Connect with us

Business Marketing

“Stable Area – Avoid Sinkhole”



 manure Happens

If you thought the MLS was full of color and confusion, check out these gems from area newspapers and online real estate sites.  Is there a glitch in YOUR pitch?

For Those Who Want Only the Best

“Must see this germ to believe it!” (…said the agent with infectious enthusiasm.)

“Five bedrooms great for parties (Offered by The King of Swing)

“New drips in gardenr” (Penicillin will do the killin.”)

“Please remove shoes before woking on carpet.” (A stir-fry buy.)

“Let’s make deal and celibate.” (This must be a nunnery with no funnery.)

“Minimalist design w/ sleek lines. Even your fuzziest buyers will love it.”(Let me guess…a hamster wheel?)

Don’t Count on Multiple Offers…

“Big closet and another area for hanging.” (Presenting the Benedict Arnold Suite. )

“Stable area. Avoid sink hole on Laurel.” (Avoid morons who use oxymorons.)

“Cervical driveway accommodates 4 cars.” (I think there’s a surgery for that.)

“Top of the loin appliances” (Ahhh…so it has built in plumbing?)

“3% commission to selling orfice.” (Well, shut my mouth!)

Isn’t That a Little Personal?

“Pls send mamo with buyers’ names.” (Sure, we’ll keep you abreast.)

“Bridal cottage of silenced film star.” (Better wed than dead.)

“Relax on veranda while son drops behind Mt. Baldy.” (At least there will be one less mouth to feed.)

“Qualifications checkerd” (Whose – yours or theirs?)

And We Love Agents With a Sense of Humor

“Safe is empty so tell buyers not to get any ideas.”

“Only 650 sq’ but nice if you’re small”

And My Absolute Fave:

“Near famous re-hab,  just in case escrow drives you to drink.”

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,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.

Continue Reading


  1. MIssy Caulk

    January 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  2. Gwen Banta

    January 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Truth is stranger than fiction, Missy…and so is real Estate!

  3. Joe Loomer

    January 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Wow – I saw the “stable area” and wondered if it meant the same thing it does here – as in “horse stable!” Probably not, but that’s a story for another day!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  4. Gwen Banta

    January 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Joe, In Hollywood it could mean anything. This IS the wild West , you know. Paris Hilton is our Sheriff, and Charlie Sheen is Mayor. The City Council usually meets in the Viper Room. We purify our water supply with Stoli, and we pave our streets with any greenback smaller than a twenty. Up-and-coming starlets are used as speed bumps, and agents are our main weapon against terrorists. (Nobody in his right mind would take on a Hollywood agent.)

    Laws are “negotiable here, Joe,” and when we DO manage to wrangle a roustabout, we give him/her a reality show just to teach them a darn lesson. Due to overcrowding, the Beverly Hills Hotel has been adopted as a satellite jail. If an offender is overly recalcitrant, he is forced to order ONLY from the menu – that’s hurts, you know. Many belong to a religious order called “Paparazzi Presbyterian,” where the old Bible verse about not hiding one’s light under a bushel has been reinterpretted to mean “always have a strobe light in the trunk of the Bentley.”

    I-phones are considered “appropriate attire,” however, clothing is optional. We are green, lean and mean…with abundant teens and queens. We are a force NOT to be reckoned with. (I love L.A.!)

  5. Melissa Zavala

    January 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Those really made me laugh. Thanks for sharing–although it doesn’t really reflect well on our fellow Realtors who (apparently) cannot master dissemination of accurate information on the MLS.

  6. Patrick Flynn

    January 23, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Gwen Banta-the Jerry Sienfeld

  7. Patrick Flynn

    January 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Gwen Banta-the Jerry Sienfeld of Real Estate blogs. I love her posts!

  8. Gwen Banta

    January 23, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I agree, Melissa. Maybe the State Real Estate exam should include a test for spelling and syntax. (I am sure some folks think syntax is a tax levied in Vegas.)

  9. Gwen Banta

    January 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you, Patrick – unfortunately I am about as coordinated as Kramer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.



Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

How Instagram’s latest redesign is more sinister than it seems

(MARKETING) Instagram’s latest updates have all but repurposed the app into an online mall – one that tracks everything you see, say, and buy on it.



Woman in hijab taking photo on her smartphone for Instagram, affected by the redesign.

Instagram started the new year off with a makeover in their latest redesign. The notifications button teleported to the top of the screen in the app’s new design, and now the “Shopping” button is in its place.

It’s a subtle yet insidious switch. You’re much more likely to select the marketplace out of habit, by accident, when searching your next dose of online validation.

The app has always been a vital tool for artists, craftspeople, and small businesses to promote their work — including myself. And the new redesign is intended to boost the visibility of those groups. At least, that’s Instagram’s argument.

In an article for The Conversation, Nazanin Andalibi of the University of Michigan School of Information provides a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes.

“By choosing to make the Shop tab central to its platform,” she writes, “Instagram is sending its users a message: This platform is a business, and interactions on this platform are going to be commodified.”

As an advertiser, Instagram’s popularity has exploded in the last decade. Even big pharma is in on the surge, with seventy pharmaceutical companies purchasing ads on the app in 2020. (That made it the fastest growing pharma advertiser of the year.)

