There are still
too many examples out there of why a business person needs to stay on top of
and maintain control of his or her own marketing.
Since much of
my business deals with real estate marketing (both agents and properties), I
receive and review a ton of newsletters, marketing pieces, and advertisements
in this regard. However, in this instance, any publicity is not always “good”
Here is another
case in point I received just a couple of days ago from a Chicago area agent. I
received an e-mail from him with the subject header “Just Sold! West Loop Gem!”.
it, the headline of “Just Sold!” also appeared above a four page photo spread
of a specific property, with the street address (with a unit number) still
included. Two of the four photos were of the building’s exterior, while the other
two show the interior – even though the unit number was included and the
property was sold.
understand this photo spread if there were other units within this property for
sale. However, there is no mention throughout the e-mail to that effect. As a
result, anyone who sees this that is impressed with that unit has absolutely
zero call to action in the event that at least one other similar unit were
still available. (I still don’t know if any other units in that building are or
are not currently listed, which is part of my point.)
is not the biggest problem with this marketing piece. Just above the specific
address and the photo spread is the headline, “Purchased well under list price
in hot (name of area) market!”
Why is this a “problem”?
Based on the “Just
Sold” headline, this e-mail blast is intended more for sellers, looking to
alert them to his recent sale in a “hot” neighborhood. Since the headline says “Purchased
well under list price…..”, it tells other potential sellers that this client
failed to get anywhere near the asking price.
If someone was
considering a selling a property, why would they contact an agent to just told
me his most recent big sale was for “well under list price”? It’s not as though
there are not plenty of agents selling homes in that area.
At the same
time, if someone was considering buying a property in that area (and saw this
e-mail), all they see is how a property was “Just Sold”, with nothing about him
(the agent) helping buyers for that same neighborhood. This is not to say that
he doesn’t or wouldn’t, but there is no call to action for potential buyers.
Based on how
nice the appearance of his e-mail is, my hunch is that he either used a
marketing service (not my office!) or a template to put this one together. He
(agent) or someone needed to pay closer attention.
in his e-mail, should have said something like “Looking to buy or sell in this
building? Call me today!”, instead of admitting that the seller didn’t get the
asking price would have made a huge difference.
line of copy destroyed his marketing attack.
It's not only poor advertising and marketing of individual properties which can negatively impact the real estate market. Here is still another case where it goes as far as reporting of statistical information.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the largest newspaper in all of Georgia, took the most recent information release from the Atlanta Realtors Association and presented the negative about the current market right along with the positive.
This news story begins with the information about the dip in both home sales and home prices during the most recent full month of August. The story goes on to say, in the first couple of sentences, that the "number of homes for sale is still much weaker than the amount of buyer demand for homes".
A local consumer reading only that part of the news story sees "dip in home sales" and "number of homes for sale is still much weaker....", and comes away thinking that the local real estate market is miserable.
All because of a story based on information provided by the local realty association.
I'll bet you that a percentage of the members of the Association would tell you individually that some houses "sell themselves". While the very same Association is putting out negative sounding information to local consumers.
How do we solve this problem? It's actually quite easy. Only report the positive statistics.
Had the Association simply reported that "A total of 5,191 homes were sold within the month of August alone!", and how that was an increase over the number of sales during August 2015, it would have been much different.
Local consumers would then come away thinking there is growth in the local real estate market, and perhaps consider looking into selling or buying.
Chances are that the local media would have picked up the positive spin just as easily and run with it. Instead, many realty associations, and it is far from being just Atlanta, continue to churn out negative facts as if they are necessary.
Let's see if some houses really can sell themselves.
Here is still another example of why market research is so important even when advertising one specific property listing.
Let's take the Ferndale MI zip code of 48220. As of press time, there are two homes listed for sale, each within that very zip code, and each listed at $129,900.
The 4 bedroom 1 bath home at 675 Camden Street is a 1,374 square foot home. The advertising description includes "quiet street", "just down the road from downtown", and "close to shopping centers". Included within that same description are interior highlights such as "living room that is open to the dining area", "fully updated bathroom", "totally updated kitchen with granite counter top and new cabinets", and "floor is newly tiled".
There is nice photo spread, although a couple of the photos are not overly flattering to this home. Overall, a decent ad which does the job of making the property attractive to someone looking in that area and price range.
