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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

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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Business Marketing

Unsplash is the secret weapon for seekers, and creators of unique images

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It’s free, it’s great, it’s free, it’s a marketing multi-tool, and it’s FREE. Why aren’t you using Unsplash already? It has great exposure!

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I really can’t stand seeing the same thing over and over again.

Might be my slutty, slutty, non-brand-monogamous Milleniality showing, but I reeeeeeally feel like something’s wrong when I can’t tell two different companies (or WRITERS) apart because they’ve aped the same template, or bought the same cheap font, or used the same stock photos.

He’s a cutie, but I can only see that surprised toddler in the pink shirt and gray vest so many times. And I guarantee at least 85% of people reading this know exactly which baby I’m talking about, hence the issue I’m having.

That’s where Unsplash has been my friend.

I was introduced to the image search engine in my last job: hundreds of thousands of hi-res images for 100% free, which yeah, was just my boss saving money on subscriptions to pay for our office snacks. But I was pleasantly surprised by the cool stuff I could find!

How it works is; well first, pretend you’re a photographer. One amongst many. And you specialize in, say, bomb ass macrophotography. Except the people who need your services A: Don’t know the difference between your specialty and someone who can use the zoom button, and thus B: Aren’t finding your portfolio because they don’t even know what they’re looking for.

If you’re willing to let people use some of your photos, you can host images on Unsplash, tag them with keywords, and ideally get some subtext or alt-text credit.

It’s not like a paying gig, it’s more like passing out fliers to super warm leads.

Now pretend you’re writing for a nature blog. Justifiable crackdowns on unpaid intellectual property mean that when your client says ‘Just pull some stuff from Google, it’s whatever’, you’re not actually going to do that. But there’s no budget for a subscription to anything, so what now?

You check out Unsplash is what. Then you find that macrophotographer’s amazing pictures of leaves and such, and bookmarking their gallery gives you a way to harmonize all the preview images you use for the ‘5 Most Ominous Things I’ve Found in the Austin Greenbelt’ article you’re working on with everything else on the site.

As a master manipulator of text/feelings myself, I’m also really into the fact that since anyone with a camera, anywhere in the world can host their images, I’ve got a lot of diversity in styles, locations, and of course human subjects. I really enjoyed that I could look up ‘CEO’ and find a Vietnamese woman and a Canadian man sharing the first page and probably a complicated relationship with France as a concept.

And I noticed something else.

Quite a few of these images were branded! As in Harley Davidson, Boxed Water, and more have Unsplash accounts, with their products on display to be used whenever people look up words like ‘freedom’ and ‘quirky’ and ‘hydrate’.

You literally can hire a photographer to take pictures of people in various situations wearing your brand of pillbox hats, and get photos of your product placed any and everywhere!

Now of course there are a few wee drawbacks.

Credit isn’t guaranteed, so whether you’re a brand or a photographer, you may not have your name on your work when it’s displayed, especially on preview images.

You also won’t be notified as to WHERE your photos are being used, so if your properly gloved and be-pillboxed gals end up photoshopped with digital Sharpie mustaches and used in an anti-fancy fashion postpunk op-ed, that’s out of your control.

On the searcher side, the AI is a little off as you scroll through. You might be distracted by photos of fighting racoons being auto-tagged as dogs hugging, and lose time laughing and taking screenshots, and then explaining why you’re posting to Tumblr during work hours.

Still worth it, by the way.

Ultimately Unsplash has been my ace-in-the-hole when it came to advancing the radical left agenda by viciously adding different ages, races, and settings to my last gig’s newsletters, and it’s another great resource for anyone in the ‘get/KEEP your name out there’ stage of business.

Hitch up your water wings, dive in, and make an un-splash!

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