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Panaceas, Placebos and The Practical – Random Thought Particles On Real Estate Seminars



Do Silver Bullets Exist?

Do Silver Bullets Exist?

To Do or Not To Do

Yes.  The more you know the more valuable you are.  Attending seminars under certain circumstances is smart.

If a seminar centers around what you already know, but you’re too lazy to do what you know you should, don’t go.  Instead, kick yourself in the skirt and get to work.

If a seminar is designed to fire-your-butt-up, and you need firing up, go set yourself on fire.  While you’re there, learn how to keep your blue-flame burning.

I loathe the seminars where they pelt you with 3 hours of old-school sales technique in a heavy handed blitz to sell their CDs, systems and other forms of Success Silver Bullets. Scram charlatans.

Personally, seminars that delve and swirl around communication, presentation and human nature are more interesting and practical than “How To Sell Real Estate” seminars.

I’ve been reading books, listening to audio and attending seminars for 30 years.  I always learn something new and remember winners I’ve forgotten.  Even when the program sucks beyond excruciating, I learn “what not to do”.

The hour we think we know it all, is the day we’ve Jumped The Shark. It’s all bad TV after that.

Occasionally a real estate speaker stands out, because they focus on communication, presentation and human nature.  Like this guy…

Terry Watson

I spent 4 hours listening to Terry Watson.  I took 5 pages of notes.   I can barely read my scribbles writing.  Here’s what stuck.  He’s worth your time.

1.  Cut your costs to the bone.  ROI is Queen.  If it’s not generating bankable business, quit it.

2.  You know this.  I know this.  Are we living it?  Get a strategic plan.  Hope is Bad Strategy.

3.  Being different pays more.  Amen.

4. Green is good.  Add Green to your constellation of knowledge. Include Green in your blogging and digital promotions.

5.  Be the source of the source, but not the source.  This means sharing links and being an information amplifier. Like I’m doing in this post.

6.  Let go or be dragged.

7.  Where’s your freaking Youtube channel.  Get one.  Pronto. Here’s mine.

8.  Put Nitrogen in your tires and you’ll save big on your gasoline bill.  WTH right?  It’s true

9.  When your buyers want to engage some random, low-low-fees mortgage company – use the Implode-O-Meter site to show what horrors befall the wayward.

10.  The person that does not read has no advantage over the person who can’t read.  What have you read lately?  Oh, you’re reading this blog post.  You rock!  Keep reading my friend.

11.  Look at the 7 people you spend the most time with.  Average their income.  Your annual income will be within 10% of theirs.  Huh?  Don’t know if this is true.  It sounds directionally correct.  Bottom line, are we hanging with the right people?

12.  Word Power is the name of the game.  Foreplay With Wordplay comes to mind.  Here’s a couple from Terry.

a.  Just Bought vs Just Sold

b.  Right Price Analysis RPA vs CMA

c.  Market Rejected vs Expired Listings (during an RPA conversation)

c.  Competition vs Active Listings (during an RPA conversation)

d.  Qualified Buyers vs Buyers

13.  Stop telling and start showing.  Provide 3rd party proof.

14.  Create your own FAQ for all the commonly asked questions about buying and selling.  Post them on your blog and provide them in your PreListing Appointment Packages and Price Reductions.

15.  Are you a reasonable person?  If you live a reasonable life, you will be dominated by unreasonable people. “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. “Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” ~ George Bernard Shaw.  I need to be more unreasonable, more often.  And you?

16.  NAR has some cool free stuff found at The Right Tools section.  This information on the 2009 First Time Home Buyer Credit is handy.  Flash forward, etc.

17.  A sense of humor is attractive.  Should you incorporate humor in your blogs and Facebook and Twitters?  Terry Sez you might want to have a humor section on your blog.  I’m shareing some of the funny stuff, like this video on Transparency and chuckles I find at and Youtube.

Panacea, Placebos and The Practical

Find things that work and do them.  We knew that, now let’s go do that.


PS.  Are there any Silver Bullets in your Success Bandoleer?  Care to share?  Spill it in the comments.  Thanks.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Matt Fagioli

    July 27, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Ken, I hope we’ll see you next year at REtechSouth in Atlanta. If it’s not “the best conference you’ve ever been to”, we’ll shake your hand and say “sorry” 🙂 No really, it’s gonna rock!

  2. Elaine Reese

    July 27, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Our Board had Terry for a seminar a few years ago. Absolutely the best I’d been to. He’s very funny – had all us all in stitches – laughing at ourselves.

  3. Shane

    July 27, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Great post Ken, thanks for sharing. Every point is dead on. This has given me at least four things to start working!! Now I need to find out when Mr. Watson will be near Raleigh.

  4. Brandie Young

    July 27, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Great stuff! Love the “jump the shark” reference.

    One exception – I don’t know about showing the Implode-o-Meter site … All Lenders that closed down weren’t necessarily bad or duplicitous. But then again, I’m a little biased here since I come from that world.

    Also, do I need to “trade up” in friends? ha ha

    You rock. Thanks.

  5. Ian Greenleigh

    July 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Great stuff, Ken. I’m excited to implement some of these suggestions into my current game plan, as they seem applicable to most businesses, and not strictly to real estate.

    Thanks again.

  6. Ken Brand

    July 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Matt – I’d love to, but round and round she goes, nobody knows. Hope too. Cheers.

    Elaine, Shane & Ian – Thanks. Catch him if you can. 🙂

    Brandie – I concur doctor, only flash the implode-o-meter in the appropriate manner. Legions got swept out to sea when the fit hit the shan. Certain bummer. As for your friends, I bet your sitting pretty. Cheers, hope to see you in SF:-)

  7. Joe Loomer

    July 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Awesome Ken – my own little Silver Bullet I guess would be Coors Light ….. uhhh …. I mean “Don’t take the blame for the Market.” By being the economist of choice and keeping current on market conditions to the macro and micro level – you’ll find yourself able to get those price reductions or correct list prices up front.

    Oh – and “Don’t be afraid to turn down a listing you can’t sell.”

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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