“I’m sorry” might have been the most common phrase uttered in Canada in 2016, and it’s not because we’re hokey, simple, Canadians who say “aboot” instead of “about.”
“I’m offended” might have been the second-most common phrase last year, but in 2017, It might give “I’m sorry” a run for its money.
The whole city is talking about “the video,” as it’s being known now, with no explanation necessary, that a Toronto Realtor released this week for her new east-end Penthouse listing.
I want to hear from you folks today: are you offended by this? And if so, why?
Wait…..that’s not my listing!
Why am I giving a “competitor” free advertising on my website?
Why am I about to toot the horn of somebody who could beat me for business?
Well, because I think her video is sensational.
And because I love this condo, as most of you would as well.
In case you’re new to this story, let me start from the beginning.
A listing came out this week at 318 King Street East, aka “The King East,” for a gorgeous penthouse unit, with a wrap-around terrace, that is quite possibly, one of the nicest condos I’ve ever seen in the downtown core.
I had the pleasure of seeing this unit a couple of weeks before it came onto the market, and it was breathtaking.
I figured the target buyer would be a young, single banker – likely male. Or, perhaps a couple looking to downsize from their $5,000,000 Forest Hill home.
The listing hit the market this week, and with it came a “lifestyle video” from the real estate agent, that has now, after some 48 hours, caused upheaval in our fair city.
If you didn’t watch the video above, and skipped down to the blog – go back and watch it.
The video depicts three men in their late-30’s or early 40-‘s, who come home, and are waited on, hand-and-foot, by the owner’s wife, who happens to be the clumsiest woman on the planet, and continuously spills things on herself and has to keep changing clothes.
The video, as it would seem, has ruffled a lot of feathers among the general public.
The “peanut gallery” does not like the video, or at least those who don’t like it, are speaking the loudest.
BlogTo was the first to pick this up.
Then Toronto Life.
And by Friday when you read this, it will have been on CBC The National, CBC Radio, and a host of other media outlets.
So what do you think?
And be honest, because you’re not hurting my feelings.
The comments on the BlogTO website, and on Toronto Life, are just eviscerating the real estate agent, personally and professionally.
And at the risk of throwing myself onto the fire along with her, dare I say, that I believe this is much ado about nothing.
I had five blog readers email me on Wednesday to ask what I thought of the video, and three of them really didn’t like it.
But I sat with my own mother on Thursday afternoon, and watched the video, and she said it was “cute.”
So who is right, and who is wrong here?
I think that people have every right to like this video, or not. Just as with any movie you go see – you can say “It was great,” or “I didn’t like it.”
But the reaction to this video, in my opinion, is a bit much.
The fact that the video was released on “International Women’s Day” was nothing short of ironic, and just absolutely, awful timing. But it wasn’t done on purpose, and anybody that suggests as much is simply looking to to further their own outrage.
But who is the agent that produced this awful video that apparently “sets women’s rights back a hundred years?”
Karyn Filiatrault is a Toronto real estate agent who, in my opinion, represents one of “the good guys” in a sea of mediocrity that exists among the 47,000+ licensed agents, not to mention the bottom-dwellers, corner-cutters; the lazy, and the unqualified.
Karyn is as hard-working as any agent.
She’s innovative, creative, and forward-thinking.
She’s a great negotiator, and I’ve lost to her not once, but twice this year in multiple offers.
And above all, she’s different in her approach to real estate.
I can relate to this.
I’ve been writing blogs on Toronto real estate since before people knew what a “blog” was.
I’m no stranger to controversy, even though I think “controversy” is subjective, and in real estate, for the longest time, anything other than positivity was controversial.
So when Karyn came along, from a background in film and television, and started doing “lifestyle videos” to accompany her real estate listings, people took notice.
This video is an innovative as any I have ever seen.
And it’s perfectly aimed at the target demographic: jerks.
That’s who those three guys in the video are, and we can all picture them hanging out at Earl’s, harassing the waitresses, getting in their phallic-shaped sports-cars, and speeding off to buy pocket squares.
But if that’s who is going to buy this condo, and if that’s who the target market is, then please, ladies and gentlemen, what’s wrong with marketing to them?
