Ban adjectives in property films

3 minute read

When one of the country’s best news directors, Peter Meakin, ( crossed from what was then the No 1 News Network of Nine (Kerry Packer – God Bless his soul) to Seven, one of the first things he did (I heard) was ban adjectives from all news and current affairs reports.

Peter’s direction was subsequently reflected in the ratings, and the standing of the 7 team. Seven gave Nine merry hell. Writing for such a visually descriptive medium as film (TV or video) doesn’t require descriptive words (adjectives) as you’re presenting content to an audience with a preconceived notion/opinion on what’s “beautiful” or “awesome” based on individual life experiences.

Reading an article actually triggers a very different  level of the brain. We reason with copy. On TV (or the net) you can’t argue with video, because what you see, is what you get. Heavy? Not really. Let me explain. An Agent walks into a kitchen and says: “This is an awesome kitchen, with Meile appliances and an island bench-top. ”

Well. We, the viewer, know it is a kitchen, because it has a fridge, and a stove – because we can see it. The Agent is just stating the bleeding obvious. But ‘awesome’? If you’ve seen the Grand Canyon, you’ll know what ‘awesome’ is.

The fact is, writing for film (online video) demands a completely different approach; one based on the combination of story construction – and emotion.

Because, let’s face it; by the time a potential buyers clicks on the link (if they can find a video link on any of the major portals), they ALREADY know all the facts. Why regurgitate them?

They know it has four bedrooms and a pool.

All media, print included, has a place. But the message must be different – using the unique aspects of each media.

Information delivered in a the property film needs to take the audience to a new level, and introduce sub-text to the conversation: “…in summer, that lemon tree in the garden blooms and fills this kitchen with a fragrance you have to be here to experience.”

As Barney McGrath said to me in my very early days in Sydney real estate: “Your job as a film-maker in the property business is to sink an emotional hook.”

If this link gets past the Editor, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

We’re not going to do that with “awesome kitchens”. But if you don’t believe me: spend two hours reading all the real estate ads in the local paper and count “spacious” and “open plan”. Try writing some copy without adjectives. Try making property films that compliment all your media.

Guest Author: Brett Clements from Platinum HD

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  • Nick
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 7:29 am 0Likes

    Real estate agents need to learn quite a bit in this regard.
    I’ve seen them use the exact same title on 5 different properties!

  • Tania Gibson
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 7:48 am 0Likes

    I am watching with great amusement to see what will come next:)

  • Rachael Lord
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 8:17 am 0Likes

    Couldn’t agree more!

  • PaulD
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 8:30 am 0Likes

    I agree Brett, I think that the word “awesome” is one of the most over used words in the english language. The others are “like” and “sustainable” all three are like completely awesomely unsustainable.
    There are very few things in the world that are awesome, but the Grand Canyon is certainly one.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:02 am 0Likes

    Had lunch with Barney yesterday – great article and so true.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:03 am 0Likes

    Brett, whilst I think the video is great & agree with minimal use of adjectives. If someone viewed that video on YouTube there is no descriptive text around the property & no simple way to get back to the listing details to find out more about it.

    The simplest way that I can see to fix this is, prior to the credits page at the end of the video, could you insert the agents contact details & web address to make it easier for people to find out more info?

    That way it won’t matter whether the video appears on YouTube, Vimeo, etc or if it’s embedded within a blog article, the viewer can still contact the agent for more info.

    Another way, is to insert a link to the property details within the descriptive text when uploading the video onto YouTube.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:43 am 0Likes

    Brett, whilst I think the video is great & agree with minimal use of adjectives. If someone viewed that video on YouTube there is no descriptive text around the property & no simple way to get back to the listing details to find out more about it.

    The simplest way that I can see to fix this is, prior to the credits page at the end of the video, could you insert the agents contact details & web address to make it easier for people to find out more info?

    That way it won

  • Brett Clements
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:12 am 0Likes

    Hi Greg. We provide Clients with access to the code to display/embed videos on their site and/or pages, so the video compliments bullet points/text/floor plans etc, and we become ‘invisible’. We’re not in the portal game. Our objective is to deliver content to sites and portals. A few Clients with IT departments are taking advantage of this. Others still cut and paste the link and provide it to the portals. We’ve also developed tools Agents can use to edit data associated with the listing. This means Users have the ability to update information in YouTube and Google Real Estate on the fly. We believe we’re the first Company to deploy video into Google Real Estate: 19 Brakes Crescent, Miami, Gold Coast.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:36 am 0Likes

    Can’t see any awesome videos on that link – Video just seems to slow-down the search process as far as I can ascertain. I’m sure your business will increase though as agents continually look for listing differentiators 🙂 Once kids start buying houses it’ll change; they love whatever ‘Tube’ will turn them into Zombies!

    Gettin’ older. Sal 🙂

  • Brett Clements
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm 0Likes

    We’re currently shooting over 100 videos a week in SE Queensland and we’ve seen a marked increase in buyers purchasing homes ‘sight unseen’ off the video, and in the auction room. I don’ know about the speed of the video stream from your end but I’m sure we’d be lynched by the 1,800 some Agents who use these services if speed was a real problem.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm 0Likes

    Sal, in these recent times I’ve seen Twitter evolve to become one of the most powerful marketing tools online, but by far video is the most powerful selling tool online.

