Connect with us

Business Marketing

Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis? (MLS laughs)



I’ve been out of town awhile, but the MLS has not let me down in my absence. Like a confused turkey, the MLS ran amuck again with hilarious misspellings and baffling comments. Thanks to my partner, Patrick Martin, for keeping a watchful eye on the MLS, the LA Times and the L.A. Magazine ads. I also picked up a few in my travels, so I now know Los Angeles is not the only town with a spelling problem (remember Dan Quale?). Here are my faves:

Fools Rush In…

“Big spackling fool with new spa” (Big spewing fool with new listing.)

“Extra Doom upstairs” (Proudly offered by Freddy Krueger)

“Shot sale” (That’s better music to the ears than “Oh Danny Boy,” eh, Uncle Paddy?)

“Two giant oafs and an elm” (And one giant oaf at the helm…)

“Old but sturdy, some tilting” (Hmmm…sounds like Uncle Paddy…)

…Where Wise Men Fear To Tread

“Open House. Nice. Good place for ranters” ( Hosted by Jerry Springer, I presume.)

“House really has god view” (A house in the fast lane of the 405 freeway no doubt.)

“Extra swelling in back is nice” (Cue the music: “ I like big butts and I cannot lie…”)

“Hammereod copper tub”  (A place to soak those sensitive areas with “extra swelling.”)

“Only need a horrors notice” (Thank you, Alfred Hitchcock.)

“Large driveaway with big carpart” (Future home of the Pep Boys.)

“Guardian just planted” (My condolences…)

And Now For the Hard Sell!

“Please remove shoes – boobies provided” (Now that’s the way to sell a house!)

“Come for beverages and buffant.” (Offered by The Real Housewives of New Jersey)

“Lusting is brand new!” (Not in Hollywood, pal – we invented lust!)

Pick ‘o the Litter:

“House shlitter needed for lovely BelAir home” (I thought their shlitt didn’t smell…)

“Pool with two diving broads” (Let me guess…boobies provided?)

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. Lani Rosales

    May 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

    LMAO “boobies provided.” If that one didn’t get a lot of lookie lous, I don’t know what else to say!!

  2. roydevoll

    May 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I wonder why all the interested buyers seem to all be single males? lol

  3. Bob Stahl

    May 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the laughs!

  4. Gwen Banta

    May 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks, Lani – it would be a great slogan for a Hollywood plastic surgeon, dont you think?

  5. Gwen Banta

    May 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Roy, I think that has to do with the “boobies provided”!

  6. Gwen Banta

    May 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you, Bob!

  7. Gwen Banta

    May 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Author’s Note: This blog was written and schedule on 05/24 before the unfortunate news of Gary Coleman’s hospitalization this morning. (Gary Coleman is the actor who is famous for the title quote for this blog, which is from the television show, “Different Strokes”). I considered changing the title this morning after I heard the news, but I changed my mind. Gary Coleman was a marvelous child actor, and it was his delivery of the line that made it so funny and famous. Thus, I want to keep the title in honor of his contribution to television history. I know I am not alone in wishing him a complete recovery.

    • Fred Romano

      May 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      You may want to update – He passed away today.

  8. Gwen Banta

    May 29, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Thanks, Fred. I’ve been on the road all day so I was unabble to comment further. I will always chuckle at the memory of his delivery of “Whatchu talkin ’bout, Willis?” It is my catch phrase for whenever I am utterly confused…which is most of the time! May he rest in peace.

  9. Joe Loomer

    May 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    RIP Gary.

    Thanks for the laughs Gwen and welcome back! My heart is lighter knowing you escaped the parking garage unscathed!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Gwen Banta

    May 30, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Thanks, Joe, but I just took my life in hand as I cut down Sunset Blvd on a Saturday night… on a holiday weekend no less. I must have been two bricks short of a patio. It was a death-defying stunt and not recommended for the faint of heart. I have seen calmer scenes at Italian soccer matches…

  11. Bruce Dietz

    May 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for keeping us posed with these MLS gaffs. They are funny and it’s good to be reminded that real estate can be fun.
    I love that line.
    RIP Gary

  12. Bruce Dietz

    May 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

    posted not posed 🙂

  13. Gwen Banta

    May 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Your are so welcome, Bruce. And incidentally, I often use that line, which why I chose it as the title for the blog. I can still see that chubby little scrunched up face delivering that line with such committment!

  14. Roscoe Properties

    June 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you for keeping it light and hilarious! A+ post. Very well done.

  15. Gwen Banta

    June 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    @ Roscoe Properties: Thank YOU, and be sure to read today’s blog on AG for more humor to start your weekend.

  16. Doug Francis

    July 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I just came across, “GREAT PRICE!!!. New fregeratot”… which I think is code for refrigerator.

  17. Gwen Banta

    July 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Hmmmm…”fregeratot” – that must slang for Friggin Tater Tot.

Leave a Reply

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

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.



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!

Continue Reading

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.



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.

Continue Reading

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.



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.

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!