Self Promotion, or Buy Leads?

“My belief is that the highest calling of marketing is to create a successful brand. That’s job #1.” – Bob Hoffman [1]

Facebook’s message to media: “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back” [2]

“We can make a lot more money by selling a home ourselves, by having a mortgage originated by us.” Spencer Rascoff. [3]

“Convenience is the Ultimate Currency” – Nielsen [4]

Do brokers, teams and agents have the tools necessary to compete and build their own brands in 2018?

We strongly believe that the answer is yes. Here are a few examples (from one system!):

Favorite Agent

One link for www, apps, social, text and email. Your brand, everywhere.

World’s best CMA

Live, beautiful comparables.

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Text, email, social, www.

Full Feature Website

Fast, responsive and elegant.

CRM + AVM Power

Automagic branded postcard followup.

Close in your app

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Play to win using the best platform, from leads to closings.

[1] Are you deluded? Bob Hoffman thinks you are.

[2] That firehose isn’t opening up again anytime soon.

[3] Zillow CEO on Missed Guidance, Mortgage Origination Deal.

[4] Convenience is the ultimate currency.

“My belief is that the highest calling of marketing is to create a successful brand. That’s job #1.” “and marketing has become strategy by selfie-stick”


Content marketing is a footnote. And there’s nothing wrong with footnotes. But thinking you’re going to have a big marketing success is unlikely.

Sure, some people do. But marketing is about likelihoods and probabilities, and what’s the probability that you’re going to create a successful brand using content marketing?

I think it’s very low.

Facebook’s message to media: “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back”

Joshua Benton:

The Australian — the Murdoch-owned national paper — has an interesting (and aggressively paywalled) scoop about Facebook today, based on comments Campbell Brown, the company’s global head of news partnerships, allegedly made during a meeting with Australian media executives in Sydney last week.

Here are the quotes attributed to Brown in the story:

“Mark [Zuckerberg] doesn’t care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes,” Ms Brown said.

“We will help you revitalise journalism … in a few years the ­reverse looks like I’ll be holding your hands with your dying ­business like in a hospice.”

I should note that Brown denied making the comments to The Australian (“These quotes are simply not accurate and don’t reflect the discussion we had in the meeting”); I should also note that The Australian has five people in the meeting corroborating them.

Much of the attention given to this story by Media Twitter has focused on the “doesn’t care about publishers” bit and the work-with-us-or-die implication of the second quote. But the story has an attached illustration that includes an alleged Brown quote that didn’t make it into the final story, and in some ways that’s really the most important one:

“being product-driven is a far superior stance than being customer-drive”


When somebody tells me they’re product-driven, I generally believe them, but when somebody tells me they’re customer-driven, I assume they’re lying. And usually in the most dangerous way — to themselves. I’ve made no secret of my strongly partisan belief that being product-driven is a far superior stance than being customer-driven, but I’ve never properly unpacked why I think that. Here’s the main reason:
 To be product-driven you merely have to be a talented person in a specific narrow and easily testable way. But to be genuinely customer-driven, you have to be a better person in a hard-to-test way.
 Add to that my priors that talent is common, but genuine good character is rare, and you’ll understand why I have the bias I do. This bias extends to myself. I trust my product-driven impulses far more than my customer-driven impulses. I’m just not a good enough person to be properly customer-driven. So if you claim to be customer-driven, you’re essentially claiming to be a better human than me, and I’m going to evaluate the claim with extreme prejudice. I’m going to look for bad faith in your stated motives and visible behaviors with a microscope.
 This does not mean you should not think about customers and users. That can’t actually be helped. When you think about a solution or product, you cannot avoid having thoughts about the people who might be buying or using it. But you must develop a skeptical self-awareness around what those thoughts mean because they will invariably be self-serving in ways you’re probably blind to. In other words, you must know what you talk about when you talk about “customers” and “users”. To that end, let me offer you my hierarchy of customer-relationship mental models.

A visual history of the future

Nick Dunn, Dr Paul Cureton and Serena Pollastri:

This paper is concerned with how future cities have been visualised, what these projections sought to communicate and why.
 The paper is organised into eight sections. Each of the first seven sections is highly illustrated by relevant visualisations to capture the main ways in which the thematic content is evident within future cities. We present a brief summary at the end of each section to understand the key issues.
 First, we describe the relevance and power of imagined cities and urban visions throughout popular culture, a multi-disciplinary discourse, along with an explanation of the methods used.
 Second, we examine the role of different media and its influence upon the way in which ideas are communicated and also translated, including, but not limited to: diagrams, drawings, films, graphic novels, literature, paintings, and photomontages.
 Third, we interrogate the ‘groundedness’ of visualisations of future cities and whether they relate to a specific context or a more general set of conditions.
 Fourth, we identify the role of technological speculation in future city scenarios including: infrastructure, mobility, sustainability, built form, density and scale.
 Fifth, we examine the variations in socio-spatial relationships that occur across different visualisations of cities, identifying the lived experience and inhabitation of the projected environments.
 Sixth, we consider the relationship of data, ubiquitous computing and digital technologies in contemporary visualisations of cities.
 Seventh, we establish the overarching themes that appear derived from visualisations of British cities and their legacy.
 In conclusion, we establish a synthesis of the prevalent patterns within and across legacies, and the diversity of visualisations, to draw together our findings in relation to overarching narratives and themes for how urban life has been envisaged and projected for the period under scrutiny.

Marketing Industry Rhetoric

Bob Hoffman:

There are two types of lies. Lies of commission (when you say something that isn’t true) and lies of omission (when you neglect to say something that is true.)
 The marketing industry is guilty of 10 years of lying by omission.
 I am specifically speaking about the events at which the marketing industry comes together — our conferences. These are the occasions when the industry “gathers” and “networks” and “shares” all the dumb shit that we happen to be obsessed with at the moment.
 It seems that there is a new marketing conference every half-hour to solemnly explore whatever the marketing fad-of-the-month happens to be. The trade press, finding it ever harder to make a buck publishing, has jumped head-first into the conference business with a never-ending stream of “insider summits.”
 The problem with these conferences is that while they pretend to be educational, they usually have a hidden motive that is antithetical to truth-telling. In fact, most of the conferences you attend are financed to a significant degree by companies with an agenda. And what is the undercurrent that defines that agenda? Usually, the propagation and glorification of marketing and advertising technology.

Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users

Deepa Seetharaman:

That hasn’t assuaged concerns about Facebook’s privacy practices. Bank executives are worried about the breadth of information being sought, even if it means not being available on certain platforms that their customers use. It is unclear whether bank customers would need to opt-in to the proposed Facebook services or what other privacy protections might be offered.
 JPMorgan isn’t “sharing our customers’ off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and have had to say no to some things as a result,” said spokeswoman Trish Wexler.
 Banks view mobile commerce as one of their biggest opportunities, but are still running behind technology firms like PayPal Holdings Inc. and Square Inc. Customers have moved slowly too; many Americans still prefer using their cards, along with cash and checks.
 In an effort to compete with PayPal’s Venmo, a group of large banks last year connected their smartphone apps to money-transfer network Zelle. Results are mixed so far: While usage has risen, many banks still aren’t on the platform.
 In recent years, Facebook has tried to transform Messenger into a hub for customer service and commerce, in keeping with a broader trend among mobile messaging services.
 A partnership with American Express Co. allows Facebook users to contact the card company’s representatives. Last year, Facebook struck a deal with PayPal that allows users to send money through Messenger. Mastercard Inc. cardholders can place online orders with certain merchants through Messenger using the card company’s Masterpass digital wallet. (A Mastercard spokesman said Facebook doesn’t see card information.)

How Much Do Micro-Influencers Make? My First Ever Income Report

Ayana Lage

Goals For The Future

There’s always room for improvement, so I want to share my goals for the future with y’all.

Apply for sponsorships consistently. Embarrassingly, almost all of my July brand partnerships happened because brands reached out to me. I only call it embarrassing because I could be making more money if I was more diligent!

Post more frequently. Isn’t this everyone’s goal? But really, I want to put this journalism degree to use and churn out content at a steady rate.

Increase affiliate earnings. Truthfully, I’ve stopped using primarily out of laziness and haven’t posted in a very long time. I know that you darling people shop my links when I share them (which is an incredible way to support this blog, so thank you) and I want to be more consistent.

Switch to WordPress. I love Squarespace’s intuitiveness, but I’m reaching a point where it’s limiting. With WordPress, I’ll have more control over SEO and have the option to include native advertisements on my site. This switch will probably happen in November.

Most importantly, I think — I still really enjoy this! It’s only been nine months, but I still worried that I’d burn out and drop this. Thankfully, I’m only becoming more excited about blogging and the days ahead. I’m excited, and I hope you stick around to see what happens!

Almost 70% of millennials regret buying their homes. Here’s why’re


Millennials aren’t exactly jumping for joy after purchasing their homes.

About four in 10 millennials are already homeowners, according to a new survey of over 600 millennials (age 21-34) by Bank of the West. Yet it turns out that 68 percent of them are feeling buyer’s remorse — almost double the amount of Baby Boomers who say they have regrets.

“Millennials are so eager to become homeowners that some may be inadvertently cutting off their nose to spite their face,” says Ryan Bailey, head of Bank of the West’s retail banking.

Here are the biggest areas of remorse.

Overspending on the down payment

Roughly four in 10 millennials felt they made poor financial choices when it came to purchasing their home. Part of the problem seems to revolve around the down payment. The survey found one in three millennials dipped into their retirement accounts to pay for their homes — a trend Bailey calls “alarming.”

Full Study (PDF)

As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume

Jack Nicas:

For decades, the district south of downtown and alongside San Francisco Bay here was known as either Rincon Hill, South Beach or South of Market. This spring, it was suddenly rebranded on Google Maps to a name few had heard: the East Cut.

The peculiar moniker immediately spread digitally, from hotel sites to dating apps to Uber, which all use Google’s map data. The name soon spilled over into the physical world, too. Real-estate listings beckoned prospective tenants to the East Cut. And news organizations referred to the vicinity by that term.

“It’s degrading to the reputation of our area,” said Tad Bogdan, who has lived in the neighborhood for 14 years. In a survey of 271 neighbors that he organized recently, he said, 90 percent disliked the name.

How to tell the difference between persuasion and manipulation

Robert Noggle:

Calling someone manipulative is a criticism of that person’s character. Saying that you have been manipulated is a complaint about having been treated badly. Manipulation is dodgy at best, and downright immoral at worst. But why is this? What’s wrong with manipulation? Human beings influence each other all the time, and in all sorts of ways. But what sets manipulation apart from other influences, and what makes it immoral?