    Google likes video because they recognise that the majority of people prefer to watch rather than read.

    According to the National Association of Realtors ( NAR ), only 1 per cent of agents use property videos for their listings, yet 73 per cent of sellers would list with an agent who uses video to market their property.

    As bandwidth speed increases, video will continue to grow & play a big part in real estate marketing.

    PS: Brett, it sounds like you’ve got the production & the back end sorted. I guess the agents just need some help with regards to optimising their videos when uploading onto sites like YouTube. I still think an identifier slide prior to the credits would help send traffic back from blogs, YouTube, etc. Or does this create an issue with the portals & their T & C?

  • Bill Burdin
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:28 am 0Likes


    Your videos are exeptional quality, you offer a very good product and when Fibre to the Home is widespread you had better prepare for your business to explode.

    Maybe a good time to franchise 🙂


  • Brett Clements
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm 0Likes

    For Greg: For Agents, we’ve built for pretty easy tools for them to ‘share’ videos on their own Channels and other social media networks, etc. Early days for us but we’re focused in that area.
    For Bill: Thank you for the compliment. Our product is a result of a lot of input from so many Agents it would be impossible to list them all, and finding the right Cinematographers.

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 7:54 am 0Likes

    Great article – this is very interesting –

    [quote]When one of the country

  • Sal Espro
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm 0Likes

    I still don’t think real estate videos are ‘much chop’ at the moment. And sure, Greg, vendors will go with a good sales story, including, “We will video your place”. It doesn’t mean it is having an appreciable affect on buyers tho’!

    Ps Hey, Bill. How’s going? The website’s down (Was there ever a website?) Did you get a million sign-ups? What sort of discounts does it offer?

    A bit narky today. Sal 🙂

  • Brett Clements
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm 0Likes

    Gee Sal. The “much chop” comment is a bit harsh. Like photographs, there’s the good and the bad. I would have agreed with video being used as a pre-listing tool a few years ago, but not now. And with cameras like the 5DMII, Cinematographers can shoot property ‘wide’ – and with a full-frame, 35mm digital cinema camera. Streaming has come a long way too. Video is as relevant for selling property as all the other media; everything has its place. I believe the key is to integrate all the different aspects, so you have a complimentary campaign. I also believe we. as film-makers, can contribute new skill sets. Sure, they’ll have to be shaped to suit your purposes because unless ‘film’ helps sell property, it should not be shot.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm 0Likes

    Sal, unless the agent has a face that is better suited to radio, they should see video as the ideal platform to start engaging with their online audience.

    If done properly, video is also a great way that agents can start to build trust online.

    If done incorrectly, the agent can end up losing business because they end up looking like a big w#nker.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm 0Likes

    Sal, unless the agent has a face that is better suited to radio, they should see video as the ideal platform to start engaging with their online audience.

    If done properly, video is also a great way that agents can start to build trust online.

    If done incorrectly, the agent can end up losing business because they end up looking like a big w#nker.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted December 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm 0Likes

    I’d like to close this off with a link to a film I shot the other night.
    This is a ‘teaser’ for an Agent by the name of Blake Haddleton, selling a condo at Palazzo Versace. I believe if Agents are to be realistic about selling high-end ‘brands’, they have to meet those brand’s expectations. Not with flowery adjectives but by selling the ‘illusion’. As Barney McGrath has always said; sink the emotional hook. It is no longer about the medium; it is all about how you use it. Blake’s objective was to equal the class of the brand of Palazzo Versace. In doing so, I think Blake took it to a whole new level.

  • Anne
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 1:24 am 0Likes

    At the end of the day, the most important issue is the interactivity of the audience watching the video in terms of interested buyers or lead generation. It does not matter how good the video is , if it cannot be found what is the point.
    All this talk of of Youtube , honestly does it work for realty?
    I find You Tube saturated with a ton of garbage and weighed down by terrible navigation. Furthermore, their site wide search is basically unusable

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 11:35 am 0Likes


    I agree with your comments. Completely. 100%. The first part of the battle was the introduction of video. The next stage is to make it watchable and available. We’re working on that right now but many Agents still feel it is a gimmick not a real marketing tool. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But as I said, I do agree with you. RE: The tailboard. Again. You’re spot on. Originally, we had a tailboard with end credits to make our Crews proud to put their name on their work. And also to add a disclaimer, indemnifying us against any claims made as a result of inaccurate information. Your comments are timely because Chris also made the comment and we are moving to remove the tailboards; given we generate over 100 productions a week out of the Gold Coast, for a range of Clients, we need to establish a smooth production process but your comment has galvanized, shall we say, the speed at which I will now approach it.

