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If There’s A Double Dip, What’s Your “Plan B”?



What If…

I know.  I understand, the depth, breadth and pain, depends on your local market place.  Wherever you are, It’s been a damn long slough.

Do you think we’re on the road to recovery?  I wish we were.  I hope we are.  I fear we are not, and I need a Plan B.

5 reasons “Plan B” goes into effect tomorrow.

  1. The unfelt effect of shadow inventory is coming.
  2. Then, there’s all those people who haven’t been making their mortgage payments.  Instead, they’ve been living rent free and spending their money on other things, which is temporarily boosting the economy.  I’m not making a judgement about that, I’m wondering what happens when the banks catch up and all these people have to start paying rent?  What effect will that have on the economy, consumer confidence, consumer spending, etc.
  3. While mortgage rates remain low, qualifying fire-hoops for people and properties to jump through remain hot and high.  I don’t see these turning favorable anytime soon do you?
  4. The Tax Credit pushed future qualified buyers into the present, now the pool of future qualified buyers is half empty.
  5. Sales Units/Volume are not rising in tandem with historical summer selling patterns.

The pie is smaller and it’s not growing this year.  Period.

What’s your Plan B.

My Plan B

I remind myself, the only things we can control are our actions and attitudes.  We can’t control the actions and attitudes of others. At our team meeting tomorrow, here’s what I’m sharing.

  • Evaluate our marketing/business expense.  Stop spending superstitiously.  If marketing and promotional campaigns aren’t generating verifiable referrals, prospects or suspects, stop it now.
  • Evaluate personal spending and consciously categorize everything:  I Want. ~vs~ I Need.  Nice To Have. ~vs~ Mission Critical.  Investment. ~vs~ Expense.
  • Keep our heads up, our minds open,our attitudes confident and our work-ethic strong-like-bull.  Remember, whining, fear, anxiety, anger and negativity repel opportunity.  In troubled times, leadership, confidence, humor and showing up, attracts opportunity.
  • Refocus on high leverage activities.  Shift time and effort from chasing strangers to in-person and on-purpose contact and conversation with people who already know and trust you.
  • To help stay focused, use this Checklist Daily.

Success, Grace and Speed

As you know, there are only so many things you can do to position yourself for success.  If the market continues to change and we don’t, bad things happen.  Anyway you slice it up, the sooner we get started, doing the right things, with the right people, the faster we’ll find success or simple survival.

Today we’re talking about it.  Tomorrow, we’ll start to do Plan B things in earnest.

How about you?  What’s Your “Plan B”

What do you think will happen in your local market?  Do you have a Plan B.  I’d love to hear what you’re thinking and especially, what you’l be doing different.

Thanks for reading.  Cheers.

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. Genuine Chris Johnson

    June 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Shiver me timbers! Some brilliance here!

    Work, repetition, effort. Whoda thunk it.

    • Ken Brand

      June 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Chris, this is not time to think we’ve made it and or summer will save us. Only we can save ourselves. If we start today, we have a chance, if not, RIP.

      Cheers to sweat soaked, action oriented, achievers. AKA as 2011 survivors.

  2. Erica Ramus

    June 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Now you’re scaring me.

    • Ken Brand

      June 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Yeah, I’m scaring myself. Reality check, if summer slips away and it sucks, it’s too late to adjust for winter. I can hear the Jungle Drums.

  3. BawldGuy

    June 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Ken, the more you write, the more I think we’re cousins. 🙂

    Plan B at my place began in the 1st quarter of last year, a six month plan just now about to have its rubber hit the asphalt. Fear? If one’s not at least jittery by now, they’re either blissfully ignorant or naive beyond help. Sorry if that sounds mean spirited, as it’s not my intention. Most of the RE online world writes now about the upward movement in prices. They’re what I call the SLCs — SilverLiningChasers. They refuse to believe their lyin’ eyes and ears. 🙂

    My firm’s Plan B demonstrates the built-in advantage I have over my house-agent peers. I’m returning to my local market in San Diego after over six years away so as to convince investment property owners to Get Outa Dodge while the gettin’ is still good. This will not only serve the firm’s revenue stream well, but put many local investors on much higher/safer ground when the tide goes against them here, as it surely will. Where’s the advantage? I can empirically demonstrate to investors they’re far better off moving their equity(s) to regions offering demonstrably superior performance — read: CASH FLOW. In other words, I can create business where none existed, AND bring real measurable value to the table while doing so.