We are constantly subject to attempts at manipulation. Here are just a few examples. There is ‘gaslighting’, which involves encouraging someone to doubt her own judgment and to rely on the manipulator’s advice instead. Guilt trips make someone feel excessively guilty about failing to do what the manipulator wants her to do. Charm offensives and peer pressure induce someone to care so much about the manipulator’s approval that she will do as the manipulator wishes.

“Consumers are jaded about advertising in a way they weren’t several decades ago.”

Kalle Oskari Mattila:

But perhaps the most powerful impetus for these slimmed-down logos is that it’s increasingly more difficult to reach buyers when so many of them are skeptical of big corporations. A recent survey by the public-relations firm Cohn & Wolfe found that four-fifths of global consumers now consider brands neither open nor honest. “Consumers are jaded about advertising in a way they weren’t several decades ago,” says Adam Alter, an associate professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, via email. “It is harder to appeal to them than it used to be, and they tend to see through overt marketing pitches.” That has in turn led to a new arsenal of branding tactics. “Companies have had to learn subtlety,” Alter says.

No, we must not normalise violation of privacy

Aral Balkan:

The core injustice that Mariana’s piece ignores is that the business model of surveillance capitalists like Google and Facebook is based on the violation of a fundamental human right. When she says “let’s not forget that a large part of the technology and necessary data was created by all of us” it sounds like we voluntarily got together to create a dataset for the common good by revealing the most intimate details of our lives through having our behaviour tracked and aggregated. In truth, we did no such thing.
 We were farmed.
 We might have resigned ourselves to being farmed by the likes of Google and Facebook because we have no other choice but that’s not a healthy definition of consent by any standard. If 99.99999% of all investment goes into funding surveillance-based technology (and it does), then people have neither a true choice nor can they be expected to give any meaningful consent to being tracked and profiled. Surveillance capitalism is the norm today. It is mainstream technology. It’s what we funded and what we built.

Evolving Floor Plans

Joel Simon:

Evolving Floor Plans is an experimental research project exploring speculative, optimized floor plan layouts. The rooms and expected flow of people are given to a genetic algorithm which attempts to optimize the layout to minimize walking time, the use of hallways, etc. The creative goal is to approach floor plan design solely from the perspective of optimization and without regard for convention, constructability, etc. The research goal is to see how a combination of explicit, implicit and emergent methods allow floor plans of high complexity to evolve. The floorplan is ‘grown’ from its genetic encoding using indirect methods such as graph contraction and emergent ones such as growing hallways using an ant-colony inspired algorithm.
 The results were biological in appearance, intriguing in character and wildly irrational in practice. It was a fun learning experience and I plan to re-use methods in other projects.

2018 Millennial Survey


The difference between what millennials believe companies should do and what they observe firsthand is not without consequence. Business’ actions appear to strongly influence the length of time millennials intend to stay with their employers.
 Before we delve into the factors that influence loyalty, it’s important to note that loyalty levels have retreated to where they were two years ago. Among millennials, 43 percent envision leaving their jobs within two years; only 28 percent seek to stay beyond five years. The 15-point gap is up from seven points last year. Employed Gen Z respondents express even less loyalty, with 61 percent saying they would leave within two years if given the choice.
 Younger workers need positive reasons to stay with their employers; they need to be offered the realistic prospect that by staying loyal they will, in the long run, be materially better off and as individuals, develop faster and more fully than if they left.

Scraper Bots and the Secret Internet Arms Race

Klint Finley:

Companies are waging an invisible data war online. And your phone might be an unwitting soldier.

Retailers from Amazon and Walmart to tiny startups want to know what their competitors charge. Brick and mortar retailers can send people, sometimes called “mystery shoppers,” to their competitors’ stores to make notes on prices.

Online, there’s no need to send people anywhere. But big retailers can sell millions of products, so it’s not feasible to have workers browse each item and manually adjust prices. Instead, the companies employ software to scan rival websites and collect prices, a process called “scraping.” From there, the companies can adjust their own prices.

Companies like Amazon and Walmart have internal teams dedicated to scraping, says Alexandr Galkin, CEO of the retail price optimization company Competera. Others turn to companies like his. Competera scrapes pricing data from across the web, for companies ranging from footwear retailer Nine West to industrial outfitter Deelat, and uses machine-learning algorithms to help its customers decide how much to charge for different products.

Why Do the Biggest Companies Keep Getting Bigger? It’s How They Spend on Tech

Christopher Mims:

Economists have proposed many possible explanations: top managers flocking to top firms, automation creating an imbalance in productivity, merger-and-acquisition mania, lack of antitrust regulation and more.

But new data suggests that the secret of the success of the Amazons, Googles and Facebook s of the world—not to mention the Walmart s, CVSes and UPSes before them—is how much they invest in their own technology.

There are different kinds of IT spending. For the first few decades of the PC revolution, most companies would buy off-the-shelf hardware and software. Then, with the advent of the cloud, they switched to services offered by the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft . Like the difference between a tailored suit and a bespoke one, these systems can be customized, but they aren’t custom.

IT spending that goes into hiring developers and creating software owned and used exclusively by a firm is the key competitive advantage. It’s different from our standard understanding of R&D in that this software is used solely by the company, and isn’t part of products developed for its customers.

The death of Don Draper Advertising, once a creative industry, is now a data-driven business reliant on algorithms. The implications are deeply sinister – not only for the consumer but for democracy itself.

Ian Leslie:

The earthquake, of course, was the internet, and the subsequent seizure of the ad business by technology companies. Between them, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (about whom Galloway has written an acclaimed, critical book, The Four), have transformed advertising’s terms of trade. Clients pour billions into a digital ecosystem that revolves around Google and Facebook in particular. The ad industry, run by people who pride themselves on creativity, is being displaced by the ad business, which prides itself on efficiency. Clients are spending less on the kind of entertaining, seductive, fame-generating campaigns in which ad agencies specialise, and more on the ads that flash and wink on your smartphone screen.
 The ad industry views itself as a field of applied artistry, a next-door neighbour to the entertainment industry. Though it often fails, it aspires to surprise, charm, move and delight people on behalf of its clients. The ad business is obsessed with data science, and distrusts the messy stuff of story, image and idea. The ad industry thinks of itself as the custodian of a brand’s meaning in popular culture. The ad business could not care less about such fluff. Instead, it seeks to identify the precise moment that a consumer needs something so that it can trigger a sale. Shopping, on its model, is essentially an engineering problem to which a satisfyingly logical solution has finally been found.
 The ad business is largely automated. Clients only have to decide how many people they want to reach, and how much they want to spend; algorithms do the rest. In the milliseconds before a page loads on to your screen, a virtual auction takes place. Advertisers bid for the chance to place their client’s ad on it, based on data about your online behaviour: where you live, whether you’re young or old, recently shopped for shoes or searched for a car brand. The advertiser might create multiple ads and serve different executions to different slices of its audience. Some companies, such as Cambridge Analytica, claim to be able to target personality types using this method. The more valuable your particular profile is to the advertiser, the higher price its algorithm will pay the publisher to get an ad in front of your eyes. In this way, every scintilla of attention is transformed into money.

350 Million Diners Fuel Battle for China’s Food Delivery Crown

Lulu Yilun Chen: is in the throes of what it dubs a “summer battle” against Meituan, the on-demand services goliath backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. that’s prepping an initial public offering in Hong Kong. To that end, it’s been doling out subsidies to consumers, merchants and delivery partners since July, a campaign it plans to revive during the winter, Wang said.’s also syncing its logistics data with Alibaba’s, so units and affiliates of the e-commerce giant can benefit from its own network of at least 400,000 delivery personnel daily.
 “ is very important for Alibaba’s new retail strategy, it’s a foundation for the business,” Wang said during an interview in Hong Kong. “Dining and food delivery is also a service that users will use frequently, hence benefiting our payments business.”
 The market for on-demand services in China is surging as people turn to their smartphones to order meals, schedule beauty treatments and hire helpers. But that’s prompting the likes of to splurge on discounts and subsidies. Meituan itself revealed huge losses — but also a scorching pace of growth — when it filed for its much-anticipated debut.

The Allure of Small Towns for Big City Freelancers

Rebecca Gale:

Joel Levinson knew he was good at making movies. To make a living, Levison created video content and entered online marketing contests. He wrote and performed his own music, initially doing all the camerawork and directing himself, and later creating teams to help produce his projects. His winnings were impressive, between $40,000 and $80,000 a year, depending on the year, he says. He supplemented his income by creating video content for advertisers.
 But Levinson wanted to write and direct a feature film. “Life in California meant that all hours were spent making money to pay for the cost of living. That is California,” he said. “It prevented there from being any free time for pursuing creative projects that are something bigger.” Half of the 10 places with the highest costs of living in the United States are in California, including Los Angeles.
 So in 2014, Levinson and his family moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio, a town of 3,500 that he describes as “a blue dot in the red sea of rural Ohio.” Where they once paid $1,750 a month in rent for a one-bedroom duplex in Culver City, California, they now pay $1,300 a month for a three-bedroom home with a half-acre lawn. (Levinson notes that the rent in his former Culver City duplex has since increased by $800). He cut between a half and a third of his workweek dedicated to income projects and spent the rest of his time working on his first full-length feature.

The “for sale” sign gets its first major makeover in nearly 50 years

Ainsley Harris:

At the base of the ring, there is now a QR code, which will prompt passersby to download the Compass app.

The meeting begins as Aruliden presents options for animating the LEDs. Should the sign turn on automatically at night? If so, how bright? During the day, what should happen when a person approaches and passes with a 10-foot radius? Six feet? Three feet?

One attendee raises the question of riders, the printed add-ons that agents often use to augment their standard signs. Liden, Aruliden’s CCO, would like to convince agents to embrace the sign’s minimalism. “Could the rider information live more in the phone?” he asks.

The Compass team is hesitant. “We need to test with agents.” Many agents, they believe, will be resistant.

IPS takes the stage, and immediately the idea of using sensors to trigger light animations becomes more complicated. The current plan calls for two sensors, but that will create “blind spots.” Adding a third sensor will affect battery life. “It’s the one thing we can’t turn off,” says one IPS engineer.

How dirty is Miami real estate? Secret home deals dried up when feds started watching

Nicholas Nehemas and Rene Rodriguez:

When a company called the Flower of Scotland paid $1.13 million — in cash — for a three-bedroom condo in Sunny Isles Beach last year, it had to do something unusual: tell the federal government who its real owner was.
 In years past, the Delaware-based shell company could have put down the money and walked away with a new condo — and a boat slip near Dumfoundling Bay — no questions asked. But that secrecy was stripped away in early 2016 when the U.S. Treasury Department imposed a temporary transparency rule on Miami-Dade County and Manhattan, two of the nation’s most attractive real estate markets to dark money.
 The simple disclosure requirement offered the opportunity for an enticing experiment: If regulators asked anonymous cash buyers like the Flower of Scotland to reveal their true owners, what would happen?

Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon

Susan Berfield and Matthew Boyl:

In Best Buy’s perfect world, all 380 of its new “in-home advisors” would park their clean, white Priuses in front of a customer’s house rather than in the driveway, where the car could block others. They would quickly appraise the neighborhood, survey the landscaping, and see if a security system is in place. After knocking gently on the front door, they would step back and stand to the right, smiling, head down slightly, arms uncrossed, name tag visible on their blue, wrinkle-free Best Buy polo shirts. They would shake hands firmly, avoiding the dead fish or the lobster claw.
 Once inside, they would offer to remove their shoes. They wouldn’t lean on the walls or place their Best Buy tablets on the furniture. If they noticed a cat, they would know better than to say they own a dog, and they definitely wouldn’t talk politics. The advisors would make customers comfortable by mimicking their conversational style and pace: If a customer talked with her hands, advisors would, too. They would have a tape measure with a laser, and they wouldn’t tease the cat with it. They wouldn’t knock on walls to determine where a stud was—they would use their stud finders—and they would never put the tool on their chest and say “beep.” That wouldn’t be amusing. “If you’re using that for rapport, start again,” says Bryan Bucknell, a self-proclaimed “longtime sales dude” at Best Buy Co. who’s training recruits for the program. He’s with his aspiring advisors—27 men and 9 women, uniformly enthusiastic in their blue shirts—in a windowless conference room at Best Buy’s headquarters outside Minneapolis, where they’ve come for the final session of a five-week initiation in late May.

The endless search for a single real estate platform….. Gary Keller and Brad Inman July 18, 2018 Transcript

Round and round we go.

I remember demonstrating our single entry platform, from leads to closings to Gary and his colleagues years ago. Today, our best in class agent and public apps and cloud system run client services from leads to closings and beyond. No “API integration” required…. Contact Jim for a quick look at 608 468 6013 or

Andrea V. Brambila:

Keller Williams co-founder Gary Keller visited the Inman Connect San Francisco stage this morning to discuss with Inman founder and publisher Brad Inman how the real estate franchisor is pivoting to turn itself into a technology company.

But the tone of the conversation — intense, conflict-ridden, sometimes awkward, sometimes funny — is what really stole the show.

Keller began by describing the progression of technology over time and listing a slew of real estate tech companies that he labeled “agent-enabled tech,” including Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, Opendoor and Offerpad.

“Pretty much all the people that Inman News worships,” Keller said, prompting laughter from a packed ballroom of attendees.

“I love Brad,” Keller threw in.

“They’re really smart people,” Inman responded.

A few notable excepts:

  1. “If you don’t own your tech you will lose. Nobody can come between you and your customer.”

  2. “Our phone is the remote control of our life”, thus the KW kelle app. Compare kelle with our best in class agent and public apps.
  3. “I think the industry has changed and that is is that today. You can you can say the before technology and then after technology era prior to technology becoming an absolute [00:31:00] imperative for our industry”
  4. “I talked to a consultant yesterday and this whole business is to work with broker owners on integration”. [Some brokers, franchises and MLS’s offer clients and agents a pile, of 19 disparate systems.]
  5. “Why did Zillow want our data that they can’t use and they have to be audited twice a year to not use it is because they want to make their AVM better”.

Provide a superior experience without the privacy hassle: our auto-fill app and cloud documents.

Transcript (18MB mp3):

Ready to learn how to Pivot Like A Champion, please welcome Keller Williams founder Gary Keller to the stage.
We (going) remember sitting. All right. Are you want to be near here? Gary brought his flip chart. I did . It’s special. So ask our wonderful audience one word to describe Gary Keller and then uh time for you tonight to check by the way. Be sure my wife is getting in on that. Yeah. Well, you got plenty of fans here.

Um, thank you very much for doing this. You’re more than welcome the enthusiasm by our audience some love you some aren’t so sure and someone don’t if you don’t know you but uh, I feel I feel the same way. Yeah, let’s start with that [00:01:00] actually and then you’re going to kind of share your vision like Colea (sp?) did.

Yeah, and I think it’s going to be really interesting to the crowd. But who is Gary Keller? Just just give us a little no. Okay, uh, by the way, you’re a leader in Innovative in a Visionary according to unintelligible. Wow, how do you I don’t I don’t want to waste time talkin about that. What do you want to know about me?

But what’s one thing is it true? You’re going to put realtor on your gravestone. Yes. Wow, that’s pretty that’s well. Someone asked me something once mean professionally, right what I wanted to my legacy and I said, I want to die being a realtor. I want it to say on my headstone. I was a realtor. I have a degree in real estate right got out of college in the late 70s was one of the first people to have a degree on it was a broker at 21.

And um, I’ve never gotten out right new live and believe you love real estate, right? Yeah. Sold 6000 in my first month in a city. I’d only been in Once by the time I was 26, I was a vice president large real estate company in my market. I love this business. Yeah, the great business and what let’s [00:02:00] let’s now jump into layout.

I think my question to you in this one is layout where you think it’s going because we got to like competing theories on the future. That we’re gonna really Bear Down on the next couple days. And I think yours is important and we got you a couple magic markers. We got an eraser awesome and we got a film crew that’s going to zoom in on it so that they do this so you can see it and we’re gonna put a clock on you gang of 10 minutes, um, 15 10 10, okay, but you’re going to talk for 45.

It’s just 10 on this part. Yes, so you ask so the question you asked me was where’s the industry go? Yeah, exactly. So I thought about that and I kind of want to diagram it and then we can talk through that do it. So if you think about any business out there, right there’s there’s there’s three paths that can go it can go this way.

It can go this way and it can go that way right. So there’s three phases to [00:03:00] building a business in any industry. Um, there’s this phase there’s this phase and then there’s. One of those three knows that an individual business or the industry. This is this is a business in sign of an industry. Okay, gotcha.

So what happens is you have this period of what I would say, uh, trial and error. Yeah. So businesses start business go out of business go in the business, they try on all kind of things and at some point, um, the the people that have made it get to this point and then at that moment in history and it shows up for every business.

Uh, this is where the Innovation the real Innovation occurs. Where is where is a compass and exp? Are they in that first big circle?

Well, I don’t mean to throw you didn’t At All by the way, no one’s in the circle yet. No one’s in this had to think about that first. I’m not in this circle damn, but you can be in the syrup. Okay, um put bread. You’re in the uh know by the way, I know I I believe that every firm whether [00:04:00] they’ve been in business for a year five years.

Ten years 100 years. I think all of us are right there gotcha. So when I talk about and I’ve made the statement that in February I got on stage and said that uh in the next year, you won’t recognize the real estate industry. I wasn’t kidding and what’s interesting is the amount of change that we’re all feeling is real and palpable.

Yeah, and it’s. That that’s going to accelerate right there. So let me explain what I mean by the saying this stuff. We’re just in the first inning. It’s coming. Nothing’s happened. Yeah. Yeah Gaucho. Okay, go ahead. Nothing’s happened. I’m serious about that nothing’s happened, but it’s fixing to happen.

Yeah. Okay, let’s fix and happen. So let’s think let’s ask what causes that? Okay. So what causes that is, um, uh, we started out with in the world with hardware Hardware wasn’t. And at some point, um, you had software to run the hardware right? One of the most interesting decisions in the world.

Is that [00:05:00] IBM who created the hardware decided not to own the software and they gave they gave one of the greatest deals of all time to Bill Gates and Paul Allen to own the software, right? Yep. So then all sudden at some point you’re using your Hardware your phone and you’re using software and you get this, um, um offer to buy a data plan.

Because you were out of space right so someone came up with the idea of how about if and they call it the cloud how about if we just string computers together and we put all your data there so you can access it from any any technology. Okay. Well, here’s the interesting thing about that. That’s a commodity.

For about $1,000 or less I can buy a piece of Hardware. I can buy a piece of software or multiple softwares and I could buy data service and I’m in business, right? Yes. Okay, that’s a commodity what’s changing the world today? And it’s called the fourth Industrial [00:06:00] Revolution
and that is um when you put teacher or Professor up in there when we’re description. Is data powered by artificial intelligence. That’s it. So everything that we have anything has been invented by any of us, uh prior prior to what’s coming has all been the industries all been about this the latest gadget the latest idea the latest thing cool.

That’s great. That’s what that is. By the way but this right here big data that is that is being powered by artificial intelligence that. And by the way, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in doesn’t matter. If you’re in real estate this applies to all industries, by the way, the medical profession the legal profession the architecture profession any profession you want to name is at this moment.

And the reason is because you know, you have two worlds that we live in the first one is the [00:07:00] physical world and the second one is the digital world. And what happens is everybody who’s physically based all their businesses they wake up in the Fatal question. They say is what’s the least I have to do in the digital world to protect.

What I currently have physically. Challenge is that the people who are in the digital space wake up every morning they say what’s the least I have to do physically to kick your physical. But yeah, right. Okay. So this is the battle the battle is over big data. Okay powered by artificial intelligence.
So let’s look at the real estate industry and you should sign that Gary because some people will pay me. Yeah, whatever what a capitalist. Okay. So let’s look at the real estate industry real quick and why we feel this change going on Brad, um industry starts out as real estate agent at some point.
We have uh, the tech, uh enabled real estate agent. Okay MLS being a good example of that technology enabling the real estate. [00:08:00] That make sense. Where does the MLS come in? I’m confused. It’s the it’s the technology that enables agents to do their job MLS is an example of where technology showed up to enable the agent and then the next thing is all of a sudden we have this thing and it’s called the agent enabled Tech got it that well.

Okay, and then by the way, the fourth would be the prediction that someday you just have. Well, the interesting thing is that will never happen and that ship has sailed right so you can literally take our industry and put it in a box like this and say you’re going to be one or two people you’re either going to be an agent who is enabled by Tech or you’re going to be the agent that is enabling the tech right now.

Here’s the center now, let’s talk about let me just bring it down a little bit tell me exactly what that mean difference. Well the agent is the fiduciary here. Right the and the tech is video there. [00:09:00] This is the battle over who’s going to be the fiduciary. So that might be who’s the rock star in the experience that might be smart contracts some of the all the tech taking care of that stuff will get to be the fiduciary.