Meanwhile, yesterday (as of press time), a new listing appeared in zip code 48220 at 462 E. Troy Street, at the same price. Keep in mind that this listing just appeared.
This 462 E. Troy property is only TWO bedrooms with one bath, with a listed size of 772 square feet. The description ad includes "short walk to downtown", "covered front porch", and "fenced yard with shed" for the exterior. The interior description includes "large living room", "Renovated bathroom with subway tile and granite floors" and "first floor laundry".
The photo spread with this ad is thorough, but also contains a couple of photos which are not overly flattering for this home.
Chances are potential buyers in this area will also see both of these properties appear on their search. Why would someone choose to pursue a home which is more than 40% smaller in size and offers two fewer bedrooms than the other for the exact same price?
While the advertisement for the (smaller) Troy property is reasonable, some basic local market research prior to placing this advertisement would have helped this agent to present and hopefully sell the property more quickly. By not doing so, there is little chance of any movement until or unless the home on Camden sells or comes off the market.
If the agent handling the Troy listing had been my client, this ad never would have hit the public eye. First, a home more than 40% smaller than its same-priced competitor would be "easy maintenance".
After all, it is two fewer rooms to clean and maintain. The fenced yard and covered front porch result in "more privacy" for the owners, something which could be a factor in a potential buyer's consideration.
Granted, I don't live in Detroit, but I'm not familiar with what "subway tile" is. A description only saying "Renovated bathroom" would be sufficient. I would look to highlight unique features of the home. Maybe there is extra shelf space, an extra closet, room for a garden, and/or some other features that would catch the eye of a potential buyer.
Instead, this ad looks like a typical home for sale ad. And, with a home with two more bedrooms and similar advertised features for the same price within the same zip code, typical just doesn't cut it.
Frankly, that agent should have known his competition before placing that ad. The value of a little local market research is greater than the value of a much slower commission, if it happens at all.
When it comes to home sales, the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles) has always had its share of controversy going back many years.
Recent home sales have pushed the median price for the area to more than $600,000. Keep in mind this the median price, NOT the average sale price, which means that the majority of homes sold are well over a half-million dollars.
And, again, home sales have gone up over the past four months.
We understand that agents want and need listings in order to make a living. However, complaining when there are not "enough" listings casts a less than positive light on the market. It's not necessary.
Simply let the report go that home sales continue to rise at impressive prices. Let potential buyers see that they have a better chance of showing increased value of a home they purchase over the next few years. Let current owners see that if they do decide to sell, they have a much better (than earlier years) opportunity to generate a profit on their home.
If there were a ton of listings available, and it was like the days when every block had multiple "For Sale" signs aligning it, potential buyers could think that the neighborhood has become less desirable and that they can hold out for price reductions because so many owners are anxious to sell.
It's all about supply and demand. Quotes and comments should reflect that.
The National Association of Realtors is pleased with the Senate passing of the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act" on Thursday night.
In plain English, it eases the FHA recertification process and reduces the owner-occupancy requirement for condos. In the long run, it should help condos to be more affordable for more people.
The NAR went as far as to issue a Press Release about its passing to increase awareness.
One thing we don't agree with is the Association's constant references, including in this release, to the "lack of inventory" of property listings in many areas. They have the "fewer available properties means fewer buyers" approach.
From our point of view, it is supply and demand. More people going for fewer listings means multiple offers and sometimes a bidding process for sellers. From here, that's a good thing.
People are more likely to move into a specific community with more evidence that their property will become more valuable within the next five years. Too many properties for sale means lower sale prices and often conveys a message that the neighborhood is less desirable.
Would love your thoughts on this.
Here is the NAR's press release about the bill which passed:
Researching the Chicago
suburb of Bolingbrook provides more evidence
of how important researching the current local market is to advertising and
selling new listings as soon as possible.
A new listing on Truman Street,
which just came on the market within the past week, has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2
baths, and a 2-car garage among its features. It is listed at $379,000, is
within the Naperville
(next suburb over) school district and the brief description boasts about the
hardwood flooring and fireplace.
Technically, there is nothing
wrong with this listing advertisement on Realtor.com, and the photo spread is well done.
The problem is that this ad does
not address the “competition” from other available homes within this community.