  • Anne
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm 0Likes



  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm 0Likes

    Anne. I believe I was both gracious and understanding in my response. I don’t know who you are; I don’t know you from a bar of soap. But I do my best. My loyalty is to an art form, which isn’t always perfect. I run a credible Company; a small business, that pays taxes and all the liabilities that come with it. Our Crews are great; and produce great video. WHO are you? What Company do you represent? And where are you coming from? What are you hiding behind?
    Could you please state who you work for and what you are about. That would be a terrific start. Anne “whoever” you are “whoever you are from”.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm 0Likes
  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm 0Likes

    So. We sent the famous ‘Anne’ a message on her Gmail; and it was a SPAM address. So, I suppose that ends all that conversation. All I know is the Clients we serve are the very best in the business; they give their best; they do their best; we are all working to catch up with technology. But at least we put our names to it.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 10:40 am 0Likes


    The conversation is never at end just because you say so 🙂 (If only life was the easy… hehe…) but I would suggest you dont worry too much about it… As long as you are not eating up the clients time with your tags at the end then I dont see much in the issue.

    What I mean by that is if you tell an owner they will get a 60 second add and 10 seconds of that has your company details on screen that IMHO is going overboard. But if its 70 seconds (60 + 10) then I dont really see a problem with it. The client gets what they pay for and you get to brand your production that your proud of. I have probably watched about 30 or 40 of your videos and I can’t remember one that the tag at the end stood out as being overly excessive. I certainly remember them and if I was the client or seller and I had an option I would prefer they were not there, but would not kick up a stink that they were.

    Maybe somepeople are too worried that the focus at the end of the video will be on Propvid and not on the property but an agent bitching too much about that better make sure its not a pot and kettle story.

    Tell me .. why dont you put the agent and salespersons contact details more in your video? Is it because most clients would prefer to use the time on the property and leave the contact details for the page that the video sits on?

  • Anne
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm 0Likes

    ” The conversation is never at end just because you say so 🙂 (If only life was the easy

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm 0Likes

    Fair point Glenn about the conversation never being over. I got a laugh out your response. Which I always tend to do. I suppose where I was coming from is this thread started out about murdering adjectives in videos, and has kind splintered into a discussion over the ‘for’ and ‘against’ of tail boards, or, as we refer to them in the production industry, as end credits; credit due to people for the work they’ve put in on a production. I have brought many attributes of the production industry to real estate. I never saw a tail board as ‘spam’. But I believe its important for us to make a distinction between our films and some of the absolute rubbish being shot out there.
    All the points are valid. But when you look at the big picture.
    1. A video is meant to work as an integrated part of a campaign. Not a stand alone. Print plays a part. Signboards. Social media. Web. Etc. Even TV is about to play a more important role, through Shane Gore’s new TV show GOLD FOR SALE, which screens on Ten next month. If we use Chris Hinds Team as an example. Chris videos stream off his YouTube site, and we also make them available, via his own ‘site’ on, plus we do the podcasting on itunes, and also, offer Agents the ability to embed our films in their sites; Agent details are displayed clearly on web sites. We don’t force people to use our technology. In fact, when we re-built our backend not so long ago, it was designed around Client requests to ’embed’ video.
    2. We are working on deploying the more interactive applications of the new Flash player; interactivity; hot links etc.
    3. In many videos, Agents introduce themselves and their Agencies by name; and we superimpose their name.
    4. If you don’t know who’s selling a property by this point in time, we’ve all missed the mark.
    5. In terms of forcing Agents ‘down’ to use our technology. Again. We deliver Agents videos in all forms, from thumb drives to BlueRay. We recently added YouTube and integration of video in Google Real Estate.
    6. We’re changing out our tailboards, as I outlined earlier and positioning our Client logos first and foremost.
    In closing, in four years, and I don’t know how many thousand productions, not a single Vendor has ever expressed a problem. And more often than not, we go over 30 seconds or over 60 seconds.
    7. We’re focusing on 3D now and that’s going to be a can of worms a lot bigger than tailboards. But a Platinum HD Propvid Australia logo coming at you in 3D at the end of a vid, that I gotta see.
    Thanks Glenn.

  • Jim
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm 0Likes

    I also got a laugh out of Glens response, noting three consecutive posts by Brett to himself

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm 0Likes

    Fair enough Jim. But I didn’t think asking for somebody’s Company name was bullying, or threatening. I just simply like to know ‘why’ somebody asks all these questions, without putting a Company name to it. Where was the threat in that ‘Jim’?

  • Mac
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:02 am 0Likes

    I too would like to see this Brett guy out of this forum. All he has constantly done is promote his video production business! Let him take his aggressive, anti-social behaviour, self-opinionated attitude and spruiking elsewhere.

  • Anne
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:23 am 0Likes

    “Fair enough Jim. But I didn

  • brett clements
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:50 am 0Likes

    Anne. I apologize. As this is a Business2 site, I see no reason why people can’t state the Companies they’re from to put their opinions into perspective. We do have Competitors and some would no doubt love us to remove our tailboards. Anyway. I’d like to move. Again my apologies.

  • Mac
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:59 am 0Likes

    Gee, I would never have expected Business2/Peter Ricci to explicitly corrupt users’ privacy! My suggestion: a) Apologize unequivocally to Anne (& all other B2 participants) b) Have your video man apologize c) Bid the video man adieu.

    (Ps Robert (Simeon), would you ever pass-on emails to a third party from your agency site’s blog!)

