Building Real Estate Brands with Brian Boero, Co-founder at 1000WATT

Hosted by
Nate Smoyer

This is the type of conversation I should have had on the show a long time ago. Industry veteran, brand-builder, and all-around great guy, Brian Boero joins the show today. Brian is Co-founder at the branding and strategy agency, 1000WATT. They focus exclusively on working with brands in the real estate vertical including brokerages, lenders, and technology companies.

One of the first topics I was eager to get Brian to dig into was on the importance of brand and storytelling within the real estate industry. You'll hear insights shared aimed at the broker / agent, but also applicable advice for proptech companies. One theme Brian points out is the tendency of companies to talk about features instead of benefits and why that's detrimental to do so.

Of course, we couldn't avoid the evolving topic of real estate commissions. The topic affects more than just agents, but any business that is built around transaction volume and that could be impacted by new rules coming to the industry. Don't delay, download and listen.

More about Brian and 1000WATT
1000WATT is real estate's branding and strategy agency. Founded in , our clients range from brokerage, proptech, mortgage, title, home builders and everything in between.

Brian has been in real estate media, marketing and technology since 1997. Before Co-founding 1000WATT, Brian served as President of Inman, real estate’s leading trade media company.

It's not too late to snag your ticket to 1000WATT's Brand and Marketing Summit. More info here: https://1000watt.net/events/summit/

Read Episode Transcript

Nate Smoyer (00:01.971)
Brian, welcome to the show.

Brian Boero (00:03.918)
Nate, thank you. I'm really excited to talk with you.

Nate Smoyer (00:06.675)
I'm always happy to have someone on the show who's been to the Black Hills and is familiar with the area and is someone who has road tripped through here and is part of my ongoing quest to educate people of the wonders that is the Silicon Prairie. What do you like most about the Black Hills?

Brian Boero (00:24.398)
You know, I liked that it surprised me that there were hills in that part of the world. And, you know, it sort of springs up out of the landscape and between, gosh, I mean, the obvious monuments that you go to when you're in that part of the world. It's just a cool place and there's a lot going on there, but there's not too many people. And it feels like the mountains, but...

you know, it's kind of low key. I really liked it. And, you know, we went on from the Black Hills to Badlands National Park, which is another like amazing place, you know, in your part of the world that I had never been to. So, yeah, I'm a booster and a fan of South Dakota.

Nate Smoyer (01:01.555)
Mm -hmm.

Nate Smoyer (01:12.979)
Love it. We have one area code at 605. So the, the, one of the state travel taglines is forever 605. So there it is for today. Well, for everyone listening, I have Brian Boero. He's co -founder at a company called 1000 watt. They're a branding and strategy agency focused on real estate vertical that includes working with leading tech companies, mortgage companies, home builders, and brokerages. And Brian, I thought today.

Brian Boero (01:21.422)

Nate Smoyer (01:41.907)
because it's a little bit different. A lot of times we talk with SaaS companies or technology providers of some sort or tech integrated companies. You work with a lot of those companies. You've been in this industry and seen a lot of change. I thought really we could tap into your expertise and start with brand and storytelling. I hear this talked about a lot from founders, and a fair amount of early stage founders as listeners. So what do you think most...

founders when they're talking about brand and storytelling, what do you think they mean by that? And then how do you define when you're thinking about brand and storytelling? How do you think of that and define that, how relevant it is to the business?

Brian Boero (02:25.038)
Yeah, I am, you know, broadly speaking, when I think about storytelling, whether you're selling, you know, in prop tech, whether you're selling to real estate agents or landlords or consumers, home buyers and sellers, right? A story is a story about your customer and how you and your brand and your business, your solution, your product gets that customer.

from where they find themselves right now to a place that they want to be. And so the story is not necessarily, sometimes it's confused with like, I talk to a lot of founders like this where they're in pitch mode, right? They're trying to raise money and they're in pitch mode and that's the story, right? And that often bleeds into what they think is their brand story where they talk to their customer. And a lot of the work we have to do is kind of saying, okay, well,

They're separate chapters in the same book. And your story to your customer is about them and about how you're getting them from here to here, right? Some better state, better world, better functional or emotional place. And that's kind of how we approach it. And whether that's, let's say you're selling a CRM to residential real estate agents, right?