We’ll get there in just a second. That’s right. So so let’s Now list these so out of time. That’s what I’m worried about. No, you’re not. No, no, we’re not. I love this guy. If you saw her email banners, she would just know we’re not because when you invited me, you said I could do it. I want it. No, you’re doing a good job. Good to say I love that you did. I have the email. Okay, you’re losing post it.

Yeah. I love you. You’re awesome. All right. So by the way started that whole mess. Okay, and then we have Zillow you have Trillium, uh, we can throw Redfin into that. Uh, we can throw purple bricks into that. We can throw Open Door into [00:10:00] that we can through offer pad into that pretty much all the people that inman news worships.

I don’t know. I love Brad and I mean he knows I love him but we’re was a really smart people girl. Well, okay and they’re not. Okay. No never but um, you’re losing so hear me on this. Okay, hang on you’re saying all of these players in the right have agents. Well their agent enabling Tech they’re all driven driven companies.

Correct. I will tell you that every one of these companies have agents because they have to not because they want to got you. These are not agents Centric businesses if they could do it without if Glenn Kelmann could run Redfin agents he would do it in a heartbeat if he tells you otherwise he’s lying.

Okay. Well, he’ll be here in an hour to dip. I’ll be happy to stay but I’m just telling you that that he’s in that category. Okay, absolutely. Yeah, [00:11:00] love and he loves that category he liked but that’s who he is. Okay you with me. So what’s the reason why you and I get off to Rocky starts at times?

Yeah, that’s is because well because I’m over here. I’m over. I’m I’m over here. Yeah. I’m I’m I work for the real estate agent. I have my whole life. I’ll go to my grave on my gravestone saying that. Yep. Yeah, so well, I’m not going to get their two cents. So let’s yeah, right. So if you look over here when when Inman and I love what you do, by the way, I wouldn’t have come here if if I didn’t appreciate you I really wouldn’t have I did you said kiss my ass.

I’m not coming. Yeah, and I didn’t say that. Yeah. No, you didn’t know I did but but a while to persuade you, well it did because people that work with me are more important than people that don’t. Yeah, I mean I yeah I get I get paid to help certain people and we’re grateful you’re here and I’m here okay on with me so I can check.

Okay, hang [00:12:00] on hang on hang on. So here’s where here’s where the challenge comes in and that is when I’m not picking on you by the way, but but when because I read pretty much everything that’s written through your news service. So I want to respect that the reason why you and I get cross lines at times is because um you represent these guys is the disruptors over here. The articles are already three ways to have a better open house for what these are going to kick your ass and change the world five ways to list his bows. Right this this go back and check and you’ll see it but this is all this absolutely treats these individuals as if they’re not disruptive.

As if they they work for this group. Now, here’s the here’s another interesting fact about this group. Let’s put let’s put every one of these groups. Uh, I can put the aggregators over here and they want to reduce the agents in come by at least 30% or more. [00:13:00] Right? So if you want to do what reduce their income, so the real estate agent if they do business with these guys is going to opt they’re going to operate at about a two percent approximately.

Uh commission, but if they if they were charging home if they deliver volume of transactions, well, be careful for the difference. You need to be careful with that because you’re talkin to the guy who wrote the book on it. Yeah, but you got you got 1,000 agents. No, no. No, I’m gonna give you I’m gonna give you a number here 10% if you’re spending more than 10% of your gross income for leads.

Yeah, I wrote a book and I right. Yeah, okay. There isn’t anyone that understands the in the audience think Gary book applies as much today as it did when he wrote it say yes, and how many how many think it does in apply quite as much as he did when he wrote it. Just see what here’s the interesting thing about that.

So I so we said that’s for dr. slido. Okay, so we sat down a year ago to [00:14:00] write the MREA updated version. Right? Right. Here’s what we found out everything that’s in that book is 100% accurate today except for the actual numbers. Well, we want to ask the audience if they agree with you. Well the doctor slide are you on this how many think Gary’s book is as relevant today.

As it was when he wrote it and how many think it is one caveat. You have to put your income down by your answer. Okay, well because because because I will tell you that anybody that anybody who was say that it’s not relevant today or your least earning people. I audience has a higher income than your community Gary because they paid a lot to come here.

But anyway, okay. Okay. So here’s my point to you. My point is is that. I am absolutely the leading experts are gonna be friends when this is all over of course. I like their shoes. Hey, dr. Slide. Oh how we doing? Okay time out. Now you’re taking my time by I know some guys stop conversation.
Okay. So here’s the thing. [00:15:00] That’s the cost for lead. If you’re spending more than that. You better have good justification. You with me? Yep. That’s just what the research says and I spend all my time. This is what I do, by the way now you get into this group. These guys want that commission to be one to two percent as well.

Correct. Redfin Redfin. Okay. Yeah purple bricks wants it to be maybe 1% to 1 and 1/2 percent max Open Door will pay you 1 percent offer pad will pay you 1 percent. This is why you feel this is why you feel the way you feel about change is because all of that group wants Tech to be the rock star and once the agent to be the functionary. Let me just ask you one question Gary and it doesn’t have to be like that you spread this thing, which I think the industry has been good at which is fear, which is they wake up every morning maliciously trying to go after the real estate industry. [00:16:00] Well, and I don’t you you meet with it’s a cut deals with Zillow you’ve cut deals with

I know for a fact you met with the disruptors you’ll cut a deal with anyone on their behalf. So. If they weren’t when I would have them into your office, right? I mean you have a deal with Zillow, correct? I presume you do I don’t think I do you have no deal with Zillow. What’s my deal to protect the listings from having?

No, they bought that agreement with dauntless. I didn’t sign a deal with you have no deal Zillow know why we don’t do business with any of these people. Why would I do business? What do I do with Zillow don’t have listings. I’ve heard through the grapevine. Obviously, we don’t publish it because no I have a I have an agreement with DOT Loop, but they can’t use our data right Zillow’s come back to us and they’re now asking.

That we give them their data. I just recently asked for that. And what was my answer your agents are sitting across the table from Redfin. They’re sitting there. They’re spending money on Zillow. These are smart people that are investing in things. They’re not that stupid. Are they Gary? You got to sit down.

I’m gonna get [00:17:00] come on just sit. I’m gonna do one more thing. Okay really quick. This is Barry Diller did this to me Barbara Corcoran? No, no. No, there are people that can take the stage. Away from Brad Inman. I’m not trying to do that. I’m very relaxed and come so so so the last thing I’ll say then is this and that is so that’s the challenge.

Yeah. So the real estate agent gets to vote with their feet. So by the way this group if this group doesn’t own its Tech it’s going to succumb to that group. Gotcha. That’s my point. Yeah, I gotcha. Yeah, if you put someone between you and the customer and you let technology get between you and the customer here’s an interesting number for you 1 billion dollars.

That’s the amount of money that we surveyed and we estimate that our own real estate agents spend on technology outside of Keller Williams a billion dollars Brad, but I don’t get paid a fraction of that but historically the industry’s paid 12 to 15 billion dollars for advertising whether they gave it to the Chicago Tribune or they gave it to Billboards, so they gave it [00:18:00] to.

To buy signs or where they gave it to Zillow that money so billion, I mean there’s spending they always spent billions marketing haven’t they in you always spend money in marketing? This is not marketing dollars. Yeah. These are operational dollars. I didn’t say I’ve said give give do it again. So I’m on software.

Oh and software. They’re spending 1 billion dollars in the reason why the software vendors don’t like me today is right. I’m literally taking that spin to zero. Yeah, my goal is to reclaim a billion dollars, but aren’t you gonna sell technology to your agent? Isn’t that part of your business model?
That’s 300 bucks a year what but that’s three hundred dollars a year times 150 thousand compared to sink that we charge the same amount to an agent anywhere from 18 to 100. I’ve got agents in the audience has been three hundred thousand dollars a year on technology alone. Yeah, by the way in about three months, they’ll be spending that much. $300.00

Bring her back come to down with me. So last thing here’s the issue. Can we talk about last thing you’re getting an education? That’s good for you.

[00:19:00] Well, here’s the thing is is when when I stood up and said that we were becoming a technology company man. I took a beating from from everybody thought that dumbass. Yeah. Well you said it and no one knew exactly what you were. I didn’t want him to know. Yeah, but it was quite a declaration. I’m spending a billion dollars in technology.

You would automatically okay. If I let someone build my technology for me. What do I say it again? Finally someone let me ask you a question. Does Amazon own their software or do they buy it from Fidelity? Uh, they own and I does Amazon on their software. Do they buy it from pick a cut on you tell me.

No, you know the answer. Well as soon as Amazon owns their software Facebook owns their software. Yes. Yeah Netflix owns their software right now. Okay. So, why would we tell the real estate agent? Don’t own your software or don’t let your company or in [00:20:00] partnership with why would we be tell them not to own it?

That’s a dumbass statement man. That is that is that you’re literally heading them to the slaughter. Not you because you don’t say that. But I’m saying anyone who says that is literally leading the real estate agent by the nose. Now, would you sit down with me? Is it gentlemen? I know you did but I haven’t finished.

Come on Gary sit down with me. No, no, no one more thing. So here’s what changes the world. So there’s a difference between software and platforms. Our industry doesn’t really understand this. Okay, and that is if you want to build an innovation engine Brad in order to. To build a platform that you can innovate on top of the technology.

The first thing is you have to build a cloud service. Now. This isn’t a cloud service like I was talkin about this is an industry-specific cloud service. How long does it take to build an industry-specific cloud service about two to three years? That’s what it as what Google tells me. That’s about how long it took us to do it, but two three years.

Okay, [00:21:00] second thing by the way, you have to have in order to make it significant. You have to have the data. So tomorrow morning. If he expense that they were going to build a cloud service you’d say. Well that’s good. But where’s the data? You don’t have any data? Okay, but if they had the data and they were gonna build a clown service it would take him three years if Compass today said we don’t have a cloud service, but we’re going to do it and they don’t have one by the way, but if they said they were going to do it.

It’s going to take them to three years. You with me? Okay, here’s the problem with that the problem with that two to three-year timeframe is it’s happening right now. If you don’t already have it, you’re in second place. Okay. Now here’s the other thing and that is you have to have artificial intelligence.
Why so here’s a good example. So let’s just think about this for a second. Let’s say that you have an agent software. And you have a real estate company software. So in the Real Estate Company software, we have all the data on production of everybody in the business, right? [00:22:00] So then we have the agent.

So tomorrow morning the agent goes out and they take they take a listing but because all the data on days on market price to sell ratios all of that all that’s down here the second the takes the listinug, artificial intelligence sends a ping to them and says for a home in that price range and this neighborhood you should you should use Smart Plan number 12 with these attributes.

