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Undressed and Naked, Less Noodling and More Canoodling Explained.



Less Noodling - More Canoodling

The Moment You Knew

The moment you knew you’d passed your real estate exam, how’d you feel?  

I was giddy, fearful and full of hope.  

I took my California Real Estate Exam in December of 1978.  Back then, we didn’t have cell phones, computers, printers or the internet.  Huddled in a  fluorescent filled room, we  37 hopefuls scratched our heads and or exam answers with a Ticonderoga #2 pencil lead.  Upon completion, the proctor  collected our  test sheets and told us we would receive our results by US mail, maybe within two weeks, could be three.  

Wracked with doubt, twiddling  thumbs I waited…and drank beer.  Mojitos weren’t invented yet.  It was a primitive era.  Anyway.  Lumbleau School Of Real Estate teachers told us, if our results came in a big brown envelope we passed, anything else, they’d see us back in Prep Class.  Mine was a white envelope,  as thin and flimsy as my confidence and hope.  I opened the letter and words exploded off the page, “Congratulations….”.  Those cruel bastards had punked the entire class.  

I combed my long hair, ironed my elephant colored shirt, slipped on my best pair of cords and like a smooth stone across still water, I skipped smiling to my interview.

I’m a sales manager now.  While the hi-tech “how” has blazed forward, the people part “what” has remained relatively constant.  Now, newly minted real estate agents skip into our office for their Agent/Broker interview.  Popular questions asked back-when are asked now too.  The answers are different today….and the same. 

Two Popular Questions

Shiny Eyed Question #1:  “What does the average agent make in their first year with your company?”

Soft Smile Answer:  “That’s an interesting question.  Are you average?”

Eager Eared Question #2:  “What makes one person succeed and another not?”

My Simple Answer:  “Doing things that average people won’t do.  Less noodling and more canoodling”

The Best Rise -

Less Noodling.  More Canoodling.

Confession time.  My answers, “Are you average?” and “Doing things that average people won’t do.” are true.  I made up the “Less Noodling and More Canoodling” for this blog post.  I dreamed it up last Sunday night.  I believe I will add it to my propaganda/dogma, snappy answer library.  Whatever right?  Let’s undress and move on.

Canoodling Undressed and Naked?

Agents succeed because they DO more than the average clucker is willing to do.  

Agents succeed because they don’t splish-splash in the kiddy-pool waters of the urgent.  They DO swim dolphin-strong in the deep blue skied seas of the important.  

Agents succeed because they don’t freeze and cower in the get ready – aim, get ready – aim,  get ready – aim, loop of lameness.  They DO pull the freaking trigger and ride the bullet, damn the torpedos style.

Agents succeed because they don’t yammer and lip-flap about all the grand things they’re going to do.  They DO plan their work and work their plan.

Agents succeed because they fail faster and succeed sooner.  

Agents succeed because they don’t mistake activity for productivity.  They DO the most productive things first and foremost. Everyday.  Day in, day out.

Agents succeed because they don’t wait for something to happen or to be handed to them. They DO make things happen, strive to seize, please, perform and please.

Agents succeed because they don’t  ask for permission.  They DO pro-act now and ask forgiveness later.

Agents succeed because they don’t shun conversation.  They DO engage in On-Purpose, In-Person conversations, ask questions and listen more than they talk.

Agents succeed because they don’t cyber lurk and peep. They DO join in conversation, comment,contribute and create.

Agents succeed because they don’t avoid the new and unfamiliar.  They DO pursue the new, live-to-learn, lead and share.

Bottom Line – They don’t noodle with cry-baby excuses, they canoodle with passion and purpose.

Canoodling Checklist Challenge 

I was going to write a semi-long checklist of specific stuff to do under this headline.  Know what?  We aren’t suffering a malnutrition of  ideas, methods, systems or strategies. These Agent Genius pages are cornucopia-crammed with the juicy fruits of bright, practical, proven ideas.   Like we know the difference between moral “Right” and “Wrong”, we know the success differences between what “To Do” and what “Not To Do” in our businesses.  Our challenge is TO DO the right things – everyday.

Let’s challenge each other to plan our daily canoodling and work our plan with passion and purpose.  Two or three or five additional actions per day, WILL make all the difference.  The difference between cluckers and the Cream Of The Crop.

So, will you Canoodle with me and your tribe members, your clients, your friends, your family, your prospects, your suspects….your future?


PS.  The cartoons in the post were drawn by Hugh MacLeod.  He’s a crazy deranged fool.  See for yourself.

PSS.  I know.  In the title, “Undressed” and “Naked” are the same thing.  I thought it sounded more mysterious, attractive and fun, so I redundafied the title.  

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. Audrey

    February 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Ken, I know the exact agent in my office, for 15 years, who is getting ready to get busy. They are a smart, wonderful person, and do the tasks? It always makes me wonder where they go wrong? They seem to struggle year after year?