    ‘Bye’ until then.

  • Anthony Lowe
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm 0Likes

    Hey guys
    I have worked with Brett on and off for 2 years i have always found him to be ethical – passionate, and intense when it comes to work issues yes.
    I didn’t find any of his comments to be offensive or threatening.
    Bit of oversensitivity Anne -Mac – chill there are a lot of people out there with hidden agendas at least Brett is straightforward.
    I also don’t feel that 4 seconds of tailboard on a 30 sec video is spam!
    It plays a no of important function as detailed by Brett and yes its advertising so what?
    To answer Glen – the agents used to promote themselves extensively in the videos but the vendors got wise and really its about the property not the agent, the majority of videos play with the property and agent details displayed all around it anyway.

    I do feel that as Anne says if the video is displayed in other portals such as utube it could benefit the client to have his web site etc displayed.
    Possibly a subtle watermark throughout the video – thats what we do as well as our tailboard.
    I agree that utube in terms of searching is useless but if you have a big following or database its a easy way of distributing video.
    As the responsibility to upload to other portals is the agents responsibility one would think they would brand it.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm 0Likes

    Welcome to the world of Web 2.0 Brett. It

  • Jim
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm 0Likes

    Greg I welcome your effort to try and return order. But what Brett he has done is a major breach of privacy and trust of the B2 site. Sadly this is not Brett

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 8:16 pm 0Likes

    Dear Greg

    Thank you for the support. Yes. I stuffed up. I’m human. And fallible. So awfully so. And so many times. And I am prone to all the emotions you go through when defending something that’s cost literally millions to build. My big mistake. I’ve apologized.
    I’m the sort of person who has always learned the hard way.
    I didn’t go out of my way to become a Contributor on this site.
    And, in all my posts, I’ve tried to maintain an even balance, without bringing my Company into it.
    We’ve actually never really marketed this business, beyond the tail board. And I do not see this site/arena as marketing for my Company.
    In fact, I’ll use this opportunity to promote our competitors.
    I think Open2View is doing a worthy job in video; Allen McKenzie has launched some great videos on the 5D. I believe Highlight Films is also contributing. Allen Mechan worked with me for a time. He is a first class film-maker. There’s also independents like Geoff Charters, trying to cut their way through.
    There’s Lightbox Property – with David Gabriel and Gary Frietas, who I shared a year or two with, as close colleagues – and Lights, Camera, Sold.
    There are many competitors entering this space.
    But our space as video suppliers PALES into absolute insignificance in the arena Real Estate Agents compete in.
    As production people. We can learn a lot from the sales skills of the real estate industry.
    RE: My posts. I’ve tried to draw on my journalistic background and training.
    But it isn’t hard to be indifferent when you live the dream of film 24/7, and spent millions building this Company thus far.
    I’ve only posted one link I believed relevant, and that being as a response to this ‘tail board’ discussion. And so my apologies to all. I can’t offer any more.
    Onto Palazzo Versace.
    My job as a Director/Cinematographer is to bring the life the vision of the Client. In this instance, Blake Haddleton. Blake is marketing a six-star Condominium on the Gold Coast. Which is, let’s face it, a market that has always pushed the limits.
    I see no problem in seeing a beautiful woman in a beautiful gown, standing on a wonderful balcony, and walking through a beautiful room; to ultimately share dinner on a wonderful rooftop (all ironic considering this was all about not using adjectives).
    It is an ad. Drive through Surfers Paradise and you will see stunning billboards with Tara Moss advertising The Oracle; and models promoting Soul.
    Now. If we’d had a model hanging over the balcony of a low-end, walk-up, that may be a different story.
    But surely the job of marketing is to make people stand up and take notice.
    Palazzo Versace is just the start of a revolution which is being driven by younger Agents, appealing to younger markets.
    My job is to deliver their vision.

  • Christian Fitzpatrick
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm 0Likes

    Sounds like a good time to chime in! 🙂

    I work with PlatinumHD looking after the Sunshine Coast and despite having some differences of opinion with some of the recent posts here, am not going to stir that can of worms.

    What I can say is that I have worked with Brett for over a year now and it’s been great. I have to agree, the sooner we stop taking our audience for the same ride that the rest of the mediums give them, the sooner we’ll see video taken seriously.

    Video is a marketing tool to generate interest and enquiries and when used correctly can be exceptionally powerful in the right hands.

    Is it a constantly evolving medium? Of course it is! Will our clients get noticed if we’re still banging the same drum in 5 years? Not a chance.

    Everything else changes with the times, why must real estate marketing be exempt? Should it be forced to remain in developmental stasis because doing things differently would be breaking the mould?

