asked me to write for AG. While on the phone I just said yes to anything that she asked of me! When Lani and Benn asked if I was interested, my answer was something like “well, uh only since the first time I read AG!”

    I promise you that by comparison I will be the Village Idiot in relation to the rest of the contributors. However, I will try to give some thoughts.

    In my role as educator and moving from being a supervisor and licensed Broker, to being a staff member at the local association, I have gathered different points of view on the industry. Hopefully I can give some meaning to it in the future!

    I also want to thank Lani for posting Toby and I both with out pets. We’re so proud!

  10. Sarah Stelmok, C21 New Millennium

    March 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Yay Matthew! We are so proud of you at FAAR!

  11. Mariana

    March 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Toby and Matthew … Welcome to the family! We are all a little dysFUNctional, but you knew that, didn’t you?

  12. Ines

    March 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    How cool is this!!!! Welcome to the party boys……awesome, awesome – can’t wait to see what you guys have to say.

  13. Michelle DeRepentigny

    March 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Whoo Hoo – I get a double dose of my favorite boxer and her blogger, congrats on the great addtions and I’m looking forward to seeing more industry viewpoints from Toby!

  14. Jay Thompson

    March 12, 2008 at 2:30 am

    How utterly cool.

    But seriously, what’s with all the dogs?

    (sez he who owns two)

  15. Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra

    March 12, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Virginians ROCK!

  16. Matt Scoggins

    March 12, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Welcome aboard!

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Opinion Editorials

Have an in-person job interview? 7 tips to crush the competition

EDITORIAL) While we all know the usual interview schtick, take some time to really study for your next face-to-face job interview.

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Job interview between two women.

So, you’re all scheduled for an in-person interview for a job you’d kill for. It’s exciting that you’ve made it to this step, but the question is, are you ready? Especially with remote interviews being the new norm, your nerves may feel shaken up a bit to interview in person – but you’ve got this! And many of these tips can be applied no matter the interview setting.

We all know the basics of a job interview: dress nice, get there early, come prepared, firm handshake, yada, yada, yada… However, it’s good to really sit and think about all of the requirements of a successful interview.

There are seven steps for crushing a face-to-face interview. Do your homework upside down and inside out in order to walk into that room.

Which brings us to the first step: know everything you need to know backwards and forwards.

This can be done in two steps: getting to know the company and getting to know yourself. By doing website, social media, and LinkedIn research, you can get a feel of the company culture as well as the position you’re interviewing for.

By getting to know yourself, have a friend ask you some interview questions so you can practice. Also, take a look at your resume through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Make sure everything is clear and can compete with other candidates.

The next step is to anticipate solving future problems. Have some insight on the department that you are interviewing for and come prepared with ideas of how to better this department. (i.e. if it’s marketing, give examples of campaigns you’ve done in the past that have proven to have been successful.)

Step number three requires you to go back to the research board and get some information on the employer. Find out who you’re meeting with (head of HR, head of the department, etc.) and make your self-presentation appropriate for the given person.

Next, work on making the interview conversation a meaningful one. This can be done by asking questions as people like to see you take an interest in them. Also, be sure to never answer the questions as if it’s your regular spiel. Treat each job interview as if this is the first time you’re presenting your employability information.

With this, your next step is to have stories prepared for the job interview. Anecdotes and examples of previous jobs or volunteer/organization experiences can help bring life to an otherwise run-of-the-mill resume.

After this, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. Don’t jump on the couch in the lobby like you’re Tom Cruise on Oprah, but definitely portray that you’re excited and up for the challenge.

Lastly, make a good impression by being impressive. Be professional and in control of your body language. Put yourself in the mindset of whatever position you’re interviewing for and show them that you have what it takes.

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Opinion Editorials

The benefits of remote work are just too good to overlook

(EDITORIAL) Employees scream it from the rooftops and businesses don’t want to admit it: Remote work is just too beneficial to pass up- and here’s why.

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Work from home written with scrabble letters.

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

Less happily, many people lost their job during the pandemic, but they ended up having more time to put toward their passions or were compelled to get creative with their remote business ideas to ensure a consistent stream of income.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Allowing your employees to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they work from home full time. There are benefits to having your employees work in an office part of the time – say, two or three days – and working from home, in more familiar surroundings, the rest of the week.

In this way, your workers enjoy some freedom and independence while retaining the ability to interact face-to-face with their peers. That provides human interaction, which can play a substantial role in terms of improved mental health for your staff.

Happy employees means healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

Whether you are a small business owner or have crafted your work to tailor toward a life of remote labor, this is an opportunity for someone who has dreamed of being a digital nomad. You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Multi-member Zoom call on a Apple Mac laptop with a blue mug of black coffee next to it.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

When you’re a business owner, this can be incredibly useful when you outsource tasks to save money. You can find a higher quality of performance by searching for contractors anywhere in the world and it doesn’t limit you to workers who live near to your office.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

 In the end, remote work typically saves money for every person and entity involved. Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

According to FlexJobs, employees or remote business owners may save around $4,000 on average every year for expenses such as car maintenance, transportation, professional clothing in the office, or even money spent dining out for lunch with coworkers. Eventually, the costs add up, which means extra money in your pocket to take that much-needed vacation or save up for a down payment on your first home.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

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Opinion Editorials

Do these 3 things if you TRULY want to be an ally to women in tech

(EDITORIAL) We understand diversity helps and strengthens our companies, and individual teams. But how can you be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce?

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Two women at meeting table discussing working in tech.

More and more women are leaving their positions with tech companies, citing lack of opportunity for advancement, wage gaps, and even hostile working conditions as some of the reasons why.

What’s better for the tech industry and its employees than cultivating inclusive and diverse departments? Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce. To name a few:

1. Be open to listening to different perspectives.

It can be awkward to hear so many reports of workplace politics stacking against women, especially if you’re not a woman!

Instead of getting uncomfortable or defensive – ask open ended questions and be interested in a perspective that isn’t yours and may be unfamiliar.

Don’t seek to rationalize or explain the experiences you’re hearing about, as that can come off as condescending. It’s common for women to be interrupted or spoken over in team gatherings. If you notice this happening, bring the conversation back to where the interruption began. Offering your ear and counting yourself as responsible for making space will improve the overall quality of communication in your company.

Listening to and validating what women have to say about the quality of their employment with a company is an important step in the right direction.

Expressing something as simple as “I was interested in what you had to say – could you elaborate on your thought?” can help.

2. Develop an Employee Resource Group (ERG) program.

An ERG is a volunteer-based, employee-led group that acts as a resource for a particular group of employees. An ERG can help to foster inclusiveness through discussion, team-building activities and events. It’s common for a department to have only one or two women on the roster.

This can mean that the day to day feels disconnected from concerns commonly shared by women. disjointed it might feel to be on a high performing team, without access to relatable conversations.

3. Be responsible for your company’s culture.

Chances are, your company already has some amazing cultural values in place. That said, how often are you checking your own performance and your co-workers performances against those high standards? Strong company culture and values sound great, but whether or not they’re adhered to can make or break the mood of a work environment.

Many women say they’ve experienced extremely damaging and toxic cultural environments, which lead to hostility, frustration, and even harassment. Take action when you see the new woman uncomfortable with being hit on at team drinks.

Call out those who make unfriendly and uncouth comments about how women perform, look, or behave.

Setting a personal threshold for these kinds of microaggressions can help you lead by example, and will help build a trustworthy allyship.

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