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THE NEW POLITICS OF REAL ESTATE

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oppressedrg.jpgOver the past seven years, we’ve watched our nation become polarized on many political levels. Liberal or Conservative, we are a nation divided, and it appears that some in Real Estate have taken a strategy directly from the political playbook of a particular party.

POLITICAL STRATEGY:

  • Create a monster (the President)
  • Find polarizing issue (beat the President over the head with it, repeatedly, true or not)
  • Attack the monster with a revolution (attack everything the monster says or does, loudly)
  • Create a perception of oppression (confuse the voter)
  • Raise money (use every financial means necessary to multiply your message)
  • Spin the media (a sympathetic media breeds sympathetic votes)

POLITICAL REAL ESTATE STRATEGY:

  • Create a monster (the N.A.R.)
  • Find polarizing issue (beat the NAR over the head with it, repeatedly, true or not)
  • Attack the monster with a revolution (attack everything past or present, loudly)
  • Create a perception of oppression (confuse the consumer)
  • Raise money (use every financial means necessary to multiply your message)
  • Spin the media (a sympathetic media breeds sympathetic consumers)

The idea is simple.  You want to create one solid structure to attack, one that is tangible that will represent the larger group.  Whether it is the Republican Party or The National Real Estate Industry, you must be able to lob verbal bricks at it to attract the attention of the five second sound bite.  President Bush (agree with him or not) and The NAR are the ideal targets. 

Warp the public trust of the monster by any means necessary by making sure as many voices are speaking so-called truth to power at one time.  This will polarize some and galvanize others.  In the case of the Real Estate Industry (the establishment), we’re talking about many who pay even less attention to RE than to politics, so it takes very little to plant the seed when an entity is attacking everything it does and stands for.

Whether you’re part of either political party matters not.  The point is, the strategy is obvious and it works.  The problem for those in Real Estate that choose to practice this stratagem is that they run the risk of alienating their own base over time.  It is not a matter of if; it is more of a matter of when- if there is no simple logical answer to who is right and on what issue, then the argument is too broad and too vague. The audience tunes out and turns off, but the message is deep into the bloodstream.

When you attack an entire industry with doublespeak and double standards on every level at one time, you confuse consumers to the point that they will indeed take more time to sort it all out.  Real Estate is a lot more complicated than the political Top 10 kitchen table issues- foolishly attacking anything and everything leaves no white or black area; you’re left with all gray, inevitably affecting the consumer confidence in every market.  Markets that had no problem could suddenly perceive there is one. 

My prediction if this strategy continues in its current clumsy state: the polarization of consumers could have devastating consequences for real estate markets and our overall economy.  chess11.jpg

The main difference between marketing a new (or recycled) product or idea and politicizing it are very different.   Marketing is very focused as a rule, it has a particular audience; politicizing is very broad, and uses a tone of “by any means necessary” with the voice of the oppressed (Not oppressed? Tell them they are until they believe it). Recent examples in the national media only spotlight what has been happening in smaller, more controlled markets for many months.

It is too soon to see the real effects of this style of Politicizing Real Estate, or if those who are guilty of said tactics will continue such a broad, dull, unfocused challenge of the Real Estate Industry.  Even they must realize oversimplifying the nuances of real estate can and will have a negative economic impact on the larger segment of the market, including their own- and I do not mean in lower commissions.  

It takes time for such a strategy to work or be measured; but the slow drumbeat of repetition will eventually win out.  One must wonder whose drumbeat will be the loudest as the so-called revolution marches on… who will the consumer trust when the dust settles? Look no further than the public confidence of either political party on Capitol Hill for your answer. 

….BR 

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Jonathan Dalton

    May 21, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Interesting theory. I’m not sure anyone needed to work hard to portray NAR as the monster. The group’s general approach to PR is a train wreck. That leaves a lot of agents attempting to defend the industry on their own when, frankly, not everything involved in the industry can be defended.

    Redfin’s greatest appeal is it’s singular PR focus. What the company is doing is nothing particularly original – flat-rate real estate models have been in existence for years. But by adding the technology angle (also not a new idea to many), they’ve made it appear they’re looking for a revolution when instead they’re trying to exploit a particular consumer niche.

    The new world of blogging, along with the cover of anonymity it provides, has allowed many to shoot at any sacred cow they choose without concern for the possible repercussions. And many choose to follow just to be heard. Sad, really.

  2. B. R.

    May 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    All large entities have a big bullseye on their back, they are all clumsy, and slow. Thats how it works- thanks for the trackback and comment-BR

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Business Marketing

What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups

(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?

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A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).

So let’s break it down.

Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.

Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).

What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.

Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.

Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.

How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?

Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.

Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.

Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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