  • Murray
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 5:57 am 0Likes

    I am involved on a daily basis in property marketing & advertising and have over 25 years in the advertising industry. In my humble opinion ( which we should bear in mind is really what blogs are about) there is enormous wastage of vendors money across all mediums. The search still continues to discover the ‘holy grail’ of what works best to attract quality prospects to buy your product/service/property. One thing is certain though and that is – irrespective of which medium is selected to target your particular target market- content is king! How often I cringe when I see an ad were the creative has been ‘cobbled’ together with seemingly little or no thought to what it has to achieve. We live in a very tough and highly competitive world and to achieve ‘cut through’ is becoming increasingly difficult.
    High quality video can provide excellent results – if it is properly executed!
    One thing I know about Brett Clements is that he his passionate about creating content that delivers maximum results. Of course he has an ego ( as most high achievers do!) but I know from experience that optimum outcomes for his clients is his end goal.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 6:11 am 0Likes

    Ok, time to settle down people. This site is for real estate agents to better understand technologies not for parties to fight amongst themselves.

    1. I do not condone the use of peoples email address by anyone on this site and have contacted the people involved and it should not happen again.

    2. Brett takes his time to write informative articles about video in this industry, whilst he is not to blatantly promote his company, if his company receives business from his involvement then good for him.

    3. People do not need to state who they are and what company they are from on this site and their identity should be protected, however if a person pretends to be from one organisation and can be found to be misrepresenting this – they will be outed, but only by me- if I feel it is warranted. If an author wishes to contact a person individually then I cannot stop this, but everyone should be treated with respect.

    4. Grow up. Seriously some of the comments here you would expect at at Tea Party rally. Disagree all you like, but do it with some humility and common decency.

    I want to see some love here guys and girls……

    Regards Peter

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 8:54 am 0Likes

    I think Peter’s comments are spot on but I just want to clear up one obvious misconception by a few people here and it relates to all the writers not just Brett.

    When you write an article on this blog and probably most other blogging platforms if someone makes a comment you receive that comment in an email addressed from that person and that email provides the full details of that account including their name, email and website. I cant even tell you if this setting can be changed and given the abuse in the past I honestly dont think it should.

    The emails are not hidden or contained in some secret database that the writers should not access… 200+ million websites use the wordpress system so you should understand that if you use an email address to register on this or in fact any site it is not private to just you and the site owner and no one else. At the very least any moderator, writer or anybody with any sort of elevated access to the site probably has access to your email. In the case of B2 if you make a comment on an article then your details that you provided to register the account are sent to the writer along with your IP address that you used to make the post. These details have been used to identify quite a few people doing the wrong thing in the past.

    Generally the only problem this causes is when people are trying to remain anonymous and expect that a statement that “Will Not Be Published” also means that your email will remain totally private and not be shown to anybody. Not be published means just that and you should never read more into it. You can expect that your email will not be published with your comments made on the site and nobody will publish the email address in a list of members. Expecting anything more than that on any site on the internet may lead to disappointment. If you find that you need to be totally anonymous on any site you should never use your real email address.

    I have experienced here on B2 both sides of the coin in regard to this.

    The names have been changed in this.. but in the first case I received an email for someone using a pretty vanilla public name.. lets say Fred Nerk.. but their email was obviously their real address … lets say I replied to the comment quoting their name from their email address rather than the “persona” they were trying to use. Thankfully in my case it did not cause the controversy that it has caused here and the circumstances were different..

    On the flipside I also had a comment questioning my integrity because I did not disclose that I wrote an article for an industry magazine when I asked what everyone thought of the first or second issue in a comment myself. The article actually had my name all over it as did my profile on B2 at the time. He made the assumption like many have in this thread and that he email was 100% totally private from me as the writer of the article. The account name he used was anonymous but he used his real email address which quickly identified him as an operator of the competing magazine. He was easily caught out and identified as being a hypocrite and his comments were based upon a commercial interest.

  • Anne
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 10:31 am 0Likes

    I feel even less safe knowing Brett now has my private email and my IP.
    Allowing such a person to have such information with his track record of attacks in person and online is astounding.

  • Mac
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm 0Likes

    Glen, thx for the explanation on where Brett got Anne’s email from.

    Peter, I think Brett should be expelled from writing any more articles. He has broken the confidence of your readership while writing for B2. Telling people to ‘grow-up’ will not shift the responsibility.

    Greg, you have also tarnished your image now by attempting to gloss over this with, “I

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm 0Likes


    IP addresses are a simple fact of life on the internet. Unlike the movies somebody cannot track your IP address back to a real name unless they work in your actual ISP or have the power (ie. police) to get them to hand the info over. Even then many ISP’s protect their clients identity as far as you can.

    Only in hollywood would you have something to worry about.

    If you truly want to remain anonymous on the internet you better use anonymous proxies or onion routing.

    What an IP can be traced back to is a company or a corporation. So taking it back to Bigpond, iiNet or Dodo does not tell you anythign about the person but an IP can also track back to XYZ Real Estate Portal and when the poster purports to be a real estate agent who happens to love XYZ Real Estate Portal it tells you a lot. An IP can also show you if a person posts twice under different names and email address. People make a comment or attack somebody.. .logout.. login under a new name and then post a “Yeah… I agree with the last post” comment…

    Both tactics have been uncovered on this blog.

    The fact your IP is logged is not of any concern to you or anybody else. In fact many blogs and forums openly display the IP address of the poster as a form of disclosure to discourage underhanded tactics.

    There is a reason you have chosen to remain anonymous and everybody should certainly respect that but your ip, your anonymous email and your declared name all together do nothing to break that anonymity. Your own words give a far greater indication of your connection to the subject.

