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The MLS – Blooper Encore!




Usually I have to wait several weeks to accumulate enough fodder from The MLS to fill a blooper blog, but this week was exceptional. It has been a long year, and agents out there are either exceptionally tired…or exceptionally loaded. Here is the best of the week: 

Real Estate with a Twist

Proudly erect Old Gory (Try to keep it at half staff, boys.)

Polished Pig-n-groove floors (And who says you can’t dress up a pig?)

Depressed property specialist (Motto: We blame low prices on your bad childhood.)

Clotted cheese ceilings have been removed (Clotted brained agent still on duty.)

Kitchen with new farm stink (I’ll bet it has pig-n-groove floors.)

Sellers have been dislocated (Apparently Vini “The Squeeze” Gambino represented the buyers.)

House with creeping  jasmine and red shingles (A Scratch and Sniff delight.)

Cooktop with gretle (Hansel in oven)

Experienced at shot sales (That’s obvious, you lush.)

Many armenities (Upgrades for Armenians)

English Not Required Here

Entelligent design (Remedial agent.)

His and Herse sinks (For the spouse who wants to drown himself)

Well laid floor (Smiling contractor on call.)

Handrubbed basebroads – (These broads must live in the house with the “Well Laid Floor”…)

New Assfault (That sounds more deadly than the San Andreas!))

Antique travesties in public room (This must be a Nursing Home.)

Charming Mud Century home (Ark out back.)

Light screams in living room (Texas Chain Saw murderer in foyer.)

Vintage pub in bathroom (This gives new meaning to “doing shooters.”)

Abcessed lighting in romantic designer bedroom  (Lust ‘n Pus)

New sliming doors (Designer also known for her Pus House.)

Leaded gass accents (Short walk to Taco Bell.)

And This Week’s Favorite:

“This house will make you yell, Horney, stop the car!” (There’s nothing like a really HOT buyer!)

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.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    October 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    “New Assfault!!!!” OMG – reminds me of my first trip to Germany while in the service and a very young man with a sick sense of humor – driving down the autobahn and seeing “Ausfahrt” at every exit. Giggled for miles – not the smart thing to do at about 100 miles an hour….

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Eric Hempler

    October 2, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Good Picks

  3. Christine Rich

    October 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t often laugh out loud, but cannot help myself when I read these posts. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Pat Curry

    October 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I have tears running down my face from laughing so hard.

  5. Colin Stevens

    October 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Awesome way to start my Friday morning!

  6. Gwen Banta

    October 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Joe, your hilarious tales are enough to fill a blog forever. I am going start collecting your stories in case the MLS actually has a literate week and I run out of material. Knowing you (and all your Navy buddies), we may need to deliver a few in a brown paper cyber-wrapper.

  7. Gwen Banta

    October 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks, Eric. If you see any bloopers in your area, please send them here so we can clip ‘n’ quip.

  8. Gwen Banta

    October 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks, Christine. At the end of a long week, the laughter helps put everything in perspective, doesn’t it?

  9. Joe Loomer

    October 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    When stationed in Greece, I had a Navy buddy a practical joker who spoke pretty good Greek, while his wife did not. The word in Greek from bread is “psomi,” while the word for a certain – shall we say – indelicate portion of the male anatomy is quite similar – simply substitute the “m” with an “l.”

    Well my buddy, Pete, looooooved him some fresh baked bread from the local Greek bakery. So much so, in fact, that Pete was on a first-name, baby-kissing basis with the owner and his entire family.

    Pete also – however – loooooved him some wife-teasing. So he sends his wife down there to the bakery after a quick and muddled Greek lesson about how to ask for “fresh bread.” You can probably guess exactly what his poor wife actually asked for – fresh or not – when she walked in the bakery.

    Long story short – Pete’s wife was never seen outdoors again, and Pete sported some heft shiners for a good two weeks. The rest of us – Greek Baker and clan included – literally peed ourselves for hours.

    Don’t know what in the Love of God this has to do with MLS comments, but the Ausfahrt comment I made had me thinking of how transposing letters can get you in trouble….

    Navy Chief! Navy Pride! Fresh Bread for all my Filemoos! Yassu!

  10. Gwen Banta

    October 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I love that story, Joe – LMAF. Yes, transposing letters and misspelling can be dangerous. What if psomi were spelled psonmi? I am sure you can find that on the Greek MLS somewhere!

  11. Matthew Hardy

    October 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Yer a font… a reg’ler font. 😀

  12. Gwen Banta

    October 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I’m font of you, too, Matthyeu 🙂

  13. Lesley Lambert

    October 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Oh my gosh, that was great! LOL thanks for the giggle!

  14. stephanie crawford

    October 3, 2009 at 1:05 am

    “New Farm Stink” ha!

  15. Susie Blackmon

    October 3, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Pretty hilarious and part of the reason we have respect issues. Photography and English should be … well, nevermind.

