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You’re Just Mad You Didn’t Think of It – Redfin Scores

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Once again, the either luckiest or smartest front man of Redfin scores.  My thoughts on the interview and how he came off aside, you have to hand it to Glenn- the master of “say it differently.”  To understand why you’re a sore loser (if you’re even trying to counter Glenn as right or wrong) on the subject of science versus the real estate agent is simple-  here’s what I mean:

Everyone knows and has advised against setting a sales price too high; the best suggestion to a client is to simply price the home at or just above or below what you feel fair market value is.  The proof was this article by Daniel Rothamel where his list equated to a one liner –

the #1 way NOT to sell your home… 1) over price it. 

Now, Daniel is no scientist, and it amazes me that it would take one (a scientist) to repeat what Daniel and many many other agents have been telling clients for years.  But what makes what Glenn did utter brilliance is the delivery.  He simply repackaged something and allowed consumers to hear it in a newer, fresher way from someone other than an agent, and hey, he got to be on TV to say it again, and once more- here I am, repeating him!  There is a lot of truth in making news- it gets you business and I am sure Glenn did the team at Redfin a lot of good- success measured on many levels, a single new client would be a great success. 

What seems to have many up in arms is what came 2nd or 5th on Glenn’s list, but you forget what Daniel and others have said- there is no need for item 2-1 million if item #1 is addressed

1) price your home at fair market value

So in essence, Glenn could have said, standing on the corner in a hotdog suit will increase your odds of selling your home, and he would probably be correct.  Because your home is properly priced, you in a hotdog suit might get the attention of would-be buyers is just gravy.  I would also add that it is the Job of a Realtor to define ways to an owner that actually set their price over and above the neighbor and justify it in a winning fashion- that is the added value that was not mentioned on air…

So, h/t to Glenn, once again- you prove what a fun, simple, novel, approach to an old standard can become new again.  I also do not disagree with the craigslist notion, I simply disagree that most agents don’t do it.  I also am not sure about the Thursday/Monday notion.  I think it goes deeper then that. 

For example, in my market, we have a 1.5 week period of the month (I’ll not say which because that’s our own science) where buyers are more apt to search homes, and that period in our market has remained a constant regardless of the season or month of the last 3 years I’ve tracked it, but that period happens to at times cross a Monday, and even a Thursday.  So, in the interest of elevating conversations- study that in your market and drop me an email and tell me what you see- I think you will find that by being a bit more specific you will know exactly when to list.

Here is a check on my sincerity- you can pinch yourself, they’re real compliments.  I’m encouraging the entire RE.net to open a hand to Glenn and the cool folks at Redfin.  I think if you look deeply enough you’ll see they aren’t so different from many of us who want to elevate the business.  There’s room for Redfin at the table so long as Redfin can begin to recognize that some of the broad statements made about “all Realtors” might be a little much.

So, don’t be mad, and don’t hate- that won’t make you news worthy.  Why not instead take a hard look at your own strategy- are you reaching your target?  Are you saying things in a new way that gets attention?  Until you do, keep your eye on Glenn and the team at Redfin- they may give you the permission you need in your own model.

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Lani Anglin

    December 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I couldn’t say it better. As much as I may disagree with methodology, I agree that his genius lies in making the old seem new.

  2. Mariana

    December 16, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    “I do not think that the practice of building ones business by dissing another is a good business foundation.” (Quoted from my other comment) Honestly, he said nothing that was wrong per se, but I was more bothered that he asserted that HE was the only one who knws these things.
    Oh well. He IS the one getting publicity …

  3. Brian Brady

    December 16, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    “There’s room for Redfin at the table so long as Redfin can begin to recognize that some of the broad statements made about “all Realtors” might be a little much.”

    Amen. If Redfin admits what they are; a limited-service, discount broker, they will go farther with their offering.

    Motel 6’s are packed, in both recessions and booms.

  4. Charleston real estate blog

    December 17, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Benn, I haven’t read enough of your writing yet to know whether you’re poking a little fun at Glenn.

    Einstein did discover that pricing a home is critical to a successful sale. I’m glad Glenn and the rest of the scientists at redfin were able to confirm that discovery.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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