Five days prior, another
Bolingbrook listing, this one on Danube Way, also has 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths,
and has a 3-car garage, while the home itself is literally shown as being 1,000
square feet larger, while also boasting of a large yard and patio. This home is
price at $375,000.
This is exactly why agents (and in
some cases, the sellers) need to do even more homework about the local market
before creating their ads.
Chances are that if you are an
agent working with a buyer or a buyer acting on your own, you would choose to
pursue the Danube Way
property first of these two. A much larger home, bigger garage, more yard and
patio space, and a price that’s $4,000 less would sway a lot of potential
buyers in that direction. Both of these homes are within the Naperville (neighbor suburb) school district.
My concern is that the ad for the
home on Truman was posted five days after the one on Danube Way, which appears to have the
advantages for potential buyers. This shows the importance of both creating
listing advertisements which sell against the “competition” (other similar
local homes) as well as the need to research what is currently out there.
While we are not meaning to say
that the home on Truman does not have selling points in comparison with the one
on Danube Way,
the problem is that they are not made readily available to potential buyers.
Meanwhile, both of these homes
have other local competition. Our search of 4 bedroom homes within the same zip
code as the Danube Way listing shows a 4 bedroom home with 3 baths (compared to
2 ½ baths in the other two), and a 3-car garage. This home, on Danhof Drive, is
800 square feet larger than the one on Danube Way, while the entire lot it sits
on is literally triple the size of the Danube
home – while being more than four times the size of the lot with the home on Truman Street. It
does sit within the Plainfield
(another neighboring suburb) school district. The price for this one? $375,000.
This larger home on Danhof,
however, has been on the market for quite some time, and in fact has been
reduced from $397,400 back on April 2015.
Thus, it is curious for a
potential buyer. As so often happens, there is no urgency when a home has been
on the market and gone through multiple price reductions over the previous 15
months. Yet, this advertisement, also on Realtor.com (same source) has not been updated to show how
much more home and land the buyer could get for the same or less money than the
two most similar properties within the community. The series of price
reductions should not be the key selling point, in this instance.
My point is not to say that one of
these homes is better or worse than any of the others. Rather, it is to show
that advertisements for properties need to be more than just unique. They need
to fit the current marketplace, and be kept up to date.
At press time, one of these homes
appears to have an advantage as a first impression for anyone searching this
community and price range for a 4-bedroom home. These properties all have
unique selling points when compared against each other. This needs to be
Which is currently the
"best" advertisement? In my opinion, none of them. The home on Danube Way, which
has the "advantage", also has the shortest description of any. None
of these advertisements refer to the current marketplace.
For the Danube Way home, the ad should be
highlighting "New Listing!", the large size (for when compared with
the other brand new listing in the community), and the 3-car garage for
The home on Truman needs to have
more description copy with more details about the kitchen and the interior. It
also could point out its proximity to the park with a playground, which means
that the owner does not need to maintain a big yard. (That could be an
advantage for the working family which may not have the time to handle a yard
for the children.) And, of course, it is also a fairly new listing.
And, the home on Danhof (which has
been on the market for well over a year) needs to emphasize that it is now
"the largest home and property in this price range" with the added
ability to immediately add a 5th bedroom before everything else.
Again, all three of these 4
-bedroom homes are in the same suburb and priced within $4,000 of each other.
They, like so many other properties, need to be advertised and promoted based
on what the current marketplace has to offer.
A bungalow on Chicago's far north side on the verge of being sold for the 2nd time within less than a year should be setting a wonderful example for the entire real estate community. Let this serve as proof positive that distressed properties and stagnant neighborhoods do not have to continue to hinder the residential market any further.
Within the past year, this home has gone from three to four bedrooms, has a fully finished lower level added (including the 4th bedroom), an entirely new kitchen put in, new bathrooms, outdated carpeting turned into shiny hardwood flooring, and a rebuilt 2-car garage among its many improvements.
Those of you that know Chicago will also appreciate this location, which is very close to public transportation and shopping, along with having a square block sized city park just one-half block away. There is free parking available on the street which does not have any form of Permit Parking which is dominant within much of the city limits.