  16. Matt Stigliano

    October 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Joe – Having been to Germany so many times I was being to consider switching to the all pork and beer diet, I know what you mean. I still giggle a little when I see it – and I knew what it meant the first time I went there.

    Gwen – If your MLS ever cleans up its act, it will be a sad day here at AgentGenius. Although I find myself slightly embarrassed to see the things I see thanks to you, I might lose all faith in laughter if I didn’t see them.

  17. Gwen Banta

    October 4, 2009 at 2:24 am

    You’re welcome, Lesley. I just found some for next week that I can’t wait to share!

  18. Gwen Banta

    October 4, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Maybe the agent hated the seller, Stephanie…

  19. Gwen Banta

    October 4, 2009 at 2:26 am

    I agree, Susie, but at least we can have a lot of fun laughing at ourselves!

  20. Gwen Banta

    October 4, 2009 at 2:33 am

    I don’t think we’ll ever run out of material, Matt. I get a lot of submissions from all over the country these days. It seems that misspellings and Freudian slips are a national malady. Maybe it’s a general lack of sleep in our profession…or an inability to hold our licker…uh, liquor.

  21. Paula Henry

    October 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    After being AWOL for a bit, this made my week! I unashamedly admit – I hope agents never quit writing content for you.

  22. Gwen Banta

    October 7, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Welcome back, Paula! I’ll be in Indy next week, and you can be sure I’ll be scanning all the real estate ads in the Indianapolis Times for Hoosier Hilarity!

  23. Karen Cloke Rodriguez

    January 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    So funny, but so sad at the same time! I saw a blooper so bad one time that I had to print out the MLS sheet and mail it to the agent. I live in New Orleans and this listing was right after the Hurricane. She described the property as “ravished by Katrina.” I wrote her a note saying that I was sure she meant to say ravaged. And I included the Webster’s Dictionary definition of ravished, you know, just in case…

  24. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Karen, I love that! I constantly see “dick” instead of “deck” as in “”large dick for entertaining.” It HAS to be Freudian!

  25. paula henry

    January 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Still funny;) Happy New Yearn Gwen!

  26. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you, dear Paula. Be sure to ‘fess up about some of your resolutions so we can all comisserate on our collective weaknesses 🙂

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Business Marketing

Marketing amidst uncertainty: 3 considerations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As the end of the COVID tunnel begins to brighten, marketing strategies may shift yet again – here are three thoughts to ponder going into the future.



Open business sign being held by business owner for marketing purposes.

The past year has been challenging for businesses, as operations of all sizes and types and around the country have had to modify their marketing practices in order to address the sales barriers created by the pandemic. That being said, things are beginning to look up again and cities are reopening to business as usual.

As a result, companies are looking ahead to Q3 with the awareness they need to pivot their marketing practices yet again. The only question is, how?

Pandemic Pivot 1.0: Q3 2020

When the pandemic disrupted global markets a year ago, companies looked for new ways to reach their clients where they were: At home, even in the case of B2B sales. This was the first major pivot, back when store shelves were empty care of panic shopping, and everyone still thought they would only be home for a few weeks.

How did this transition work? By building out more extensive websites, taking phone orders, and crafting targeted advertising, most companies actually survived the crisis. Some even came out ahead. With this second pivot, however, these companies will have to use what they knew before the pandemic, while making savvy predictions about how a year-long crisis may have changed customer behavior.

Think Brick And Mortar

As much as online businesses played a key role in the pandemic sales landscape, as the months wore on, people became increasingly loyal to local, brick and mortar businesses. As people return to their neighborhood for longer in-person adventures, brands should work on marketing strategies to further increase foot traffic. That may mean continuing to promote in-store safety measures, building a welcoming online presence, and developing community partnerships to benefit from other stores’ customer engagement efforts.

Reach Customers With PPC

Obviously brick and mortar marketing campaigns won’t go far for all-online businesses, but with people staying at home less, online shops may have a harder time driving sales. Luckily, they have other tools at their disposal. That includes PPC marketing, one of the most effective, trackable advertising strategies.

While almost every business already uses some degree of PPC marketing because of its overall value, but one reason it’s such a valuable tool for businesses trying to navigate the changing marketplace is how easy it is to modify. In fact, best practice is to adjust your PPC campaign weekly based on various indicators, which is what made it a powerful tool during the pandemic as well. Now, instead of using a COVID dashboard to track the impact of regulations on ad-driven sales, however, companies can use PPC marketing to see how their advertising efforts are holding up to customers’ rapidly changing shopping habits.

It’s All About The Platforms

When planning an ad campaign, what you say is often not as important as where you say it – a modern twist on “the medium is the message.” Right now, that means paying attention to the many newer platforms carrying innovative ad content, so experiment with placing ads on platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and NextDoor and see what happens.

One advantage of marketing via smaller platforms is that they tend to be less expensive than hubs like Facebook. That being said, they are all seeing substantial traffic, and most saw significant growth during the pandemic. If they don’t yield much in the way of results, losses will be minimal, but given the topical and local targeting various platforms allow for, above and beyond standard PPC targeting, they could be just what your brand needs as it navigates the next set of marketplace transitions.

