Connect with us

Business Marketing

If you say that… it will ruin your career!




 As a life-long possessor of the minority opinion, I am not surprised that people disagree.  That’s fine, our opinions are traditionally defined by life experience and not everyone has had the same experiences.

However, I am always amazed at the lack of tolerance that others can have, when they disagree.  Too many people will simply shut down when they hear something they don’t like, as opposed to considering that maybe there is a better way. 

In my job as an educator, I can’t help but have some of my personal opinions shadow the topics that I teach.  In the past two months I’ve been cautioned by third parties, that two agents were upset.  These agents have both made the comments that “If Matthew keeps teaching against dual agency’ -or- ‘If Matthew keeps teaching that on-line marketing is more effective than print media and floor duty’ than no one will come to his lectures and it will hurt his career.”

Am I surprised, no not really.  However, I do want to ask a question.  If I only tell people what they are comfortable with and don’t try to give light to change and progression than what’s the point?  Education is a modality in which someone should be able to change behavior and improve their practices.

Am I worried about these two individuals coming back to classes?  No, and here’s why.  In both instances these individuals were offended because of their experiences and beliefs.  In both instances we’re talking about generational issues.  I’m not referencing age; but of the industry.  It seems to me that we have entered a new generation of real estate in the past five years or so.  Yes, the average age of the Realtor is getting younger (and I am not sure that’s a good thing – more on that in a later post), but I know many, many brokers and seasoned agents (regardless of age) who are adapting to meet the consumer where they are now.  Unfortunately there are far too many people who are trying to meet the consumer where they were 10 years ago.  I am leaving room for the fact that they maybe right and the talents of open houses and playing solitaire during floor duty maybe back in vogue… but I think it’s unlikely and only time will tell.

I am not clever enough to give a title to the different generation of Realtors, but I know that there is a difference and for too long we’ve been addressing it as physical age and not by a willingness to adapt to a changing industry.  Age is beginning to be less of a factor for me.  I know many Baby Boomers who are exceptional bloggers and very tech savvy. 

So, am I worried that there are some who are unwilling to change?  Nope, because for every 1 who is offended there are another 30 who are embracing the change and look forward to another experience to provide services to the client where the clients are now.  That is the emerging generation of the industry.  I have to concentrate my efforts on those who can be reached and hopefully influence the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is

Continue Reading


  1. Stephen Wolfe

    March 15, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Matt, as a former educator now realtor, I get your point. Educators have the charge of transformation through information. As an agent, I try to keep that approach with our clients. Yes, it may loose us some clients, but we would rather people have a great experience than us just try to see how “many we can get” if the experience is good all else takes care of itself! Keep up the work of being a literal “change-agent!”

  2. monika

    March 15, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I agree, Don’t worry about teaching or reaching those that are closed…just keep reaching the ones that embrace change and new ideas. Those are the ones that will make a difference.
    Often I face the same issues especially so when I teach things that traditional brokers don’t want their agents to hear. Like self branding, online marketing and anything that flies in the face of their often times old school beliefs. It’s a hard line to not cross but you have to do what feels right for you.

  3. Missy Caulk

    March 15, 2008 at 8:03 am

    True, Matthew the problem is as at this point theirs not yours. When the pupil is ready the teacher will come in something I have seen in my own life and the lives of others. I’m a bummer.

  4. Mike Farmer

    March 15, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Agreed, however, don’t fall into the trap of being like these two and shutting out information outside the “new way” because we might find before all this is over that many old methods can still be effective. The jury is still out on best practices in this evolving industry.

  5. Toronto neighbourhoods

    March 15, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I fully agree with what you’ve written. I work for a real estate agent and I am dealing with Toronto neighbourhoods. I think that for someone who wants to succed in the new age, the adapting to a new industry is crucial. People have different opinions, but it is important not to shut down when we hear opinion that is not like ours. I think that we should at least consider the possibility that other people’s ideas may be true. Even if they’re not, they broaden our view of the world.

  6. Faina Sechzer

    March 15, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Mathew, I see very successful agents who are doing same old, same old. They say -it works, so why change something that isn’t broken? (their point, not mine). May be agents who don’t have a repeat business client base, or the established personal brand, are more eager to embrace the “new” ways, as a way to differentiate and to carve out a niche. Many real estate markets are so saturated with the old guard, it’s extremely difficult for new agents to find a foothold.

  7. Matthew Rathbun

    March 15, 2008 at 9:48 am

    MIke, your point is well taken. I am reminded that what we’re doing now to reach our clients maybe be “old school” in the not to distant future. I just hope we’re all open to new ideas each time we hear one. Even if we don’t incorporate it into our own practice, it’s beneficial to know what others are doing.

