The Art of the Deal, or the Art of Photoshop?

How the hell did they get all those power brokers in the same room, at the same time?

From Greg:

Nob Hill Gazettebrokers.jpg

We can only imagine the sound of all those ringing cell phones. No wonder our calls weren’t returned.

Art of the Deal [Nob Hill Gazette]

p.s. To all in the photo, we’re just poking fun. And if you didn’t make the cut…better luck next year.

38 thoughts on “The Art of the Deal, or the Art of Photoshop?

  1. That is the WORST cut and past photoshop job ever… I would be completely embarrassed if I agreed to do license my image for that photo. What the hell is Lois doing down there at the bottom anyway?!

    Like someone on sf.curbed said..

    … I see white people….

  2. what’s wrong with you? those are HUMAN BEINGS. the tag on the post is JUST PLAIN FUN.

    let’s comment on cell phones (Stephanie holds one), barbara on a 3 step ladder, and how their smiles dont look doom and gloom to me….

    what makes photoshop interesting is to seat next to each other 2 smily faces that wouldnt talk to each other in real life. And that’s fun.

  3. Sophie – i don’t think anyone is saying anything bad about any one individual in the picture — but let’s be honest – it’s a group of 60+ people who are all Realtors in San Francisco — you’d like to think if you gathered a group of 60 individuals practicing any one industry in San Francisco – 60 Dr’s,

    60 Attorney’s, 60 Teachers, 60 Stock Broker’s, 60 PG&E workers, 60 employees – whatever the vocation — you’d like to see a scoach of diversity given the diversity of our incredible city. As a Realtor and member of the SFAR, I’m sort of embarrased with how WHITE we appear to be.

    It’s just a picture – no one needs to go too crazy and start screaming at me – but our editor posted a fun thread months back about the perception of the San Francisco Realtor and why it was a negative one – do you think this photo appeals to the average home buyer or seller? Do you think this picture could possibly be a scoach (word of the day over here) offensive? Do you think the average person that see’s it says, “wow – I love Realtors in San Francisco.”?

    Again – i’m friends with a bunch of people in that photo. I’ve worked for several of the people in that photo and have nothing but love for them. That said — i sort of cringe when i look at it — so so so so so so so WHITE.

  4. This picture is proof enough of why realtor commissions should be no more than 1% split between both sides.

  5. i only know of one person of color in the entire city in real estate. eric at afi and associates in south beach. great guy. everyone else is white. what gives? do we count persians as people of color? i know nina style as well. also great. i guess that makes two or 1.5 out of the thousands.

  6. I think it’s the Gazette, not the RE industry. I used to live in the Marina, and once in a while I would pick up a copy of the Gazette from the floor of my apt building . It’s a rag about old money in San Francisco and that’s its social circle and coverage focus. Flipping through it, I remember distinctively saying to myself, “God. This is so pale I can’t relate”

    I wonder if they also run the de young and put on the Vivienne Westwood show?

  7. Did you even look at that photo Sophie? No spelling required.

    Re realtors pay, I think it is ridiculous that the % commission system is still in existence. Flat fee is the way to go.

  8. re “white”. DUH!!!!!! it’s the GAZETTE!

    and actually, I didnt complain about that remark – because I find the photo very white myself, but more about the general comments implying those agents suck.

    the RE company represented are: sotheby, mcguire, alainpinel, paragon, hill, TRI, Clodwell, The Grubb, PacUnion, Calegari, Zephyr, morganLane (and I probably missed a few).

    Did you notice that some companies are MISSING?

    this doesnt represent the SF RE world – it’s a joke about a sub group of the RE world limited to a few nanomarkets of the city.

    Remember this is a free market. It’s YOUR choice to pick whoever represent whatever values you want – whereas politics, race, sexual orientation or religion – and for what matters, if your chosen agent is agressive of not in helping you.

    So why should we even be suprised that a photo in the Gazette is so white? does the gazette ever run diamond photos on black girls? does the gazette ever run ANY photo of someone not white?

