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Caught With Your Pants Down? (MLS Bloopers)

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Well, friends, it was a rough week in real estate advertising and MLS listings.  Pants were dropped, illegal substances were aplenty, and bodily functions needed attention.  There’s no time like the present to fess up if any of the following bloopers were yours.  Christmas is coming, and I have a list of people who will be receiving coal in their stockings if they don’t admit to spelling anarchy.  Check these out:

Tokes and Blokes

“Come joint us at the open” (A high time hosted by Alice B. Toklas.) 

“Aroach from Sunset Blvd” (Number one on Cheech and Chong’s Christmas Wish List)

“New carpot ” (For those in need of mobile weed)

“Big yard w/ trees & lushes” (Uncle Paddy, Uncle Tim: Drop the Guinness and get the hell home.)

“Closet to entertainment” (The history of  Ricky Martin…)

“Splashes of eggplant, cream and espresso” (Hey Belushi – Food fight!)

TMI

“Credit for pantsing” (Cue Creedence Clearwater Revival: “I see  the bad moon arising”…)

“Puper quiet location” (Offered by Flush-n-Hush Realty)

“Close to poopular nightspots” (You must be referring to the “Hollywood Bowel.”)

“We now have clear peed” (Obviously you don’t eat asparagus.)

“Walk to park and balls” (Hmmm…an Ambulatory Fornication Proclamation.)

“Pruperty needs TLC” (Yeah – that zit thing is why Clearasil was invented.)

Things We Can Live Without

“Newly laid pawn in back” (What happened to “cash for your gold”?)

“This one’s for your hussiest buyers” (Hey look – it’s the Heidi Fleiss Residence.)

“Property had a facelit” (‘Seems someone else got lit, too…)

“Includes dead for adjacent lot” (That’s great…for those building a freakin’ cemetery!)

This Week’s Eyebrow Raisers

“Barbarian wood” ( Atilla the Hun is back…and he’s excited.)

“High voltage wires not a problem” (Then why is your hair on fire?)

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn, LAhomesite.com, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Sheila Rasak

    November 19, 2010 at 10:46 am

    The tag of “Caught with your pants down” caught my eye. I’ve recently lost a few pounds and (almost) had an embarrassing moment or two on Weds. I was wearing an a-line dress with bootie shorts underneath (hey, I like to be covered!). I couldn’t keep those suckers up for the life of me. I pretty much spent the day feeling like I was a little girl wearing mommy’s clothing and heels as I stumbled through the day tugging on those shorts for dear life.

    As soon as I walked in the door, those shorts went straight to a trash container!

    Thanks for the morning fun…

  2. gwen banta

    November 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Sheila, that’s a very funny visual. It reminds me of a News story here in L.A. that showed a video of a kid who was running from the cops while his low rider pants kept falling down, revealing his butt crack and impeding his getaway. It was hysterical. Yes…he was caught!

  3. danschuman

    December 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    These are very funny. It is sad though when agents don’t bother to check for spelling errors. An interesting question would be to ask agents if they would contact another agent if they found errors in that agent’s listing in the MLS.

  4. Gwen Banta

    December 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Great question, Dan. How ’bout it folks – DO ANY OF YOU CONTACT OTHER AGENTS WHEN YOU SEE ERRORS IN THEIR LISTINGS? iF SO, ARE THOSE AGENTS ONLY THE ONES WHOM YOU KNOW?

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Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat's video

Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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