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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.

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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.

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Written By

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.



  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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