    The gazette is not representative of anything. The gazette is … the gazette.

    (and btw we can probably joke the same way about pages from the local papers from NoeValley, Potrero, Fillmore, BayView etc.

  9. Sophie – i’m not sure anyone made a negative or rude comment about any particular person in the picture – in fact, as I read through the comments, there isn’t one specific mention of anyone “sucking.”

    People are entitled to their opinions – I imagine if there was a blog about the auto industry and we had a picture of the top 60 Jaguar Salesmen in a publication – and all of them were white, there would be some negative comments along the lines of – “nothing worse than a pack of Jaguar salesman” – or a general attack on the car sales industry.

  10. Can anyone explain why realtors should make a larger percentage profit on the sale of a residence, than what the architect or general contractor would make designing and building it? The hours I would put in as an architect designing and managing the construction would be 20 times what a realtor would spend marketing the property. I agree there should be a flat fee system similar to what they are now going towards in Europe.

  11. Hey its XMAS! Everything should be in white…

    No wonder why i’m sitting in a small condo, my agent isn’t white.

  12. Several things:

    1) The majority of the population is white. Ohwell. White folks got a head start.

    2) There is a huge structural change coming, wrt to commissions. YES, commissions will keep falling, and tough markets are a CATALYST as is the internet revolution. I bet in 5 years, 3% commissions rates will be common place and not 5%.

    3) Since the majority of buyers are white, and people relate better to people more similar to themselves, as a seller, I don’t see being white as a bad thing if you are my realtor.

    4) If you did the same survey by a Korean paper, Japanese paper, African American paper, you’d see more respective races as well.

    It’s just the way it is folks!

  13. it will be interesting to see how many of those nob hill specialists are still in the business after 2008. i think it’s going to be a pretty lean year for most of them.

    how did england get their commissions down from 6 to 3?

  14. “The majority of the population is white. Ohwell. White folks got a head start.”

    If only a majority of the folks pictured here were white, that would be one thing. But, it is a bit unnerving that 62 out 62 of these folks all appear to be white — and in liberal, multi-cultural San Francisco.

    I work at a big downtown law firm, and we spend endless hours agonizing over how to better attract and recruit racial diversity among our lawyers. Don’t RE firms worry about diversity among their agents???

  15. BTW, my SF agent on my most recent purchase was Korean (and I’m not Asian). I guess he did not make the photo. Oh well.

  16. sanfrantim. I guess most of you miss the whole point. It’s the GAZETTE! not the chron or whatever.

    If we assume the gazette created the photo, we could safely assume that they picked the agents who PAY-ADVERTISE in the Gazette. The gazette targeting a nanomarket (or at most two), I’d like to say that it’s a good sign that “only’ 62 agents are sharing the market – so most agents have a fair chance of being active and in the market.

    if the 4000+ (?) san francisco agents were sharing the whole SF market, like all agents would be buying and selling all over the city, it would be a big mess in my opinion.

    buying a TIC in ashbury is not the same game as being a condo in one of the towers, is not the same game as selling a SFH in st francis woods. And targeting the gazette market is not the same as any from above.

    my best bet is that those agents are +/- the agents working in ONE of the nanomarket of the city. Now if we really want to address diversity, we should comp side to side the stats of the TARGET READER of the gazette, with the photo above, and compare gender, sex orientation, political orientation, race, etc.

    Is the US census available by zip code?

    And the same goes for all the neighborhood. I hope you dont expect a majority of chinese realtors working in the mission district, or a majority of black agents working in chinatown.

    This is a photo FROM the gazette, BY the gazette, and FOR the gazette. Maybe Alex introduction to the photo was not clear enough, and I guess that by no mean he’s implying that he endorses, approves, or advertises those agents over any other agent in the city. Nor does he think that the Realtors of SF are “represented” by this tiny sample photo.

    [Editor’s note: Last check…5200 agents.]