As a result, this property, as of press time, shows as "Contingent" for sale at a price which is literally more than double the price paid for it within the past 12 months. The dollar amount spent to engage all of the improvements and amenities was most likely significant. Even so, it is safe to think that the current seller is doing well on the deal, while the eventual new owner will have one of the most valued homes within the entire Hollywood Park community of Chicago.
Late last year, the current seller purchased this home for $225,000. The contingency sale now posted is at $459,000. A study of this community shows this to be more than $100,000 above the current median price for homes.
The added significance to this price is that Chicago continues to rank among the highest cities in the nation in terms of the percentage of homes which are still underwater on mortgages.
Because of all of the work done to improve this house, the entire community benefits from the rise in property values. Yet, the new owner will benefit from an upgraded property, and the current seller comes away with what is likely a nice profit. Everybody wins.
This seller made it happen by making this home what it is today. This owner did not sit around and wait for magic beans to appear and fix the real estate market for everyone. He/she/they made it happen, and in less than one year.
Yet, this is only a part of this important story. It so happens that this home was foreclosed upon during 2015 for less than $200,000. In so many instances in Chicago and around the country, people sit back and allow that low price to harm and reduce property values for the neighborhood. By taking action, the recent owners increased the value of this very same home to the point of RAISING the home values for the very same area.
Now I can reveal that I had been inside that very home within the past three years due to my personally knowing the earlier owners who were foreclosed upon. Their circumstances were such that a severe disability of one of them limited their ability to maintain the home, let alone even consider any upgrades. Frankly, it was a mess with parts not cleaned regularly. That gives me the knowledge of exactly how much work and effort it took to upgrade this property to the point of increasing its value.
If only I had known that they could lose their home before it happened. Maybe I could have helped them to work with a contractor to make these improvements and share in the profits to benefit all concerned. And to help keep neighborhood home values from dropping (for no reason) because of the foreclosure price.
Maybe we can cause other homeowners in trouble and the big banks to see the benefits of taking action to upgrade instead of hurting all concerned with foreclosures. Now we have proof in Chicago that it can happen!
An NFL player lists his home - and the advertisement for it has a car in the photo!
It is always considered a "no - no" to have a car included within an advertising for a residential listing, primarily for security reasons. When a home is still occupied, there are people who could watch the property for times when a pictured vehicle is not in the driveway or carport.
While doing research for agents and brokers around the country, finding cars in photos is actually only one of the things we find "wrong" with property ads.
As bad as having a car in the primary photo is, it becomes even more significant when the home currently belongs to what could be termed a celebrity, since it belongs to a current NFL player. Worse yet, the home is located within minutes of the stadium where this player has played for the local NFL team!
Jermaine Gresham, just signed as a tight end with the Arizona Cardinals, has listed his home across the river from Cincinnati, with the Bengals being one of his former teams.
However, part of a recognizable vehicle appears in the driveway in the primary photo of the home. What makes this so incredible is that this appears on Realtor.com, which is the real estate advertising site with the most credibility of all.
While it is bad enough that a professional real estate photographer could not work around a vehicle in the driveway when taking photos, the fact that it appears on such a major web site, monitored from around the country, shows the scope of this problem.
For example, because of his fame, the story about Gresham looking to sell his home, including this photo, made the "Celebrity News" section of the site, thus giving it even more views.
The journalist in me is fuming this afternoon. After I was tipped off to this, I went to the web site for the NW Indiana Times newspaper to see for myself.
On the front page (on the afternoon of 3/16), one of the local "NEWS" story links was headlined "McColly Real Estate Is Hiring Now". Again, this was a "NEWS" story link.
After clicking the link up came the "story" which is nothing more than a press release from this firm that they are looking to hire. And, how is this for a coincidence?
At the top of the page is an obvious ADVERTISEMENT for, you guessed it, McColly Real Estate.
It is bad enough when the news media simply runs a press release verbatim without checking facts or adding their own touch. But running a blatant advertisement as if it is a news story hits rock bottom.
How are its readers supposed to believe anything positive about a local business from here on out?
If I was a real estate agent in this area (which is technically a part of the Chicago metro market), I would start sending announcements and press releases to the News Editor. When it doesn't get published (since you are not an advertiser), I would bring this to the attention of others, such as the FTC or even local government.
Here is another example of what happens when agents advertise listings and don't bother to check every source.
