Folks, I have compiled the first in a series of helpful discussions between three leaders in our industry…and moi – the court jester. This first installment includes the following illustrious crew: Brandie Young, Ken Brand and Paula Henry. They were directed to answer my questions in ten words or less. These respected business persons can teach you a lot about real estate and marketing. The other one is an idiot, but she can show you where all the bodies in Hollywood are buried. This may have been an online discussion, but I want you to imagine all four of us sitting in our favorite pub discussing sales, real estate, and the economy. Ken, of course, is outnumbered, but as a result, he is enjoying all the attention. I am head down in a bowl of beer nuts…but you probably already knew that:
GBB: What is the best way to get new clients? PH: Internet leads BY: From current or past clients. KB: … Find fun people, mix-mingle-interact-converse-listen-share-ask questions-discover-solve problems. GBB: You broke the ten word rule Ken. Kindly put a dollar in the jar. Okay, so we were talking new clients – well, I do pretty well down at Hollywood and Vine. Oh wait, we’re talking real estate… In that case, blackmail is an effective tool. That’s what makes L.A. work – just ask the National Enquirer. Oh, puh-leeze, don’t pretend you never do that!
GBB: What characteristic do you most like in a client? BY: Engaged, enthusiastic… KB: A funny, friendly good looking, whip smart, recently homeless person with a million dollars cash and no where to live, until we find them a home. GBB: Gimme another buck, Ken. PH: Sense of humor GBB: Duh! Lakers Tickets!
GBB: What characteristic do you least like in a client? BY: Nit-pick, whiny. PH: Micro managing a process/project they know nothing about. Oh, and when they can’t pay. GBB: Why are you looking at me when you say that, Paula? Lani is paying for this. KB: If people are disrespectful, I dump them. GBB: I hate ankle monitoring bracelets. I’m just saying…
GBB: What can an agent do to assist with an appraisal now that we have the new HVCC guidlines? BY: Make certain the appraiser actually knows the area. PH: Not sure anyone has this figured out. GBB: I concur. Another chili in your Bloody Mary, Brandie? KB: We provide our appraisers with an appraisal package. Updated comps and a laundry list of any and all improvements… GBB: If the appraiser is a woman, I bring a Prada bag full of chocolates. If it’s a guy, I bring Pamela Anderson.
GBB: What is your opinion of Real Estate reality shows? KB: They’re stupid. Put me in one, I’d sell circles around those clowns. Actually, I find some of the negotiating stuff interesting. GBB: Ken, for a genius, you sure can’t count. But that’s okay, I’m an idiot savant myself. Gimme another buck. PH: [Reality Shows] are so not real. BY: [Reality Shows] crack me up! That one in LA is so far out of reality, it’s hysterical. GBB: Actually, all of L.A. is beyond reality, dahling. I was on “Flip That House,” and all I got out of it was a stalker. Matter of fact, he looked a lot like you, Ken. Uncanny resemblance… I’m packing pepper spray, Ken!
GBB: What is your opinion of bus bench ads? BY: We don’t really have buses in my area. I think this is community specific. PH: Only Teresa Boardman’s virtual bus bench is worth the price. I don’t want anyone sitting on me. GBB: I’m confused. Who’s Teresa Boardman? Did I miss something when I was in the rest room? Bench ads to you, Ken. KB: Generally speaking, “Lame.” Unless it’s an enormous picture of me and someone else paid for it. GBB: Love ‘em! When someone carves gang signs in my paper forehead I consider it a sign of deep affection. Ken, you REALLY look familiar… Is that a restraining order in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
GBB: What do you like best about your job? BY: I don’t work for a__holes any longer. I get to pick and choose with whom I work and I can fire clients when our agency isn’t a good fit. GBB: You said a bad word, Brandie. Put a dollar in the jar. No, I’ll hold the jar. Let go, dangit – the cash is mine! KB: Being the boss of my self. Picking and choosing who I work with. My raise is effective as soon as I am. GBB: That’s clever, Ken. You really should consider a bus bench ad. PH: No two days are alike. Getting to the closing table; not because I get paid, but the sense of accomplishment. GBB: I like happy hour. No, Ken, I don’t work here, and stop bogarting the peanuts! Who’s buying the next round?
GBB: What is your most successful means of advertising? BY: I am very interested to see what people say here. Would love to see a mix of very small town/community answers vs. others. GBB: You are a regular brain trust, Brandie. Will you take my brokers’ exam for me please? PH: Internet GBB: Paula, I love how you are both brilliant AND succinct. You are the only one who followed the ten word rule. …Paula? Somebody wake her up so she can tip the waitress. KB: Traditional advertising is like earning a fast nickel. Personal relationship building, on-purpose and in-person contact is a slow dollar. Go for the dollar. GBB: Nice. I have business card with a hologram of myself. I tell people I am virtually there whenever they need me. Also, bad publicity is a real pay-off in my town. Hence my desire to jump up on this table and start dancing.