    Also, The Boss, by the end of the year, may have the only retail operation around that’ll be debt free. I’ve shown her the real estate template which she’s now implementing as quickly as is safe. By next year’s 1st quarter she’ll be funding all operations via profits — what a concept. The income will grow more slowly, but the flexibility will skyrocket.

    There are other things I’m doing on the real estate brokerage side, but this ain’t the place. Those without Plan B’s ready to implement, or for that matter, already in execution, will surely be among the group who’ll soon be wondering, “What happened?!”

    • Ken Brand

      June 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      BG – I’ve been playing in pretty cool, but shoes keep droppen, and the noise down the hallway keeps getting louder, and schriller.

      Time to make a quick run to the John, lace’em up tight, and hit the field running. I’m not worried or scared, I’m concerned and on high-alert, with my head and my business plan on a swivel.

      It really is Go time my friend(s).

  4. Matt Stigliano

    June 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    @kenbrand – The usual kudos to you for a great article. That goes without saying (even thought I just said it). Love the plan, love the idea of preparing (if you’re wrong you’ll be even more prepared), and knowing your wordsmithery, I have to say this is one of your most easy to follow and understand posts ever. Having said that, don’t make it a habit, I relish in reading your more weighty mind-bending posts.

    What I love the most? The daily checklist. I’ve never seen one that actually accounts for activities outside of the human realm (ie the internet/social media). To me, this is a good concrete example of how all of those things (face to face and keyboard to keyboard) can be used to reach the goals. I know you wouldn’t waste paper on them otherwise. I do have one change to suggest: under Facebook you can create a “# of mobsters gunned down or vegetables raised _______________” – print this in red ink.

    Although I try to avoid too much negative thinking, as some may see this, I think this is just smart business. Plan for the worst and you’ll be prepared for everything else.

    • Ken Brand

      June 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks Matt, you make me smile and laugh and think.

      One of my biggest flaws and thing I enjoy the most, is the odd ball way I explain things. I know it’s often hard to read and sometimes the dots don’ts all zen-up and connect, but you know how its i, you gotta say it like you feel it. Some of those weird ones took hours to write them weird like that. In this particular case, I wrote it fast because I wanted to get it out there now, as I was preparing to share the same at tomorrows team meeting.

      And you’re exactly right, like everything else in real estate, things are rarely, really about the thing there’re about, it’s about the impact on all the other things that orbit around the thing. It’s Gestalt stuff. Which is to say, it doesn’t matter if good or bad things happen, if you double your efforts and have a Plan B, you’re prepared and positioned to make things happen.

      Cheers Matt.

  5. Susie Blackmon

    June 22, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Being forever the optimist, I enjoy and appreciate every new day, even now! However, your ‘concerns’ are right on, IMHO, and I ‘hear’ there could be a food shortage in the near future to deal with, so it’s not all about the realtors and real estate… it could be about more important things, like survival. I’m working on Plan B already, recently making my escape out of Aaaargh, NC to horse country (Ocala) in Florida, where there is life and vitality; albeit, not in the RE industry at the moment. Scary times but exciting times. Maybe this bloodletting will, organically, RTB in real estate. In the meantime, just let me find an RV to survive in, which should be exciting in hurricane alley.

    Love your writing, Ken.

    • Ken Brand

      June 22, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Susie. I think I can deal with a choppy real estate market, a food shortage sounds like a recipe for chaos. Let’s hope not. In any event, keep the faith and what ever you do, tie the RV down tight. Cheers.

  6. Doug Francis

    June 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    It is an interesting market as I see so many agents stretched thin… with low numbers and slugging it out to stay in business. The reality is that your plan-B is going to be the new game plan for a while.