A 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home on Chicago's West Side being listed "As Is" for $52,000 would seem to be able to attract attention from contractors, investors, and flippers throughout the region.
However, the advertisement remains online 255 days later (as of press time). If the listing agent doesn't care enough to update the ad, it only adds more doubt to a potential buyer.
The first impression a potential buyer sees is the primary photo with a huge tree blocking the view of the front of the house (other than the stairs and front entrance). Under the photo is a date from November 2006, more than nine years ago.
Further down, the statistics show a population listed as being 41,845 along with additional household statistics. The street address shown is in Chicago proper, which has more than 3,000,000 population.
If the first statistic people see is nowhere near accurate, how can any of the others be trusted?
This advertisement indicates there may be liens and/or violations that a buyer would be financially responsible for. Someone thinking about this type of property would likely know how and where to perform the research to determine what the other costs may be and can make some decisions as to whether or not to proceed.
However, when the information is not accurate, the photo is years old (or the date is wrong and was not corrected), and the photo gives a poor view, chances are a potential buyer will not even bother to pursue anything further.
Swapping an updated photo from a better angle and editing a few facts could make a huge difference in presenting this property to potential buyers.
And there is more that is wrong with this listing. Further down, under loan information, rates are shown from a local Chicago bank (not a regional or national bank), yet the disclaimer refers to a "California Department of Real Estate" license number. Again, this home is shown as being in Chicago, more than 2,000 miles away.
Here is more proof that it sometimes takes more than a $20,000 price reduction to get some action on a home for sale. In this case, not much more.
While researching Chicago's north side, I came upon an ad for a home which showed this price reduction announced within the past 10 days. I clicked on it to see what the listing agent had to say about it within her listing ad description.
The price reduction showed as having been implemented on Feb. 4th. I looked at the ad on Feb. 16th.
What were the FIRST words of the description copy?
I quote: "OPEN SUNDAY 11/29/15, 1:00-3:00! May not be yard sign installed yet."
Sorry to report that this agent, while updating for the price reduction, and having appeared to have an updated primary photo (always a plus), totally overlooked adjusting the description copy in the process:
This home has some outstanding features. However, when one can easily get the first impression that it has been on the market for more than two and one-half months and still hasn't sold even with a $20,000 price reduction, it makes a potential buyer wonder if it is even worth reading the remainder of the description.
All that was needed here was to remove the first part of the copy, and (hopefully) do some updating of the current content, and this ad would have been a respectable (at worst) representation of this property.
Instead, it becomes more of a negative than a positive. This has nothing to do with the latest local trends or home sale statistics. Plain and simple, it has everything to do with how it is marketed.
As my office continues to research the real estate market and property ads around the country, it's good to notice that more information than ever is available about many of the school systems. For many families, the neighborhood they will look at for a new home is often influenced by the quality of the schools.
Those areas with especially solid schools could easily benefit by this type of publicity, especially within specific home sale advertisements.
Here is one example of research now available, as presented for a county in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area:
This newspaper story about Corpus Christi home sales is an excellent read, talking about how nearly 1,000 homes within one single zip code were sold in 2015. That is a positive for that area, and the additional research showing home sales in various local zip codes is one of the more interesting statistics provided on home sales data.
However, for whatever reason, the newspaper decided to use a photo for the story which shows garbage dumpsters, garbage cans on their side laying in the street, and porta-potties. Not exactly a flattering photo for their area.
After all, I saw this story from more than 1,000 miles away, and have personally never been to Corpus Christi. No matter how many homes are selling in certain areas, the photo used along with the story doesn't exactly make me want to go there. How would this help someone to want to buy a home there?
Just as with property advertisements, real estate content needs to have the best possible photo, with some thought behind it.
It is no
secret that the majority of real estate professionals embrace the new
technology. However, there still needs to be plenty of change when it comes to
adapting the new technology to how properties are marketed.
As you know,
parts of the east coast, especially the Washington D.C./Baltimore region, was
socked with a severe snowstorm less than two weeks ago. Those of us who have
experienced a significant snowstorm know that some communities are able to dig
out more quickly and/or become more functional faster than others when this
that you have an opinion, one way or the other, on how your community handles
recovering from a major storm or weather event.
