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Real Estate Karaoke at the Redhead Lounge

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In case you missed all the fun, last week I hosted a virtual real estate discussion in the Redhead Lounge. This second installment includes the same illustrious crew: Brandie Young, Ken Brand and Paula Henry, as well as two party crashers, Joe Loomer and Tanya Nouwens. These leaders in marketing and real estate were asked to answer questions in ten words or less, in between karaoke numbers and shooters. Grant Hammond, the bouncer on duty, had his work cut out for him. They have imparted some great words of wisdom, but watch what happens when I ply them with booze and become the master puppeteer!

 GBB: Hey guys, who’s buying? KB: Loomer is. Here’s his wallet – I moonlight as a pickpocket.  Paula provided a distraction by slapping Joe upside his head. GBB: Speaking of team work…do y’all think it’s advisable to have a business partner? KB: Everyone should have a trusted working partner.  Someone who can cover their business….  Most don’t need a partner/split … I’ve rarely seen a partnership work, except with spouses. PH: Yeah, long term business relationships rarely last. GBB: Two words: Bill and Hillary.  JL: That’s three words in Georgia. BY: I love having a partner…each of us morphs naturally into a role with the client, with one being the one that must, at times, bring some order to the relationship…GBB: Brandie,  I’m not sure anyone will bring you to order if you don’t slow down on those margaritas. BY:You’re right – the salt is giving me kankles. JL:What in the hell are kankles? Do we need to call an exterminator? BY: Bloated ankles, dufus. Get your hand off my Swedish meatballs… JL: I will if you will.

GBB: Come to order, delinquents. Hey, look who just walked in – Tanya Nouwens. You’re late, put a buck in my money jar. TN: But I drove in from Canada… GBB:Hey, there will be no cryin’ for you Argentina. Try driving across Los Angeles! So give us some advice, Tanya: Should agents who are resistant to texting start doing so? TN: Yes, because it makes us seem 10 years younger than we really are.  And it’s way less expensive than cosmetic surgery. GH:Did you say sexting? Hell yes! GBB: Grant, stop stalking us and go back to your post at the door. PH: Clients who text expect to be answered in the same manner; besides it’s quick and efficient. GBB: So you ladies think we need to be technologically current…  I carry a Smith and Wesson – does that count?

GBB: What is the most important quality about a house?  JL: If the bar is stocked.  Oh, you mean buying one? The honesty in the disclosure statement and the state of repair. PH: Location. Duh. Now stop bothering me. I’m warming up my pipes for my real estate karaoke song. I plan to rock the joint with “Our House.” GBB: Did you say “Outhouse?”  You’re slurring. You’ll be rockin’ with only two stumps if you touch my money jar again. KB: Whatever my clients think is most important about a house is most important to me. GBB: Good answer, Ken, but I didn’t ask you, so put a buck in the jar. And what’s your real estate karaoke song, tonight?” KB: Brandie and I are doing a duet of “Sugar Shack.” JL:Ken, you’re making a bold assumption that Brandie can walk on those meadow muffins that are squeezing out of her shoes. Gwen, shoot her in the kankles before she lifts off!

GBB:  Ken, while you buy another round with Joe’s money, maybe Tanya can tell us what issue worries her clients the most. Tanya? TN: That they won’t get the value out of their property that they have already attributed to it based on a scientific study consisting of talking with their neighbors and friends and consulting Uncle Edward who used to sell real estate in the area in 1958. PH: Boy, you’re a chatty l’il thing…but I agree. They are concerned about whether or not they’re paying or receiving the best price. GBB: So we all agree on something? JL: My clients also worry about inspections…and the smells emanating from garage freezers. GBB:Zip it, Loomer. 

GBB: What troubles you the most about the loan process? BY: There’s no rigor.  The underwriters have way too much power.  The lenders are still in panic mode. KB: You’d be in panic mode, too, if you could see your kankles from where I’m sitting! BY: Don’t make me hurt you, Ken. GBB: Joe, any loan process woes? JL: Buyers who arrive “pre-qualified” by internet or out of town lenders. Gwen, let’s team up for “House of the Rising Sun.”  GBB:  No, you’ll hog the microphone. KB: If you don’t pre-prepare your clients for the often bumpy and anger inspiring process in getting a loan, you’ll get blamed… GBB:  That’s why I pack a Smith and Wesson. 

