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Opinion Editorials

The Real Estate Vacuum: It Sucks For Noobs



real-estate-noob.jpgThis is my first post here at Genius, and since I probably have a much larger audience here than over at Real Estate Remix, I would like to address something that bothers me about the real estate blog world. The most popular blogs in the real estate realm seem to be saturated by posts that assume that their readers are extremely tech savvy and hip to the online world. With all of the sarcasm, name dropping, and “inside” jokes, you would think that this stuff is all common knowledge. I mean, I spend at least 2 hours or more per day just clicking around on Google reader and reading my favorite real estate blogs, and with all of this blog-world insider articles out there, sometimes even I feel like I’m out of the loop. And I know for a fact that I’m saturated in it. Who else has dreams that they get to go to Connect NYC?

Can you imagine what a first time reader would think about all this? I can tell you what my co-workers think… NERDS! What are we trying to accomplish in our writing? We are starting to write to our savvycolleagues first, customers second. True, most readers of blogs come from inside this tech-savvy tight circle… but are we really trying to reach them? If you need links from them, maybe. If you are trying to make blog friends, surely. But if you are trying to present useful, long lasting information… don’t write to yourcolleagues.

A blog positions you as an expert in your industry. Use that platform to educate, not just critique. When you start to assume that your readers know about everything you do, you will never take a step down and realize that there are millions of real estate professionals who don’t know the first thing about blogging or wordpress, much less the stories behind VFlyer, Redfin, Trulia, Google Base, Zillow, FOREM, Tomato, RSS Pieces, Carnival of RE, Inman Connect BlogFiesta, The Sellsius Bus, or even Active Rain. Of course, they all know about AgentGenius :). At this point, I see around 2,000 registered profiles in Texas on ActiveRain. Only a fraction of a percent of those people actually use it regularly. That means an enormous amount of real estate professionals in this great state have not even created a profile.

I know you may think that posting an introduction to ActiveRain article will make you look really, really behind to your fellow bloggers. They may stick their nose up at your post. You may think “that is so last year”. But the truth is, those old posts are buried in the blogging rubble, and when a bonafide “noob” hits the average real estate related blog for the first time, the first thing they will say is “WTF”. Of course, there are certain blogs (like this one) that clearly have audiences that prefer a more relaxed yet in-depth look at the industry. Like my Grandma says, there’s a place for everything and everything has a place.

The thing that floors me is when I discuss real estate marketing, SEO, or social networking with freinds or coworkers. Their unfamiliarity with online world baffles me. The basics seem like common knowledge by now. But they are not even close. They have real lives. Veteran real estate bloggers and tech experts should be happy though, the chasm between those “in the know” about online real estate and the novices is widening exponentially by the month. Just like any other skill, it takes a lot of time to catch up. And the vets are way ahead of the game.

Who’s reaching out to the noobs? But then again, who really cares?

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Benn Rosales

    October 18, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Bang! Great post. This is what genius is all about. If you read my recent post on blog networking, Daniels post on twitter, or even his road map to social networking- we’re filling this vacuum. I’m glad you know your audience, and hopefully you can bring the marketing element needed to tie it all together… once again, great post.

  2. Shailes Ghimire

    October 18, 2007 at 11:47 pm



    Too many bloggers talk about inside stuff. Quite honestly I get tired of reading the one-up-manship sometimes. I mean if I’m in the market for an agent I really don’t care about their views on Redfin are – okay. Show me what you know and why I should choose you.

    Even though the general population may not be aware of the nuances of blogging etc, they do know about Google. They’ll most likely search your name and find your blog. If you’re slamming some cartoon vote by the NAR in your most recent five posts – I’m not sure the potential client really will think you’re the right agent to sell your home.

    Unless you’re writing for a national audience like in the Genius or Bloodhound my philosophy is to stick with your expertise. Any potential buyer/borrower should come to your blog and leave thinking they really learned a lot and are better for it. Then they’ll call you. Otherwise they’ll tune you out. I mean seriously do you really think they care about your reaction to some blog joke? No.

