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GenY – Turning the Corner in Real Estate




We wrote some GenY Primers

No Agent left behind

(unless you want to be, then good luck with that)

Many scoffed at the idea of discussing GenY without understanding the point of the background we were laying out for what is upcoming. What I found to be interesting is that GenX in the west seemed to have problems with what we are describing, yet Redfin just let us all know that 90% of their clients are less than 45 years of age. Are you sure you’re not missing something here? You cannot argue with data, it’s factual, all you can do is try to understand it and adapt.

Sure, the data we presented in earlier posts is about internet, computers, iPods, and cell phones, and you’re no piece of electronics. But if your marketing isn’t reaching the core audience, then it is more than likely that you’re not reaching the electronic stream that GenY is accessing daily, and hourly. Remember, this is the largest demo since the boomers.

The Question to ask yourself

If you truly believe that GenY has no real new expectations of you, then why do you blog? If you truly believe that GenY doesn’t get their information online from peers using social media, then why do you Twitter? If you truly believe this new generation Y doesn’t come complete with its own culture, then you are wasting your time online.

Most GenX could care less about what a blog or Twitter is unless their kids are using them, and even then, they’re warning their children away from you. The bottom line is that we want to try to help you turn that waste of time into primetime online real estate, and to do this you must understand the generational gap and the new merge taking place.

Why the first article was so dramatic and from the hip

…and smacked of sarcasm and grit

Because a GenY wrote it. Again, welcome to GenY- it was simply to make a point, that some missed.

Why we’re writing this series

Without understanding where GenY and soon GenZ mingle and congregate seeking the wisdom of the crowd, then how in the world do you stand a chance to be that wisdom- you can’t and you won’t.

Speaking from experience

This is Lani’s Facebook (in case you’re not on Facebook, I added an image at the top), and you see her list of 216 friends. Besides the usual suspects of Real Estate professionals, you see that her Facebook is loaded up with GenY friends that are now all around the world. She truly mingles in the GenY social media circle. Yet, some would doubt what she demonstrates effectively, daily. I would also acknowledge that she mingles with GenX quite nicely as well, so her ability to mingle in both realms should give anyone pause at just how well networked GenY really is. How many actual consumers are in your Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace feeds? Don’t fear, soon we’ll illustrate what works most efficiently and what doesn’t.

Here’s what we know

Show me one GenY client or person you know, and I’ll show you 20 GenYs I’ve closed (here’s three). The truth is, most agents have not one clue as to what will soon hit businesses in droves in the next few years. The oldest age of a GenY consumer is roughly 28 years of age, we’ll add 5 years to include a cusp which would mean that if the majority of your demographic isn’t 33 or younger, then you may want to sit back and grab a pen.

What we know about data

Demographic realities are just that, realities- it is a fact that your upcoming clients will be found on the internet. Chances are that your marketing is stab in the dark failures in the social department, which is probably true if you’re surrounded with other Realtors instead of potential buyers, that means you will miss out on the largest sector of buyers coming in the next 5 years- wrap your brain around that.

So, this closes the basis of what GenY is, and now you’ll be seeing upcoming articles about how GenY’s move in online social streams and how it will effect your business and how you can tap in. If you’re not up for this challenge then don’t read our up coming social media articles, but if you could use some serious input on how to find your way to the stream– stay tuned, but until then, here’s some more meat to chew on:

Why we chose Redfin as an example

It wasn’t because we knew you’d smell blood and attack, it was because of this simple fact- if you believe there are plenty of GenXers to still work with, you may be wrong. Entities in mainstream media such as the New York Times and others have already injected companies like Redfin into the Xer’s consciousness, and guess what, it’s resonating. Take Glenn’s assertion for example, “90% of our customers are under 45.” This means that clients from the age of 28 and older are using them, they’ve found the alternative, and it’s real whether you believe they offer service or not, and most certainly whether you believe they can survive- another company will just pop up in their place and do it bigger and better, and then what?

Don’t fear, we’re not here to tout the end of the world

Our goal is to break down these unique realities and begin to define niche options in marketing, together. The mission now becomes finding opportunities to break into social streams to offer the alternative, but it must be done in a way that speaks to a 2.0 buyer or seller authentically in whatever generation they’re in. We’ve lined up some interesting information that will help all of us tool what most are already doing poorly into something that wins. Our hope is that we can start a collaborative conversation on the future of real estate and how we can begin to shape it as we move towards rebarcamp08, rather than shot in the dark dribble- this is gonna be a lot fun…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Scott Rogers

    February 4, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Glenn’s data remains a bit nebulous — I’m curious how the 90% of customers under 45 years old actually breaks down. Are most of them Gen-X consumers (age 30-45), or are there a decent number of Gen-Y consumers?

    Glenn seems to be implying that Redfin indeed appeals to Gen-Y consumers (which I would imagine to be the case), but when he backs it with the under 45 data, I’m wondering whether what the numbers look like for under 30 years old.