Would you like us to execute it if the agent clicks? Yes, the whole plan is initiated in an instant over 12 week period. Okay, let’s throw out some questions to the audience. Can we use doctor? Uh. Slido that was his way of getting control. Yeah, it was great. No, I learned a lot. Yeah, dr. Slide.
Oh, uh, whatever we need to do for you all to submit questions and then we’ll get some of those questions up. I think they’ll pop up right here and we can answer what so here’s the challenge. I’m just I’m trying to educate you. Yeah. No I All-American. Well, the point is is that everything that we’re dealing with [00:23:00] today around software is bolt on technology.

I read the latest article you just wrote. Uh, you probably just heard and it said here’s the three rules for technology. Yeah, what did we say? Well, number one. You said it needs to talk to each other. Yeah, right. You have that good thing how you gonna if you don’t have that it’s not going to talk to each other.

So when I read that article, I went Jeepers you should have taken a poll by dr. Slidell or whatever and ask them how much whatever. The how much of their technology is going to actually talk to each other. It doesn’t talk we have I talked to a consultant yesterday and this whole business is to work with broker owners on integration.

No, no not just know there’s call me integration. But if you do that exactly integrate, I’m agreeing with you slow down and the fact that we even need an industry to help integration shows that we have a problem. So what do we asking? Uh any questions from the audience? Oh, here we go. What? Well you own here’s a KW agent.

Well, you all my data as a KW agent, in [00:24:00] other words. We we own his data. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah well on them with them with them sure so they’re this whole confusion about data on a ship and it with him. Well, someone’s got to own it. Yeah, in other words, whoever owns that cloud service and that artificial intelligence is going to own that data.

Now, here’s a question. I have view for that person. Someone’s going to own. Would you rather the uh a real estate company that has a history of being the most agents centric on the planet? Right? Here’s another number for you billion dollars in profit sharing paid out now on anyone in this room who’s paid out a billion dollars to their people in a profit share program.

They’re doing that by the way, that’s core to your program, right? Yeah. Yeah and it still is that still driving your growth the same as it has I wouldn’t think. Now what is driving now Community Technology technology. They’re coming to you for technology. Yeah, here’s another number for you six billion dollars and that’s the amount of productive volume that joined Keller Williams in the first 90 days of 2018. Let me ask you this.

Do you feel like this has been going for 22 years. We’ve [00:25:00] been talkin about robots for 5 years or 10 years. We’ve been talkin about all the things you have up on that board. Why is it. It were you a little late to the game too. Uh, I’m not know there’s a difference between late in too late. Timely.

You were timing. Well, I actually I think we showed no I actually think we’re the only one on time. Yeah, and I think you’re gonna see that in the next couple of months. Now, you told me backstage you’re launching something later this year. Tell the crowd with that. Well, we don’t want things.

Okay. So again, I’m going to go back. I’m gonna get I’m gonna get back to this point right here. The challenge that you have is if you haven’t already built an innovation platform. Yeah your two to three years late and the battle is going to be over the consumer. Yeah. So once one last thing just think about this, so if we think about the consumer and we think about by the way, if you want to be if you want to be Netflix number one, you have to own your software number two, you have to build an end to end consumer experience, right?

That’s personalized as you use it, right if you go to your [00:26:00] Netflix account. Mine does not look like yours. If I go to my Amazon page, it doesn’t mine doesn’t look like yours, right? Okay, so that’s interesting to point that out because if you think about the consumer experience as voyeurism to search to consideration to close to ownership and we put those in buckets you realize that uh, voyeurism in search is the only thing that actually is out there today for the consumer.

I would agree with that. Yeah, we don’t have online transaction yet though. We will by the end of the year. And oh, by the way, we don’t have ownership which will have that so imagine an app just as an example. Just imagine an app for the consumer that in real time the second they use it it begins using artificial intelligence to just like Netflix or anything else to personalize the experience in real time.

Yeah, imagine that it says, um, uh after you at a closing table you say, um, uh Brad now that we’ve now that you’ve bought about a home, um, Uh, would you like to refinance if you can save [00:27:00] money? Yes. Okay, so I’m just going to click. Yes and you have to do anything. Uh, by the way, if rates change and you can save money you’re going to get an alert and it’s going to say would you like to refinance now because we own a mortgage company and we don’t charge you origination fees or closing costs.

The mortgage industry hates me, too bad. Okay, we don’t charge any of that. We don’t charge any we don’t charge you any of that free just click it and we’ll refinance your home. That’s what’s coming at what point and by the way, that’s the battle. You go. The battle is not over search yeah, that’s going to be a commodity here.

We got a question. At what point do you care about the consumer experience versus the agent experience? Well, leave that to the 8th I care about the agent I care about the agents consumer experience. And do you feel like your Technologies enabling? The agent to create a better consumer experience or do you actually yeah, that’s the whole point.

Are you ever gonna go direct to the well, here’s the thing about it. No, I want to do that. Okay. No, I don’t. I don’t have buyer’s or seller’s no think if you think about it this way [00:28:00] thing about this way the consumers the agents, but if the whole world is moving towards the phone being the remote control of their life.

Right, then the agent’s going to have to have that tool if the agent doesn’t have that tool to offer the end consumer experience. How how are they going to service? You are obsessed by the agent getting the tools to serve the consumer. That’s that’s really your vision. Well, let me ask you a question.
How long after you wake up in the morning. Do you go to your phone? Um really quick? Unfortunately. I wish I did know we all do yeah, we all do so, it’s the remote control. Isn’t it? Let me ask you a question, but. Yes, that’s where we are. Um, we are does EXP scare you does anyone scare you no. Yeah. No because no they don’t that was the wrong way to raise the question.

No think no think about this the when I started Keller Williams, I built an innovation engine. So here’s a good example you bring a great example, [00:29:00] by the way, Glenn speak. So highly of you he thinks you’re a genius love it great good for him. I appreciate it and that, I don’t care, right? Um, so think about so think about it this way when we created The Profit share program.

This is where everyone missed we created a Leadership Council. We assign the decision-making of the firm to that Council. So we profit share today. If our agents want to change that to something else they can write they can vote and change it. Here’s an interesting tidbit of information. So they forget on a regular we first started sharing money.

We didn’t profit. We actually shared the money off the top you sell a house. We wrote a check that has problems that attic that formula, 3 years into doing that it started showing real problems. And so we ultimately voted and changed it to profit sharing. So you’re saying that’s what eXP does now and that’s going to they’re going to run into problems what I’m saying, is there same with.

Same [00:30:00] with all the other copycats that at the end of the day, they’re going to they think they’ve reinvented something that’s broken. But here’s the interesting thing remember, that’s flattery when people copy it. Listen. I have no problem with that and when people disagree with me, it just means that I’m ahead.

Yeah, I don’t worry about that. Honestly. I don’t worry about that. What about that agent count at eXP, that’s got you guys have been sitting there wringing your hands a little bit. Why are we talkin about them? Well, they’re just part of the scene and we got a question from the audience. Not really.
Well, not really. I mean at the at the at the end of the No No it no. We’re Captain’s of our own. Let’s move on. Let me ask you this leadership. You are generally you are known as a leader in the industry. How has think about in your 30 years has the role of the leader changed like is house leadership change from say 30 exactly.

I think the industry has changed and that is is that today. You can you can say the before technology and then after technology era prior to technology becoming an absolute [00:31:00] imperative for our industry training, coaching consulting .That was the that was the value proposition that we provided real estate agents.

And that’s how you make your money. Right? Well, we became the number one training company the world we built the number one coaching company inside the real estate industry, dude, we right. Okay, we did that. Here’s the problem is is that that used to be 100% of the conversation and we woke up about three years ago and went we’re not going to stop doing that.

That’s no longer. What will protect our people. Technology and only that technology and putting technology that works in their hands is the only thing that we’re focused on doesn’t but that doesn’t mean the agents still need it but you’ll be giving it to them in a different way. Like I presume your training is going more and using technology and not one-on-one.

Correct? Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly right go back. Let me go back to Clea’ s Theory. She said. She compared to Wall Street, and she said the digital transaction for part of the deals, but one comment and we won’t talk [00:32:00] about this again about exp know that’s what I found fascinating member.

I didn’t bring it back there. No, no. No they did but that’s okay. No, I just want to point out one thing and that is I went back and looked and and there’s a group of leaders there that used to be with Keller Williams went back and look when we paid those leaders over a million dollars last year.

So I was wondering publicly since they think we’re broke and if they would just renounce that money. There you go. By the way In fairness Glenn will be on this stage to explain his business model. Um, let’s go back to the Clea because I’m curious if and I got this a different Vision a different way of looking at it, but she says digital transaction for part of the the deals meaning much like E-Trade the middle would be Charles Schwab people and agents, but an agent with a different role and the third will be more relationship-driven.

She’s kind of saying five years out you can put Redfin. You can put purple bricks in the middle. You can put at the low end. We don’t have it maybe instant offer. Do you is that sound bullshit? Is that going to happen? Sure. It is the [00:33:00] I want again. I want you to understand something kind of like when you’re up there now.

I’ve kind of come to be a while. They get comfortable with it as you can all tell here’s my here’s the point. I’m trying to make that right there the ability to innovate in real time. Yeah, that’s that changes everything. Yeah, the ability to build a platform that talks to each other where everything is integrated integrated is everything the problem in our industry today is none of the companies that you would put on that side over there and we can go from realogy.

I mean when Berkshire Hathaway calls us up and wants to rent our cloud service. That sounds that for that. How do you go ahead? Yeah realogy yeah, whatever. I can’t you see I called you Bob once yeah, I know you called me a lot of things in March. I was in Australia, so I didn’t hear it. But uh that was good people were (mad ) and he texted me like crazy.

I said often worried. You know why I do that is because it’s because a lot of the articles you produce or one-sided they don’t tell the other [00:34:00] story right? I got pissed because you put my name in an article in the head or no one asked me for my opinion. Well, that’s because we get a lot of readers and we put your name there.

There’s always two sides to the story. And if you’re not going to give me equal time in the article, then I have no choice but to stand up and attack that right you leave me no choice. If you’ll call me every time you mention me and let me talk. Yeah, then I’ll be nicer. Well, we like, you know people love to read about you and we try to cover you as fairly as you can our journalists wake every morning trying to do that, but they do a great job.

We make mistakes. Yeah. Let me go back to leadership is how running a real estate. Today different than it was there’s exactly this. It’s all about technology. Yeah, because you’ve always been kind of facilitator educator, which is the new management style more collaborators that true with your I’ve always been a collaborator.

