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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

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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