  2. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Scott, we’re curious too, we’re actually hoping to get that answer.

  3. Ines

    February 4, 2008 at 8:54 am

    The part I liked most about this post is “If you truly believe that GenY has no real new expectations of you, then why do you blog? If you truly believe that GenY doesn’t get their information online from peers using social media, then why do you Twitter? If you truly believe this new generation Y doesn’t come complete with its own culture, then you are wasting your time online.”

    That really says it all – by making believe that you don’t understand and you don’t believe in generational studies, you are really denying yourself of a marketing truth that is more powerful than words.

  4. Jonathan Dalton

    February 4, 2008 at 9:20 am

    > Entities in mainstream media such as the New York Times and others have already injected companies like Redfin into the Xer’s consciousness, and guess what, it’s resonating.

    Really? Has their market share improved? Are they doing anything more than imitating the great discounters and rebaters of the past, except with a really neat website?

    Some will argue that every generation looks at future generations with a “bah humbug, we were far more sophisticated, worldly, pick-a-word” kind of view. Personally, I look back and realize that when I was the same age as the folks in Gen Y are now, I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did. What’s the old line? The older I got, the wiser my father became? You’ll object now and in 10 years look and say, oh … wait …

    Hinging internet marketing on one particular generation is short-sighted. But again, I’m only a guy who successfully markets to retirement communities online. So what would I know …

  5. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Really? Has their market share improved? Are they doing anything more than imitating the great discounters and rebaters of the past, except with a really neat website?

    its the really neat website, venacular, and social media that we’re actually talking about- how you’re marketing, and where you’re blowing your marketing cash. The idea that 77% of the consumer experience is online is just a statement, our goal is to try to break that down to how your marketing touches that 77% in a way that pulls traffic in. My point in what you highlighted is that more and more people are catching on to this implied “new way” and yeah, it looks new. I think we all call this 2.0.

    the idea of the wide net approach is costly, and expensive, so the goal was to try to find out just who the 77% is. we’re not breaking ground on anything new here, we’re trying to understand what what 1000s of marketing people around the world are saying and how it will apply to our marketing strategies in real estate. there are just to many folks begging why in the hell are they bothering with social media, and it doesn’t have to be that way…

    follow up posts forth coming.

  6. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Ines, I am so glad you picked up on that. We’re going to break it down even further than that…

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    February 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    > My point in what you highlighted is that more and more people are catching on to this implied “new way” and yeah, it looks new. I think we all call this 2.0.

    Understood. But there’s far more to 2.0 than one company surviving only on the basis of the VC that has been pumped their way. I don’t hold Redfin up as a 2.0 success story.

  8. Jen

    April 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Does anyone know the average number of residences people have from ages 19-35, rent versus buy, roommates, etc.?

  9. Faina Sechzer

    June 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Demographics point out another group which would become influential in terms of real estate – Millennials (born 1970-1995). Their numbers will peek by 2015 and the ability to relate to them in their “language” would be very important.

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Business Marketing is helping the FTC crack down on Kardashian-esque influencers

(MARKETING NEWS) The Kardashians are just five of the seemingly endless amounts of influencers companies are using for marketing but is over their tactics.



tina kardashian influencers popeyes

A brand could find no better influencers than the Kardashians – the family who proved that you can get famous just for, well, being famous. Each Kardashian sister has an astronomical number of followers, making them obvious trendsetters.

That’s why brands pay the Kardashian sisters – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, and Kylie — tens of thousands of dollars a pop to post pictures of themselves on social media using their products.

Perhaps you find it hard to believe that the Kardashians stop by Popeye’s Chicken to grab a to-go meal before boarding their private jet. Regardless, the Kardashians, and the brands who pay them to pump their products, would prefer that you believe that these endorsements reflect the Kardashian’s actual preferences, rather than the paychecks they receive for posting them.

The Kardashians have been attempting to make their endorsements seem more “authentic” by totally disregarding Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules that require influencers to disclose when their posts are paid endorsements.

In August of 2016, Truth in Advertising ( filed a complaint about the Kardashians to the FTC, saying that the (in)famous sisters had “failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections to brands or the fact that the posts were paid ads, as required by federal law.”

After receiving a finger-wagging from the FTC, the Kardashian sisters corrected less than half of the posts, generally by adding #ad to the post. The remaining posts, according to a recent follow-up investigation, either have not been edited at all, or contain “insufficient disclosures.”

For example, some posts now read #sp to indicated “sponsored” – as if anyone knows that reference. In another tactic that also got Warner Brothers and YouTube influencer PewDiePie in trouble with the FTC, the Kardashians are posting their disclosure information at the bottom of a long post so that users will only see it if they click “see more.”

The Kardashians have also been posting disclosures, but only days after the original post. Considering that the vast majority of viewers comment on or like posts within the first ten hours after it’s published, most of them will never see the disclosure when it’s tacked on days later.