    Humor, personally, is how I get through things but this recession has given me little to laugh at. And I really have to work at remaining positive!

  7. Dunes

    June 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Just in case anyone feels it’s relevant..
    “Visits to websites in the real estate category during May were down 24.3 percent from a year ago — the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year traffic declines dating to June 2009, the report said.”

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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.



Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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Business Marketing

Stand out with video as part of your resume (but be careful)

(MARKETING) This new tool helps you stand out in the job market, as video now dominates – so it’s possible to use this to your advantage (with caution).



job market video

In the midst of a pandemic, people are finding themselves thrust back into the job market sooner than expected due to mass company layoffs or underemployment as a freelancer. Fields are oversaturated and jobs are sparse so it can be hard to stand out in today’s job market.

Although standing out in the job market is hardly a new problem, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new and creative solutions. One company, VCV.ME has designed a tool to help you get creative and stand out from your competition.

VCV.ME turns your traditional resume into a video à la Instagram stories.

The process is simple. You answer a few questions and upload a video of yourself then the tool will provide you with a sharable link.

VCV Founder and CEO, Arik Akverdian, believes that video is the future saying, “Video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021 according to Cisco, and according to eMarketer 94.1% of millennial internet users were streaming digital video in 2019. With growing demand for video social media such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and others, we’re bringing the short video format to the job market.”

There are some obvious limitations to using this tool in your job hunt.

First, not all employers will take videos as part of an application both for technical and legal reasons.

On the technical side, many automated tracking systems are not designed to filter that kind of file, so there may not even be an opportunity to showcase it. That’s not to say there aren’t some work-arounds. Many job applications will have a place for applicants to link to their portfolio or websites. An alternate option for this tool could be to place the video introduction on your website.

Another problem with the tool is how it exposes candidates and hiring managers to bias.

As more companies work to remove bias from their hiring practices and hire more diverse candidates, a video intro just won’t fly. Some companies have removed names and even alma maters from their applicants in order to make more unbiased hiring decisions. A video introduction would expose many characteristics that people have conscious and subconscious biases towards such as race, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Although VCV.ME’s intentions are to help candidates stand out in the job market, it’s worth questioning whether they would be standing out for the right reasons, so tread carefully.

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Business Marketing

Why should you take Facebook’s ‘Summer of Support’ courses

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Every company can use a little marketing advice, well Facebook has partnered with big companies to give you some free digital marketing courses.



marketing courses

Our world has turned into a place of upheaval and unrest and we are continuously surrounded by more and more evidence of it. One thing that the majority of us are constantly seeing is announcements from companies. Some of those are about closing hours, but others are more helpful. As they all attempt to get used to this new world that COVID-19 has created we begin to see some different tactics. Some are only politically motivated, but others are more focused on helping out their communities.

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they will be putting on a six-week digital marketing education series. This series will be an extensive collection of videos with a full in depth set of courses that will cover a large amount of topics. The company has put together a cast of renowned entrepreneurs for the presenters as well.

The topics will be done in themed weeks starting on June 24th, and running through the month of July. They include categories such “The Changing World” & “Resilience”. Focusing primarily on the world that is here and now, with recommendations on how to adapt to it. With this world in a constant state of flux the push for adapting to change and staying in front of the tide is crucial for a small business.

The next two courses will be going forward with discussing “Reinvention” & “Re-Emergence”. Encouraging struggling companies to take a serious look at their potential for moving forward, or changing the things that they can to stay more on top of their client base. They also plan on attacking the confusing world that we will have when things get closer to normal.

The last two weeks are focused on community and customer care, which is actually their names as well: “Customers & Commerce” & “Community”. These will help develop a sense of how your business affects your community and the impact you have on it. Keeping that in mind you can then develop a plan for how you want your community to see you and shape things within it.

These courses are all set up for free and open to anyone. With a completely online set up with their new “Summer of Support” mini-site they are prepped to reach millions of people. They’ve organized this with a range of partners as well: Dell, PayPal, American Express, & Small Business Roundtable. A helping hand for people who wouldn’t currently be able to source things like this.

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