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Op/Ed

Why we love Zillow’s new tv ad, have mixed feelings about Redfin’s, and hate C21’s

Zillow has just launched a new tv ad that prompts us to look at the most recent batch of tv spots. Take a look and let us know your thoughts.

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This year, real estate companies have stepped up their television commercial game, and produced some memorable ads – some for good reasons, others for bad. We’ve been meaning to opine on some of these for a while, and Zillow’s new ad pushed this editorial to the forefront.

Whether you like it or not, as a real estate practitioner, your brand is in the hands of whoever has the most money and can get in front of more households, representing real estate (be it search, brokerage, or otherwise). That’s not always a bad thing, as you’ll see in Zillow’s new ad:

What’s so amazing about Zillow’s new ad?

Zillow’s ad is one of the most touching we’ve seen in real estate. Truly. This knocked it out of the park, because they tapped into the fact that home is more than an address, it’s a culmination of experiences within those four walls. We mark years by where we lived, and when life changes, we have to adjust. If you don’t choke up watching this one, you’re a monster.

Very well done, Zillow.

And then there’s Redfin – a hit and a miss

We love the first half of this Redfin ad, and like viewers, we’re left inspired, but then the Realtor comes in and we get angry… watch, and see if you can spot it:

There is a better way, and the subtle showcasing of Matterport technologies is impressive. But did you catch that agent? She was as discerning as the buyers, and willing to be honest about a home rather than sugar coat for a commission. But what gets under my skin is that any agent worth a damn is going to either (a) know a home before viewing it, based on being the neighborhood expert, or (b) have previewed homes before wasting a client’s time.

Either way, this one irked me after all, because the agent wasted the buyers’ time (and their own), and inadvertently asserted that Realtors don’t know their product, even if their one of those feel-good-so-honest agents.

Oh, and the Century 21 bomb

We were a little surprised by C21’s 2015 ad lineup which included the following bust:

So did homey do that startup and make money or did his agent somehow make him rich? It’s kind of confusing, but mostly stupid and stereotypes tech startup founders as morons in a basement. Nice.

It was surprising to us, given that their social media team recently knocked it out of the park with their “little things” campaign, reminding consumers of how personal a home is.

While the tv spot above was a jumbled mess, another in their ad package was actually really fun and amazing and made up for the stupid basement boy ad:

Don’t forget Realtor.com’s “Real People” ad

While it doesn’t have the punch or pizzazz or heart strings pulled as Redfin or Zillow’s ads, what we love about NAR/Realtor’com’s “Real People” campaign below is that (a) they use real people, so duh, that’s awesome, and (b) it isn’t smarmy or overly sales, it just hits the right notes and reminds consumers of what’s really important.

This ad does a superb job of asserting one of the brand’s value propositions, check it out:

Bonus: PUPPIES!

Coldwell Banker put out an ad that features doggies. It’s kind of unfair – you can’t lose if you feature the puppies!

So tell us, which ads in this roundup do you love, hate, or have mixed feelings about?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, 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.

Op/Ed

Morning rituals of highly successful people – do you have one?

(EDITORIAL) From start to finish, the daily life of each successful person is very much dictated by their family and job. But there are definitely some patterns that we can all incorporate into our own morning rituals to achieve higher success and order.

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Fleximize took a look at the morning habits of 26 of the country’s most successful individuals to include the President of the United States Barrack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs and even Oprah Winfrey.

What was discovered? Well, each of the men and women on their chart start their day early with time blocked out for exercise and meditation, breakfast and family. In short, things that are important!

Someone, somewhere coined it best: “If it has to happen, then it has to happen first!” Everyone has an “it.” Anyone who has managed to find professional success is surely embracing this philosophy. The first hour(s) of the day are used doing whatever is one’s top-priority activity. And no sooner do you start you risk the priorities of everyone else creeping in.

Interestingly enough, exercising in the morning is one of the group’s top priorities. It’s been said many times that exercise helps keep productivity and energy levels up and better prepares us for the everyday challenge of achieving all we can.

From start to finish, the daily life of each successful person is very much dictated by their family and job. But there are definitely some patterns that we can all incorporate into our own lives to achieve higher success and order.

An Insider article found that “the most productive people understand how important the first meal of the day is in determining their energy levels for the rest of the day. Most stick to the same light, daily breakfast because it works, it’s healthy for them and they know how the meal will make their mind and body feel.”

The Fleximize chart demonstrates that successful people consider the quiet hours of the morning an ideal time to focus on any number of things: important work projects, checking email, meditation. And what’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets complete attention before others chime in.

So check the chart and find someone you can relate to.

BI points out that planning the day, week, or month ahead is a crucial time management tool designed to keep you on track when you’re in the thick of it. Using the mornings to do big-picture thinking helps you prioritize and set the trajectory of the day!