Some of the “repeat offender” brands, who came up both in last year’s complaint and in the recent review, include Puma, Manuka Doctor, Jet Lux, Fit Tea, and Sugar Bear Hair. This time around, the Kardashians have also failed to disclose sponsorship on posts promoting Adidas, Lyft, Diff Eyewear, and Alexander Wang. found over 200 posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat where products are promoted without the Kardashians letting on that their raking in big bucks in exchange. The organization has notified the Kardashians, the brands they represent, and the FTC.

The FTC has recently been cracking down on deceptive influencer marketing, targeting not only the brands, but the influencers themselves.

In April, the FTC sent letters to 46 social media stars reminding them of their legal obligations to disclose, and followed up with 21 letters in September warning the influencers that they had until the end of the month to disclose sponsorships, or face legal consequences.

“The Kardashian/Jenner sisters are masterful marketers who are making millions of dollars from companies willing to turn a blind eye to the women’s misleading and deceptive social media marketing practices,” says’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “It’s time the Kardashians were held accountable for their misdeeds.”

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Business Marketing

Dove dropped the olive branch with new ad campaign

(MARKETING NEWS) With any ad campaign there will be misses but take a note from Dove’s playbook and learn how to not repeat mistakes.



dove ad

Dove’s latest Facebook ad really hit the mark for whitewashing in advertising. The ad, since removed, essentially implied their soap could turn a black woman into a clean white woman.

In a three-second video on the company’s Facebook page, three women transformed into the next when they removed their shirts. The first transition caused an uproar: a woman of color lifting a brown top over her head to reveal a different woman, who is very, very white.

Although the white woman then lifts her shirt to reveal another woman with darker hair and a darker skin tone, the initial transformation is problematic in its implications of whiteness as cleanliness.

Dove has since removed the ad and issued an apology, stating in a tweet “In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

Wait, haven’t we been here before? At this point you’d think skin care companies would have realized a little more delicacy is required when rolling out ad campaigns. Remember Nivea’s disastrous, short-lived “White is Purity” mishap? How about Dove’s other blunder in their 2011 VisibleCare ad?

These featured another series of three women standing in front of close-ups of skin, with the darker skinned woman in front of the “before” label, and the woman with the lightest skin by the “after” picture. Although Dove didn’t intend to imply white skin is cleaner, oops, that’s what happened anyways.

While Dove has gotten many things right in terms of inclusivity and featuring models of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, there have also been several instances of intentional racist missteps. Let’s use this as a teachable moment for handling marketing mishaps.

Whenever an ad campaign offends people, the company’s response can make or break the business. If you find yourself in the midst of a marketing crisis, you can take some mindful steps to manage the situation and begin repairing your public image.

First, acknowledge the problem and issue a genuine apology that gets to the core of what your audience is saying. Dove recognized they upset people, and instead of taking a defensive “sorry you felt offended” stance, took responsibility for their actions. Once an apology is issued, explain the original intent to provide context for the situation.

Dove meant to create an inclusive campaign featuring a diverse cast of women. Lola Ogunyemi, the first model featured in the now controversial shirt ad, has even defended the ad. She stated, “I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage.”

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Business Marketing

Aori helps you pack a punch with AdWords

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Aori is the newest tool designed to help anyone using AdWords to kick more butt.



google adwords aori

Search ad campaign managers constantly wrestle with the best way to organize their keywords into campaigns. Most of these decisions strive to balance the time needed to manage the campaign with efficiency of campaign expenditures.

Take the SKAGs strategy, for example. The SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Group) system is setup to trigger a unique ad for every single keyword by placing each keyword in its own group.

There’s lots of literature touting the benefits of the SKAG system. Generally, the hyper-specific match between ads and keywords improves click-through rates.

This leads to higher quality scores, which leads to lower costs for click, which leads to lower costs per conversion. The tradeoff with this system is the setup. You could be looking at hundreds of keyword groups to set up and maintain, and that’s a lot of work for a small business or startup.

This is where Aori comes in.

Their system helps to automate the process of setting up a SKAG system for your AdWords campaigns.

According to the website, the tool’s primary function is to automate keyword generation. Users enter a set of “root keywords” and common keyword extensions, and Aori will automatically generate all possible combinations of those keywords for your campaigns.

Additionally, through Aori, users can create ad templates using a “dynamic keyword insertion tool,” to enable you to utilize the strongest ad copy across multiple phrases.

In what is the least clear value point of the whole pitch, Aori also uses what they call a “unique bid-optimization algorithm.”

There is almost no detail to be found on how the algorithm works. If the tool handles all bid management for you, this could be a handy tool for PPC novices who are less familiar with the process and lack the time to learn it.

Aori appears to run cheaper than the others we know of, but that may be due to the level of automation available. For example, Aori requires the user to feed it keyword inputs, both root and extension words.

It’s also important to understand where a SKAG system can and can’t work. It is likely a better system for smaller campaigns where ad testing wouldn’t yield statistically meaningful results.

Because every keyword group targets one phrase, you can’t readily say that improvements in ad copy will translate to other campaigns.

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