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Real Estate Rabble – Translators Needed!

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I’m calling ITT Tech. It’s time they establish a course for translators for the MLS. Often the listings I see are so wacky I have to read them several times…yet sometimes they take on a life of their own.  It’s like listening to Dame Edna Everage – I scratch my head and wonder why the absurdity is actually starting to make sense to me! Am I crazy?  Don’t answer that, please – just enjoy the fun:

What Language Are You Speaking?

“Seller died. Truss sale.” (Just what we all need – used jock straps…)

“House has been Retro Flit” (House in West Hollywood, I presume.)

“Just pantsed lower area” (Did you fill in the “cracks”?)

“Nice lunch – arrive rearly!” (Uh, are we coming or going…and are we still in West Hollywood?)

“Close in 30 days – big bogus!” (Overexposure on the Disclosure. )

“House w/ beautiful dessert views” (House overlooking the pie display at Marie Callender’s.)

Are You High?

“Twilit Open – wine plunch reception. (Apparently the plunch is already flowing…)

“Good solid re-built rancher with bonus” (Well hot damn – give him my number!)

“Come see this very apeeling home” (Are you selling a house or a banana?)

“Please use probing form” (What do I look like – a gynecologist?)

“Guests have privates exit” (Hmmm – I think that’s called a zipper.)

Perhaps You Should Quit While You’re Ahead

“Hot new liesting” (Thank you, Speedy Gonzales.)

“Nice duplex with new sliding” – (Litigation location proclamation?)

“Buy before reduction and save money” (With that logic, you could work for the government.)

“Needs paint but is nice infernally” ( I’ll alert Dante.)

“Nice bungalow – must double upp.” (Deal ‘em pal – it’s Bungalow Blackjack!)

Put Down Your Martini and Go Home

“Nice greenhouse w/ horniculture specimans” (Uh, I think that covers most the men in Los Angeles.)

(Thanks for all reader contributions to this week’s laugh fest!)

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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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Melissa Zavala

    September 10, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Gwen: Your examples always make me laugh. But, seriously, agents really need to focus on the details (or hire a great assistant to do so) if they hope to have a large following and much future business. These types of errors do not demonstrate professionalism.

  2. Nadina Cole-Potter

    September 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Our MLS forms that are used to compile property details and write comments must be signed off by the clients. And I think our ZipForms have a spell check feature. (The reason I am tentative is that I am a commercial agent and we generally don’t use the AZ state forms). Evidently, the clients in Los Angeles don’t see similar forms or are as editing and proofreading challenged as the agents. That being said, the last time I input into the MLS, Zip Forms did not autopopulate into the MLS so the slip between a corrected form and keyboarding into the MLS might be ham-handedness. Don’t know if our MLS has a spell-check feature but Los Angeles certainly needs one. Although that would take away my weekly belly-laugh from Gwen’s postings.

  3. gwen banta

    September 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    It’s interesting, Nadina, that some agents do not know how to use spell check. That being said, please note that many of the errors are also from printed real estate ads, and from MLS programs in other states. My blog subscribers are from all over the U.S. and Canada, so I get many contributions from elsewhere. I am convinced that English as a second language is responsible for many of the bloopers, so I try not to be too critical. I am sure that during my career I have made a number of serious poopers. Uh, bloopers.

  4. Ken Brand

    September 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Usually, all I have to worry about when I’m reading your posts, is not to be drinking a glass a moo-juice. Then I don’t have to worry about milk shooting out of my nose when I laugh. But, today, you’ve gone too far, your photo choice is completely freaking me out.

    Cheers and thanks for the shudder.

  5. gwen banta

    September 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    That’s my Senior Photo, Ken!

    • Ken Brand

      September 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Obviously, every high school boy is kicking themselves in the groin, now they know, they should have been patient. Some people are late bloomers, comparing your high school photo to now, you should submit your “then and now” photo to Websters. When people look up late bloomer, BAM! There you are. I suggest you never look back, bygones;-)

  6. gwen banta

    September 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you , Ken, but I must disclose that my purple hair was a real turn-on to the boys. I am considering going back to that look from my Glory Daze. I should have been Prom Queen, don’t you think? I was dissed. Petty jealousies you know…

    • Ken Brand

      September 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      You can safely rock the purple hair look today, no worries. There’s no way you can recapture the 3Chins though. At your next reunion you’ll when the most “changed”, not as good as prom queen, but sweet victory never the less.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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