Essential or not?

There are so many great topics to write about on the blog of mass destruction cleverly disguised as a hot dog stand during this year of the apocalypse.

Governors from coast to coast have asked residents to stay at home. People in essential jobs or services are allowed to continue working. In several states, real estate services are considered essential.

The people who are finding housing for those who do not have it or who are assisting people who were in the process of buying or selling a home before the apocalypse hit are providing essential services.

Some real estate services may be essential but not all real estate agents are essential. Right now there are a lot of non-essential REALTORS doing a lot of marketing. They want the world to know that real estate services are essential and somehow that makes them essential too.

As their friends and neighbors face layoffs they are proudly proclaiming their essentialness.

Consumers will need to learn the difference between the essential agents and the mostly useless agents who would be doing us all a favor by staying home.

Posted in Bad Behavior, Disruption Fatigue | Leave a comment

Please talk down to me

Interesting times since COVID-19 stay at home orders are keeping most of us at home. It is clear to me that there are many who do not recognize disruption when they see it. This is disruption.

We in the real estate industry are being bombarded with advertising. I had no idea that so many real estate agents are new to working from home offices. I think I understand some of the issues.  Working in a real estate office would be a big challenge for me and there would be an adjustment period but if I had to do it I would manage somehow.

Working with clients that I never meet in person isn’t new to me. Most of them have no interest in using ZOOM but I do have it and have used it on occasion.  It will be replaced with something better, which will be replaced with something else any day now.

My sympathies to those who can not work without video conferencing that they don’t know how to use. For those who do know how to use it, and have to use it I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to ZOOM all day. I know you are super busy and that isn’t a humblebrag.

There are vendors and others who seem to believe that this is the time for me to re-learn the real estate business and that when this is all over life will be grand.   I think they should take this time to rethink their own business strategies if they want to survive the recession after the apocalypse.

The marketing advice, in particular, has been off-key. People keep saying we are in uncharted territory yet they want to promote the same tired marketing with the words “covid-19” and “uncertain times” added.

I can’t think of anything less appealing right now than the “back to the basics” that marketers and others are trying to cram down my throat.

I resent the assumption that I need to go back to anything or that there are basics I have forgotten of that I don’t practice.

I definitely don’t want to spend what could be the last few days or weeks of my life working on my business.

For me, the basics have changed.  They are about making the perfect loaf of bread without all of the ingredients or how to make each roll of toilet paper last longer.

One use of any extra time I may have during this apocalypse is to beef up my spam filters and unfollow tone-deaf marketers and stop reading condescending Facebook pages and real estate news articles.

This is a great time to cull out the noise and start thinking about how to get through each day and what comes next and I am not thinking just about my real estate businesses.

If you survive the apocalypse and go back to business as usual good for you. If you want to go back to the good old days good for you.  If you don’t rest assured even though you believe you are essential there are many with similar businesses who are happy to take your place.

Posted in Disruption Fatigue, General | Leave a comment

start seeing the 70%

I have an interesting fact that I want to share. Did you know that 70% of REALTOR members who sell real estate are women?

Somehow this fact is drowned by the noise that male real estate salespeople make. When you think of real estate sales think of women.

Even though men are pictured more often in advertising, it is just advertising, which isn’t the same as sales.

When you want to get it sold call a woman. Start seeing the women who sell real estate.

When I tell consumers that there are more women working in real estate sales than there are men they express surprise. Please help spread the word.

Start seeing women real estate salespeople.

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I know who I am, who R you?

It is wonderful to be able to take a few moments to write on this hot dog stand.

Today I received an email from the NAR with an advertisement for REALTORS. The campaign is entitled “That’s who we ®”

After watching the ad a couple of times it occurred to me that is isn’t who we ® but maybe who someone thinks we should be. The REALTOR in the ad is a young man. I have been a REALTOR for over 18 years and like most REALTORS I have never been a young man.

In fact, I was over 40 when I joined. I brought with me a wealth of business, customer service, and sales experience that I gained from my brilliant career in software development.

The typical REALTOR according to NAR data is a woman in her 50’s. Why was the REALTOR featured in the ad a young man? In 2019 33 percent were over 60 years old, and 67% were and probably still are female. That is who we really are but apparently that doesn’t make good ad copy.

As a REALTOR I am proud of who I am and I wish that NAR could see my value. I know that people who work in advertising don’t like the idea of old women but trust me when I say we are here to stay.

Young men in suits in all skin tones are often used to represent a group that is composed of mostly white older women. Who we “R” is one thing and what we advertise is another which I guess is the whole point of the ads in the first place.

The first time home buyers he is showing around are the stereotypical young white couple consisting of a male and a female.

When I look at the magazine that shows new construction and other advertising for housing I always see pictures of white couples or white couples with children or occasionally darker-skinned couples or couples with grey hair.

Maybe the people who make those ads don’t want to consider that same-sex couples buy homes and single people buy homes.

People of color can own homes too. I know that homeownership is lower among people of color so maybe that is why NAR doesn’t want to picture people of color as first time home buyers? Shouldn’t all people believe that they can own a home and that a REALTOR will help them?

The ads don’t show who we really “®”. I guess I am not sure what they show or if they will attract younger members to a profession that has always attracted older workers.

I am going to work on a series of ads of my own about who we are. I can publish them right here on the weenie.

Posted in Industry News, Stupid | Leave a comment

Becoming a teenager

The RealEsateWeenie will be 13 years old in 2020.  As I look back so many of the people I used to make fun of have vanished. Maybe they retired or got jobs outside of the real estate industry.

A few have died and I know at least one who is in jail, or maybe out on prole by now, I don’t really keep track.

Many of the people who were the real estate rebels and to some degree innovators are now part of the mainstream of the industry. They have gone from being wizards and witches to being muggles every one.

In the last 12 years, I have watched as one group of white male leaders has been replaced with another and I can see the next bunch waiting in the wings for their turn.

It is hard to believe that I have been writing this crap for almost 13 years but it is true. I think this next year will bring some teenage angst with it when the weenie turns 13 in March.



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You might be a troll

Recently in a real estate facebook group, I ran into a troll who probably doesn’t even realize he is trolling. He is a drama addict and when there isn’t any drama around him or what he stands for he trolls for it.

What is a troll?

troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses usually for the trolls own amusement.

The easiest way to troll in a real estate Facebook group setting is to introduce a topic that always gets people riled up. Just leave it in a comment, it doesn’t have to be directly related or at all related to the topic being discussed.

Sometimes all it takes is one word like a company name or the name of an organization.

I won’t mention any names because more than anything trolls want to be noticed. For a troll, nothing is worse than being ignored.


Posted in Obnoxious | Leave a comment

How to end racism

If we wanted to end racism we should just start calling people racist. I can’t think of anything worse than being called a racist. Even the most racist people I know don’t like being called racist.

People are sometimes called “A racist” which is even worse than just being racist.

Let’s end racism and race-based housing discrimination right here and right now.

Let’s get busy if we band together and start calling people racists Maybe we can end racism by Christmas.

Happy Holidays

Posted in Bad Idea, Uncategorized | Leave a comment