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“WHAT A DUMP!” Bette Davis and the MLS



I must need a rest from the Rubik’s Cube that is the MLS and the real estate ad world.  I am beginning to see people. Not just dead people. I see people lurking everywhere. Could this all be subliminal? Am I channeling people to help me decipher the listing remarks? If so, why can’t it be George Clooney? But noooo…I am visited by the spirits below. Have a gander: 

They’re Baaaack 

“Hand carved stool in bar” (“What a DUMP!” Yes, I stole that line from Bette.)

“Unbelievable prince!” (The unbelievable part was when the fool called himself ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’!)

“Solar and energy emission” (Huh? Let me guess – Home of K.C. and the Sunshine Band?)

“You’ll marvel at Bougan Villa” (This must be Pancho Villa’s  hot sister.)

“Near metropink” (All aboard the Clay Aiken Express!)

“Perfect for art correction.” (Come to Mama, Mr. Garfunkle –  it seems you’ve been a naughty boy.)

No End to Odds and Ends 

“One of brest neighborhoods” (Pamela Anderson’s  neighborhood – for those who give a hooter…)

“Area for kissies with trees and grass” (Methinks someone already has been sampling the grass…)

“Gorgeous peed a teer” (I think I leaked a little myself when I read this!)

“New alumininium siding” (Gesundheit!)

“Co-op with half walls and friar escape” (A funky bunk for Friar Tuck?)

“For those who want a bargun” (I know I do – especially when I’m at Hatchet’s Road House.)

“State of the art teater system (Art Linkletter’s dairy… Moo.)

“Georges Sparking Interior” (Boy George is having a fire sale!) 

Mommy, They’re Baaaack… 

“You won’t refuse this” (Offered by Vito Corleone Real Estate Group)

“Not copper, but no corruption” (A salute to Mr. Eliot Ness?)

“Refreshments served for shot time” (Cheerfully hosted by John Gotti.)

“Great mob remodeling – Vacant”  (Home Alone with Al Capone.)

Special Acknowledgement to Jersey

“Newly limed Fireplace” (A gift from Vito “The Enforcer” Vitello.  Excuse me as I disappear without a trace.)

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. Sheila Rasak

    September 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

    At the tender age of 50, I fear that I’ll have to invest in Depends should I be brave enough to read another Gwen Bana article!

    I recently had a friend attempt to decide which Realtor to go with when purchasing a foreclosure. He asked if I minded that he select the other agent and pay me the traditional referral fee. I asked why he selected her over me and he stated that her approach was a lot more gentle. I came close to saying that I would be a lot softer in negotiations, in fact, I’d be willing to take a blank check to the lender’s agent and have them fill in the alloted amount, but I chose to take the higher road and bow out gracefully. Who am I to judge when I tell my CPA how to file my taxes and my attorney what laws are current? 😉

    This part-time Realtor started the negotiations and made many mistakes along the way some of which did not protect the buyer. My client ran everything by me and there were several corrections to be made to cover the client but the one that still stands out to me today is where she wrote into the contract:
    “Home inspection to be payed for by byer, termite report to be payed for by seller, byer will not pay for warrenty home protecton plan.”

    I digress. It’s time to leave my soap box to work with some clients and shall bring my dictionary! (Or should I just send it to her?)

  2. gwen banta

    September 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    If I can keep you laughing @Sheila, I’ll happily pitch in for your Depends. Regarding your anecdote – perhaps in hindsight it was best that the other agent got the lion’s share of the commission. She obviously needed the money for continuing education classes.


    September 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    i love bette!! thank you for referencing her!

  4. gwen banta

    September 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Yes, Bette Davis was incomparable, Herman.

  5. Paula Henry

    September 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    My five year old grand daughter just peeked over my shoulder and said, “What”? She wanted to know why I was laughing so hard. She wanted an image, not words. If I could have shared the images going through my mind…….

    Another great collection, Gwen!

  6. gwen banta

    September 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks, Paula – I hope you “peed a teer.” Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Rob McCance

    September 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Those are great.

    Also, check out this classy video. The music is perfect.

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Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.



Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?



blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.



Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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