Yeah. Yeah and with your best agents, I always love the fact Kenny’s and Sue Adler’s these people. I admire are part of your brain trust and they seem to me to be real good [00:35:00] people. They’re great people by the way, and I I spend probably. Uh, 20 to 30 hours a week working with our top people.
That’s what I do for a living. That’s why I know. So I make a confession. I was out of the industry for many years and other Industries doing things I came back. And the first thing I had heard was uh, Keller Williams is on fire and I had the impression that a lot of people had called Texas Christian all these tag words for Gary Keller and Keller Williams, and I was inherently suspicious as a journalist.
And I went down and I wanted to understand the phenomenon and the one thing that really struck me when you invited me to I think family reunions and one of those was the community you created and it’s something we’re very proud of and we have a lot of overlap. There are people here that love you and hopefully some folks from your community that respect us and I think we’ve all learned that building community and real estate is very powerful.

It is we don’t agree on everything but I [00:36:00] congratulate you on that. Well, and I also truly believe that you see the future better than a lot of us and I really appreciate you being here. Well that and uh, really good. What do you want to know? My what do you want to know, what are you dying to know? Well, we want to know tell these people one thing that’s going to help them. We’re seeing there’s a you just say. Go. Change Is upon us. What do they need to do when I when I wrote the book The million in real estate and I said it very crystal clear.

And that is your database is your business your personal relationship with your database is your frontline defense, offense and defense against anything else that can happen. That’s it. Lead generate, touch your people right build build relationship with your database is in business hasn’t changed. So the principles are the same but the difference now is the database.

But that was always the case I guess right. Yeah, keep in touch with your customers. You said that over and over? Well, the truth of the matter is is that the entire real [00:37:00] estate experience is going to come online. That’s all that’s all there is to it. Why did Zillow want our data that they can’t use and they have to be audited twice a year to not use it is because they want to make their AVM better.

Now, is that good for us? Yes or no, okay. Okay, then the answer is no it’s not it actually isn’t good for us as an industry. Yeah, great. Thank you for coming all the way welcome here the best your vet. Thank you.

Compare experiences and future opportunities. 1 608 468 6013 //

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates

Marshall Allen:

With little public scrutiny, the health insurance industry has joined forces with data brokers to vacuum up personal details about hundreds of millions of Americans, including, odds are, many readers of this story. The companies are tracking your race, education level, TV habits, marital status, net worth. They’re collecting what you post on social media, whether you’re behind on your bills, what you order online. Then they feed this information into complicated computer algorithms that spit out predictions about how much your health care could cost them.
 Are you a woman who recently changed your name? You could be newly married and have a pricey pregnancy pending. Or maybe you’re stressed and anxious from a recent divorce. That, too, the computer models predict, may run up your medical bills.
 Are you a woman who’s purchased plus-size clothing? You’re considered at risk of depression. Mental health care can be expensive.
 Low-income and a minority? That means, the data brokers say, you are more likely to live in a dilapidated and dangerous neighborhood, increasing your health risks.
 Get ProPublica’s Major Investigations by Email
 “We sit on oceans of data,” said Eric McCulley, director of strategic solutions for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, during a conversation at the data firm’s booth. And he isn’t apologetic about using it. “The fact is, our data is in the public domain,” he said. “We didn’t put it out there.”
 Insurers contend they use the information to spot health issues in their clients — and flag them so they get services they need. And companies like LexisNexis say the data shouldn’t be used to set prices. But as a research scientist from one company told me: “I can’t say it hasn’t happened.”

“What do we need to offer to compete with car ownership?”

Kati Pohjanpalo/a>:

After its first big marketing push about six months ago, Whim has grown to more than 45,000 users in the Helsinki region, of whom 5,100 pay monthly fees. There are two subscription packages: an all-inclusive 499 euros ($582.65), and a more modest 49 euros that gets you unlimited bus travel and short city bike rides, as well as cheaper taxis and rental cars. A pay-per-ride option also exists for those who want to try out the service.
 To become financially viable, Whim needs from 3 to 5 percent of the area’s population to subscribe to a monthly package, according to Hietanen. That critical mass—almost 60,000 users in the Helsinki area—would allow the startup to buy transport services in bulk from the providers and turn a profit as it packages the options for its individual clients.
 Sari Siikasalmi, a 37-year-old management consultant, is becoming a convert. She’s tried out Whim and is now weighing giving up the car. Her family, with two kids under the age of 10, uses public transport inside Helsinki but needs a larger sedan for ski trips.
 To actually go through with the switch, Siikasalmi “would have to be sure that the type of cars we need are always and easily available nearby when we need them.” That’s not always the case yet.

Compass Connect, or Let’s Compare Compass, Part 2

The richly funded Compass brokerage brand experience is centered around technology.

This week’s Compass (inman) Connect conference offers an opportunity to again compare digital experiences.

Let’s compare apps. The recently updated Compass app finally offers notifications when new properties match a saved search.


Useful, contextual notifications save everyone time. Virtual Properties’ clients have enjoyed beautiful, rich and time saving notifications for years.

1. Price change(s), with a property photo:

2. Open House(s), with a property photo:

3. Press for details:

4. Collaborate with messages:

5. Watch

Contact Jim for a deep dive comparison: 1 608 468 6013 or

One more thing:

Compass website users must select a data source:

Virtual Properties clients enjoy a faster experience across multiple MLS data sources, in app or on the web:

Contact Jim for a deep dive comparison: 1 608 468 6013 or

“What do we need to offer to compete with car ownership?”

Kati Pohjanpalo:

After its first big marketing push about six months ago, Whim has grown to more than 45,000 users in the Helsinki region, of whom 5,100 pay monthly fees. There are two subscription packages: an all-inclusive 499 euros ($582.65), and a more modest 49 euros that gets you unlimited bus travel and short city bike rides, as well as cheaper taxis and rental cars. A pay-per-ride option also exists for those who want to try out the service.

To become financially viable, Whim needs from 3 to 5 percent of the area’s population to subscribe to a monthly package, according to Hietanen. That critical mass—almost 60,000 users in the Helsinki area—would allow the startup to buy transport services in bulk from the providers and turn a profit as it packages the options for its individual clients.

Sari Siikasalmi, a 37-year-old management consultant, is becoming a convert. She’s tried out Whim and is now weighing giving up the car. Her family, with two kids under the age of 10, uses public transport inside Helsinki but needs a larger sedan for ski trips.

To actually go through with the switch, Siikasalmi “would have to be sure that the type of cars we need are always and easily available nearby when we need them.” That’s not always the case yet.

In defense of the lost liberal art of marketing

Dipanjan Chatterjee:

The marketing profession is under siege. We are spellbound by the siren call of data, enamored of newly-discovered portmanteaus like ad tech and martech, and enslaved by impenetrable algorithms. This trend reflects a broader shift. For example, in March of 2018, the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point announced that it would eliminate a raft of liberal arts majors. English was out, as was philosophy and history. They would be replaced by disciplines like information technology. As a marketer who often writes about technology, this sent a shudder down my spine.

A visionary leader of a great technology business once said that what made the Macintosh great were the musicians, poets and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists. Forrester researched how the human-centricity of Apple has been one of the chief forces propelling the brand from giant-killer to almost-trillion-dollar market cap giant. Steve Jobs never lost sight of the human behind the marketing machine, and what he intuited many decades ago is what our profession has now begun to formalize.

The marketing discipline, long mired in principles of customer funnels and 4-Ps of product, price, place, and promotion, has seen considerable change in the last decade. The hyper-adoption of devices has generated a flood of data, fodder for rapacious intelligent analytics machines. Old marketers have needed new glossaries to make sense of novel concepts like programmatic advertising and neural networks. At the same time, a silent revolution is underway. Building on the works of psychologists and economists, including two Nobel laureates, the marketing community is revisiting the long-held axiom of “if you market it right, they will buy,” instead disaggregating the process of consumer choice. And in these elements of choice we see reflected the spectrum of the liberal arts

Comparing City Street Orientations

Geoff Boeing:

We say the cows laid out Boston. Well, there are worse surveyors. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
 In 1960, one hundred years after Emerson’s quote, Kevin Lynch published The Image of the City, his treatise on the legibility of urban patterns. How coherent is a city’s spatial organization? How do these patterns help or hinder urban navigation? I recently wrote about visualizing street orientations with Python and OSMnx. That is, how is a city’s street network oriented in terms of the streets’ compass bearings? How well does it adhere to a straightforward north-south-east-west layout? I wanted to revisit this by comparing 25 major US cities’ orientations (EDIT: by popular request, see also this follow-up comparing world cities):

Facebook’s Push for Facial Recognition Prompts Privacy Alarms

Natasha Singer:

But Facebook may only be getting started with its facial recognition services. The social network has applied for various patents, many of them still under consideration, which show how it could use the technology to track its online users in the real world.
 One patent application, published last November, described a system that could detect consumers within stores and match those shoppers’ faces with their social networking profiles. Then it could analyze the characteristics of their friends, and other details, using the information to determine a “trust level” for each shopper. Consumers deemed “trustworthy” could be eligible for special treatment, like automatic access to merchandise in locked display cases, the document said.
 Another Facebook patent filing described how cameras near checkout counters could capture shoppers’ faces, match them with their social networking profiles and then send purchase confirmation messages to their phones.
 In their F.T.C. complaint, privacy groups — led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit research institution — said the patent filings showed how Facebook could make money from users’ faces. A previous EPIC complaint about Facebook helped precipitate a consent decree requiring the company to give users more control over their personal details.

“There’s no doubt that no brick-and-mortar retailer anywhere in the world, let alone China, can exist as a stand-alone business without having a significant, integrated e-commerce mobile application” – Howard Schultz


Starbucks has no formal online delivery in China, where Alibaba-backed competes with Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed Meituan-Dianping as the country’s two biggest food delivery platforms.

Schultz, however, said he was close with Alibaba’s Ma and suggested the two could work together to boost Starbucks’ online distribution in China.

“There’s no doubt that no brick-and-mortar retailer anywhere in the world, let alone China, can exist as a stand-alone business without having a significant, integrated e-commerce mobile application,” he said.

“I have been very dear and close friends with Jack Ma for many, many years… and suffice to say there will be news coming that will relate to our plans for accelerating and integrating mobile commerce at a higher level into our core business.”

Current trade tensions between the United States and China were creating a negative atmosphere between the two countries, he added, though he downplayed the impact on the chain.