GBB: What subjects other than real estate would be advisable for prospective agents to study? KB: How to write and speak persuasively. Social Media marketing and relationship building strategies. How to live in the now… GBB: Right! Where were we? PH: How to interpret data as it applies to the likelihood an area will thrive. BY: Appraisal GBB: Man, I’m outta my league here – I was going to say “animal husbandry.” Why are you all taking away my car keys?
GBB: What will your real estate tombstone say? KB: Cheers Friends. It was FUN. I’ll be back. GBB: Brandie? Brandie? (Brandie didn’t answer this one.) Did we offend her? Don’t look at me, Ken. It was your idea to put half a jar of chilies in her Bloody Mary. Maybe she’ll forgive us before our next get together. So, what will your real estate tombstone say, Paula? PH: She sold her last home. GBB: I like that. I guess mine will say, uh…’Good till the last drop?’ No, no…make that, ‘This escrow closed on time.’ No, No, I don’t like that one. How ‘bout “Death by Hollywood?” Now back to you, Ken…you look strangely familiar – even with that party umbrella tucked behind your ear.…
Thanks to my colleagues for their valuable input and their willingness to participate in the fun. 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. Host Gwen Banta is the L.A. based realtor who is only allowed out of Sunnyside Home for the Demented on weekends and holidays. (Lani, did you pay our bar bill yet?)
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!
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!
Instagram’s false information flagging may accidentally shut down artists
(BUSINESS MARKETING) Instagram is doing its hardest to insure no false information gets released wide, but the net they cast may catch a lot of artists who manipulate images.
Instagram’s new update is hiding faked images. The downside? Posts by digital artists are being swept up in this new flagging system. In December, Instagram announced the release of a false information warning in order to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform.
How does this work? Content that is rated as partly false or false by a third-party fact-checker is removed from Instagram’s Explore option and matching hashtag pages. Additionally, the image will receive a label to warn viewers about its credibility with a link back to the fact-checker and further sources that debunk the visual claims in the image. These labels can be seen on profiles, feeds, DMs, and stories. Identical content from Facebook will be automatically labelled if posted to Instagram.
Digital artists are feeling the effects of Instagram’s update as digitally-altered images for the sake of artistic expression are being slapped with the misinformation label. The good news, however, is that not all photoshopped images are in danger—only the pictures that have gone viral attached to false information and identified as such.
So if an artist manipulates an image, releases it, then someone else decides to use the altered image to spread misinformation, the artists image could be labeled as misinformation and will be hidden from the Explore and hashtag pages. The artist pays the price for someone else spreading false information.
While a label will save a viewer from questioning a post, digital artists, whose careers depend upon visibility and the spread of the work are likely to feel the effects—whether it be scroll-frenzied viewers passing their work by, deterred by the label barring the post from a quick look, or even worse, the artists having their own credibility called into question.
With only a couple of weeks into the new year, it’s yet to be seen how other digital art may (or may not) be caught up in Instagram’s well-meaning update.
How becoming better listeners eliminates our culture’s growing isolation
(BUSINESS MARKETING) We have all be frustrated by someone who doesn’t listen to us; so why not make sure that you are taking the steps to not be them, and be better listeners.
We all want the same thing: to be heard. In this digital age, we’ve created an endless stream of cries for attention via comment sections, forums, and social media feeds—shares, retweets, tags, videos, articles, and photos. Worse, our words echo in our digital bubbles or specific communities, doing nothing but making us lonely and isolated. However, in the midst of a divided political climate, we can all stand to strengthen our ability to listen.
Me? A bad listener? What are you trying to say? I got enough flaws to worry about and don’t wanna hear about another skill to improve. Oh, the irony.
“Bad listeners are not necessarily bad people,” assures Kate Murphy in her new book You’re Not Listening. “Anyone can get good at it. The more people you talk to, the better your gut instinct. You’re able to pick up those little cues. Without them, you’re not going to get the full context and nuance of the conversation,” she says in an interview with The Guardian’s Stephen Moss.
Our bad listening aside, we can all remember a time when we weren’t treated with the attention we craved. Moments where you’d do anything for the person you’re conversing with to give a sign of understanding—of empathy—to validate our feelings, to acknowledge the vulnerable piece of ourselves we’ve entrusted to them is cared for. Nothing is worse when we’re met with blank expressions and dismissive gestures or words. These interactions make us feel small and lonely. And the damage can stay with us.
1. Show you care by making eye contact and putting away your phone.
2. Patience. Everyone opens up on their time.
3. Ask open-ended questions. Yes/no responses inhibit the flow of conversation.
4. Repeat what you’ve heard. This clarifies any misunderstanding and validates the speaker.
5. Give space. Let the conversation breathe—silent pauses are healthy.
By becoming better listeners, we show care. We become curious about and empathetic towards others, leaving our bubbles—we become a little less lonely.
All the creative services you need are curated in one place
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Soma AI + ML = security system to reduce the number of mass shootings
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Turns out a lot of people are in between introverted and extroverted
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Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
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