Nate Smoyer (03:31.347)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (03:49.326)
to really understand the texture of their working life and their mental landscape and where they've been before with products like yours and where they would like to go. Same thing with home buyers and sellers. It just really starts with that. Your story is a story about your customer.

Nate Smoyer (04:10.739)
Yeah. I mean, even that example that you, you just use like as a CRM. So you would have, you know, you, like you said, multiple chapters actually really like that use there. You'd have a chapter on how you talk to the agent or the broker choose buying the software. But there's also a secondary story, one that they need to be able to repeat and talk to their clients with about the value that that's going to enable them, whether it's like automated, you know, neighborhood valuations, maybe it's.

Brian Boero (04:14.798)
See ya.

Brian Boero (04:24.496)
Yeah. Yeah.

Nate Smoyer (04:39.059)
automated, you know, where they're at in the deal along the way, it could be, you know, in providing them, you know, more information on the market. And then of course you have a different chapter would be like to your investors and to your partners and that sort of thing. And, you know, that can be sort of difficult, I think sometimes for like, why do we have to do this or why that's so important? What are some of the things that is an exercise you would take a founder through?

Brian Boero (04:54.382)

Nate Smoyer (05:07.699)
to see those differences and to understand, hey, here's reasons why we need to put a little bit of separation between those, but also how they work together.

Brian Boero (05:15.63)
Yeah, well, I think, and this is obvious to anybody who does lots of strategic marketing, it really starts with standing up avatars or personas of your ideal customer profiles, right? First of all, I'm really understanding those folks. And then, you know, if there's a distinction to be made here, you're end user. So a lot of what we see in PropTech is B2B2C types of structures, right? So to your example, you have to be able to...

speak to your customer, the real estate agent, but also speak to the person that they are in turn serving. And you see a lot of founders get tangled up in that line of thinking. And it's really important, again, as sort of elementary as it sounds, to really start with those avatars of who your customer is, your end user, and then you have to speak to your investor audience. You know, those are, you know,

related but also sort of discrete things. And to get straight on that and what you need to be saying to who in what context is something that often gets kind of knotted up and that we have to untangle with folks.

Nate Smoyer (06:29.427)
Yeah. The, the other thing I've, I've noticed, and I've come across both from personal experience, but also in just working with different companies is the technology oftentimes becomes a barrier to communicating clearly. And I'll, and I'm going to pick on a specific one. Blockchain, whether it has good or uses or not has the words.

on chain and on the blockchain or whatever, couldn't be any more distracting from the function or desired outcome. In my opinion, it's, it's as soon as you start throwing that out there, I don't know which chain it is. I don't know how this works, how to plug into it. You know, how have you helped others like, you know, and not just from the agent's perspective, but maybe even how you think about how do you take the technology? Okay. The technology is cool and sure. It's part of the story.

Brian Boero (07:04.91)

Nate Smoyer (07:27.955)
But it's not the whole bit.

Brian Boero (07:31.31)
Well, you know, and again, this is sort of an elementary reality around marketing and communications and brand building is you speak about benefits rather than features. You know, you probably heard the old quote from Theodore Levitt about, well, nobody ever goes into a hardware store to buy a power drill. They go there because they're looking for a hole in the.

Nate Smoyer (07:44.979)

Brian Boero (07:58.606)
The power drill is just a means to get there. So, you know, speak about the whole and the result. And I see product people get in this headspace a lot. Product oriented founders where they're obviously that's where their passion lies. That's what they think about all day and they want to talk about the technology. They want to talk about all of the features that they have built into their product. And that's.

Nate Smoyer (07:58.771)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (08:28.462)
tends to be another trap where you end up speaking in a dialect that either sounds unintelligible or off -putting as you suggest when you start talking about blockchain and anything related to crypto at this point in PropTech, it's really hard to sort of break through that noise or energy that surrounds some of this, or it's just like static, right? I mean, nobody really wants to hear about,

Nate Smoyer (08:45.683)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (08:58.926)
you know, APIs where they don't really necessarily want to hear about your machine learning algorithm. They want to know what those things do for them. And they want you to speak to the outcomes.

