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GenY & Why Redfin Works

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Glenn Kelman of Redfin Pimpin’ GenY

Glenn Kelman, big pimpin’
photo credit:redfinpics


Who Is Generation Y?

According to Dr. Timothy Clark over on Phil Gerbyshak’s Make It Great! Blog:

If you were born between 1980 and 1995, you’re a member of generation Y. At 70 million strong, you’re part of the largest demographic cohort since the Baby Boomers. You are the incumbents to leadership in our society.

I have some insight into what Generation Y is all about because I am a member of GenY and here is my confession… Generation Y is a group of spoiled brats who have parents that coddled them that lends to the GenY sense of entitlement (well, all parents but mine apparently… “you’re not bleeding from your skull, you’re fine- go play”). Any business that can capitalize on my generation’s sense of “I should have it because I’m special and people like me” mentality will surely succeed.

Why Will Redfin Work?

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again- I like Redfin, they are smart. Although Glenn Kelman is “revolutionizing” the real estate industry, he is party of a different generation. Boo! But wait, isn’t every single person who designs clothes, designates what the cool handbag is this season, publishes our trendy magazines and designs our Internet software platforms (Zuckerberg aside)? Yes, but who cares? They tell buyers and sellers that they are already smart and they don’t need a person to tell them they are stupid by advising them of what they can already find on their own via the web (which of course is what GenY feels like when they are advised on anything).

Generation Y Doesn’t Know Better

In college, I thought you had to pay a Realtor up front. I’ll admit it. I think many people are stupid like that. I thought that you had to have a really nice car to even meet up with a Realtor and that I had to have a printed file of my life’s financial history before they would even answer the phone and I could never afford a Realtor. I’ll get into why I had that perception in another article, but I assure you I wasn’t alone- my friends thought the same way.

Redfin taps into this ignorance and says, you don’t have to deal with that, you can do the search yourself in your undies without those mean people in your grill. The Redfin philosophy reinforces the belief of GenY that they (we) are entitled to information, even if it is someone’s livelihood- I should get it for free because I’m me. This is the same challenge kids are having as they enter the workforce- why am I not the boss, I deserve it?!?

Redfin Makes “News”

With the recent Redfin press release, several blogs have picked up on particular points of interest that add to my argument that Redfin is actually designed to appeal to GenY by using hip vernacular like “Redfin’s goal is to delight our audience of hard-core real estate fanatics by offering Freakish Depth on major real estate markets.” Kris Berg noted why this will work, “they, of course, endeavor to make money acting as agents while pretending to be something else – Freakishly hip innovators.” Why is that the successful nature of Redfin? GenY wants to be pumped up, we want to be in the sorority even if it means hazing (or paying out of pocket to see a house I’m not going to buy).

Dalton pontificates that “in some ways, though, the more Redfin moves toward the more traditional model, the lone differentiating factor becomes the rebate. Cool software is a plus but won’t necessarily drive the business since buyers are shopping for homes, not agents (pr in this case brokerages.)” This adds to why Redfin will work- taking something old and make it shiny and new (even if it’s not) is appealing to the generation of innovation. Call it innovative and the perception becomes that it is innovative.

Redfin Just Does It Well

This is nothing against Redfin, kudos to them. Kelman may be GenX, but his designers are GenY, many of his agents are, his clients are and his blog commenters are- smart cookie. Redfin is not the only company that is appealing to Generation Y, they just do it better than most. The timer has already been set for the bomb to go off in every sector of the business world- we’re not talking about commissions here or which “business model” is best, we’re talking about the future of business and how the entire landscape will look in this generation of empowerment… the viral message is already spreading.


The takeaway is this- Generation Y is an indulgent, self-important, ego-centric group with a sense of entitlement and it is extremely unfortunate and I am ashamed. Granted, I’m on the cusp of the GenY group, I still am a card-carrying member (although I feel that the group really begins at 1977, not 1980). As an insider, I can tell you that GenY falls for wants jazzy words and being made to feel special, so all you really have to do to cater to GenY is tell them they’re special, that you’re stupid and they’re not, and give them shiny buttons on your website and offer them $100 at closing as a rebate. Real estate isn’t in trouble, ALL business is. Call me pessimistic, but I AM an insider.


UPDATE: comments are closed on this article but don’t dismay- the follow up article is open for your thoughts!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos

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African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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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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