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Genius Video Series- MUST SEE!



37625f6dc59a296b070b988696e84347Daniel Rothamel of Real Estate Zebra (and of course, an Agent Genius contributor) has found the winning formula for a new video series called “Real Estate in Black & White.” 

It has all the elements of a successful video- ironic elevator music, hipster b&w, hand-written boards giving it an authentic feel, AND Daniel’s reinforcement that his beautiful mug isn’t the message… the message is the message.  I encourage you all to post the video on your own sites- your readers will thank you!

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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  1. Missy Caulk

    December 20, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Ahh, so simple,so basic. Wonder how he got so smart.

  2. Charleston real estate blog

    December 20, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    A powerful message simply delivered perfectly. Thanks Daniel and Lani.

  3. Josh Brown

    December 20, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t get it… Must be one of those movies you have to watch two or three times to really appreciate. 🙂


  4. Vicki Moore

    December 20, 2007 at 2:05 pm


  5. Teresa Boardman

    December 20, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Very well done

  6. Mariana

    December 20, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I *heart* the zebra. What a brilliant guy.

  7. Ricardo Bueno

    December 20, 2007 at 4:25 pm


    Now how many takes do you think it took before he stopped laughing? I wanna see the cut outs!

  8. PeterT

    December 20, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Very nice. Simple, direct and the music is perfect.

  9. ines

    December 20, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I can see Greg’s point about some customers getting offended, but I think it needs to be left up to them.

  10. Dan Green

    December 20, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    The Girl from Ipanema must have been first written for this video. Well done, Daniel.

  11. Ken in Chicago

    December 20, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    >I encourage you all to post the video on your own sites- your readers will thank you!

    More important make all the agents in your office watch it…maybe they will get the concept of not taking overpriced listings.

  12. Benn Rosales

    December 20, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Ken, great point, we walk away from more listings then we actually take.

  13. Robert D. Ashby

    December 21, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I finally got to see the video and here is my take. (I will provide my Greg take on the follow up post – trackback above.)

    I think the concept of driving the “back to basics” point home is good. Persoanlly, I do not the black and white style for video, but it works here.

    As for offensive, who cares? If the person reading it is not your target audience, that is one less person you have to waste time with. Personally, I like it when I piss someone off as it gets me the feedback the I need to prove I am on the right track.

  14. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius

    December 21, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Proof that one can be better than the ninety and nine.

    Innovation, creativity, individuality, risk taking, non-conformity, independence, authenticity will always prevail, despite the self-proclaimed arbiters of taste.

    “The present day composer refuses to die.” (Edgard Varese)

  15. Mike

    December 21, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    I showed the video to a friend. He didn’t think it was condescending. I think that is such a simple message that I don’t get making a video about it. Same as doing a video saying clean your garbage off the front lawn. Not a genuis video but I think alot of agents wish they could tell their clients to price the house better but are scared.

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Business Marketing

Instagram’s false information flagging may accidentally shut down artists

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Instagram is doing its hardest to insure no false information gets released wide, but the net they cast may catch a lot of artists who manipulate images.



technically a false image

Instagram’s new update is hiding faked images. The downside? Posts by digital artists are being swept up in this new flagging system. In December, Instagram announced the release of a false information warning in order to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform.

How does this work? Content that is rated as partly false or false by a third-party fact-checker is removed from Instagram’s Explore option and matching hashtag pages. Additionally, the image will receive a label to warn viewers about its credibility with a link back to the fact-checker and further sources that debunk the visual claims in the image. These labels can be seen on profiles, feeds, DMs, and stories. Identical content from Facebook will be automatically labelled if posted to Instagram.

Digital artists are feeling the effects of Instagram’s update as digitally-altered images for the sake of artistic expression are being slapped with the misinformation label. The good news, however, is that not all photoshopped images are in danger—only the pictures that have gone viral attached to false information and identified as such.

So if an artist manipulates an image, releases it, then someone else decides to use the altered image to spread misinformation, the artists image could be labeled as misinformation and will be hidden from the Explore and hashtag pages. The artist pays the price for someone else spreading false information.

While a label will save a viewer from questioning a post, digital artists, whose careers depend upon visibility and the spread of the work are likely to feel the effects—whether it be scroll-frenzied viewers passing their work by, deterred by the label barring the post from a quick look, or even worse, the artists having their own credibility called into question.

With only a couple of weeks into the new year, it’s yet to be seen how other digital art may (or may not) be caught up in Instagram’s well-meaning update.

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Business Marketing

How becoming better listeners eliminates our culture’s growing isolation

(BUSINESS MARKETING) We have all be frustrated by someone who doesn’t listen to us; so why not make sure that you are taking the steps to not be them, and be better listeners.



good listeners breed good listeners

We all want the same thing: to be heard. In this digital age, we’ve created an endless stream of cries for attention via comment sections, forums, and social media feeds—shares, retweets, tags, videos, articles, and photos. Worse, our words echo in our digital bubbles or specific communities, doing nothing but making us lonely and isolated. However, in the midst of a divided political climate, we can all stand to strengthen our ability to listen.

Me? A bad listener? What are you trying to say? I got enough flaws to worry about and don’t wanna hear about another skill to improve. Oh, the irony.

“Bad listeners are not necessarily bad people,” assures Kate Murphy in her new book You’re Not Listening. “Anyone can get good at it. The more people you talk to, the better your gut instinct. You’re able to pick up those little cues. Without them, you’re not going to get the full context and nuance of the conversation,” she says in an interview with The Guardian’s Stephen Moss.

Our bad listening aside, we can all remember a time when we weren’t treated with the attention we craved. Moments where you’d do anything for the person you’re conversing with to give a sign of understanding—of empathy—to validate our feelings, to acknowledge the vulnerable piece of ourselves we’ve entrusted to them is cared for. Nothing is worse when we’re met with blank expressions and dismissive gestures or words. These interactions make us feel small and lonely. And the damage can stay with us.

So what can we do to ensure we’re the listeners we’ve always wanted from others? Being a good listener does take time, energy, and tons of practice. There are easy tips to keep in mind:

1. Show you care by making eye contact and putting away your phone.
2. Patience. Everyone opens up on their time.
3. Ask open-ended questions. Yes/no responses inhibit the flow of conversation.
4. Repeat what you’ve heard. This clarifies any misunderstanding and validates the speaker.
5. Give space. Let the conversation breathe—silent pauses are healthy.

By becoming better listeners, we show care. We become curious about and empathetic towards others, leaving our bubbles—we become a little less lonely.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.



work week rush

With the new decade comes the renewed resolutions. Social media has been flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and…hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care…that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well…probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the resolution to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

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