Nate Smoyer (09:11.283)

Nate Smoyer (09:15.795)
Yeah, I think, you know, and I think of like a tactical example here for people who are like, you know, thinking like, well, then how would you talk about it? And I think a good example is I don't know if I've ever seen communications on how Zestimate works.

And, and, you know, for any real AVM for that matter, but obviously Zestimate did the best, like they were first to really brand it. They really pushed it out in front of people. They, they scratched an itch that people had and removed a ton of friction before a lot of other people figured out that this was a major point of friction, but they didn't get into like, Hey, we have this like really complicated scientific algorithmic, you know, big data project that's going to automatically tell you what your home could be.

worth at any given point in time. It was just home value.

Brian Boero (10:04.526)
Yeah. You know, Nate, I think that's a really good example. And I have lots of thoughts on this estimate. I think it was genius because at the end of the day, the accuracy of this estimate or how it works was beside the point. What this estimate did was to scratch an itch that all of us have deep inside of our wiring around housing.

And whether that's wanting to believe that our house is worth a certain amount of money or wanting to know what our neighbor or our boss or our brother -in -law paid for their house, it doesn't matter if it was accurate. Yeah, it never mattered if it was accurate, Nate. And Zillow actually, from the beginning, published lots of documentation on a margin of error and accuracy by market.

Nate Smoyer (10:47.315)
Every time.

Brian Boero (11:03.47)
But honestly, nobody cared because what Zillow did was to, they scratched an itch for people and they built the largest brand in the history of housing based on that simple thing.

Nate Smoyer (11:05.907)
Mm -hmm.

Nate Smoyer (11:18.995)
Yeah, couldn't agree more. And last thing I want to touch on with Brandon, we'll come move on to a little bit of another topic here. I think that you'll have some really, some solid input on is the balance, especially for early stage. When we, when we think about building a brand and we think about acquisitions, right. And especially right now, you know, the, the word on the street is like, and I think the evidence is demonstrating less funding, smaller rounds.

for startups and extended periods of time. You should bank on longer periods of time in between rounds. So how am I supposed to build a brand? Cause I don't have money. This is the supposed question. How am I supposed to build a brand? I need to run brand awareness campaigns and I don't have the cash to do that. Or they decide to do that and they're not focusing on the acquisitions part, which is at the end of the day, how they're going to be measured if.

Brian Boero (12:07.47)

Nate Smoyer (12:14.995)
the business is viable and has a real future to continue investment.

Brian Boero (12:16.622)
Sure. You know, this is really, I'm glad you raised this point. Building a brand is not only tied to marketing. And that's, I think, a thing many people assume. Like in order to build a brand, I need $50 million and I need to go big. That's not really, sure, that helps. You can build a brand through marketing.

Nate Smoyer (12:45.299)
I can't go far.

Brian Boero (12:46.702)
Zillow, for example, had no marketing budget in its early years. They did two things. They had this magnetic piece of content, this estimate, and they had a great content -driven PR strategy. And that's how they built that business and that brand. And so when I think about branding, sure, marketing's in the mix. Storytelling definitely is in the mix. But consider Follow -Up Boss.

Nate Smoyer (12:51.219)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (13:15.598)
OK, essentially yet another real estate CRM. That company had a brand. And that was a company that was bootstrapped. That was a company that didn't spend a gazillion dollars on marketing. That company built a brand on long -term vision, doing the right thing by its customers, and cultivating community in a way that few software companies do.

And that created an enormous amount of value, which was realized in a, for hundreds of millions of dollars, it was ultimately worth to Zillow. I think there's lots of ways to build a brand that don't involve marketing. One of the things that we were involved in very early with was .Loot. And sometimes building a brand can be around sort of,

first of all, choosing a different territory or a different category or a different framing for your business and then building in that area. So with .loop, you know, in the early days, they were just the sort of little docuSign that wasn't docuSign, right? Why would anybody want to use .loop instead of docuSign? And so our approach with Austin and Dean was, well, let's call it something different.