  3. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 18, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Who IS reaching out to the Noobs??? This is the first post in a long time that I didnt just scan -I mean, I DID start to scan it, but had to go back and read each word.
    I teach internet and technology in our office of about 300 agents. Every day I am faced with how LITTLE most agents know. In fact, the word “blog” was brought up in passing and another agent said, “Oh! That is what Mariana is!” (apparently I am a blog – not even a blogger, just a blog.)… THAT is how little agents (as a whole) know.
    Do I really care? No, not really. IMHO if an agent WANTS to “be in the know” then they will figure out a way to be “in the know” – otherwise they will be successfull in their own ways.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  4. Chris Lengquist

    October 19, 2007 at 2:39 am

    Carson, remember that time…

    You make an excellent point. But I think newbies just have to jump in. You build relationships and without realizing gravitate towards blogs/authors you like.

    But you are right. We wall need to keep that in mind.

  5. Todd Carpenter

    October 19, 2007 at 6:15 am


    Great minds think alike. In addition to Blog Fiesta, My business partner and I are putting together a blog that represents the absolute most basic tutorials on how RE agents, and other sales professionals can jump into the shallow end of the Internet pool. It’s called

    This new blog is even more basic than agentgenius. We’ll be talking about stuff like why you should use Firefox, how to join gmail, what is RSS, and more. I think the average person who likes to read Mashable, or GeekEstate might consider it torture to read our blog, but my Mom will like it, and that’s who I’m shooting for.

  6. kellys

    October 19, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    I totally agree. I get so frustrated when a realtor asks me about blogging for real estate and wants the techie stuff up on their site but then gets agitated when they aren’t getting any leads. Realtors need to decide who their audience is and what the goal of their blog is. I sometimes think they get frustrated unnecessarily. If you want techie stuff on your blog, then expect leads to be fewer than if you put info, info, info on your site for potential clients.

    Back to the basics folks. Write for your audience.

  7. Benn Rosales

    October 19, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Genius isn’t basic- but we do keep in mind that there are about 250 agents out of 1.5 million that are actually current on what a mashup is.

  8. Scott

    October 19, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Amen, brother. As a not-quite-Boomer, not-quite-Xer in age, I’m new-ish to the tools and tone of the real estate blogosphere, but one thing I’ve noted: The cool, hip arrogance of many real estate bloggers who rail against the system, who pity those poor morons who don’t blog or understand blogs, and who attack the invisible good old boys club that (according to them) makes the real estate rules. And it’s more ironic that some of those bloggers, with their over-the-top opinions and conspiracy theories, are themselves creating a kind of closed club…that says loud and clear, “if you’re not cool enough to blog and drop names like we do and agree with us, you’re not cool enough to be a part of our little coalition of the arrogant and ill-informed. Granted, it’s NOT all real estate bloggers. But there’s definitely that thread.

  9. Todd Carpenter

    October 19, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    “Never drop names while blogging”. That’s the advice Dustin Luther gave me while attending Drew Meyer’s Geek Estate premier party on the night before Inman Connect. 😉

    I just want to add, I think the tone of exclusivity that some of you a perceiving is not completely accurate. The Internet has a way of masking a person’s otherwise friendly nature. I bet I met a hundred bloggers this summer, it totally changed my perception of many of them.

  10. ARDELL

    October 19, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks names like “AgentGenius” and “” are too agent-centric to be said in the same breath as blogging?

  11. Todd Carpenter

    October 19, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I picked brainious because I thought it sounded silly.

  12. Carson

    October 19, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    I really dont see any reason (except for the love of the game) for an agent to write about hardcore in-depth industry topics and trends…

    However, it does show expertise in marketing, and industry knowledge, which would be good for attracting sellers.

    Blogs like this are exempt… otherwise, writing this post would have been extremely hypocritical.

