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Real estate marketing wake up call from outside of the industry

Take a Realtor by the scruff and holler in its face and what do you get? A better industry. Genius.



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Finally, another voice of reason

For years, we’ve written on the intersection between real estate and digital marketing, pointing out what to us is obviously poor practices with social media, most specifically. We’ve begged people to not just put social media icons on print ads, but to physically instruct ad recipients where to go, and we’ve noted poor uses of QR codes and noted that they may be a passing fad, especially when most QR codes go nowhere special and are not even pointed to mobile-ready sites in most cases.

Sound familiar? Our regular readers will say yes.

The above video is by Scott Stratten of who is well known for his willingness to shake people by the collar. Stratten isn’t a Realtor, and the above video is as kind as it possibly can be, given the atrocities committed by Realtors feigning expertise in marketing. What we appreciate most is that Stratten echoes what we’ve been saying for years, including the reminder that most Realtors don’t even have to market well, they just have to market properly and they’re miles ahead of most in the industry.

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  1. Linsey Planeta

    September 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Just when I think the message has been made clear about the social media faux pas of blasting your listings to the four corners of the social media universe, I'm invited to an Open House in some random part of the country. Why this seems to be such a tough message to get out is beyond me. But, hopefully Scott's impassioned outcry to the real estate community will be heard. Honestly, I'll admit I laughed out loud, but I know I shouldn't. It's sad more than anything.

    • Lani Rosales

      September 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Totally, Linsey. Can you imagine if you got a postcard designed by and paid for by a Realtor that invited you to an open house in Florida? Why, people!?!? You're right, it's more sad and counterintuitive than anything.

  2. Emmanuel

    September 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    AMEN!!!! Well done! Well Said!

  3. Cliff Stevenson

    September 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    This won't change much, although I love the passionate plea. Agents everywhere (not all) look at social media as a megaphone, or a billboard. Much like Linsey, I live in Calgary, AB, and I receive open house invitations on Facebook for California. Blows my mind.

    I use QR codes (sparingly, and to mobile sites only), and I get scans (which I track), but I'm not sure how long I'll be continuing with them. My pet peeve with QR codes is that agents are using these things on websites. Uhh….websites. Why, if I'm sitting in front of my 27" iMac, do I want to instantly transfer my browsing session to your remarkable site on my 2" iPhone screen??

    I'm not saying everything I'm doing is the way to do it… all. It does, however, work for me.

  4. Daniel Bacon

    September 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Absolutely. Scott is correct that these, well, mistakes, incorrect usage, whatever you want to call it, represent a huge opportunity for many of us. I do feel bad that 80-90% of Realtors (my estimate, mileage in your area may vary) will never be able to catch up or compete effectively in the coming years, at least in the online side. But that's life and it's survival out here!

  5. Ken Montville

    September 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I, personally, think that QR codes … look!. squirrel!

    Where was I? Oh yeah. I was walking by a yard sign once that had a QR code that took me to a virtual tour of the house. Kinda useful except that most people drive by yard signs. (Of course, I was was walking by because I was at a party across the street)

    Now, here is the curmudgeon coming out…Scott just spent 6 minutes telling us what NOT to do. OK. Fine.

    What works?!?! (My seminar for $600, My book for $19.95, My CD/DVD set for $199.95) Yeah. I'm cynical.

    Big, hairy asterisk. I don't have a seminar, book or CD/DVD set. That's just an example.

    • Scott Stratten

      September 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for the comments. If you noticed, while I saying what not to do I was also saying what to do.

      1. Make your site mobile friendly
      2. Have your QR code lead to a mobile landing page
      3. Put your social media addresses with the logo
      4. Be social in social media.

      I don't have a course for real-estate agents. Really couldn't care less if anybody bought my book because of it, I make 80 cents a copy 🙂

      It was a plea from a member of the public, her market, on what to do differently.

  6. Barry Cunningham

    September 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    2 things about this…most realtors will ignore because they either don't know how to market…or b…most realtors won't change because they are too lazy to learn how to do things the right way. Same story, just a different year. Had this argument years ago. Nothing changes. Quite a shame. Makes you want to scream.

    And per Ken, underscoring my comment, Scott knows how to market. He learned how and if he is charging a fee, then it's because he knows something that you don't. Cynical? I think he just showed he's the real deal.

  7. Molly

    September 2, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Love it. I am sending this out to the agent population this morning for our company. I am always frustrated at people who only get on facebook to pimp their latest listing, no matter HOW many times I tell them it doesn't really work. My most favorite is to the effect of " Hey friends, check out NEW PLACE TO EAT, I got them the lease." WTH, really?

    SO don't eat there because it is good food, eat there because I GOT THEM THE LOCATION.


  8. Liz Benitez

    September 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I like him 🙂

  9. Matthew Hardy

    September 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Yes, it's clear that the Realtor highlighted in the video is effing-up big time.

    I can't imagine where she got the money to run a full-page ad. 😉

  10. Rebecca

    September 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    This is awesome! I'm speaking about communication strategy to a group of Realtors in a couple of weeks, and am happy to find Scott delivers messages consistent with mine. I did have a slide with the message, "It's Social, Stupid" to illustrate that social media is, you know, social. But, I took it out because I was worried I'd offend. However, the fact is, I'm offended every time I talk to someone about social media being about making connections and creating dialogue, and they then ask me how to set up a Twitter account so they can push out information. So, all this being the case, the slide is back in the deck. Thanks for the inspiration, Scott!

  11. Jon Sigler

    September 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This is an excellent video. Be better than the other agent, it isn't hard.

  12. Charlie Dresen

    September 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    This is perfect, timely and spot on.

  13. Jonathan Benya

    September 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Awesome Video. I know so many agents like the one mentioned, and they seriously need to stop it. They make kittens cry.

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Business Marketing

10 must-listen-to podcasts for business owners

(MARKETING) If you’re a business owner and want to learn something…anything…give one (or all) these podcasts a listen.



headphones listen podcasts

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

From interviews with business leaders to industry-specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly popular show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace,, Kiva, Teach For America, and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further than Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real-world applications and cover everything from marketing to technology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help, and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

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Business Marketing

Why your coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…



family coworkers

The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

Market your side hustle with these 6 tips

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.



side hustle paperwork and technology

Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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