Nate Smoyer (14:29.235)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (14:40.558)
This is not e -signatures. This is not document or transaction management. What .loop is about is people work. And we built a whole campaign and a community and ambassador strategy around that notion of people work. And it got people to take a look at the company twice for longer and to consider it. And it sort of built this culture around

that notion of people working better together. So, you know, it's not about just marketing and advertising when it comes to brand building, I guess.

Nate Smoyer (15:19.731)
Yeah, I am going to keep your email on speed dial or my quick contact. So every time in the future I have this conversation with the founder, I'm like, you know, just ask Brian. It's not just an ad campaign. There's more to it here. Let's totally pivot here and the dramatically different topic, but I think you're someone who has so much exposure here and I know you've written about this.

Brian Boero (15:36.494)
Not just an idea. Yeah, exactly.

Nate Smoyer (15:50.003)
is the commission's debate. and, not just debate, settlement and lawsuits and rulings. and I'm, you know, just broadly speaking, because we're really thinking about the PropTech ecosystem here. What effect is this going to have on PropTech? Do any changes to how commissions are treated specifically on the buy side in residential real estate transactions?

Brian Boero (15:52.558)

Brian Boero (16:18.67)
Well, I think some challenging things are going to happen and some good opportunities are going to open up. So first of all, the challenges. If you are a PropTech that is dependent upon buy -side agents or you're dependent upon large numbers of agents, some of whom may be less than productive, I think you're going to have some challenges in the coming months and years.

because I do see that there's gonna be some softening, probably moderate softening on the buy side in terms of commissions. And I think we're gonna see, and I view this as a very healthy thing, we're going to see a lot of agents moving on from the business. And to the extent that you may be offering a software solution, for example, that is dependent upon large numbers of agents, or in some way dependent upon that buy side commission pool, you're going to face some challenges.

On the other hand, I think the opportunity for prop tech founders is that there's been a whole change in the universe of real estate consciousness that I think has created once in a generation opportunities. So real estate is our national pastime. You probably talk about it at backyard barbecues. I do.

You just were obsessed with real estate and that's a thing. But in our consumer mind, we're not really focused on the mechanics of the real estate business and how it works and how agents get paid and all of that. Sure, we watch reality TV, but that's very distant from real estate reality. But what's happened in the last six months is the popular consciousness has been like activated by all of this big media coverage about.

Nate Smoyer (17:45.875)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (18:13.134)
Homes are going on sale, the end of the 6 % commission, the realtor world is falling. And that's kind of the X factor that we don't really yet have a grasp on. And I think when the story and the environment starts to change, that creates a real opportunity for founders who want to go out and say something different in that moment, whether you're speaking to home buyers.

Nate Smoyer (18:39.539)
Mm -hmm.

Brian Boero (18:39.822)
who may have a broader consciousness that there may be other ways to do this, or whether you're talking to real estate professionals who are anticipating change in their industry. Like, that's the good news in all of this is there was so much that didn't change over the last 30 years in real estate, even as it regards to tech. And now I think we have this window of change and instability.

And when you have changed instability, that's when brands are made, fortunes are made, careers are made, companies are made. So I think that's the upside.

Nate Smoyer (19:15.845)
Yeah, outside forces, opening people up to reevaluate their stack, how they do business. They're, okay, yeah, I'll take a look at that thing I saw that was interesting, but I was too busy. But now kind of the hand has been forced to rethink and, you know, take a look at that. I'm curious though, almost like specifically on the commissions, like for as far as like agents, what do you think is actually going to play out?

Like what does it, what does it look like and get implemented as, or you can, I know I'm asking for like you to give a prediction to like a very cloudy crystal ball, but.

Brian Boero (19:54.03)
Yeah. Well, yeah. And look, it's just that. It's a guess. I mean, I don't know what's going to happen. And, you know, I think about this stuff a lot. What I do know, and I've kind of joked jokingly or ruefully called it real estate's shit show summer. And I wish this were not the case, but yeah, you're called Nate.