If you are
happy with how it is handled surrounding your home, and are looking to sell,
this is something worth pointing out to potential buyers. At least it should
Those of you
who have been reading this column over the past seven years know that I have
often done a search days after a major weather event in order to see how many
property advertisements have been updated to show any “positive” results.
With this in
mind, this afternoon I did a specific price range search, using Homes.com, for
the Washington D.C. suburb of College Park MD, one of the hardest hit areas of
the recent major snow storm.
I wanted to
see for myself, nearly two weeks later, how many of the property ads were
updated, or even just added, since the big storm.
turned up 23 homes currently available and which had addresses and a primary
photo within the advertisement.
Of those 23,
I then counted how many of those primary photos had snow in them. The total
number that did: ZERO.
see these homes with their lawns in full glory. Of course, this is far from
what the outsides of these homes look like this afternoon!
being harsh, but I happen to not think so. If even a few of these ads had snow
in the photos, I would have an idea that people are able to navigate through
College Park without a problem and that the storm recovery is going smoothly.
Instead, my impression is that not one agent or seller wants anyone outside of
the area to see how bad conditions still are in that area. Sure, that may be an
is far from unrealistic to expect that nobody cares enough to update so much as
a photo. We are past the days when you would have to get a photo in to the
local paper four days ahead of time and it simply “isn’t ready” yet.
“instant” technology exists. I have personally driven and taken a couple of new
photos of a marketing client’s listing, driven back to my office, and updated
ads online within one hour’s time. As helpful as I can be, doing that is not a
unique talent. Especially when I’m not even a realty agent!
this one step further. One of the properties I found is this one:
This is a
supposed “motivated seller” featuring an empty house that shows nothing but a
green lawn outside. These photos are MONTHS behind. How motivated is that
seller and his/her agent?
While it is
true that Homes.com often does not update as much as other sites which
advertise properties do, believe me when I tell you that you will find the same
thing happening all over if you search the areas impacted by the recent storm.
properties for sale should be updated as often as possible to reflect current
conditions. Let’s take advantage of this technology.
This looks to be a most exciting year for myself and for First In Promotions (for which I have been Marketing Director since 1992), and hopefully for you as well!
I am very excited to take on a new project smack in the middle of our home office area, the prestigious northern suburbs of Chicago. My office has been selected as Publisher of the new Chicago North Shore edition of "Real Estate Agent Magazine", which will soon be sent via monthly print and digital editions to more than 10,000 real estate agents and brokers (and affiliated services) within this area.
It will be my pleasure to help provide local content ranging from news about agents and offices to "Realtor of the Month" to hundreds of tips to help agents and brokers secure even more business. I'm looking forward to having a "hands on" look at all things Chicago real estate, including visiting many of the offices and their affiliates in the weeks and months to come.
Of course, this will benefit my current (and hopefully future!) clients around the country, along with my faithful readers of this blog.
Our social media news and comment will continue with featured real estate stories and links from around the country via our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Although there were no posts on this blog over the past few weeks, I'm happy to say that there will, once again, be regular posts here. We hope you will enjoy the slight change of direction. (If not, please let me know via your comments!)
There is still plenty of room, and need, for improvement in many of the advertisements and presentations of properties for sale. However, instead of pointing out the bad ones, I'll make the effort to highlight the better ones. The focus of this blog will now be more specific to agents and brokers, after years of being for consumers as well as real estate professionals.
Looking forward to your comments and suggestions.........
Dave Kohl is known for even more than his 30+ years of "extreme" real estate marketing. His relentless approach to his work and on behalf of his clients continues to this day.
He works with and for countless real estate investors, agents, brokers, lenders, builders, developers, contractors, and designers.
Residential and commercial builders and developers come to Dave when starting new projects. They can implement Interactive Virtual Staging before ground is broken, with the goal of getting the property sold/leased months ahead of the ready date.
Dave helps newer investors to find their first deals every step of the way with a "Find 'em, fund 'em, and run 'em" approach.
Agents and brokers come to Dave for help with their positioning and social media strategies. He also helps them to work with investors in less time than ever before.
In addition to blogs (real estate, business, and sports media) and the Real Estate Marketing Masters Podcast, Dave also speaks at real estate events around the country as time permits.
Mr. Kohl was chosen "Business Person of the Year" in 1990 by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. He continues to review new proposals on Fridays.