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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

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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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.

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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.

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