The last year has been unpredictable for businesses, but Q3 2021 may be the most uncertain yet as everyone attempts to make sense of what normal means now. The phrase “new normal,” overused and awkward as it is, gets to the heart of it: we can pretend we’re returning to our pre-pandemic lives, but very little about the world before us is familiar, so marketing needs a “new normal,” too.

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Business Marketing

Advertising overload: Let’s break it down

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new study finds that frequent ads are actually more detrimental to a brand’s image than that same brand advertising near offensive content.



Advertising spread across many billboards in a city square.

If you haven’t noticed, ads are becoming extremely common in places that are extremely hard to ignore—your Instagram feed, for example. Advertising has certainly undergone some scrutiny for things like inappropriate placement and messaging over the years, but it turns out that sheer ad exhaustion is actually more likely to turn people off of associated brands than the aforementioned offensive content.

Marketing Dive published a report on the phenomenon last Tuesday. The report claims that, of all people surveyed, 32% of consumers said that they viewed current social media advertising to be “excessive”; only 10% said that they found advertisements to be “memorable”.

In that same group, 52% of consumers said that excessive ads were likely to affect negatively their perception of a brand, while only 32% said the same of ads appearing next to offensive or inappropriate content.

“Brand safety has become a hot item for many companies as they look to avoid associations with harmful content, but that’s not as significant a concern for consumers, who show an aversion to ad overload in larger numbers,” writes Peter Adams, author of the Marketing Dive report.

This reaction speaks to the sheer pervasiveness of ads in the current market. Certainly, many people are spending more time on their phones—specifically on social media—as a result of the pandemic. However, with 31% and 27% of surveyed people saying they found website ads either “distracting” or “intrusive”, respectively, the “why” doesn’t matter as much as the reaction itself.

It’s worth pointing out that solid ad blockers do exist for desktop website traffic, and most major browsers offer a “reader mode” feature (or add-on) that allows users to read through things like articles and the like without having to worry about dynamic ads distracting them or slowing down their page. This becomes a much more significant issue on mobile devices, especially when ads are so persistent that they impact one’s ability to read content.

Like most industries, advertisers have faced unique challenges during the pandemic. If there’s one major takeaway from the report, it’s this: Ads have to change—largely in terms of their frequency—if brands want to maintain customer retention and loyalty.

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Business Marketing

7 simple tips to boost your customer loyalty online

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Without a brick-and-mortar store, building rapport and customer loyalty can be a challenge, but you can still build customer loyalty online.



Man and woman at kitchen table online shopping on laptop together, boosting customer loyalty.

With many businesses – both big and small – operating online, there are less opportunities for building those face-to-face relationships that exist in brick and mortar stores. According to smallbizgenius, 65% of the company’s revenue comes from existing customers.

It’s important to keep in mind the different tactics at your disposal for increasing customer loyalty. Noupe recently released a list of actionable tips for increasing this loyalty. Let’s examine these ideas and expand on the best.

  1. Keep your promises – Stay true to what you’ve agreed to, obviously contractually, but stay true to your company values as well. Even if you feel you’ve built a good loyalty where there is room to take a step back, don’t rest on your laurels and be sure to remain consistent. If you’ve provided a good experience, keep that going. The only change that should happen is in it getting better.
  2. Stay in communication – In addition to the ever-so-vital social media platforms, consider creating an email newsletter to stay in touch with your customers. Finding ways to have them keep you in mind should be at the front of your mind. By reaching out and being friendly, this will help retain their business.
  3. Be flexible with payments – No, don’t sell yourself short, but consider installment plans for pricier items or services. This will help customers feel more at ease when their wallet’s health is at stake.
  4. Reward programs – Consider allowing customers to accrue loyalty points in exchange for a freebie. The old punch card method is still an incredibly popular concept, and is a great way to keep people coming back. The cost associated with giving something away for free will be minimal in comparison to loyalty you receive in order for the customer to get to that point. Make sure that what a customer is putting in is about equal to what they’re getting out of it (i.e. don’t have a customer spend $100 in order to get $1 off their next purchase). If all of this proves successful, this can eventually be expanded by creating VIP levels.
  5. Prioritize customer service – A first impression is everything. By prioritizing customer service, you can help shape the narrative of the customer and how they view your business. This splinters off into them giving good word of mouth recommendations to friends and family. Be sure to keep positive customer service as the forefront of your mind, as giving a bad review is just as easy – or even easier – as giving a good review.
  6. Value feedback – Allow customers a space to provide their feedback, either on your website or on social media. Find out what brought them to you and gage how their experience was. Be sure to thank them for their feedback and take it into consideration. Feedback – both good and bad – can be vital in helping shape a business.
  7. Avoid laziness – Stay sharp at all times. Don’t treat all customers as nothing but currency. Include personalized touches wherever you can. This will make all of the difference.

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