    Oh well… forget the noobs, it’s boring to write to them anyway.

  13. Benn Rosales

    October 20, 2007 at 12:13 am


  14. joseph ferrara.sellsius

    October 21, 2007 at 1:14 am

    All true. We often forget that the new kids to the party don’t know what the heck we’re talking about. But it doesn’t take long to figure it all out. It’s like a soap opera– watch it for a week and you know who’s doing who.
    Todd– love your idea. I had someone ask me recently how to put in a link.

  15. Ruthmarie Hicks

    July 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Some agents just enjoy the techie stuff for its own sake. For those of us who understand technology to one degree or another, it puts us a step a head of the pack. A friend of mine is taking ePro online. I refuse unless I can get CE credit for it. But what she was describing was very Mickey Mouse and she was STRUGGLING with it! Don’t get me wrong. This person is senior to me as a broker and is far more established. In many ways she doesn’t need the internet as much as I do, but I and others like me are filling a void in our locations. We have a dearth of bloggers in my area – and I’m hoping that the information I provide will pull consumers towards me before they pick up the phone to call the “super agent” who can barely print things out from the MLS.

    The main thing that is striking is that everything is so EXTREME. A very few know how to exploit the internet – the rest seem to know little or nothing. It’s not just a void, its a chasm.

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Opinion Editorials

Can we combat grind culture and injustice with a nap?

(OPINION EDITORIALS) A global pandemic and a climate of racial injustice may require fresh thinking and a new approach from what grind culture has taught us.



Sleeping cat with plant, fighting grind culture.

Information is delivered to us at warp speed with access to television, radio, and the internet (and more specifically, social media). We are inundated with messages. Oftentimes they’re personalized by something that a friend or family shared. Other times we manage them for work, school, or just keeping up with news. Many entrepreneurs already wear many hats and burn the midnight oil.

During this global pandemic, COVID-19, we have also seen a rise in awareness and attention to social injustice and systemic racism. This is not a new concept, as we all know. But it did feel like the attention was advanced exponentially by the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. Many people and entrepreneurs felt called to action (or at least experienced self-reflection). And yet they were working at all hours to evolve their businesses to survive. All of this happening simultaneously may have felt like a struggle while they tried to figure out exactly they can do.

There are some incredible thought leaders – and with limited time, it can be as simple as checking them out on Instagram. These public figures give ideas around what to be aware of and how to make sure you are leveling up your awareness.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Center for Antiracist Research – he has been studying anti-racism and has several books and interviews that help give language to what has been happening in our country for centuries. His content also delves into why and how white people have believed they are more than people of color. Here is a great interview he did with Brené Brown on her Unlocking Us podcast.

Tamika Mallory – American activist and one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March. She has been fighting for justice to be brought upon the officers that killed Breonna Taylor on March 13. These are among other efforts around the country to push back on gun control, feminist issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brené Brown – research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She has been listening and engaging on how racism and our shame intersect. She also speaks about how people can reflect on themselves and where they can take action to better our society. She has some antiracism resources on her website.

With all of this information and the change in our daily routines and work habits (or business adjustments), what is a fresh approach or possibly a new angle that you haven’t been able to consider?

There is one social channel against grind culture that may not be as well-known. At an initial glance, you may even perceive this place as a spoof Twitter and Instagram that is just telling you to take a nap. But hold on, it’s actually much smarter than that. The description says “We examine the liberating power of naps. We believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations. We install Nap Experiences. Founding in 2016.”

It might be a great time for you to check out The Nap Ministry, inspired by Tricia Hersey. White people are called to action, and people of color are expressly told to give time to taking care of themselves. Ultimately, it goes both ways – everyone needs the time to recharge and recuperate. But people of color especially are being told to value their rest more than the grind culture. Yes, you’re being told you need to manage your mental health and include self-care in your schedule.

Through The Nap Ministry, Tricia “examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations.”