  17. Wow. 5200 agents.

    SF # of households is about 330,000 (2000 census, and probably haven’t changed much). With 5200 RE agents, that makes it one agent for every 63 households. Given the affordability index is at 17% (17% households can afford a median priced home – 2006 data), it means there is one agent for every 10 households that can afford a median priced home.

    And we want to reduce the fee to 3%? :)

  18. ps if you get rid of 2600 realtors and cut the commission to 3%, guess what happens to those realtors w2’s? nothing!

  19. Sophie, it’s not that I don’t get your point about the narrow slice of the market that the Gazette represents. I’m just surprised (shocked?) that there is not a single non-white person among the 62 featured as representing that market.

    No, I would not expect a predominantly Asian market to be served by a majority of white or black realtors, but, yes, I would expect to see SOME (a few??) non-Asians doing so. Are we really that balkanized, here? I hope not. I’d rather think that the Gazette – or whoever is responsible for the photo – is out of step with SF’s diverse, multi-cultural values. It is not 1957!

  20. If a realtor suggests a client hire an architect in the forest, will an architect still wonder why realtors command certain percentages of sales prices on the internet?

  21. Couple questions / points:

    1. What exactly is a paper pusher? I remember my dad using the term when I was growing up — i’ve never really understood it. I’m going to push some paper around my office right now — there it goes – wow — fun — paper pushing!

    2. If you are selling a home and don’t think your Realtor should be paid 5% – why don’t you negotiate with that Realtor. You can go the route of HelpUSell for a flat fee – you can use Redfin or Zip and get some money back – heck you can put a For Sale By Owner sign in the window and have at it. You are the consumer – you control the market and you can negotiate the commission structure prior to signing a listing agreement. Perhaps we should move to Net Listings – anything over a specified dollar amount goes to the brokerage.

    3. Last point – I agree with sanfrantim – I’m shocked there’s any publication in this city that features 64 sales people who service the readership area and they are all of the same race. The picture is painfully white and certainly doesn’t do anything to change the stereotypical image of a Realtor –errr paper pusher i mean.

    Back to my pile of papers – push push push

  22. someone needs to start a new real estate firm that pays salaries so that their realtors can live on less than 6%

  23. I’ll educate you since you’re obviously not smart enough to know what it really means.

    A paper pusher is one who moves paper and the information on the paper thru a given system without any real knowledge of what’s actually on the paper, or why it’s being pushed.

    get it?

  24. A paper pusher is one who moves paper and the information on the paper thru a given system without any real knowledge of what’s actually on the paper, or why it’s being pushed.

    Got it – thanks for educating me. You are a very smart and wise individual who clearly has it all figured out — i wonder though…..

    What is it that you do for this fine city – are you a public school teacher helping the youth of the city? Are you a street cleaner making this a cleaner place to live? A fireman or policeman making this a safer place to live? A doctor saving lives? Do tell us how you make this a better place to call home.

    I have some paper to push — i can’t really understand what’s on it – but i know i have to push it into the MLS — and then BAM – MAGIC time.

  25. greg, you’d hardly be the first overpaid paper pusher in modern times. stockbrokers, mortgage brokers, bond traders all come to mine well before realtors.

    if that makes you feel any better.

    merry christmas!

  26. I love how post after post people are making comments on how everyone in the photo is white – how do you know? I have friends that look white and have an African American/Latino/Asian parent. You guys pass judgment so quickly. And as far as I’m concerned Persian is not white. Have you seen the array of colors within the Persian community?

  27. anon, the photo speaks for itself. if you can see in that photo the racial and cultural diversity that is San Francisco, then, well …. god bless ya. It does not look like San Francisco to me, and frankly I would be embarassed if I had been the one responsible for publishing it.

  28. You missed my point sanfrantim, I was simply saying that you can’t always tell by looking at someone whether or not they are “white” or of any other cultural background. cultural diversity is much more than what we presume…

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