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Real Estate – Play That Funky Music

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beatlesIsn’t it interesting how a person can hear a song and feel as though it were written just for them?  Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Last week I talked about real estate’s influence on  literature, and today I think we should consider how some of the most famous songs in the world were influenced by our often undervalued profession. Here’s my evidence (would I lie to you?):

Happiness is a Warm Gun (A Brokers Open in South Central)

I’m a Loser (An agent with a bobble-head Omarosa on his dash)

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (A Beverly Hills agent on nine cups of java)

Please, Please Me (Refrain of the Greek Chorus at a Listing Appointment)

Another One Bites the Dust (Refrain of the Greek Chorus when your buyer tells you he recently “invested” the down payment money)

Eight Days a Week (A slacker week for an agent.)

Thriller (A 4% commission that requires no sexual favors)

Brown Sugar (A sweet deal that turns to s__t.)

Dancing Queen (A West Hollywood agent at COE)

Straight Outta Compton (A house with bullet holes for air conditioning)

Bang Bang (Name of the HVAC company that services Compton)

Knockin On Heavens Door (A contingency offer…that’s 20% under asking)

Don’t Let Go (Refrain of the Greek Chorus when your hands are around the neck of the guy that’s fighting you for procuring cause)

You Shook Me All Night Long (Twilight Open near the San Andreas Fault)

Would I Lie To You (An extra credit question on the state real estate exam – the multiple choice selection is: a) Yes b) Why Not? c) Does a turd float? or c) All of the above, bozo)

Got To Give It Up (Advice to the seller chained to his basement bar screaming, “Noooo – not the brewskis!!!)

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing Baby (Advice to the seller with the neon Elvis over his couch)

The Tracks of My Tears (The road from here to your last failed escrow)

Take All of Me (An agent’s plea while lying prostrate in front of a lender on day thirty of his vanishing deal)

Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy (The agent who used to sit at the desk next to yours.)

Light My Fire (New Jersey alternative to selling at a loss)

Chain of Fools (Seven wasted agents in a Limbo line)

La Vida Loca –  (Uber-obvious, no?)

Why Try to Change Me Now? (Most popular rehab center for agents)

Money, That’s What I Want  –  The first five words an agent learns in real estate…and the last!

(For more fun,  read Real Estate’s Influence on Literature:  Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery on Agent Genius)

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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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    September 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Ha…funny how the titles can be so true.

  2. Gwen Banta

    September 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Yeah, it’s just fun Friday humor, Missy. I’m the court jester who is there for the entertainment portion of the program. But I think it’s important to have a few laughs because we have been subject to stressful times in our very challenging profession.

  3. Joe Loomer

    September 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Read this as I was heading out for my wife’s birthday! Now I’m in an even better mood!

    I would add:

    The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (what you hear walking down the street while showing the USMC retired Gunney and his pastor wife the home of his dreams)

    Burning Down The House (what you feel like doing when the Seller rejects an offer and recommends a LIST PRICE INCREASE because you got an offer within the first two weeks)

    Escape (need I say more? The home’s a s__t hole, a dear friend referred you to list it, they think it’s the Taj Mahal)

    How Deep Is Your Love (your best friend listed their house with you, you bring an offer, they ask if you’ll reduce your commission)

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  4. Gwen Banta

    September 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    These are fantastic Joe. – you made my day. I have my own take on a few:

    The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – West Hollywood agents fighting at a listing presentation (FYI: that’s our Castro section)

    Burning Down The House – Gwen Banta preparing food at a Brokers Open

    Escape – The gases emanating from the old man who won’t leave your open house

    How Deep is Your Love – I’m stymied here. We need to get Matt Stigliano in on this – it’s right up his rock n roll alley.

    Hello, Matt??? Hello, any of you other twisted Geniuses out there???

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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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