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Three Twenty-Something Clients = $1Million in Sales in 30 Days

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hipster_24.jpgThere is a segment of our industry out there that really believes the status quo is the way to go in that the executive level 40 and up group is where it’s at- maybe it is, but you’re missing out on so much more.

Preface: In our market, home prices vary from starters in the $150s to step-up homes in the low $200s to $260s.  As with any market, it really depends on where you want to live.

My last three clients, all in their mid-twenties have amounted to just over $1Million in sales.  Looking at your client base the way you may look at your children may not be so profitable.  What I have found in my own personal business is that the twenty to thirty something crowd really is smarter- they really are savvy, but yes, they are raw in the sense that they have an idealistic approach to everything they do.  The plus generation looks at this crowd and tends to demean them whether they mean to or not.  The perception is that they have no knowledge, no money and no focus- the way maybe you were when you were 20-something.  The reality is, this modernized post teen makes more money than our parents did at a much younger age, and they’re investing.  They’re asking great questions about the market and they just want validation of their knowledge. 

So.  If you aren’t taking the internet seriously, and if you aren’t taking seriously that 20-30 something generation that calls you up knowing everything, you might be missing a valuable opportunity. 

SUGGESTION: If you are considering revamping your site and business online to reach out to a broader segment of the market, my suggestion is simple.  Hold your own focus group.  Sit down your last 10 buyers all at once and ask them about your business, their ideas, problems they had in home searching, and let them be your guide.   Be sure your group is a broad cross-segment of the market reaching from the 20s all the way up to the 50 & 60 somethings.  I’m sure they love pizza and soda, or rent a room at Dave & Busters to host it.  I would charge you big time to hold a focus group, but you can do it yourself.  The key is- ask questions then shut up and listen.  You may be surprised with what you hear and in saying that, have two other people from your firm on hand to quietly observe (seperately) and take notes only; compare notes the next day and add it all together (recording your session is also advised to clarify). Every market is different and looking nationally for your answer may take you down an expensive dead-end road.

If you want to zero in on this (20-30 something) demo specifically, call one of your local college professors and ask to borrow some of their students- “Will give opinions for ramen or beer money.”

Get out of your box before it collapses in on you. 

[photo / Brandon Martin-Anderson]  Spend some time over at www.thatotherpaper.com really fun reads…

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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Austin Realtor's Wife

    June 15, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Strange- you weren’t even in the office when BawldGuy.com and I were on the phone talking about a similar topic today- it’s too bad that a great many Realtors snub their noses at people in their 20s and 30s!

    We are part of the “research generation” because we’ve had the Internet for all of our adult lives. We have an idea of what we want, but we need a specialist to guide us in the right direction (and affirm us as you mentioned). 20/30 year olds can bounce back from failed investments better than a 50/60 year old AND 20s/30s have DISPOSABLE INCOME (aka many are without kids, boats, land, homes, investments, medical bills, debt, parents in nursing homes, etc).

    Great article- this is one of my pet peeves and you’ve nailed it. New Realtors should take notes!

  2. Vicki Moore

    October 14, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Another reality to take notes on is that the young and newly ultra rich look like everyone else. The pre-IPO winners are incredibly wealthy and incredibly normal. If you make the assumption that the guy in the torn jeans, long hair and Prius doesn’t have any money to buy a house, you’d better think again.

  3. Toby Boyce

    January 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I am going to agree with you very much Benn.

    I’ve been working with a lot of the twenty-somethings right now. Have two in contract, one set to buy, and another clearing up a few things. Granted, the price point is a bit different – all four will probably get me about $350,000 in sales.

    But you know what, I’ll take that over sitting at home and doing nothing.

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Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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