A TED Talk, and an Experiment

I’ve watched the above video three times now. It’s Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker who made a number of documentaries, the most widely known of which is Supersize Me, talking about his new project: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It’s a look at the world of sponsorship, branding, and advertising.

Watch the whole video. The TED talk is really funny, it’s a great presentation, and the message is not lost. Spurlock thinks there isn’t enough transparency in business practices.  Transparency is scary, unpredictable, and risky for businesses. Yet, he believes it might be the way for companies and organizations to rise above the sea of carefully constructed brand narratives, massaged public relations messaging, and the like.

Well, I was inspired enough to try something: sell transparent sponsorship to one of my own “media activities” that is coming up.

I will be attending the NAR Mid-Year Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo this year. This will be the first one I will be attending with a “Press” badge. That means, in my mind, that I’m not attending merely as another vendor slut whore trying to drum up business from important people I’ll be meeting. To be sure, I’ll be trying to do just that, of course. But attending on a Press badget suggests to me that this year, I should actually do something related to y’know ‘journalistic-type’ of activities. Reporting on what I’m seeing and hearing. Reporting on the big Board of Directors vote on REALTOR Party Political Survival Initiative. Maybe even actually walking through the Trade Expo and reporting on new innovations, or lack thereof. This could be fun and interesting.

But of course, I’m not employed by any news organization to do these things. I’m paying for all of this out of pocket.

After watching Morgan Spurlock, I figured… hey, why not forthrightly sell the sponsorship rights to my NAR Mid-Year “Reporting”? (I put that in quotes since my reporting is likely to be filled with opinions and possible snark, and will feature the same level of fact-checking as say the New York Times, which is to say little to none.)

Therefore… presenting, Sponsor My NAR Mid-Year Reporting auction on Ebay!

I’d like to thank Jeff Turner (@respres) for being the first — and hopefully not the last — bidder for this once-in-a-lifetime-year opportunity. I mean, c’mon, if Jeff Turner — the most respected man in the RE.net — is willing to sponsor me, surely I’m on to something, right? So if you have a product or service you’d like to put in front of thousands of industry leaders, company CEO’s, and thought shapers who frequent this blog (and my 7DS blog), you should follow Jeff’s lead and start bidding up the sponsorship. Details are contained in the Ebay posting.

For the sake of transparency, which is the point of this exercise, I must inform you that my enthusiasm for reporting on the various goings-on at NAR Mid-Year is very likely to correlate inversely to the gap between my out of pocket expenses for doing so and the sponsorship dollars generated by this effort: smaller that gap, more enthusiastic I become as an amateur journalist/op-ed writer, and more stuff I’m like to cover. If the gap disappears altogether, or I actually make money from this, I might find a way to hunt down Lawrence Yun and take a photo with him side-by-side so as to dispel the myth that we are, in fact, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of real estate. (Lawrence and I have never been seen in the same place at the same time, you know… a fact that should make you wonder.)

And of course, at the conclusion of this experiment, I hope to have some thoughts on transparency, sponsorship, and the “media” in our industry. So join me, join Jeff, in this adventure.

Thank you


This semi-shameless promotional message brought to you by The Hahn Foundation for Children: Advancing the educational opportunities of two specific American kids every day!

Share & Print

Picture of Rob Hahn

Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

Get NotoriousROB in your Inbox

The Future of Brokerage Paper

Fill out the form below to download the document