Nate Smoyer (20:04.787)
Mm -hmm.

Nate Smoyer (20:18.899)
Is that what we titled the episode here? Is that what we're going to title this?

Brian Boero (20:24.33)
But look, we have some big changes in this settlement, which appear to now be culminating around early August, right? Blanket offer of compensation goes away in the NLS. Buyer agents have to get agreements in advance. They have to talk about compensation in a way that they haven't before. It just gets real messy and complicated. And I think that is going to create absolute chaos.

And I think lots of real estate agents are going to be doing things that are dumb and or sketchy that are going to get themselves and their companies and perhaps the industry at large into trouble. And so I think it's going to be a rough summer and fall. I really do. And, you know, I'm not trying to be hyperbolic again. I wish this weren't the case, but, you know, Nate, we have a million and a half.

realtors in the United States of America. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say a good 25 to 30 % of them cannot capably navigate the process that is in place now or accurately complete the paperwork that is in place now. Okay. Usually on the buy side, you know, you hear there's some listing agents all the time. my God.

this knucklehead, I had to do his or her job on the buy side. God, I got five offers on my listing and nobody could even fill out the forms right. So like, we're now saying everything is changing in 90 days. It's gonna be chaos and it's gonna be ugly and painful. I just.

I'm sad to say that I think that's going to happen.

Nate Smoyer (22:18.643)
I was listening to a podcast interview with Spencer Roscoff recently, and he was talking about his thoughts on this particular topic. And he even said, he's like, for years, you know, I've said like, Hey, we're going to see change. But even he was saying he's like, and someone who's in a position where, you know, if he, if he chose to include, sure, he could write many different checks to different startups to be in position to take advantage of this. And he said he didn't. Because it just the, I, the timelines, the extent of change.

And as to what those rules are and can be is so widely still speculative and unknown. It's really hard to take action. I think which, which is kind of to your point of like, it could set agents up to say or do dumb things. you know, even if they're not willing, I thought what was interesting is, related to this in a way, despite all the chaos. You had reposted recently something you'd written 14 years ago.

Brian Boero (23:00.942)

Nate Smoyer (23:16.819)
Which now I want to like, for anyone listening to this, like you have to understand, like, having written anything kind of casting vision into real estate four years ago, and even being, or five years ago and being on point, it would have been really good because the last few years, like there's no way you could have had any slightest inclination that we would go through the amount of evolution and changes in our society in the last few years. But, you know, driving home,

the point of what you had posted. You said, you know, maybe you think I'm wrong, that there will always be enough people to hire the friend of a friend who just needs a break or that we choose salespeople we like regardless of qualifications. And I think it kind of still like, well, two pieces there. One, regardless of it is qualification. So you still might get a realtor who doesn't know what they're doing, but they're a friend of friend or someone you know. But there's also two is that consumers are still going to pursue working with an agent and it's not necessarily going to be a one click.

Brian Boero (24:07.374)
Yeah. Yeah.

Brian Boero (24:16.206)

Nate Smoyer (24:16.467)
type of transaction. I'm assuming you still hold by that. You still stand by that.

Brian Boero (24:21.198)
Yeah, I do. I think most people will still want to have a person guiding them through this very high risk, high stakes enterprise, buying a home. I do. That doesn't mean I know how that person is going to get compensated. And frankly, I'm not really religious about commission levels or what realtors should be compensated. I think that should just settle out.

where it needs to settle out. But yeah, I do think though that I think what is happening here is that we are seeing a series of events that will make people more aware of and want choices that they maybe weren't aware of or didn't find viable before. So for years and years and years in every major market,

every small market for that matter. There was always like the, we'll list your home in the MLS for a $500 shop. Or there was a handful of companies that said, look, we're a rebate shop. You buy with us, we're going to rebate half the commission to you. But the way the environment was, those weren't really viewed as viable options. And I think that's what changed. So yes, I think that real estate agents on the buy side,

I'm not going extinct. I think we're going to lose a lot of them, which is a good thing. But I also do think that there will be more choices and that more people will take advantage of those choices.

