Maybe it’s like this

I see things differently than others. It works well given my line of work, and extends to how I view a lot of behaviors in real estate. 

I’ll share a few of these observations here. 

We tend to define new, bold ideas as disruption. Sometimes we villainize the people championing these ideas, and negatively call them disruptors

Investors see it differently. They put a high price tag on these words and bet big on them.

I struggle with both approaches. 

Imagine if we viewed these ideas as progress. A next step in our collective evolution. We’d view the people behind them as creators, makers, thinkers, and builders. People who were curious enough about what’s already here to improve upon it. Those here could find inspiration in that and one up them. 

After all, it’s real estate. It should always be improving.  

A luxury agent. 

Is that someone who was handmade in Milan?

Is she a delicate person who resides in a velvet-lined box and charges a 30% commission for the one very special deal she does each year?

Luxury buyers. Luxury sellers. Luxury homes. Luxury events. Stare at those words for a minute. Semantic satiation sets in quickly. 

A “better, more personalized home search” is not disruption. It’s a better version of what came before it.

A “smarter workflow for agents” is not disruption. It’s a smarter workflow.

Disruption should not be described by words that end in “er” — bigger, better, larger, smarter. Those things aren’t transformative. 

Eddie Van Halen wasn’t a better guitar player. He reimagined how guitar is played. That’s transformation. 

A better UI. A newer design. A simpler business model… er. 

The youngest member of your company is coddled by others. 

You promise ice cream to make sure people stay on task. 

You provide an ex-employee who quit the spare office until they are financially stable. 

You ground people who come to work late. 

You focus on helping develop everyone’s spiritual well-being. 

You value effort, not results. 

You limit access to media, and celebrate accomplishments no matter how imperfect.

You set aside enough money to pay for everyone’s inevitable therapy.

If that’s how you run your company, then you’re a family business.

Otherwise, you’re not. You’re a business with a few family members who are employees. 

I know that “family business” has a ring to it. But most people prefer their own family rather than joining someone else’s. 

#overasking. Must we really?

You know the person reading your listing detail is the buyer. 

Imagine their pleasant surprise if you labeled the primary bedroom, YOUR BEDROOM, and the other bedrooms, THEIR BEDROOMS. Kinda feels more ownable than master or primary or bedrooms 1, 2, 3.

After all, we refer to the bedroom we set for guests as the GUESTROOM.

Then there’s en suite. Not sure how that term replaced master or primary bathroom. But there’s something about that word that doesn’t flush right. Perhaps it’s because the term doesn’t imply the activity one might associate with the room. Or maybe for many bathrooms, it overstates what it is.

Sticking to my naming convention idea: YOUR BATHROOM, and THEIR BATHROOM. 

A better way. A better idea. Better tech. Better integration. Better experience.

Real estate uses this term a lot. But it begs the question — better how? 

Better is merely an improvement over something. Better does not clarify what that improvement is, or how it came to be. 

Better is also impossible to prove. 

Better admits it’s not the best.

Do better. 

On a call, he gave me the URL so I could give some feedback on his website. His enlarged logo in the top left corner included his name and illustration of a dog. 

“What’s happening here?” I asked. 

“That’s my dog. It’s part of my brand.” 

I asked, “What do you mean, part of my brand?”

“My dog. He’s my brand.” 

“That’s not a brand. It’s your dog. He licks his testicles, sleeps 20 hours a day, rips toys apart and barks at skateboarders. How’s that a brand?”

“It just is.” 

Herd mentality. Doing what everyone else does is contrary to savvy brand building. It keeps you from differentiating from competitors.

When you do what everyone else does you become everyone else.

Do you