GBB: Okay, here is my rapid fire finale: Ken, wake up – your ankle monitor is beeping! What musical instrument would most help you in real estate?  KB: If I had the Pied Piper’s magic flute, that’d be cool. GBB: Brandie, when is dress important? BY: Always.  Ladies!  The two most important things: manicured nails and shoes that are not destroyed.  It’s the little things. JL: Unlike your ankles… GBB: Brandie, I don’t think Joe can breathe with your IPhone in his esophagus. Paula, you’re on deck with “Homeward Bound,” but before your vocals shatter the neon Bud sign, when do you think agents should present an offer in person? JL (interrupts): When the client is super freakin hot. GBB: We’re cutting you off, Joe. Paula? PH: If there are multiple offers on a great non-bank owned property.  GBB: No wonder you have your own team. I only have two hamsters and a ferret named “W.” 

GBB: Tanya, What is the best housewarming gift for a client? TN: A house. GBB: That was a good answer for someone with a cocktail napkin on her head.  You’re new at The Redhead, so you get a bonus question: What is the biggest hindrance to closing a deal? TN: Egos. GBB: You clever l’il Canadian – I love brevity! KB: That’s what Loomer’s wife says. GBB: Joe, I noticed that Grant is cutting off your oxygen. Before you pass out, can you tell me the most difficult aspect of a real estate deal? JL: Negotiating repairs or dealing with uneducated agents. That, and they rescinded the “shooting idiots” law in Georgia. GBB: And what’s your must successful means of advertising? The Playgirl spread I did, yeah, that’s how I roll.  (Collective groans) 

GBB: Last call, folks. Where’s Brandie? KB: (Bleary eyed and unfazed by his karaoke partner’s disappearance.) Grant bounced her and called the cops five minutes ago for stapling her business cards all over the piano. TN: She sure is a marketing wizard. GBB (yells across the bar to Grant):  Hey Hammerin’ Hammond –  you like your job too much! GH:  Yeah, I believe Forest Gump best described my feelings here with the whole box of chocolates thing. GBB: So where’s Brandie? PH: Forget that miscreant!  More importantly…where’s Waldo? JL: Probably in the cell next to Brandie.  ( They all jump on stage and do a fabulous rendition of “Take me Home.”  They dedicate their song to Brandie as she sobers up in L.A.’s luxurious County Lockup.)

Thanks to my colleagues for their valuable input and their willingness to participate in virtual mayhem. Ken Brand, a veteran in real estate, is the Real Estate Sales Manager of Prudential Gary Green Realtors  in Woodlands, Texas. Paul Henry is the dynamo leader of the top notch Henry Group at Red Door Real Estate in Indianapolis. Brandie Young is a San Francisco marketing guru, trail blazer and founder of consulting firm MarketingTBD. Tanya Nouwens  has combined 29 years of Montreal real estate experience with the home staging experience of Ready, Set…Sold! Inc to form a Canadian power team.  Joe Loomer  is Assistant Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty Augusta Partners and author of the wise and witty blog, Fruit of the Loomer.  Grant Hammond, our “bouncer,” just joined us. He is an award winning  Nashville real estate market expert. Los Angeles host and blogger Gwen Banta  can be found at www.L.A.Homesite.com, or checking coats at The Redhead Lounge – tips welcome.

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn, LAhomesite.com, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Oh the Humanity.

    My head feels like Gwen’s ankles after that night out!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride!

  2. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Those huge “kankles” belonged to our dear friend Brandie Young. I’m the one who was stuck with the huge bar bill. Are Grant’s thumb prints still in your neck? (I think our rendition of “House of the Rising Sun” drove him over the edge.)

  3. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hey friends (and sworn enemies) – I forgot to ask what your real Estate Karaoke song is – it must have something to do with real estate in the title…

  4. Tanya Nouwens

    March 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    “Tanya has combined 29 years of Montreal real estate experience…” Oy vey! How old do you think I am? Granted, I always age after a night of “spirited” karaoke, and cosmetic surgery may have been more prudent than that lesson in texting from the marketing whiz kid named “U”, but cherie….it’s my BROKER who has lasted 29 years in this nutty biz. Though she in fact looks younger than me. OK nevermind. Pass the wine please.