Nate Smoyer (26:03.379)
Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. I will not be posting anything I've written 14 years ago at any time.

Brian Boero (26:12.078)
I don't know. I don't know. Why not? Maybe you're right. In fact, as I recall that post now, I was actually wrong, Nate, because what I said was it was a story about me seeing a billboard on the side of the interstate.

Nate Smoyer (26:25.043)
I did ignore that part, but yeah, keep going in here.

Brian Boero (26:27.758)
Yeah, and it was a billboard for a real estate company and it said, now recruiting dual career agents. And I'm like, my God. And we bemoan the fact that consumers don't respect real estate agents, but yet this is what we put out into the world. We have nobody to point the finger at but ourselves. And my conclusion from that was, I think at some point the consumer is gonna stop.

picking their knucklehead nephew to help them buy a house or sell their house and they are going to demand better or real estate companies are going to emerge that make the case that for something this serious, you deserve a serious person. And that did not happen. It did not happen. We had 300 ,000 people flood into the business between 2019 and 2020.

Nate Smoyer (27:17.651)
Yeah, people let me sell their houses.

Brian Boero (27:25.55)
in 2023, right? It's crazy. We still have a million and a half realtors.

Nate Smoyer (27:30.131)
That is a significant amount. Yeah.

Brian Boero (27:34.062)
So that's, I think I was actually wrong.

Nate Smoyer (27:37.491)
Well, there were several things I took out of that policy, but I appreciate the candor on that, owning that there. I took the last bit of like, well, I mean, look, if a knucklehead like me can sit around doing cold calls and land a client, but there's still an insatiable appetite that I think people want. They want that personal touch, you know, and I think that that, but I hear the additional point here and I think that's important is like there's a level of what does that mean?

Brian Boero (27:42.446)

Nate Smoyer (28:06.003)
Is it just because you're someone who could open the door or are you someone that has really another level that you take it to? You can provide more context. You can give the color. I mean, there's little things like, you know, there's certain things agents aren't allowed to say about neighborhoods, right? And that obviously is a challenge for them. And we have good reasons for that, but I'll give an example. When we moved to South Dakota and I was looking at a house in a town, not far from where I'm at now.

I said to my wife, I don't understand. This doesn't make sense. Why is this a deal? I know enough to know if it's too good a deal. Like I'm going to squint my eyes. I'm like, this doesn't make sense. I start looking more at the houses in the neighborhood. Like the values aren't there. There's no, it was like, there was no crime. The houses weren't very small. So I was trying to figure it out. Turns out after we moved here, I learned it's because part of that neighborhood has collapsed because of the mines that exist underneath of it.

Brian Boero (28:45.906)
Yeah. What's wrong here? Yeah.

Brian Boero (29:01.55)

Nate Smoyer (29:02.259)
And you know, you have like 30 homes, whatever that are totally condemned, knowing can never move back into. And so now the entire neighborhood is affected by that. Am I realtor never explicitly or even implicitly said anything to tip me off to like dig into this. So when I was, you know, so now I have not gone back to that guy nor have I ever recommended him to anyone. You know what I mean?

Brian Boero (29:25.038)
Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah, a lesson learned. I mean, look, it's funny. You know, people think that a buyer agent's job is to find them a house or open doors for them to get them into houses to look at. And you see that over and over again. When we do lots of consumer research and focus group work and people express that opinion, you see that reflected in the media. Like if you look at some of those

New York Times and Wall Street Journal stories about this whole thing. It's like, well, despite the fact that homes are now online and we have home search apps, realtors still command 6%, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The reality is we were never even clear, I say we as kind of the residential real estate industry, even clear on what our real value was. It's not finding you a house. It's not opening the lockbox for you.

It's making sure you don't buy a house with a mine underneath it that collapses after you move in. It's all about expertise that you bring to the table to de -risk a transaction for somebody that it means everything to. Like, you buy a lemon car, you can return it within a month. You buy a lemon house, it can ruin your life. And a good agent helps you get this really important thing right.