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Op/Ed

Security of client information is important, so change the process

(EDITORIAL) Too many companies have had security breaches, which is bad enough, but is the process for insuring client information safety too old to secure?

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While it’s clear companies seem to get hacked regularly, the steps taken to keep users safe are a joke. Companies still rely on asking personal questions in an effort to make users feel safe, but those attempts are laughable.

I wasn’t laughing earlier this week as I was setting up a few new accounts.

As anyone knows, creating accounts can be a real pain in the buttocks. But, since I’m kind of a geek, I would sometimes find the humor in choosing and answering my three security questions. (Wondering if I’d remember the answers.)

What band was your first concert?
What was your favorite dog’s name?
Where were your parents married?
What model was your first car?
Who was your childhood bff?

Cool.

I never thought much about the security questions until the last few times when I encountered a few like this:

In which city were you married?

What is the name of your eldest child?

At what time of day was your oldest child born?

How old was your father when you were born?

What?

I felt I had taken a step back in time.

Sure, these questions might be ok, if there were a lot of options, but these were four of the seven provided.

I’m not a super touchy person who gets triggered easily or angered at the drop of a hat. But, these questions made me question this process and its security.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, in this day and age, it’s quite possible you’ve never been married or had a kid. It’s also possible for some folks, they didn’t know their dad. Or, if they do, maybe they don’t want their security question asking how old he was when they were born.

But, the bigger question: Why so very personal? And, from a woman’s perspective, why so presumptive. It made me wonder: are the questions the same for a man or a woman of any age?

I can’t imagine a 22-year-old being asked about the birth of their eldest child. Or, where they were married.

These questions had to be options based on my age and gender.

I chose the questions I could answer like, where was my elementary school located.

But, I didn’t feel safer for answering. Somehow I felt like the company asking them was 1) Prying to gather personal data 2) Not concerned about safety 3) Was sexist.

As many others have argued, it’s time to shut this process down, if only for the fact that it doesn’t make us safer online. This is a practice that should be relegated to the past, just like the presumptive questions being asked.

Seems no matter where you look online, banks, retailers and even medical providers are hacked. Our information is floating in space on the interwebs.

Obviously, security is a top concern. Who wants to sign up for a service only to find out later, “OOPS, our bad, your information was hacked. Here, we will give you free credit monitoring for a month.”

Doesn’t cut it.

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Op/Ed

How we can prepare to slowly start going back into our offices

(EDITORIAL) At some point a supervisor, or manager may tell you to come back into the office. Are you dreading that call? If so, what can you do to prepare for it?

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Returning to the office is an inevitability for most of us. So how can we prepare to go back to work in a not-yet post-pandemic world?

Harvard Business Review (HBR) has some great feel good ideas about how you can return to the office. According to their article, you should “be a source of joy,” and “stock up on patience.” I’d love to live in a world where our situations allowed endless accommodations, but this is real life and as independent contractors, any broker can cut any agent at any time, so we have to seriously keep up and serve clients despite this chaos.

1. Assess your own risk.

Managers will have to work with every team member to assess their own risk and vulnerability. There’s a lot of unknowns at this point, including how schools will work and whether childcare is available. People who feel more vulnerable because of other health risks may need accommodations. I would like to think that workplaces should help to make accommodations as much as possible, but I realize that for some businesses, that may not be possible. Everyone will have to consider their own situation and advocate for their own needs.

2. Prepare for change.

Humans don’t always adapt to change very well. It’s time to start thinking about how the office will change when you return. You may be more isolated due to distancing protocols. There may be schedule changes to prevent too many people in the building at one time. The office may feel unfamiliar for quite some time, which is understandable. You may also find yourself responsible for cleaning your space more often. Expect to have many different emotions as you go through the next few months.

3. Realize that there are things out of your control

Returning to the office is going to be a transition. Focus on what you can control. Manage your stress. In an ideal world, your work would be proactive and provide honest responses to your concerns, but we all know those jobs are few and far between. Don’t expect the problems you had in your job pre-COVID to change. You’re just going to have to adapt to a post-COVID work environment. Only you can measure whether the benefits of your job outweigh the problems. Realize that there are many forces that you can’t change. Your broker or manager may not even be in control of some of those forces and has to adapt the same as you.

4. It’s not your place to change your company’s culture (unless you’re the broker)

HBR asks, “What part will you play in making (the transition back to the office) mean something extraordinary?” I’d like to posit that the transition back to the office doesn’t need to be anything special. It’s just part of the normal routine. Instead, I’d ask, “how can you deal with change while protecting your health and your family?” If your company is putting profits ahead of people, maybe it’s time to polish off that resume and look for a place with some decency.

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