How the 100 largest marketplaces solved the chicken and egg problem

Eli Chait:

This is the first in a series of essays on the findings from a six month marketplace research project. My co-founders and I sold our last company to OpenTable and spent three years working on products to grow the supply side of OpenTable’s marketplace. There has been a lot written about online marketplaces and our goal was to test these theories by exploring data from a broader set of companies. We started by making a list of every marketplace founded, identifying 4,500 companies in total, then collected public data to classify and compare these companies (read more about the approach).
 Company success can be measured in many ways, but in the context of this project, we focused on two key metrics: revenue and capital efficiency (measured as the ratio of revenue to capital raised).1
 This post focuses on how the top 100 most successful marketplaces created value for their first users and which of the top three most popular “seeding” strategies has been the most effective. We discovered that one specific marketplace seeding strategy helped companies achieve higher revenue with less capital than other marketplaces.
 The chicken and egg problem
 A marketplace connects many suppliers to many buyers, typically enabling them to transact with one another and taking a fee for enabling the connection. But since marketplaces create value by aggregating supply and demand this creates the “chicken and egg” problem. What is the value to supply and demand when the marketplace is just getting started and doesn’t yet have many buyers or suppliers? The marketplace’s seeding strategy is how it solves the chicken and egg problem.
 OpenTable’s seeding strategy is what Sangeet Paul Choudary calls Standalone Mode and Chris Dixon calls “Single Player Mode.” OpenTable sold software to restaurants that created value for them without requiring any diners on the “buyer” side of the marketplace. They built a unique table management and CRM product (the “Electronic Reservation Book”) and charged a subscription fee for the service. The initial benefit to restaurant customers was the software. Once OpenTable acquired hundreds of restaurants in a city, they started to have a compelling diner value proposition.
 From studying the top 100 largest marketplaces (see here for methodology and list of marketplaces) we found that OpenTable’s strategy was actually the most common. This is also the most capital efficient strategy. Marketplaces that use this approach to seed the marketplace were 10x as capital efficient as marketplaces that used the second most popular strategy.

Why Little Vehicles will conquer the City

Benjamin Schneider:

Nearly all of them look silly, but if taken seriously, they could be a really big deal for urban transportation.
 The public reaction to the arrival of dockless bikes and electric scooters in U.S. cities can be tracked in stages. The first stage, for many, was annoyance. Who were these grown men and women on candy-colored bikes and teeny kick-scooters speeding down the streets and sidewalks, menacing walkers and leaving their rented toys all over the place? Especially in San Francisco, where this whimsical new mobility mode has taken off, scooters have come to represent yet another example of tech industry entitlement, another way for a startup to move fast and break stuff.
 In response, many a Twitter urbanist has used this backlash to point out the relative danger and disruption of larger dockless vehicles:

Crypto Commons

Mike Maples:

Cornelius Vanderbilt did not say, “I want to replace the stagecoach.” Thomas Edison didn’t say, “Death to kerosene and whale oil lamps.” Henry Ford didn’t say “No more horses and carriages.” The stock market was a new thing that helped entrepreneurs create new businesses that advanced the standard of living. Abundance happened because ambitious people were looking forward and trying to make new things that were exponentially better.
 150 years after the first railroad IPOs, the US stock market alone is worth more than $30 Trillion.

“I was Devastated”

Katrina Brooker:

The power of the Web wasn’t taken or stolen. We, collectively, by the billions, gave it away with every signed user agreement and intimate moment shared with technology. Facebook, Google, and Amazon now monopolize almost everything that happens online, from what we buy to the news we read to who we like. Along with a handful of powerful government agencies, they are able to monitor, manipulate, and spy in once unimaginable ways. Shortly after the 2016 election, Berners-Lee felt something had to change, and began methodically attempting to hack his creation. Last fall, the World Wide Web Foundation funded research to examine how Facebook’s algorithms control the news and information users receive. “Looking at the ways algorithms are feeding people news and looking at accountability for the algorithms—all of that is really important for the open Web,” he explained. By understanding these dangers, he hopes, we can collectively stop being deceived by the machine just as half the earth’s population is on board. “Crossing 50 percent is going to be a moment to pause and think,” says Berners-Lee, referring to the coming milestone. As billions more connect to the Web, he feels an increasing urgency to resolve its problems. For him this is about not just those already online but also the billions still unconnected. How much weaker and more marginalized will they become as the rest of the world leaves them behind

Most Americans Think Facebook and Twitter Censor Their Political Views

Riley Griffin:

Big Brother is watching you—or at least Americans seem to think so when it comes to the technology giants behind social media.
 A whopping 72 percent of those polled think it’s likely companies such as Facebook and Twitter actively censor political views that they consider objectionable, according to a Pew Research Center study released Thursday.
 Americans simply don’t trust those companies to be impartial when it comes to partisan politics, the study found. The survey assessing the public’s attitude toward the technology industry was conducted between May 29 and June 11 using a national sample of 4,594 adults.

Rethinking the smart home in 2018

Stacy on iOT:

A year ago this month, I prepared a presentation on the “State of the Smart Home,” which focused on how far voice interfaces had taken us and where they fell short. This week, I gave a quick talk to folks preparing smart home products for IKEA in which I tried to encapsulate how my thinking had changed since then.
 The original presentation started off with a look at some of the challenges the market has faced since it gained new life in 2012. Among them were a lack of standards, expensive products, a dearth of clear use cases, and uncertainty about the security of devices. Today those challenges still exist, and I’ve come to realize that I was too optimistic.
 I thought that we would have solved interoperability challenges by now, and made the connected home easier for mainstream consumers to adopt. I also thought the industry would have given those consumers compelling reasons to choose connected gadgets. I was wrong.
 The Amazon Echo kept my faith alive for a while. I saw it as a device that could bridge the warring standards and get people excited about the smart home. I thought they’d buy the Amazon Echo and get sucked into controlling their lights or their television with their voice. From there, they might invest in some locks or a connected thermostat.

How Old Are Successful Tech Entrepreneurs?

Based on the research of Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim and Javier Miranda:

Based on the research of Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim and Javier Miranda:
Silicon Valley’s tech workers can go to great lengths to appear youthful—from having plastic surgery and hair transplants, to lurking in the parking lots of hip tech companies to see how the young and promising dress, as chronicled a few years ago by the New Republic.
 While this may seem extreme, there is clearly a bias among many in the tech sector toward the young. Take Mark Zuckerberg’s statement that “young people are just smarter,” or the $100,000 fellowships that Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel hands out each year to bright entrepreneurs—provided that they are under 23.
 “There’s this idea that young people are just more likely to have more valuable ideas,” says Benjamin Jones, a professor of strategy at the Kellogg School.
 But is this notion accurate?
 “If you look at age and great achievement in the sciences in general, it doesn’t peak in the twenties,” he says. “It’s more middle-aged.” Even Nobel Prize winners are having their breakthrough successes later and later in life, Jones found in earlier research. Are the startups of Silicon Valley really an exception?
 In a new study, Jones, along with Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT’s Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim, use an expansive dataset to tackle that question. The researchers find that, contrary to popular thinking, the best entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged. Among the very fastest-growing new tech companies, the average founder was 45 at the time of founding. Furthermore, a given 50-year-old entrepreneur is nearly twice as likely to have a runaway success as a 30-year-old.

California Has 48 Hours to Pass this Privacy Bill or Else

Kashmir Hill:

What’s really happening is that California lawmakers have 48 hours to pass such a bill or the policy shit is going to hit the direct democracy fan. Because if lawmakers in the California Senate and House don’t pass this bill Thursday morning, and if California governor Jerry Brown doesn’t sign this bill into law Thursday afternoon, a stronger version of it will be on the state ballot in November. Then the 17 million or so people who actually vote in California would decide for themselves whether they should have the right to force companies to stop selling their data out the back door. Polls predict they would vote yes, despite the claims of tech companies that passage of the law would lead to businesses fleeing California. And laws passed via the ballot initiative process, rather than the legislative process, are almost impossible to change, so California would likely have this one on its books for a very long time.
 This, more than, say, an urgent need to address the data scandals that have dominated the tech industry so far this year, is why lawmakers are scrambling to get a bill passed. (A press secretary for Senator Bob Hertzberg, a sponsor of the bill, says that it’s happening at the last minute because it was a “long and tortured negotiating process” to come up with “an agreement that everybody 70% agrees with.”) It’s an absurd scenario out of Armando Iannucci, motivated more by arbitrary deadlines and the arcane mechanics of the legislative process than by a sudden passionate response to the kind of careless data practices that facilitated a foreign power’s interference in a presidential election.
 How did we get here? It mostly has to do with one guy with a lot of money deciding he was willing to drop a few million dollars to make life harder for data brokers.
 “I want to be able to go to Amazon and find out who they sold my information to,” Alastair MacTaggart told me earlier this year.
 MacTaggart, a real estate developer in the San Francisco Bay Area, has spent $3 million to create and fund a campaign for the California Consumer Privacy Act, a law that would force companies to tell people what personal data they’re selling and stop if asked. The work of creating the ballot initiative started over two years ago. Over the last year, more than 600,000 Californians signed a petition in support of it—thanks to $1 million spent with signature-collection firms—and so MacTaggart now has the ability to put it on the ballot in November.

The Chinese Powerhouse That Scares Banks—and Wants to Make Them Customers


The company’s extraordinary rise over the past 15 years has come largely at the expense of traditional financial companies in China and, to a lesser extent, overseas. Ant’s wildly popular money-market funds have siphoned deposits from banks. Its online payment systems have disrupted card issuers. And its credit units have challenged lenders of all stripes.

Steve Levine on Chinese retail.