Nate Smoyer (30:30.771)

Brian Boero (30:47.95)
But yet somehow we've never managed to tell that story. And if we're honest with ourselves, we never told the story because a good number of the practitioners that we put out on the streets to do this job can't deliver on that story, including the agent that you started.

Nate Smoyer (30:47.955)

Nate Smoyer (31:00.051)

Nate Smoyer (31:03.859)
who shall remain nameless.

Brian Boero (31:05.358)
You shall remain nameless. And hopefully it's moved on to some other career. Yeah. Okay.

Nate Smoyer (31:09.267)
We've moved on. Yeah, we're solid here. Brian, I got one last thing I want to talk through and then we're going to jump down to my favorite segment of the show. 1000 Watt Summit, it's coming up and you guys are an agency, but you're putting on a live event. You're not an events company. And this event I have picked up just from seeing the marketing collaterals of it and the kind of the angling, this is not aiming to be the standard.

Brian Boero (31:19.374)

Nate Smoyer (31:34.579)
conference where it's just, you know, kind of bland panels and maybe some mixed mingling in the hallways with vendors. Talk me through what you're trying to accomplish and why you're doing this event.

Brian Boero (31:44.11)
Yeah, so we decided that, like I said, now is a really important time if you kind of think about positioning and messaging and branding and marketing. Obviously, from where I sit and from where we sit at ThousandLot, these things are always important. But our thesis was that they're never more important than they are right now for all the reasons that we just talked about. So we said, let's just do it in that. It's focused on.

this really weird and interesting and cool moment in time and how you can seize the opportunity in that to sort of tell a different story to the marketplace, to frame your services and your business differently. And so yeah, we're doing this three day event in June in Dallas, late June. And I'll give you an example of one thing we're doing that's kind of different. I'm super excited about this. So I had this idea that wouldn't it be,

to get a group of smart people together and to kind of create a board of directors, if you will, for a fictitious real estate company. And the premise is, is that we are crazy enough to start a real estate brokerage company right now with a clean slate, no baggage, no history, no politics. And what would that company be? What would it sound like? What it would say to the marketplace? How would it format its services to buyers and sellers?

What would that company be? What would that brand be? And so I've assembled a group of people from the world of real estate and prop tech who are kind of the board, we're working on it, and then we're going to quote unquote, launch this fictitious company at the event. And then everybody at the event is going to get the assets, right? And they can take it and adapt it for whatever they decide they want to do with it. But it's a thought experiment that's, it's, it's, it's timely for obvious reasons.

Nate Smoyer (33:38.163)
That's very cool. And that's totally different. That's a very, very different type of experience than I think one could expect from a standard event. All right. We're going to shift to the bottom of the show. Brian, this is the second, I like the call for the future. It's when I get to ask each guest who comes in a show to give their best predictions based on the following four questions. Are you ready to play?

Brian Boero (33:51.182)

Nate Smoyer (34:01.491)
All right, number one, what does 1000 watt look like one year from now?

Brian Boero (34:01.582)

Brian Boero (34:09.582)
Mm. Thousand Lot looks like a somewhat larger business than itself that touches people in different ways. We have a point of view. We have a brand, if you will, in a small way. And what we are looking to do is to bring that point of view, and I hopefully have communicated some of it here, to more people in this business, in this category that we find infinitely interesting. So.

Whether that's the event, it's one of the reasons we did the event, just kind of extend our thing in a different way. We have an email newsletter we do, we're growing that. So we're gonna magnify our brand, and year from now it'll be bigger.

Nate Smoyer (34:56.531)
Number two, we still can be talking about agent commissions three years from now.

Brian Boero (35:02.382)
Yes, we are. Yes, we are.

We are because, you know, look, and I think this is the interesting thing. It's causing lots of pain and suffering right now, but we kind of, you know, pop the cap on this whole thing and it's going to be really fluid and changing and we're going to be working it out for, I don't know, the next 30 years. So yes, we will be talking about this.