“In this incredibly rich offering, we speak with Tricia on the myths of grind culture, rest as resistance, and reclaiming our imaginative power through sleep. Capitalism and white supremacy have tricked us into believing that our self-worth is tied to our productivity. Tricia shares with us the revolutionary power of rest.” They have even explored embracing sleep as a political act.

Let this allow you to take a deep breath and sigh – it is a must that you take care of yourself to take care of your business as well as your customers and your community. And yes, keep your drive and desire to “get to work”. But not at your expense for the old grind culture narrative.

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Opinion Editorials

The actual reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. But why else would you work for one?



Startups meeting led by Black woman.

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: Flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in the popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When employees find themselves personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits in the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are may be a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth. This allows them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters. Instead, it’s a clue that work environments that facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

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Opinion Editorials

How Peloton has developed a cult-following

(OPINION EDITORIALS) How has Peloton gotten so popular? Turns out there are some clear takeaways from the bike company’s wildly successful model.



Man riding Peloton bike with instructor pointing encouragingly during workout.

Peloton is certainly not the first company to gain a cult-like following–in the past we’ve talked about other brands with similar levels of devotion, like Crossfit and Yeti. Now, full disclosure: I’m not an exercise buff, so while I’d vaguely heard of Peloton–a company that sells stationary bikes–I had no idea it was such a big deal.

I mean, it’s not really surprising that an at-home bike that offers the option for cycling classes has grown so much during the pandemic era (a sales growth of 172% to be exact). But Peloton has been highly popular within its fanbase for years now. So, what gives? A few factors, actually.

Vertical Integration

If your company really wants to guarantee the vision and quality you’re aiming for, one of the best ways to enact it is through vertical integration, where a company owns or controls more than one part of its supply chain. Take Netflix, for example, which not only distributes media, but creates original media. Vertical integration lets companies bypass areas that are otherwise left to chance with third-party suppliers.

Peloton uses vertical integration–everything from the bike to its Wi-Fi connected tablet to the classes taught are created by Peloton. Although this may have made the bike more expensive than other at-home exercise bikes, it has also allowed Peloton to create higher quality products. And it’s worked. Many people who start on a Peloton bike comment on how the machine itself is well-built.

Takeaway: Are there any parts of your business process that you can improve in-house, rather than outsourcing?

Going Live

But with people also shelling out $40 a month for access to the training regimen Peloton provides, there’s more going on than simply high-quality craftsmanship.

Hey, plenty of cults have charismatic leaders, and Peloton is no exception. Okay, joking about the cult leader part, but really, people love their trainers. Just listen to this blogger chat about some of her favorites; people are connecting with this very human element of training. So much so that many people face blowback when suggesting they might like training without the trainers!

The trainers are only part of this puzzle though–attending live classes is a large draw. Well, as live as something can be when streamed into your house. Still, with classmate usernames and stats available while you ride, and teachers able to respond in real time to your “class,” this can simulate an in-person class without the struggle of a commute.

Takeaway: People want to see the human side of a business! Are there any ways your company could go live and provide that connection?

Getting Competitive

Pandemic aside, you can get a decent bike and workout class at an actual gym. But the folks at Peloton have one other major trick up their sleeve: Competition. Whether you’re attending a live session or catching up on a pre-recorded ride, you’re constantly competing against each other and your own records.

These leaderboards provide a constant stream of goals while you’re working out. Small accomplishments like these can help boost your dopamine, which can be the burst of good feeling you need while your legs are burning mid-workout. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why Peloton fans might be into it.

Takeaway: Is there a way to cater to your audience’s competitive side?


At the end of the day, of course, Peloton also has the advantage of taking a unique idea (live-streamed cycle classes built into your at-home bike) and doing it first. Plus, they just happened to be poised to succeed during a quarantine. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from what Peloton is doing right to build your own community of fanatics. There are plenty of people out there just waiting to get excited about a brand like yours!

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