  5. Tanya Nouwens

    March 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    “Tiptoe…Through the Tulips.”

  6. Tanya Nouwens

    March 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    And on other days, “I Will Survive.”

  7. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Sorry, Tanya – I misquoted your website material. That happens when one’s arteries harden. I meant to say that you LOOK 29, and when I had to pick you up off the floor at the Redhead, you still looked 29 – dissipated, but 29. Here, let me top that off for you….

  8. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I love them both, Tanya, although tulips are hard to find in real estate. I’m thinking of more prickly flowers, such as “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” by Guns and Roses. Of course, I work in Los Angeles, so that may explain my cynicism. “I Will Survive” is a very positive attitude, although I may have considered “Love This Pain” by Lady Antebellum.

  9. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Hic – uh, ok, – hic – uh, ok – hic – uh, ok – Brandie? Where’s my wallet? Ken? This dude’s looking at me funny, Gwen, I’m going all Desert Storm on him if he don’t quit.

    Ok, Brandie!! Brandie!! where are you? Well s#%#cicles, there goes my ride – I can’t call the Wiff. Jen! Jen!! Ken! Whatever the $##% your name is! Gimme my wallet!! I swear I got a “Get Home Free” card in there somewhere from Gwen’s last party! C’mon! The “Places OJ slept” Open House doesn’t close for another thirty minutes! We can be there in ten! Who you gotta *#$% to get a cab in this place? #%% it, I’m going back to Georgia, at least there I can call my wife and sister (no, they’re not one and the same) to come get me on a night like this.

    Navy (hic), Navy (hic) Navy (hic), Maybe (hic), Baby (hic), oh %#$# it, see you next weee(hic) next week

  10. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    You are seriously in need of help, Mr. Loomer. There was no Jen there, but now that I recall, there was a Jim. I saw him winking at you when you were doing your karaoke number. Is there anything you want to share with your AG pals? C’mon – spill it!

  11. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Twenty one years of service to this country and THIS is what I get? MORE sexual predeliction comments? Good googley moogley. Hair of the Dog time! Honey? Where’s my drink? Jim? Jim!! I’m talking to you!

  12. Joe Loomer

    March 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Oh #%#. Wife just saw the last post. I got some ‘splainin to do!

  13. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Before Sherri confines you to the house for your own safety, tell me quickly: What is your Real Estate Karaoke song? I love the answers I’m getting!

  14. Ken Brand

    March 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Ummm, I don’t remember anything. I think I blacked out, my forehead’s bruised.

  15. Gwen Banta

    March 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    And yet you still managed to impart some sage advice, Ken – you must have brain cells to burn!

  16. Michael Bertoldi

    March 20, 2010 at 12:48 am

    LOL, You guys have owned the comments and this post. You all crack me up.

    (Smart real estate peeps are crazy!) Shhh

  17. Gwen Banta

    March 20, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Emphasis on the “smart.” Even geniuses know how to roll. Thanks, Michael.

  18. Joe Loomer

    March 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Our House – Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young)

  19. Brandie Young

    March 20, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    First, you are all terribly insensitive to chide me on my fat ankles.

    Update: I made some new friends in the lockup – probably because I look fabulous in an orange jumpsuit! p.s. Gwen, thanks for the bail money. I promise the IOU is as good as the cocktail napkin on which it’s written.

    Finally, for our next number, Ken Brand and I will sing our own rendition of “This Must Be the Place” by the Talking Heads.

    Cheers!

  20. Gwen Banta

    March 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Brandie, I have no doubt you made new friends; and with your brilliant marketing skills, they probably all became clients. We all could learn a lot from you…if we could just stop staring at your ankles 🙂

  21. Gwen Banta

    March 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Incidentally, Brandie, I like the karaoke choice. I was thinking of performing “This House is On Fire” by Natalie Merchant. I couldn’t find a song title that said, “Buy this House Dammit – We’ve Seen A Hundred Already!”

  22. Nashville Grant

    March 28, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Never has selling real estate been this entertaining or fun. Not even in 2005.

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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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.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always 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 goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.

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jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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