The Legend of Nintendo

Felix Gillette:

Within hours of its arrival, Pokémon Go was a sensation. The game sent countless players wandering giddily around neighborhoods, shopping malls, and parks to capture Pokémon who’d been digitally embedded around the Earth, appearing on users’ screens when they drew near. Technically, Nintendo had played a peripheral role in the advent of Pokémon Go, but the phenomenon had some investors diagnosing early stage Nintendo Mania.
 More symptoms emerged in November, when the company released the NES Classic Edition, a miniaturized, rebooted version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the console that had made the company a household name in Europe and America in the ’80s. The updated version was carefully calibrated to rekindle the latent passion of lapsed fans, with 30 of the most popular NES games built in. (Unlike the original, there were no cartridges.) From the start, supplies were scarce. Stores were constantly sold out, so customers lined up for hours to await shipments of even a few units. But what seemed to some like a supply-chain disaster looked to others like a calculated strategy. At $59.99 per unit with no additional games, NES Classics were a low-margin item; much more important for the company was to whet the world’s appetite for Nintendo games in preparation for the Switch. To that end, Nintendo and DeNA also released Super Mario Run for iOS and Android, giving hundreds of millions of people an opportunity to help Mario scamper across their smartphones or tablets.
 The strategy worked. By the time the Switch arrived in the spring of 2017, legions of people had been enticed to reconnect with their favorite childhood game characters on a proper Nintendo device. Over the next fiscal year, the Switch accounted for $6.8 billion of revenue. Nintendo’s existing handheld platform, the 3DS, kicked in an additional $1.7 billion, and sales of smartphone games rose 62 percent, generating $354.9 million.
 Behind the white walls in Kyoto, Nintendo executives were already pondering how to stave off the next bust. At a news conference this April, Kimishima announced that he would step aside on June 28 and that Shuntaro Furukawa would succeed him. It was time, Kimishima said, for the next generation to take the lead. Furukawa, 46, had grown up in Tokyo playing Nintendo games; where Kimishima unwinds on the golf course, the new president plays Golf Story on the Switch. He joined the company in 1994, after completing a degree in political science, and spent 11 years at Nintendo of Europe before returning to Kyoto to take over corporate planning, working closely with Iwata and then Kimishima.
 When it was Furukawa’s turn to speak, he noted that Nintendo makes “playthings, not necessities” and that if consumers stop finding its products compelling, the company could be swiftly forgotten. “It is a high-risk business,” he added. “So there will be times when business is good and times when business is bad. But I want to manage the company in a way that keeps us from shifting between joy and despair.”
 Nintendo has a few plans in motion: a partnership with Cygames Inc., a Japanese developer specializing in mobile games, and the launch in September of an online subscription service for the Switch, which will allow gamers to compete against one another and play a slate of retro titles. The latter will help executives make the most difficult evolutionary step in the console life cycle: winning over the broader market of people who don’t typically play video games.

“The magazine also found that while 60 percent of Domino’s and Papa John’s sales were digital orders, 42 percent of all types of pizzerias still did not offer online ordering”

Matthew Sedecca:

Slice sends customers’ online orders to the restaurants through their preferred method — email, fax or phone. Restaurants deliver the meals with their own couriers. For each order processed, Slice receives a $1.95 commission, or around 6 to 7 percent of order totals on average, Mr. Sela said.
 In contrast, GrubHub charges up to 18 percent of the order to process online sales for its clients.
 Matthew Brick of Brick’s Pizza in Centreville, Va., went digital a few years ago and became partners with a number of online ordering platforms before deciding to steer more of its orders to Slice, which today processes around 30 percent of its digital sales. “I pay $2 per order with Slice,” Mr. Brick said. “For a $100 order on GrubHub, that’s 18 bucks,” he said. “That’s why I direct as much traffic as possible to Slice.”
 He said that online sales through Slice are increasing at a rate of 15 to 20 percent a year.

The myth of revealed preference for suburbs

Joe Cortright:

One of the chief arguments in favor of the suburbs is simply that that is where millions and millions of people actually live. If so many Americans live in suburbs, this must be proof that they actually prefer suburban locations to urban ones. The counterargument, of course, is that people can only choose from among the options presented to them. And the options for most people are not evenly split between cities and suburbs, for a variety of reasons, including the subsidization of highways and parking, school policies, and the continuing legacies of racism, redlining, and segregation. One of the biggest reasons, of course, is restrictive zoning, which prohibits the construction of new urban neighborhoods all over the country.
 But does zoning really act as a constraint on more compact, urban housing? Sure, some skeptics might say, it appears that local zoning laws prohibit denser housing and walkable retail districts. But in fact, city governments pass such strict laws because that’s what their constituents want. Especially within a metropolitan region with many different suburban municipalities, these governments are essentially competing for residents and businesses. If there were real demand for denser, walkable neighborhoods, wouldn’t some municipalities figure out that they could attract those people by allowing that type of development?

GDPR mayhem: Programmatic ad buying plummets in Europe

Jessica Davies:

The arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation’s enforcement May 25 has hurled the digital media and advertising industries into a tailspin.
 Since the early hours of May 25, ad exchanges have seen European ad demand volumes plummet between 25 and 40 percent in some cases, according to sources. Ad tech vendors scrambled to inform clients that they predict steep drops in demand coming through their platforms from Google. Some U.S. publishers have halted all programmatic ads on their European sites.
 Google contacted DoubleClick Bid Manager clients over the last few days to warn them that until it has completed its integration into the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and IAB Tech Lab’s GDPR Transparency & Consent Framework that publishers, ad tech vendor partners and advertisers should expect a “short-term disruption” in the delivery of their DoubleClick Bid Manager campaigns on third-party European inventory, starting May 25.

The American Housing Crisis Might Be Our Next Big Political Issue

Benjamin Schneider:

Several new advocacy groups have sprung up to push for better housing policies at the state and national level. Their first job: Communicating how significant the problem really is.
 The advertising executive Michael Franzini, founder of the nonprofit ad agency Public Interest, has created campaigns to fight AIDS, spur Holocaust awareness, and advocate for STEM education. The cause driving his latest campaign is a tricky one: He wants to bring housing policy—a topic that is now largely the purview of wonks, developers, big city activists, and a select few politicians—into the forefront of our national discourse.
 “In the same way that Al Gore put climate change on the map, that’s what we’re hoping to do,” Franzini said. “We want everyone to start demanding change.”
 To pull that off, Franzini and Public Interest developed a campaign called Home1, which so far consists of a series of slick explainer-style public service announcements detailing the roots of the current affordable housing crisis. Soon to come: a feature-length documentary that he hopes could be affordable housing’s Inconvenient Truth.
 “There is no greater crisis that, at least in my lifetime, has ever faced our country and not been talked about,” Franzini said. “And the reasons for that are all about how it is communicated… As soon as you start talking about the nuts and bolts of it, people glaze over.”

The Weird Science behind Restaurant Menus

India Mandlekern:

Every pizza display case tells a story. The strategist knew that very well. From the signage to the slicers to the arrangement of the Parmesan and red pepper flake shakers, no visual cue could be left to chance, especially for this client: a 20-unit New York style pizza chain headquartered in San Diego. The CEO was very proud of the organic nature of his restaurants’ interiors, and the lack of “chaininess” to them.
 Six different pizzas now rested on burnished metal stands, intermittently punctuated with an assortment of calzones, stromboli, salads, and beverages. It had taken three weeks of recipe testing to bake pizzas this good. For every perfect, client-ready pizza, there were at least six that missed the mark­­—crusts that weren’t crispy, mozzarella that didn’t stretch, pepperoni that curled when cast in the oven, pockmarking the pie with tiny buckets of grease. (I was a beneficiary of the process. An arsenal of failed recipe prototypes was accumulating in my freezer.)
 The strategist carefully removed a stack of miniature chalkboards from her desk. On each one, she inscribed the name of a different pie: The Triboro (meat lover’s). The Whitestone (white pie). The Bronx (everything but the kitchen sink). New York’s exalted status in the pizza universe was essential to this client’s identity, so much that the client had even implemented a reverse osmosis system in the dough-making process to replicate the pH balance of New York water.
 When the set up was complete, the strategist called over the head of the agency to evaluate her work.

News Goes Mobile: How People Use Smartphones to Access Information

Knight Foundation:

Rapid advances in technology have left news organizations scrambling to manage how news is created, consumed and delivered. People have shifted towards accessing news first via desktops and laptops, and now through the ubiquitous smartphone.
 Since 2011, the rate of adult U.S. smartphone ownership has increased notably from 46 to 82 percent, and is nearing a saturation point among some age groups. In just the past two years, individual mobile news consumption has grown rapidly. In fact, 89 percent of the U.S. mobile population (144 million users) now access news and information via mobile devices. As news organizations seek to better manage this digital transformation across platforms, engage with their audience and stay competitive, what should they understand about their audience’s changing behavior on mobile news? And, how are diverse audiences approaching access to mobile news and information differently?
 The findings show that:
 There is a substantial audience for mobile news. Nearly the entire population of adult mobile users consume news on their devices, and more users are spending news time on social platforms.
 While mobile users only spend 5 percent of mobile time on news, on average, the time they do spend includes “hard” news about current events and global news, as opposed to routine weather reports and other forms of “soft” news.
 Mobile users who access news through apps spend more time reading the content, but the overall audience for apps is small, so it’s essential to know who those users are.
 Social media sites and apps are important sources of news for social media users, although television remains their top source. However, social media users also depend on friends, contacts and individuals they follow as trusted news sources as much as or more than they depend on media outlets.
 Mobile news users active on social networks do not just passively engage with news content but take offline action related to the content.

The five ways we read online (and what publishers can do to encourage the “good” ones)

Laura Hazard Owen:

From skimming and scanning to (the ultimate) reading, a new paper by Nir Grinberg looks at the ways we read online and introduces a novel measure for predicting how long readers will stick with an article.

Grinberg, a research fellow at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science jointly with the Northeastern’s Lazer Lab, looked at Chartbeat data for seven different publishers’ sites — a dataset of more than 7.7 million pageviews, on both mobile and desktop, of 66,821 news articles from the sites. (To protect the publishers’ privacy, they aren’t named in the paper, but Grinberg looked at a financial news site, a how-to site, a tech news site, a science news site, a site aimed at women, a sports site, and a magazine site.)

Chartbeat, Grinberg said, already offers publishers pretty good tracking. “It’s one of the few companies that track what happens with a user after they click on a news article,” he told me. “Still, the actual measures it provides are kind of raw. It’ll tell you how much time a person has spent on a page, how far down the page they got, even something called ‘engaged time,’ which is the number of page interactions — mouse clicks, cursor movement, etc. But all of these are not particularly tailored to news; they could work on any web page.” Grinberg tailored these raw measures to create new metrics specifically for news articles.

After the Facebook scandal it’s time to base the digital economy on public v private ownership of data

Evgeny Morozov:

The continuing collapse of public trust in Facebook is welcome news to those of us who have been warning about the perils of “data extractivism” for years.

It’s reassuring to have final, definitive proof that beneath Facebook’s highfalutin rhetoric of “building a global community that works for all of us” lies a cynical, aggressive project – of building a global data vacuum cleaner that sucks from all of us. Like others in this industry, Facebook makes money by drilling deep into our data selves – pokes and likes is simply how our data comes to the surface – much like energy firms drill deep into the oil wells: profits first, social and individual consequences later.

Furthermore, the rosy digital future – where cleverly customised ads subsidise the provision of what even Mark Zuckerberg calls “social infrastructure” – is no longer something that many of us will be taking for granted. While the monetary costs of building and operating this “social infrastructure” might be zero – for taxpayers anyway – its social and political costs are, perhaps, even harder to account for than the costs of cheap petroleum in the 1970s.