    I just don’t listen to all the doom and gloom, been there before, it is natural in a market economy. The smart agent will have “sea legs” and adjust to current market conditions.
    I am sad for the good folks that do honest work who are struggling, but there are many “good” companies going out of business left and right. Tough economy.
    I got my license and it was not much different than your experience. Makes me wonder how we did any business without cell phones, internet or fax machines? I used to think we were the only people other than burglars that were lurking and going into people’s homes at crazy hours in the night.
    Technology has made our industry different and better for sure.

  2. Matt Thomson

    February 27, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I like the title…same premise behind my blog title ( The thrust of what you’re saying is exactly what I picked up at the KW Family Reunion this past week. If I could summarize the message, it’d be “We’ve got nothing new for you. If you’re not succeeding, you’re either not doing the right things or you’re doing the right things the wrong way.” Get out and do…fail and get back up.
    Good words…as Gary Keller coined it, Down is the new Up.

  3. Matt Case

    February 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm


    Great post! I can relate (sans the long hair and cords)

    Educate me on yourself here a bit. Do you truly wear a Realtor Tattoo?

  4. Marilyn

    February 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    You are a man wise beyond your years.

    Here’s a shiny eyed question for you…
    What does “down is the new up” mean?

  5. Mike Rochon

    February 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks Ken, you are right on!!

  6. Ken Brand

    February 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Audrey – Thanks. It’s a wacky biz, yesterday and today. Bottom line, like you say, gotta do something. Cheers

    Matt – Good point. It’s easy to get confused with all this social media stuff. It’s all a tool to create conversation and discover how you can help people, then do it. Rock on.

    Matt – Well, I don’t actually have a Realtor tattoo, but I do have invisible Realtor scars, bruises and notches. Thanks for commenting. Go, go, go.

  7. Ken Brand

    February 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Ha, ha…you know, some mornings when I rise and shine, I feel older that my years too.

    As for “Down is the new up.”, I’m not down with that. I’ve heard “Flat is the new up” a few times, I get that for corporate America. In our pay for performance real estate world, a wiser woman once shared, “Our raise is effective as soon as we are.”, well, I think if an ambitious soul wants to create UP while others are DOWN, it’s simply a matter or doing more correct things, more often. I guess I’d say the concept is simple, the application is what separates the “cluckers” from the “Cream”.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking too it. I’ve seen it work over and over and over.

    Cheers and thanks for the comment:-)

  8. Erion Shehaj

    February 28, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Can I steal the “Canoodling Dressed and Unnaked” paragraph so I can magnify and print it out without the big, bad Prudential wolf coming after me for copyright infringement 🙂 ?

  9. Ken Brand

    February 28, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Erion – Absolutely you CAN. Glad you found it interesting. Rock on with it and anything else you like. 🙂

  10. Elaine Reese

    February 28, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Last month when the unemployment figures really began making the news, it occurred to me that Realtors® (and all self-employed people) are really “unemployed” between each closing. That’s sobering. Indicates we need to be “out beating the pavement” just like all other job seekers. The only difference is OUR jobs come from buyers & sellers, not corporate HR folks.

  11. Linsey

    February 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Actually, I remember the day I found out I passed my real estate exam. I opened the real estate section of the local newspaper, which at that time, was filled with the faces of local agents and their listings. I distinctly remember thinking, how could I possibly compete in that sea of smart looking people.

    Eight years later, I know that when I show up for the business, it shows up for me. I have to go to work – everyday. Surprise, it’s a job.

    Great post Ken.

  12. Antoinette Scognamiglio

    February 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Delightful. Here you are on AG! Ken, tell me the truth…did you NOT get my googledoc on Social Media or did it just suck so bad you didn’t have the heart to critique? Gimme direction if you will! Pretty please!

  13. Missy Caulk

    February 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Ken, Successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t do everyday of the week.

    Same thing for Realtors. Loved your post.

  14. Ken Brand

    March 1, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Elaine – Exactly right. Feet on the street. It’s who you know, it’s who knows you…as a trust worthy, hard working, cream of the crop Realtor:-)

    Lindsey – This sentence is Golden, “I know that when I show up for the business, it shows up for me.” That sums it up in 15 words. Ka-Boom.

    Antoinette – The whole truth and nothing but the truth, yes:-) I did get your link and I think you’re right on track. I’m not familiar with google docs (I think I should). I run an almost identical overview myself. I created mine as a post in my blog – here’s a link if you’re interested.

    You’ve covered the same bases I do. Fine work, spread the word. If you’re going to the Pru Convention in Vegas, maybe I’ll see you there?

    Missy – Thanks. It’s a universal law isn’t it. Pretty simple stuff to understand, hard to do sometimes. Cheers.

  15. Brendan

    March 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Hey Ken,
    I just passed my test! Your checklist provides as a great reminder to me as I transition from unlicensed team assistant to Realtor.

    Both being pro-active and knowing how to prioritize are key for newer agents in todays market.

    Thanks for all your great information… keep it coming!

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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