There’s always something to howl about

Please, please, please do something different!

This dawned on me the other day as I was filling out my Inman Connect Speaker Information email that they’ve sent me 4 times now but I hadn’t properly synthesized it until now and while it is an axiom as old as time it is something worth remembering every day: Be remarkable.  Why remarkable?  Because remarkability wins.  Because remarkability is what makes you stand out from the white noise that impinges on success in every competitive ocean out there.  Because with out remarkability you are just a part of the landscape; and no one that I’ve yet to meet likes the prospects associated with that business proposition.

It’s said a million different ways, but it all amounts to the same thing: a purple cow, a free prize inside, an unique selling proposition, are all imploring us to do one thing – something remarkable.  It’s as simple and as complicated as that all at once.  See different and remarkable are interchangeable in language but not in action.  Being different is easy, being remarkable is hard.  Being different doesn’t win and doesn’t necessarily have any attached benefits to the customer; in fact being different can have adverse affects on them – but being remarkable is a different story.

Being remarkable is about being different to a point where that person you are trying to impact takes notice and is so moved that they make an effort to tell someone else.  Seth Godin illustrates and “riffs” on this beautifully in the above mentioned titles but allow me to indulge just a bit further.  There are examples of remarkable things across the real estate and mortgage space and they range from the mundane to the spectacular.  A mortgage broker that discloses YSP on a GFE and explains it (sadly, not as mundane as you would like to believe) is remarkable.  A Kris Berg post is remarkable.  A Zillow Zestimate is remarkable.  The NAR home sale forecasts are remarkable.  (You can see that being remarkable is a powerful force for both good and bad).  Remarkability is what gets noticed, what rises above the rest, it is the short tail of a very long line of competition; and it’s rewards are plenty.

What snuck up on me however is that being remarkable has a great deal to do with two seemingly contradictory constructs: remarkability is often organic and intentional at the same time.  I have found that they often work in harmony behind the scenes to arrive at a remarkable conclusion.  This is what dawned on me as I was filling out the speaker card for Inman’s Connect conference.   I am on the panel called Beyond the Written Word: Podcasting and Videocasting.  Why?  Because when I started my blog I put together a long-running series of podcast interviews with leading real estate bloggers, media folks and heads of the industry.  While they’ve slowed a bit lately they have become a remarkable part of the  Whether you’ve personally listened to them or not doesn’t matter.  They did several things that turned my dreary old mortgage blog in to a remarkable entity and made me a purported subject expert on real estate podcasting.  Thousands of people have listened to my podcasts and brought visitors, referrals, email list subscribers, RSS readers, you name it – they have helped make my blog remarkable.
I say that it is both organic and intentional at the same time because when I started my blog I said “I want this blog to be remarkable” and I also decided that there was too much noise in the blogosphere to just gain notoriety and readership by writing my fingers to the bone in an attempt to slug it out against superior literary discourse – hence the podcast idea.  So that part was intentional, but it also had an organic element to it as well.  It wasn’t a strategic decision that podcasting would be the avenue of difference that would lead to remarkability; podcasting was just one avenue of opportunity that was explored to meet that goal.  The fact that it worked and grew upon itself as the guests lined up and my collection became a who’s who of the real estate space was organic and really happened “by accident.”

I look back and it could have been podcasting or it could have been something else.  I chose intentionally to do something different, to attempt to be remarkable, but then when I found something that worked I trusted the process, I trusted the growth and I trusted myself enough to know that I had found something that I could stake a claim to and call my own.

And it indeed has become remarkable.  I am being asked to speak on my success with it at Inman, I have interviewed incredible people, my site has received thousands of unique visitors because of them, and I have generated real income as a result.  I am not bragging for I am constantly humbled and grateful for what a seemingly small, transient decision to try podcasting has done for my site; but what I am saying is that the need to break out and do something remarkable is now more important than ever.  And the beauty is that whatever that remarkable thing is doesn’t have to be forced.  You can feel your way to whatever remarkable means to (and works for) you.  And if it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try something different.

The bottom line is please, please, please be remarkable.  Please make an attempt to be remarkable and please help the process along by giving it a chance to succeed.  Being remarkable is the best way to earn business.  It’s the best way to earn respect and readership and whatever else you are hoping to achieve.  It starts with a commitment to being different and then feeling your way through the process to identify something that works, that is comfortable for you and that truly makes you remarkable.

Related posts:
  • No related posts


    4 Comments so far

    1. Kris Berg November 28th, 2007 8:20 am

      I totally agree, especially about the part where you call me “remarkable.” :) Seriously, this message transcends blogging. I have been belting this song out for years where our traditional marketing is concerned. Not every technique or tool is appropriate for every person, and to try to be remarkable in virtually every way is unrealistic. You can “do it all”, but just going through the motions is not enough. You have to shine. Find what works for you, and with the determination of the really hungry guy at the buffet table, go for it and perfect it. Ordinary becomes remarkable, and therefore different, when it is executed in an exceptional and superior way.

      Wonderful message.

    2. Morgan Brown November 28th, 2007 10:46 pm

      Thanks Kris – you are spot on. The ordinary can become extraordinary when done in an exceptional way. It is often the best place to look for places to be remarkable to begin with. And thanks for being a remarkable writer!

    3. Russell Shaw November 29th, 2007 12:33 am

      Excellent post, Morgan! Just excellent. I totally agree (as does Kris) about her posts being remarkable. A really good book I recently read on this subject is, “Work Like You’re Showing Off”, by Joe Calloway. I had read his first two books and liked them – this one hit it right out of the park.

    4. What’s In It For Me? « RE Revealed November 30th, 2007 10:36 am

      [...] So what does this all have to do with real estate?  It is a remarkable example of thinking outside of the box.  Millions of sites operate every day with a list of goods available, but I will always choose the option that allows me to have fun.  Remember, buyers always ask “what’s in it for me” and if it’s a bonus, free shipping, a gift card for Home Depot at closing or just a fun, creative quiz (my favorite), buyers will always go for the site or seller who is offering something shiny over the same ol’ same ol’.  [...]