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Can Real Estate Related Topics Be Funny?



I have been thinking about humor a lot lately because of Todd’s contest. Todd Carpenter, decided to run a contest for the funniest blog post for 2007.

Predictably there is some disagreement as to what is funny and what is not. Some of Todd’s readers did not find the nominations to be funny. There is a post on the list that I don’t think is funny but I understand why others see humor in it.

Last March I scandalized some in the real estate community when my practical joke, the blog of mass destruction, cleverly disguised as a hot dog stand was released on the Internet by a well meaning friend, with a great sense of humor.

Things got so ugly that at one point I deleted the blog. I had a lot going on at the time and did not have the energy to deal with the mess the blog created. Some of my friends talked me down so to speak and I put the blog back up. They reminded me of my values and that I am not a coward, or someone who can be easily influenced or bullied.

I received email and comments from the RE net letting me know that having a blog like The Real Estate Weenie was not acceptable. That is also when I leaned who the bullies on the playground are. There are cowards out there too, who immediately distanced themselves from the situation rather than risk their reputations. I have more respect for the bullies because at least they are honest bullies. I also learned that I have some friends that I didn’t know I had. I continue to learn from the hot dog stand and I know that it still has more to teach me.

My blogs are a creative outlet, which I need because I am more creative than my job is. The real estate weenie represents freedom of speech, or maybe just freedom. Real estate is a serious topic, but there is humor in it too and humor is a big part of my life. There is no greater joy in my life than to make someone smile or laugh. I recently joked with a client who found me through my blog that I wonder why I attract smart a—’s as clients. He was horrible, but very funny, and we laughed our way through a difficult transaction. I loved having him for a client.

My humor is usually directed at myself, the real estate industry, technology, social networks, and rarely at individuals unless it is someone that I know well enough to know that the post will make them smile. I don’t have to take myself seriously and to be honest no one can make me. Peer pressure doesn’t work. Using humor on a business blog is risky, it takes courage and a certain amount of strength. I respect people who do not want to use it on their own blogs.

I recognize that some don’t get my humor or like it. There are some very popular blogs, and bloggers out there that I don’t get at all. I never mention it, I just don’t read them. I can’t please everyone and gave up trying shortly after junior high.

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.

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  1. Jay Thompson

    December 18, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Humor is SO different for everyone. What is funny to one could be offensive to another — and anything in between. It is completely subjective and impossible to measure.

    Now how someone could claim *any* blog is “not acceptable” is beyond me. Sure, one may not *like* a particular blog/style/post/blogger, but who made up the rules that says what is acceptable, or not? Despite some that make an effort, I have yet to see The Blogging Rulebook.

    And I hope I never do.

  2. Todd Carpenter

    December 18, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    I didn’t get the Real weenie joke when it surfaced. At first glance, a blog like that, with no posts to place it in context, looked as if it could be rather mean spirited. I honestly didn’t know what to think about it, and blew it off.

    A couple months later, I visited again, and almost split my side open. It was hilarious. I think the problem is that it can be hard to relate intent through a computer screen. Teresa and I have the same problem in that we like to use sarcasm as tool of comedy. That’s hard enough to do in person, but on the net, it can read as an insult.

    Teresa has been at the working end of my humor on more than one occasion. Just Google “Teresa Boardman undressed” or “Endorsed by Teresa Boardman”. And who can forget the weeniercorn episode right here on A.G? I know I can get away with it because I know her well enough to know she will think it’s funny.

    The chalange is, trying to figure out if a perfect stranger will feel the same way.

  3. Teresa boardman

    December 18, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Todd, were you being funny? I cried myself to sleep after I read your post. Just kidding you make me laugh. You are right about humor being hard to do.but it is also very rewarding because of the people I meet. Even others in the industry like you and Lani and Ben to name three.

  4. Vicki Moore

    December 18, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I can’t believe I have been missing out of the Real Estate Weenie! I just subscribed to the feed. I have been told many times that I have a sick sense of humor. It takes all kinds and you can’t please ’em all!

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    December 18, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I thought the real estate weenie was about Larry Cragun, my mistake.

  6. Teresa Boardman

    December 18, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Jay – there is no rule book and that is a good thing.

  7. Chris Lengquist

    December 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Humor is as humor does. Real estate is funny because people are funny. Sometimes sadly so.

    The bad news for all of you is that I’m one of the judges and I love sarcasm…and good writing.

    The good news is I’m very open to humor of all kinds.

  8. Mariana

    December 18, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Sarcasm CAN be a difficult type of humor to portray. Maybe we should just WRITE a humor rule book and anyone who does not play by the rules, well, we can just block them from our FaceBook accounts.

  9. Cyndee Haydon

    December 19, 2007 at 12:18 am

    T – this is an interesting topic as the comments portray. I know that your persona sends me mixed messages online an make me very nervous at times however, when I’ve spoken to you in person I don’t feel that way at all. You have a great sense of humor but I gotta admit I always tremble a little hoping not to be a T Weanie in public.

    I applaud your constant willingness to take risks – I find myself more “conservative” and “inhibited” – I find it hard to separate from my public persona – interesting to ponder the pros and cons of each for me.

  10. Teresa Boardman

    December 19, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Cyndee – honestly the only way I can write at all is by just being me. If I try to hard to be the way I think others want me to be I can’t write a word. I attract a kind of client that I work well with. As for the risk taking, I do take too many. Part of it with me is learning. If I don’t take risks I don’t learn as much as quickly.

  11. Jay Thompson

    December 19, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Chris – You’re judging? Have I told you how much I enjoy watching Jayhawk basketball?

  12. ines

    December 19, 2007 at 9:08 am

    I remember that whole ordeal but what I remember more is the way you handled it and YOU ROCKED IT!

    I can tell you that the more sarcastic your humor is, the more I like it…..but then again, I’m a bit strange.

    So when is the weenie roasting contest?

  13. Chris Lengquist

    December 19, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Jay – Too late. I remember the Texas fight song crack. 🙂

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?



What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.


Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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