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Wish I Said That!

Hilarious comments overheard in real estate.

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chalk outline

Some of you may remember a blog I wrote a few months ago called  Un-Real Estate – Shutta Yo Mouth, which quoted some ridiculous comments made by buyers. Well now it’s time to buck up and admit that, as agents, we have often said some things that could have been better stated. And sellers have contributed some classic lines themselves. So here are examples of comments made by agents and sellers…followed by the words we maybe SHOULD have said:

Bite My Tongue

We can’t go any lower. (Unless you’re the governor of South Carolina)

All offers are welcome (Although we may burn them and then stick needles in a doll that looks just like you.)

Maybe the sellers will give a credit. (Oops, there goes a chunk of my commission)

That’s just mildew. (Would you like to borrow my inhaler?)

It’s a great neighborhood. (Why is that guy driving off in my Beemer?)

The elementary school is not much of a problem. (As long as you’re Marlee Matlin.)

The high school is not much of a problem either. (As long as you are Marlee Matlin and you’re unconscious.)

You need a credit cleaner? (No, your uncle Tony the Terminator in Jersey does not factor in to your FICO scores.)

No, I don’t think your bankruptcy is a problem. (But the sheriff’s car coming up the driveway does not bode well.)

True, the bright colors you painted the house sure are “fun.” (Do you have any Dramamine handy?)

Sure, we can sell this for more than any other home in the area. (And I can fly upside down in a cow paddy rain storm while doing the Macarena.)

The Truth Often Bites Back

How clever – a cement yard that only needs a quick wash. (Your wife needs a quick shave, and she’ll still be ugly, too.)

Yes, I think you should disclose the leaky pipe in the basement. (Let’s make it bubble and call it a spa.)

You probably should have gotten a permit. (The sky needle on your house is interesting, but the sparks off the high wires may discourage potential buyers.)

Yes, odors are objective. (Although the corn processing plant down the street smells like infected feet and brings back fond memories of Uncle Herb, you may want to disclose it.)

No, I do not consider $150k less than list price a low ball offer. (Do you consider a slap upside the head assault and battery?)

Sure, we can call the shed a third bedroom. (And we can call your husband a gentleman if he gets his hand out of his pants.)

Yes, your collection needs to be put away before the open house.  (I know you were a porn star, but I was the pogo stick champion of Elm Street, and I don’t carry my equipment with me.)

The duct tape on the window is not a problem. (But the finger print dust may be a deal breaker.)

A shopping center nearby is always a good feature. (But the Bail Bonds Emporium around the corner is best left unmentioned.)

Yes, a septic tank is common in this area. (Perhaps we can call the odiferous brown marsh in your back yard a wild life habitat.)

Don’t Push Your Luck, Dude

Of course you can back out if you get cold feet. (However, I will hobble you so you will never use those cold feet again.)

I agree, the church bells are lovely. (But I think the music from the pub across the street may be your lottery ticket.)

We’ve had no offers in six months, so we need to lower the price. (It will be hard to move this puppy with an agent hanging from a noose in your living room.)

And overheard at a July 4th open house: “The graffiti in the back alley is just the way kids nowadays express themselves.” (The chalk outline on the front walk is just the LAPD being cute.)

For more Un-Real Estate Commentaries, please visit Sherlock of Homes.blogspot.com.

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. Joe Loomer

    July 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

    “Infected Feet?” Good Googley Moogley Gwen!!

    I think you ought to write one about what agents say about their clients to other agents – in violation of all Ethics and Fiduciary Duty.

    Had one yesterday call me – he and his buyers are late to the closing table, and I’m sitting there with the attorney. He calls, I have to hold the phone away from my ear because he’s so loud – and the attorney can hear him clearly talking about the 30 IQ his buyers must have because they got lost coming to closing and he has to go find them. Goes on to tell me how he never wants to see them again after closing and the husband is the biggest *@#hole in the world and blah, blah, blah.

    The attorney – a good friend of mine and a retired Navy F-14 pilot – looks at me dead-pan and asked if I was trying to recruit the agent to Keller Williams. I told him he and I would be smoking crack on the mooon before THAT happened.

    Thanks for another great post !

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Gwen Banta

    July 10, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    That’s a GENIUS idea, Joe. I think I’ll do a survey in the office. It’s also a reminder to “zip it” when frustrated with our clients. I once had another agent tell me she was so fed up with her client that she planned to divorce him. Now THAT was unique!

  3. Kim Curran

    July 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Always enjoy your posts Gwen.

  4. Gwen Banta

    July 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks, Kim – Considering some of the comments I heard just TODAY, WE won’t run out of laughter for awhile. I heard an agent tell his client that he thought FICO stood for Federal International Credit Office. HUH???

  5. Robert Zuniga

    July 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    It’s a fascinating world! Love the Truths you share!

  6. tomferry

    July 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Gwen- this was great!! Thank you for making me laugh OUT LOUD AND LOUD the whole way through! Hey, and if we can’t have a little fun once in a while …!!! thk

    TF

  7. Gwen Banta

    July 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks, Robert – The truth is so funny, who needs fiction?

  8. Gwen Banta

    July 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I am so glad you had a good laugh, Tom – that’s great for the heart AND the soul!

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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