    I think you had some great things to say.. I just think some of it got lost in the heat of the moment.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm 0Likes

    What Brett did was wrong and I have spoken to him about this and he . As for collecting information. This is an open forum and I let people breathe and allow free speech as long as it it not abusive.

    If you wish to continue with this please feel free to email me, my contact details are listed under contributors.

  • Nick
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm 0Likes

    Glen the point is yes the information is kept to prevent abuse, but there was no abuse in this instance.

    Do you know what email address I use to post here? Or my ip?
    I know you could find them out, but you havent because its still considered private.

    I can pull up massive amounts of data with a simple ip.
    Its slightly more useful than just finding out who their ISP is.

    Peter it looks like you wrote half a sentence then forgot to write the rest. 🙂

  • George Moore
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm 0Likes

    Hello everyone;

    I’d like to begin this blog by introducing myself, my name is George and I’m the executive producer for PlatinumHD North America. On behalf of everyone at PlatinumHD I like to be the second person (Brett being the first) to apologize to Anne for any hurt feelings our comments may have caused.

    I just recently returned from the Gold Coast where I had the pleasure to work with Brett side-by-side for two weeks. Without question he’s honest, generous and the hardest working film executive I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. His desire to produce the highest caliber of property videos in the industry transcends the entire company. As professionals we’ve all encountered people that don’t fit within the company environment or that don’t pull their weight. As a businessman Brett has had the unpleasant task of having to take decisions in order to rectify the situation. But using words like” threaten” and “his track record of attacks” I’m sorry but that just sounds defamatory.

    Don’t get me wrong, he has strong points of view regarding the marketing of the real estate industry. But after sitting down and asking him the right questions you quickly become aware that his opinions are based on hard earned experiences. The entire team at PlatinumHD continually question and evaluate the results of their work to see if we are on target. As many of you have already stated marketing in the 21st century is a moving target, and no one gets it right all the time. But I can assure everyone reading this blog that few people in this industry will put as much effort to provide the best experience to their customers as PlatinumHD.

    Some of you have provided us with some very valid points that we are taking into consideration. These points are being discussed and will be discussed in our production meetings in order to refine the process even further. What I personally don’t care for is when a comment is made to belittle or degrade. There’s simply no need for that. The purpose of this blog is to inform and educate. The fact is that anyone who knows Brett knows that he gives freely of his time and his knowledge. This blog started off as one man’s opinion on the use of adjectives and how “not” to describe real estate. It’s now turned into questioning someone’s character.

    Lets all get back to business, because we can all learn from each other far more than we can about each other

  • Anne
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm 0Likes

    Glenn thank you for trying to ease my doubt, but in all honesty it seems your are insulting every ones intelligence with your example.
    If displaying peoples IPs was so safe then it would be a standard.

    Maybe you should give some examples of why ips are not displayed or should I…?
    No don’t bother , just face the facts Brett should be removed.
    People should put the vested interest aside and do the right thing by the community!

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm 0Likes


    I am not condoning or condemning what Brett did or did not do.. On behalf of the blog that is for Peter to comment on not me.. which of course he has done. I have a personal point of view but I dont think it needs to be added as I dont think it will add anything positive to the discussion that has not already be said.

    I am just making sure everyone understands the information we get as contributing writers to the blog is not breaching anybody’s privacy. The fact that Brett got the email address is not the problem as that happens for hundreds of millions of blogs and forums and web forms round the world (see example below). The problem is what he did with it.

    Some people think you can take an email or an IP address and run a NCIS or CSI backtrace on it and it will reveal all this wonderful and private information on a person including their name and address and their last 5 purchases on their credit card. That as you know is just not true. I just love how these tv shows can zoom in 200x on pictures and video and the picture is still crystal clear and razor sharp.. Like reading the nametag from a passing motorist from a traffic camera… wonderful stuff.. but just fantasy 🙂

    Other than your web logs if they have visited your own websites that IP (ie. what properties they looked at etc etc), reverse whois and geolocation what else can you find out using an IP address that would count as “massive amounts of data”. When you start throwing in proxies and dynamic IP’s into the mix any data you can get such as geolocation is not even that reliable. Even a portscan may only tell you what programs they might be running on their computer, not their name and address.

    As I have stated earlier I can see your email and ip address if you reply in a thread I wrote, which I am sure you have :). I just dont pay attention to it. They are just one of many “notice” emails I get and they are automatically filed in outlook so if I see there is a comment and I have time I just visit the website directly from a bookmark. The emails are really just notices that someone has commented allowing the author to delete or spam the comment if a spam posting got through the filters .. they dont even include the full text of the reply. Despite some claims nothing the B2 blog is doing is any different from anybody else.

    Below is a copy for what I get for our Agency blog ( ..its a spam one.. so no privacy breached quoting it here 🙂


    A new comment on the post #593 “Nerang Fire Station Construction Underway” is waiting for your approval

    Author : Doria Veith (IP: , E-mail :
    URL :
    Whois :
    Good site, I really discovered it to be thought prevoking. I am looking forward to visiting once more to catch what is new.