As we know, Instagram not only runs ads, but also uses user information to filter who sees what advertisements. Now, shopping is explicitly a central function of the app. It sometimes feels like a digital mall… And that’s not really what people signed up for.

I’ve had my account for since I was a teenager, and the experience I have using the app today is totally different from what it once was. For one, it’s increasingly difficult to differentiate paid ads from regular user content on Instagram.

And second, I use Instagram to promote my work, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing personal details about myself anymore.

Because, to use Anadalibi’s words: “Sharing or seeking information about a difficult, personal experience on a social media platform and then having the platform capitalize on an algorithmic understanding of the experience–which might or might not be accurate–is problematic.”

That goes doubly so for youth, who may not be fully aware of that engineering.

For instance, a teenager searching for body positive posts might receive personalized ad results for weight loss programs. A human would probably realize that’s an inappropriate, even triggering suggestion. But algorithms don’t think that way.

Alongside the redesign update, Instagram has also faces recent criticism for their Community Guidelines, which prevent suggestive and explicit images and speech.

And whether you agree with the guidelines or not, don’t be fooled. Instagram isn’t concerned with uplifting its creators, or protecting its young users. Their only goal is protecting their new bottom line, and staying as ad-friendly as possible.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Ghost Reply has us asking: Should you shame a recruiter who ghosted you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Ghost Reply will send an anonymous “kind reminder” to recruiters who ghost job candidates, but is the sweet taste of temporary catharsis worth it?



Stressed woman at a laptop with hands on head, considering if she should send a Ghost Reply.

People hate to get “ghosted” in any situation, personal or professional. But for job seekers who may already be struggling with self-esteem, it can be particularly devastating. Ghost Reply is a new online service that will help you compose and send an email nudge to the ghoster, sending a “kind reminder” telling them how unprofessional it is to leave someone hanging like that.

Ghost Reply wants to help you reach catharsis in all of this stressful mess of finding a job. Almost all of the problems and feelings are compounded by this confounded pandemic that has decimated areas of the workforce and taken jobs and threatened people’s financial security. It is understandable to want to lash out at those in power, and sending a Ghost Reply email to the recruiter or HR person may make you feel better in the short term.

In the long run, though, will it solve anything? Ghost Reply suggests it may make the HR person or recruiter reevaluate their hiring processes, indicating this type of email may help them see the error of their ways and start replying to all potential candidates. If it helps them reassess and be more considerate in the future and helps you find closure in the application/interview process, that would be the ideal outcome on all fronts. It is not likely this will happen, though.

The Ghost Reply sample email has the subject line “You have a message from a candidate!” Then it begins, “Hi, (name), You’re receiving this email because a past candidate feels like you ghosted them unfairly.” It then has a space for said candidate to add on any personal notes regarding the recruiter or process while remaining anonymous.

I get it. It’s upsetting to have someone disappear after you’ve spent time and energy applying, possibly even interviewing, only to hear nothing but crickets back from the recruiter or HR person you interacted with. It’s happened to me more than once, and it’s no bueno. We all want to be seen. We all want to be valued. Ghosting is hurtful. The frustration and disappointment, even anger, that you feel is certainly relatable. According to several sources, being ghosted after applying for a job is one of the top complaints from job seekers on the market today.

Will an anonymous, passive-aggressive email achieve your end? Will the chastened company representative suddenly have a lightbulb go off over their heads, creating a wave of change in company policy? I don’t see it. The first sentence of the sample email, in fact, is not going to be well received by HR.

When you start talking about what’s “unfair,” most HR people will tune out immediately. That kind of language in itself is unprofessional and is a red flag to many people. Once you work at a company and know its culture and have built relationships, then, maybe, just maybe, can you start talking about your work-related feelings. I believe in talking about our feelings, but rarely is a work scenario the best place to do so (I speak from experience). Calling it unprofessional is better, less about you and more about the other person’s behavior.

However, it’s unclear how productive Ghost Reply actually is. Or how anonymous, frankly. By process of deduction, the recipient of the email may be able to figure out who sent it, if it even makes it through the company’s spam filters. Even if they cannot pinpoint the exact person, it may cast doubts on several applicants or leave a bad taste in the recruiter’s mouth. It sounds like sour grapes, which is never a good thing.

There may be any number of reasons you didn’t get the job offer or interview, and they may or may not have something to do with you. Recruiters answer your burning questions, including why you may have been ghosted in this recent article in The American Genius.

Ultimately, you will never know why they ghosted you. If it makes you feel better or at least see the issue from both sides, the amount of job candidates ghosting recruiters after applying and even interviewing is equally high. Some people simply either have awful time management skills or awful manners, and at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do about that.

Focus on your own survival while job hunting, instead of these disappointing moments or the person who ghosts you. It will serve you better in the long run than some anonymous revenge email. There are other ways to deal with your frustration and anger when you do get ghosted, though. Try the classic punching your pillow. Try taking a walk around the block. If it helps to put your frustration into words, and it very well may, then do so. Write it on a piece of paper, then burn it. Or type it all in an email and delete it. For your own sake, do NOT put their email address in the “To” line, lest you accidentally hit “Send.”

The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move on to finding a better job fit for you.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!