Nate Smoyer (35:30.067)
I can't wait for the flood of courses on how to talk about buyer agent commissions with your clients and still close 10 times more than your competitors. It'll happen. Yeah. Number three here. What's one industry trend you think will continue, but you wish would go away.

Brian Boero (35:39.758)
Yep, you can come now.

Brian Boero (35:54.83)
One industry trend that would continue that I wish would go away. God, that's a really good question. What would I say? What is something that drives me nuts?

Brian Boero (36:10.638)
You know, I would say the notion of personal branding, you know, among real estate, real estate agents, I would like to see that evolve into something more sophisticated and more professional. And a brand is not necessarily just your face. Your brand is not being the agent who drives the fancy car and wears the funny hats.

A brand really is a feeling and a meaning that you have managed to establish between yourself and your target customer. And I'd like to see the cartoon brands go away and real branding unfold.

Nate Smoyer (36:56.275)
So if I decided to go back to being a real estate agent, I shouldn't just do like the biker broker. Do you think that that would be a good one to connect out here in Sturgis?

Brian Boero (37:11.086)
Yeah, I mean, you can do whatever you want, Nate. I mean, I'm speaking broadly here. Who am I to tell you what your brand is? We would need to have an extended discussion, right?

Nate Smoyer (37:25.779)
One thing that people probably don't know this, it is just like part of the, if you will, the Sturgis Town brand, the mail trucks, they have the standard USPS mail trucks, except on the sides of them is the decal of a Harley. It's like a big stretched out Harley chopper on the side of the US mail trucks here in Sturgis. So they take it seriously around here. Yeah, yeah. All right, last one here.

Brian Boero (37:47.534)
Wow, that's pretty cool. Yes.

Nate Smoyer (37:51.859)
What's one thing you believe will dramatically change or fade away in real estate as a result of tech advances?

Brian Boero (38:00.814)
Well, I think the requirement to have a real, real estate professional, and by that I mean not just somebody who has a license, doing a lot of tiki -taki work, I call it, is gonna evaporate. And it's gonna evaporate, and we already see it evaporating, because companies like Zillow and Redfin do this, like on -demand showings, that type of thing.

where you have what I call push button agents basically do that work. And I also think, we didn't talk about this, that artificial intelligence is going to basically kind of dissolve sort of the few outside layers of what an agent does to interact with prospects and clients and handle some of that stuff that's like just what I call again, tiki -taki work.

And hopefully what that's going to do is allow the agent to focus on the core of why the person hired them and to deliver on the highest value things that they do. And so, yeah, I think that's going to change. And hopefully as that happens, there's a corresponding exodus from the industry of lots of agents who probably shouldn't have been there in the first place. And so you're going to have, hopefully, this is my pie in the sky.

hope, if not prediction, that you're going to have a smaller, more professional cadre of agents doing more of the business, and have more choice around residential real estate for consumers, and everybody's going to be better for it.

Nate Smoyer (39:37.811)
Mm -hmm.

Nate Smoyer (39:46.963)
Brian, thank you so much for coming on the show. I thought this was a really great conversation, getting into more of brand and storytelling than we ever get into. I appreciate your thoughts on the recent NAR and commissions. Can we call it a debacle? Is that a good way to describe it? Feels like a debacle.

Brian Boero (40:06.318)
I don't know. I think shit show is probably more on point. It's a fracas. So yeah, Nate, thank you for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation and thank you for doing what you do. And yeah, so three years from now, we'll come back and we'll talk about real estate commission as more.

Nate Smoyer (40:09.619)
Shitshow, there it is. Shitshow Summer.

Nate Smoyer (40:23.795)
It's going to happen for those who want to get in touch with you or learn more about thousand watt. Where do they go? How do they do that?

Brian Boero (40:29.134)
Yeah, go to our website, thousandbot .net, 1000, watt .net. You can see what we do as an agency. You can check out the event and get our newsletter, other stuff like that.

Nate Smoyer (40:40.787)
Boom, there you have it. Brian, thank you so much. We'll see you around.

Brian Boero (40:44.43)
Thank you, Nate.