    Approve it:
    Trash it:
    Spam it:
    Currently 5 comments are waiting for approval. Please visit the moderation panel:

  • Anne
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm 0Likes

    Glenn I’m not here to debate with you , as it’s unfair I know a little about you and you know nothing about me.
    And the other reason is, I do not want to reveal any more about my identity. This will only narrow my door being kicked in by Bretts boys as he likes to call them.

    As I stated feel free to contact some of the names Brett has dropped to see what he is capable of. But then again , I doubt they do not want any more drama from Brett.

    If we are going to discuss property video , how about find a legit person not a thug.

  • Robert
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm 0Likes

    Very disconcerting turn of events here.

    Normally a very reputable and helpful blog suddenly appears compromised.


  • Glenn Batten
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm 0Likes


    You personally may feel your intelligence is insulted but I would not go assigning your beliefs on to everyone just yet. 🙂

    Commenting from the shadows of anonymity certainly has its advantages, unfortunately I can only engage you on what I assume is your level of technical understanding based upon comments you have made so far, all of which are limited to this particular subject and this particular author I believe.

    If you want to discuss the issue of privacy based upon IP addresses and how that applies to blogs such as B2 then feel free to tech it up.. I and a few others here should be able to follow along to a certain tech level at least 🙂

    The way B2 handles the information you as a commenter use to register a comment on the blog is exactly the same as hundreds of millions of other WordPress based sites and whether you like it or not it is a fact that the default setting to send the IP address, url and email of the commenter out to the author of the article. The problem was with the individual not as some have suggested the blog itself. Blame the driver, not the car.

    I dont have an issue with your opinions about Brett or his company… People will judge Brett on his actions. Some will pass it off as a passionate man who is not afraid to be identified believing he is under attack by a competitor doing a rash thing he know regrets. Others will condemn him for it.

    If you have been following this blog for while then you would have seen that I was an outlet for Brett’s passion myself in the past. He accused me of recycling a press release for a phone review I did. Of course other than the specs of the phone not one part of it had come from a press release. Turns out his comments related to a video or pictures (cant remember which or both) I used rather than creating it myself mixed in with his own passion for the iPhone and some “black” humour I think he called it. What I have been holding on to for a rainy day is that I am pretty sure his post about the Canon camera used a corporate shot of it which defined him as a “pot” in a story about a “kettle” 🙂 He apologised and I accepted his apology both on and off the site.

    What I am concerned about however is someone with limited technical knowledge reading these comments would think that B2 is handling their information in an unusual manner and away from the norm. That is just not true.

  • Anne
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm 0Likes

    ” What I am concerned about however is someone with limited technical knowledge reading these comments would think that B2 is handling their information in an unusual manner and away from the norm. That is just not true.”

    I can see your concern, but you have to admit telling people to

  • Rebecca
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm 0Likes

    Do you not think this has now gone too far… Please, for everyone’s sake, stop making comments on stuff you appear, from what you have said, to only have a third-party opinion on rather than your own personal reference….

  • Pete Richards
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 8:45 am 0Likes

    I’m going to bring this back to the original “property video” commentry. As an aside, here at McGrath we survey all of our qualified buyers and some 65% of them are now “expecting” to see a video as part of an online listing. Video’s are no longer a “wow” point of difference, they’re become a core part of a property’s online listing.

  • Leanne Pilkington
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 8:48 am 0Likes

    I certainly have mixed feelings about people freely commenting without being prepared to identify themselves – however thats the internet! Laing + Simmons has worked with Brett since he was first starting his business more years ago than I care to remember. He is fantastic to work with, his product more than delivered what he promises and he always bends over backwards to ensure that both the Corporate office and franchisees were happy with the result. What’s more I think that his posts add variety to B2 and hope they continue.

  • Ricky
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 9:03 am 0Likes

    Stop. Stop, Stop.

    I think that Anne has said her piece and I think Brett has learnt his lesson and will be held to account should he transgress anymore.

    Lets move on.

  • PaulD
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 11:00 am 0Likes

    Just moving on to a COMPLETELY different topic. I just spoke to my “White Pages” rep regarding the costs for 2010. Just a lazy 20% increase. They’re losing so much money on Yellow Pages, I guess they need to pick it up from somewhere else.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm 0Likes

    Thank you Leanne. You actually started me off on this road into property – with a video I still have called ‘A Week In The Life of Danny Doff’, from Laing & Simmons Double Bay. As a film-maker, spending seven days with a real estate agent was a rude awakening – especially coming straight out LA at the time. I didn’t know what hit me. Since then, I’ve always thought if the production world worked as hard as the likes of Danny Doff, and so many of the Agents I’ve had the pleasure of working with along my journey into real estate – the Australian Film Industry would rule the world. I learned a lot from that experience – and many other episodes that followed. It is also great to hear Pete’s views on McGrath statistics in respect to video. Alongside all the Double Bay agents – Michael Finger, Craig Pontey – John was very instrumental in driving video in the early days, with Barney McGrath and also David Ross from ‘Imageination’ – still the finest ‘stills’ Company in the business when it comes to photographing property.
    Video has to step up; it has to compliment data on the web; and information printed in the newspapers. All the mediums need to work together. There’s room for every element. I just believe we can’t take the lazy way out and regurgitate the same message. In one medium after another. Videos – I’d prefer to use the word film as I’m a cinematographer – needs to capture the emotion of the moment. Like no other media can. This means thinking and working outside the square.
    I’ve learned a lot from this thread. And I thank those who have weighed in. I’d like to thank Anne and Mac and Jim for their views. On both sides. For there are always two sides to every story. I’d like to be able to contribute to marketing property on film for a long time to come. And I have ‘Pilks’ to thank for starting me off on this long road. Cheers everybody.