  8. Mariana Wagner

    March 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

    ” I am reminded that what we’re doing now to reach our clients maybe be “old school” in the not to distant future. I just hope we’re all open to new ideas each time we hear one.”

    Exactly. This is a paradigm shift. We are not only changing WHAT we are doing, but we are changingthe entire fundamentals of HOW we are in business. And a large part of that change is realizing that “change” in and of itself is not always a bad thing.

  9. Cyndee Haydon

    March 15, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Matt, I agree with Mariana – I just hope I can keep up – I know I went through a period where every new “social network” seemed like was coming daily with invites to join.

    We all know it will continue to evolve – hope I day open to the “new”

  10. Jonathan Dalton

    March 15, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Heard at a lender’s office the other day about a mass mailing to go out.

    HIM – “You gotta send them, right?”

    ME – “Hey, whatever works for you.”

    HIM – “Oh, it hasn’t worked but you still gotta do it.”

    ME (internal dialogue engaged) – Why?

    The Internet and the web-based consumer is creating new opportunities and new challenges all at the same time. At happy hour yesterday one of my office’s top producers was disparaging web leads as flaky. Many are. Many aren’t. The percentages run about the same as floor calls, sign calls and all of my other lead generation efforts. But there’s an added perception colored by a lack of understanding of the medium.

    (Wow, did I really write that last sentence after being awake only 40 minutes? COOL!)

  11. Hi Matthew!

    Whether Old school or New school:

    “You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself.” – Galileo Galilei

    Re: Old school vs. New school Experience – I have a similar conversation going on here:


  12. Jacksonville Real Estate

    March 15, 2008 at 11:49 am

    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

    Although the medium of conversing with clients has moved to the internet through blogs and social media, it is still “spending face time” with a client. Furthermore, the old ways of calling and holding seminars still work.

    It just a new marketing medium.

  13. Mike Farmer

    March 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    “MIke, your point is well taken. I am reminded that what we’re doing now to reach our clients maybe be “old school” in the not to distant future. I just hope we’re all open to new ideas each time we hear one. Even if we don’t incorporate it into our own practice, it’s beneficial to know what others are doing.”


  14. Sue

    April 12, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t think a realtors age matters, but its important to embrace new technology and different practices if they clearly offer value. In which case, its easy enough to show clients and create an awareness. Believe it or not, I work with realtors that do not use email. Now that is hanging on to tradition way too long.

  15. Dotti Driver

    September 10, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Keep teaching it anyway. I have learned a lot about the internet and have actually sold homes to some of my web leads. I think Realtors should keep doing the things that are working for them, but also listen to the teachers who can see where real estate is headed. Most buyers are finding their home on the internet these days, so it pays to listen up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

Pay employees for their time, not only their work

(MARKETING) Yes, you still must pay employees for their time even if they aren’t able to complete their work due to restrictions. Time = Money.



pay employees for their time

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a lot of insightful questions about things like our healthcare system, worldwide containment procedures, and about a billion other things that all deserve well-thought answers.

Unfortunately, it has also led to some of the dumbest questions of all time.

One such question comes courtesy of Comstock Mag, with the inquiry asking whether or not employees who show up on time can be deducted an hour’s pay if the manager shows up an hour later.

From a legal standpoint, Comstock Mag points out that employees participating in such activities are “engaged to wait”, meaning that – while they aren’t necessarily “working” – they are still on the clock and waiting for work to appear; in this case, the aforementioned “work” comes in the form of the manager or supervisor showing up.

In short: if the reason your employees aren’t working is that the precursor to completing the work for which you pay them is inaccessible, you still have to pay them for their time.

Morally, of course, the answer is much simpler: pay your employees for their time, especially if the reason they are unable to complete work is because you (or a subordinate) didn’t make it to work at the right time.

Certainly, you might be able to justify sending all of your employees home early if you run into something like a technology snag or a hiccup in the processes which make it possible for them to do their jobs – that would mean your employees were no longer engaged to wait, thus removing your legal obligation to continue paying them.

Then again, the moral question of whether or not cutting your employees’ hours comes into play here. It’s understandable that funds would be tight for the time being, but docking employees an hour of their work here or there due to problems that no one can control may cause them to resent you down the line when you need their support in return.

The real problem with this question is that, despite most people knowing that the answer should always be “pay them”, the sheer number of people working from home in the wake of worldwide closures and social distancing could muddy the water in terms of what constitutes the difference between being engaged to wait and simply burning time.

For example, an employee who is waiting for a meeting to start still fits the bill of “engaged to wait” even if the meeting software takes an extra half hour to kick in (or, worse yet, the meeting never happens), and docking them pay for timecard issues or other extenuating factors that keep them from their work is similarly disingenuous – and illegal.

There are a lot of unknowns these days, but basic human decency should never be up for debate – especially now.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(MARKETING) With winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.



Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos



African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!