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LostListings: joke site launches, fools, enrages many

When a Realtor launched LostListings.com, his April Fool’s joke, most people jumped to conclusions without clicking through to the parody site, and reactions have gotten heated.

april fools joke

LostListings

LostListings: an April Fool’s joke that tricked most

Known for being controversial, Frank Llosa, Esq., Broker of Frankly Real Estate launched his April Fool’s Day joke, a parody site called LostListings which he said in his blog explanation was supposedly a response to his and other brokerages’ losing more and more listings during the interview process, adding cash in agents’ pockets based on the critical knowledge they obtain during interviews about addresses city-wide.

As part of his parody introduction of the joke, Llosa said in a recent real estate class some questions come up. “What happens if an agent meets with a seller and finds out secret details of that home for sale? And then if that agent is not hired, but they have a buyer that wants to buy that home. Can they share the seller’s secrets? To whom is the fiduciary duty?”

Llosa’s answer was that Fiduciary Duty is 100 percent to the buyer client and later asks potential site visitors, “What would you pay for information on a hidden $30,000 defect?”

Adding credibility to LostListings

Further, Llosa “explains” that the website is currently only available in the DC area and to add legitimacy to the new “company,” he says they will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $350,000 to spread nationally.

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He also keeps a straight face through his video explaining the launch:
[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”XwqsOoA_ncQ”]

And when people actually enter the LostListings site to search, they are greeted by what could be the worst rap in history to the tune of Macklemore’s Thrift Shop and a massive header that says “APRIL FOOLS!!!!” with no ability to do anything other than watch the horrible, albeit hilarious video.

People took it very seriously

The negative comments rolled in from people who had not clicked all the way through to see the link was just an April Fool’s joke:

  1. “Great idea but you are asking for lawsuits.” -Jason
  2. “When I interview realtors next time… I’ll give them a 7 page NDA, if you want to talk to me, you sign it that’s what we do in industry before we even talk to a company about a potential deal and you know when you have to bring lawyers in, it always starts the conversation off right!” -Erin
  3. “Had to check out the site too — I would have said that I would be worried about even getting appointments; why would I interview you if there was a chance my secrets could be used against me.” -Kabb
  4. “not sure about “blackmailing” people into hiring them or their home will be spoken bad about?? Seems pretty slimy Frank.” -Michael, Realtor
  5. “If I had read this post prior to listing my house with Frankly I would have gone to a different realtor. This is absolutely and without question unethical and anyone who thinks otherwise has a twisted sense of right and wrong.” -Mark
  6. “Would become a dogma on the realtor profession if you break the basic bond of trust that is existing when the seller discloses the ’secrets’ of a home to be listed. To break that trust to recover gas money – I’d rather suggest you get ready for more spend on legal matters.” -Ajay
  7. “Since you were so passionate about it in your video, I realized you were serious. Acutally [sic] it caused me to unsubscribe from your blog when I saw it. Hope this idea does not back fire on you. It’s risky…. “in my opinion” but you never know…” -Peggy

Some instantly supported by tweeting as if it were real, or by commenting on Llosa’s blog explanation.

  1. “This is one brilliant way of turning lemons into golden lemonade!! Kudos to you for coming up with yet another amazing idea.” -Fritz
  2. “Most valuable site I’ve visited yet this month.” -Tim
  3. “awesome! I’ve been looking for a “Carfax” type website for houses and this is it. can’t wait to start using it. it would be really great to know about mold problems the seller is not disclosing” -Amit

What fascinated us was some of the responses from those that understood it was a parody, for example, Kevin Lisota, CEO and Founder of Findwell.com said on Twitter, “I know this is an April Fools spoof, but there’s some merit to this idea for sharing info about homes.”

LostListings is a hit!

As of publication, over 750 unique visitors had made it all the way through to the “gotcha” page (featuring Llosa in a built-in onesie with the socks on) on LostListings. What did anyone expect of the guy whose business card used to be of him in a racquetball outfit complete with a head sweatband? We are truly shocked that anyone thought this was serious as it was never hidden, proving the sheer laziness of people who read a few lines, make assumptions, then comment, just as some will do to this very column.

Welcome to the internet, people, now look at a calendar – it’s April 1st. We have bad news for you: LostListings is a joke, and so are Google Nose and Bacon-flavored Scope (although the new bacon-flavored condoms are not). Hope we haven’t destroyed your world view.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Cindy Jones

    April 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Franks April Fools Joke shows how many agents don’t bother to read all the way through blog posts or watch videos all the way to the end. It’s the same problem we face every day with MLS showing instructions.

  2. jonbenya

    April 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    In other news, Frank once again proves the inherent laziness of the industry at large… Love it!

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