Real estate taco


These are the meat, rice, beans and cheese of almost every real estate commercial I’ve seen.

Fixtures on the real estate advertising steam tray.

Just toss in some stock imagery, switch the combinations, smother them in cheesy copy sauce and serve it up to America.

Like a meal from Taco Bell, it goes right through those who consume it.


Fresh ingredients

The beauty of real Mexican food is its simplicity. Stop inside the cafes of Mercado San Juan de Dios in Guadalajara and you’re guaranteed a fresh and unforgettable meal. More Rick Bayless and less “Yo quiero…”

I’d give anything to have that experience watching a real estate ad.

We’ll need fresh ingredients to make that happen. Not the canned stuff. Not the sentimental salsa of memories and dreams.

No, that belongs in the basura.

I’m thinking the fresh stuff should carry real estate’s true flavor: that of a helping hand through a complicated process. One that helps people sell, buy, rent and finance places to live.

No lard 

What if a real estate company created an ad without the lard it has cooked with all these years? No babies. No parents reading books. No poetic waxing over the meaning of a home. No passive aggressive swipe at renters.

Something like this:


A canopy of radiant yellows, reds and greens. Rays of sunlight stretch across the pavement below.

A cyclist pedals through the sunbeams. The tires crunch over fallen leaves.

We see the neighborhood from the cyclist’s perspective, but do not see her. This is a mature neighborhood. Arts and crafts style homes. One-car garages. Manicured lawns. Driveways. A hopscotch is drawn in one. A basketball hoop is attached to a garage over another.

We see several yard signs. One home has sold. Two are for sale. One has a “For Rent” sign in the window.



In 1965, you could go to the movies with a dollar
and come home with change.

Inboxes were made of metal, fixtures
on office desks filled with paper files.

Phones were made of two parts,
connected by a long cord. If you wanted to listen to music
through it, you’d have to be asked to be placed on hold.

A home in this neighborhood cost $14,000.

Our cyclist looks down, adjusting the iPad that sits in the basket of her bike. She looks up and to her right to a board drawn in multi-colored chalk. To the left we see the early signs of a garage sale.

Then, when these homes were new,
our agents didn’t perform magic. We
didn’t shape our clients’ memories,
or deliver their dreams.

We helped them buy and sell homes.
Whoever they were. Whatever they needed.
We did right by them.

While the world has since become flatter,
busier, and lit up by technology,
some things, the most important
ones at least, have never changed for us.

Whether you’re buying, selling, renting
or just looking around, we’re here. Just
like we were then. Ready to help you cross
the thresholds of your life.

Our cyclist pulls into the driveway of a home with a “For Sale” sign in front. She grabs the iPad from the basket and lays her bike down on the ground next to the sign.

We are still seeing this from her perspective; her face remains out of view. We are focused on her hands.

Her hands pull a messenger bag around to her front, opens the flap, drops in the iPad and pulls out a stack of flyers.

One hand opens the empty flyer box attached to the “For Sale” sign, the other inserts a fresh batch of property flyers, then closes the flap.

The hands then reach downward to pull up weeds that have shot up through the flowerbed in which the sign is placed.

The weeds are placed in the bag.


What never changes always matters