  • Garry Who
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm 0Likes

    Gee, I don’t know what some of you are all upset about. I have known and worked with Brett over some 20 odd years now and one thing I can tell you is that you won’t find a more professionally dedicated person in his field. He thinks outside the square, which involves risks. But he takes them! And the result more often than not propels him forward, because good or bad he learns from them. He is not afraid to say when he is wrong. And there is nothing wrong with believing in what you are doing, that is what he does. When he commits he commits! But he thinks a lot about what he’s committing to.
    Brett you’re a born leader you don’t follow anybody. Technology moves quickly and you move with it. Anyone can point a camera but not everyone can create emotion with it.
    Oh and by the way, all this carry on about the model?
    As far as I always knew, advertising was about getting something noticed and well by gee, you have certainly done that haven’t you!!
    And I think you’re right, the beautiful woman and the joint look right together. Infact If I had the money to pay for a place like that, I’d expect one to come with it! (lol) Top Marks!

  • Anne
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm 0Likes

    There simply is not much more to say, that has not already been said by a number of people here.
    B2 refuses to take responsibility for their own actions of allowing such people to use private information to threaten.
    B2 continue to mislead the public by not correcting “Mail (will not be published)” to some thing more suitable ” post at own risk ( as any thug will see your ip and email)

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm 0Likes

    OK. Anne. You have called me a thug. A cowboy thug. And now trash. And some would argue you are now bordering on defamatory remarks. All because I sent you an email direct stating: “Get a backbone Anne. What Company are you from? Who do you represent? If we were to trace this, I bet it leads to this…”
    In reference to “this”, I know you’re a competitor Anne and obviously we’re upsetting you.
    I actually have a copy of the email I sent you Anne. I don’t regard it as abusive or threatening; nor remotely defamatory. Your first post, on the use of Tail Boards, I responded to creatively. You made some good comments. And we’ve introduced them. So thank you for raising that problem. And then you whacked it into me again. Which struck me as strange, and suggested another ‘hidden’ agenda. So I asked you straight out: Who Are you? Where are you from? If you’re going to have a god swing at me Anne, please don’t do so from the shadows.
    I have apologized; so many times I’m now even boring myself, and my colleagues. I’ve even thanked you! Peter Ricci has spoken to me personally about this and I have assured him I will never send another email to any other address in respect to my postings. I have taken everybody’s comments on board. But I take great exception to being called “trash”. That is abuse.

  • Anthony Lowe
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 12:19 am 0Likes

    Mmmm Anne it would appear you have gone from victim to villain in an instant.
    Failing to let it alone despite an apology then make defamatory and personal attacks….
    The email is clearly not threatening …?????
    “And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye”

    Time to move on….

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 10:04 am 0Likes

    Brett, I just came across this property video & I think banning adjectives from property videos is not the only thing that should be banned.

    The agent not only suggests that this property would be “Perfect for a Senior Citizen or Little Church Lady” but he then precedes to say “Oh yey & this could be her picture room or if she’s an alcoholic it could be her drinking room” and “where she stocks all her booze”.

    Telling us that the neighbours cut the lawn made me feel that the neighbours might be nice, but then they preceded to really stuff it up the moment they walked inside the home.

    I understand that the house is only a $15,000 fixer upper & that they wouldn’t invest in a Professional Video, but it demonstrates the lasting impression an agent can leave on potential customers if they get their videos wrong.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm 0Likes

    I don’t know what’s worse; the video, the house, the flippancy of the Agent, or the whole US housing marketing. Probably, the lot. I did think the editing was good. 🙂 The funny thing is Greg, does it show you the whole home? Yes. And it does so warts and all. Absolutely nothing got glossed over in this epic. So, at least you know what you’re getting. Today, we can shoot property films on iphones, shoot-for-a-cut-in-camera and upload them straight to FaceBook, using an app like VideoUp. In minutes. I’ve launched a few location scouts this way, just for tests. And with technology getting better and better – take the ‘collision of the worlds’ of photography and cinematography with the new HD-enabled DSLRS – and these types of Do It Yourself Agent videos will fill a need in a marketplace demanding video. As to what it will do your ‘brand’ and its perception of quality, that’s another thing. You spoke of ‘niches’ in a previous post. Instant iphone property vids is certainly of those. I think the next big thing is going to be 3D and that will demand a level of expertise with challenges beyond anything we’ve had to deal with before. They’re shooting test vids in the US now with twin cameras at 125fps. All depends on how you want to project yourself. The Agent could have cleaned the camera lens though and maybe shot it in wide screen. J

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