I think Karyn did a fantastic job with this listing, and went to lengths that 99.9% of agents in this city wouldn’t go to. How many agents have spent $10,000 on a promotional video? I’ve certainly never flown a drone over a patio for marketing purposes!
So what do people out there want?
Do they want to hire a mediocre agent?
Do they want average service?
Or do they want somebody who is willing to stick her neck out, and appeal to the target buyer, to get the property sold for the most money?
I know many of you are sick of hearing about our “overly-political-correct” society, so I won’t go on that rant…..yet.
But you have to admit, that for people to be in an “uproar” about a tongue-and-cheek real estate video, is just such a waste of time.
So many people out there in society today, spend so much time commenting, complaining, judging, and critiquing what other people are doing, and much of the time, it’s so utterly unimportant.
And this is what I find so fascinating about society today.
Consider the ramifications of the following combination:
a) being overly-politically correct
b) having a mass forum to communicate
d) nothing better to do
The result is a generation of people who find fault with everything, and absolutely must share it with the world, when once upon a time, they would just go on with the rest of their day.
I often think that Facebook may be the worst thing that ever happened to mankind.
Had a bad day?
Go home and ambiguously type “I’m so upset, I could just crawl up into a ball and cry…” into your status.
See what kind of reaction you get.
Aunt Jane said, “What’s wrong, Sweetie?”
Co-worker Ed replied, “Things will get better!”
A friend you haven’t spoken to in ten years, but added to Facebook will write, “Hey, we all have bad days!”
This is the world we live in today, in 2017.
And I just don’t know if we’re better or worse off.
Have we ever been softer as a species?
And at the same time, have people ever been more cruel and judgmental?
Bill Maher did a feature a couple of months ago called, “New Rule: Stop Apologizing.”
Have a look, although this the very definition of “NSFW” so please don’t say I didn’t warn you, and certainly don’t watch this in your cubicle at work with your speakers turned up, or I guarantee, somebody will claim they were offended:
This is a rant about people who are always apologizing for everything, and how society gets offended by anything and everything.
And he sums it up with the best line:
“When you self-involved fools were policing the language at the Kids’ Choice Awards, a mad-man talked his way into the White House.”
Again, this is rude and curse for effect.
Without Bill Maher’s swear-words, and over-the-top antics, the point might be lost.
But isn’t that how many points get across?
With so many voices, so many mediums, and so many topics of discussion, sometimes an exaggeration, hyperbole, or emphasis for the sake of emphasis is necessary.
Karyn Filiatraut’s video may have cast women, or a woman, in a negative light, for comedic purposes, to attract a particular buyer.
But my God, is this really worth the uproar?
Or is it just a video, made in jest, directed at a her target demographic?
And what do you think about this video:
This is the exact opposite of Karyn’s video.
This shows four women enjoying the lavish life, whereas Karyn’s video showed three men doing the same thing.
Does this empower women?
Or does it belittle them?
Because personally, I think this video is worse.
When I see this, I think it assumes that women sit at home all day and do nothing but play dress-up, take selfies, have pillow-fights, and conveniently fall asleep in bed together, while “the man” is out working to pay for it all.
So isn’t it all just a matter of perspective?
And if so, then is it really worth being upset over?
As an aside, would you really prefer to hire this person to represent you in the real estate market?
If you were looking to sell your downtown condo today, there are a lot of routes you could take.
You could hire Comfree or some crappy discount firm, and suffer your fate.
You could hire a “name” agent that advertises he or she was the #3 agent in the firm in 2005.
You could hire any number of qualified individuals who are cut from the same cloth, provide the same service, and would achieve the same result.
Or, you could hire somebody who is brilliant, ahead of the curve, innovative, creative, and will go the extra mile (and spend the extra money!) to get the job done.
If I were a prospective seller in the downtown core, I’d be more likely to call Karyn after seeing the 318 King Street lifestyle video than I would be to anonymously attack her on Internet message boards.
So tell me what you think, folks.
And if I’m wrong, if I’m missing the point, or if you just don’t like my big, fat, stupid, ugly, dumb-dumb face, then feel free to tell me.
On a completely unrelated topic: have a great weekend, everybody!