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vik3Although we have already visited this topic, friends, it just keeps getting better. The MLS, and local ads in The L.A. Times,  are still full of creative spelling that taxes the imagination…and often sends me into fits of hysteria. Here are a few to start out your holiday weekend with a bong…uh, “bang”:

Behold the Brain Dead:

Jane Eyre cook top (For literary chefs: Read ‘n’ Feed)

Pornable kitchen island (In case the bedroom gets boring)

Includes Art Stud (Art, my number is 1-800-CALLNOW)

Hand maid – built well (Call Gretchen for a good time.)

Bakers wrack (Kitchen of King Henry XIII, no doubt.)

Maids with bedroom excess (Apparently the pornable kitchen islands aren’t enough for the little wenches.)

Newly laid stoned pat (Just say no, Pat.)

What a Difference a Letter Makes!

Alarmed, secure, privates (Complete with sprinkler, it seems.)

Orffice off bedroom (Too easy – let’s not go there!)

Owner taking owen (Fine – take Owen, but leave Art.)

Murphy in bedroom stays (Murphy’s wife and her lover, Owen, taking pornable kitchen island)

Hand rubbed Flor (She must know Art.)

Situated in a convent location (Confessions given in lieu of disclosures?)

Call re escrow & tit info (They’ll keep you abreast.)

Tongue in Groove floors (That’s gotta hurt!)

The Grand Finale:

Waynescoat (America’s answer to London Fog)

Add’n done by decorator – expert in bedrooms (I’ll bet she designed the Orffice, too.)

Fung Sway in bedroom (Jackie Chan in getaway car.)

House with drop dead Views (Agent with killer instincts)

Gyn attached (Unless you’d prefer a proctologist)

Jetlime views (Agent on acid trip)

House near Point Doom (Property offered by Grim Reaper)

Great for horses with multiple tails  (This agent is a horse’s a_ _.)

And My Favorites:

Kitchen with Vikings (Bedroom with Huns)

Security system with multiple defectors. (Made in China)

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  1. Jill Wente

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am


    All excellent examples of the importance of correct spelling. One of my favorites from our local MLS is “kitchen has 2 panties”. No additional details on the size or color.

  2. John Kalinowski

    September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Gwen, you are sooooo funny! I love these lists – keep them coming, please, though I laugh so hard every time I may not survive the next one!!

  3. Joe Loomer

    September 4, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    OMG Gwen – thanks for a great post on my BIRTHDAY!

    Saw this gem just last week:

    “Privacy fence with dick in the back”

    Obviously, thought of you when I saw it ;).

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride!

  4. Ken Brand

    September 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Thank GOD there is no spell/grammar check for comments and mls stuff, life would dim considerably. Fantabulous post. Thanks for the cheers.

  5. Gwen Banta

    September 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks, Jill – I have seen that mistake several times myself. And the word I see misspelled most often is: “separate.” I think we just make it up as we go – it’s spelling anarchy!

  6. Gwen Banta

    September 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Who every thought the MLS could be better than the Sunday comics, John. Next up:”MLS, The Movie”…

  7. Gwen Banta

    September 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE!!! Perhaps “privacy fence with dick in back” is a euphemism for Fruit of the Looms…

  8. Gwen Banta

    September 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you, Ken. The sad part is that our MLS actually does have a spellcheck. But one must have an IQ above 60 to use it… Have a great weekend!

  9. Matthew Hardy

    September 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Blog-induced blushing…

    (uh… Art said he called 1-800-CALLNOW and you dint answer…. back to The Blues Brothers…)

  10. Leif Swanson

    September 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    One of my favorite misspellings was:
    souring cellings (for soaring ceilings)

    Another one is clear story windows for clerestory windows.

  11. Gwen Banta

    September 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Tell Art I was “on a mission from God” with Jake and Elwood and the band 🙂

  12. Sal Antsipenka

    September 5, 2009 at 1:21 am

    MLS can hardly compare to Furniture industry in euphemisms. I was looking for a nearby furniture store phone number in Yellow pages and here I see:

    Top entry – furniture store: Badcock

    Entry below – woodworking place: Eagerbeaver

  13. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Gwen, thos are great! Nice Saturday morning laugh.

    Our Atlanta area MLS has no spell check so we get all that entertainment as well.

    Also, it has various shorcomings. I recently had a client that insisted on a upstairs laundry room. Here’s what our MLS says about laundry rooms:

    LAUNDRY: Yes/No


    So helpful. So I have to call every listing agent and play phone tag forever, just to find out where the laundry is.


  14. Missy Caulk

    September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Crackin’ up, our MLS doesn’t have spell check either so I have fresh eyes look.

  15. Gwen Banta

    September 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for your contribution, Leif. I something similar: clarastory windows. So who is Clara and what’s her story?

  16. Gwen Banta

    September 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Sal – I can only conclude that Eager Beaver is married to Mr. Badcock.

  17. Gwen Banta

    September 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for passing this along, Dan and Bridget – please enjoy.

  18. Gwen Banta

    September 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Hi RM – One of my clients once saw a listing that said “Laundry area separate” and asked if that meant she would have to pay extra.

  19. Gwen Banta

    September 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Send me anything you find, Missy. I just saw another this week: “mother-in-laws needs new plumbing.”

  20. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Gwen – yikes – RM

  21. Gwen Banta

    September 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Everyone – This just in: “Build your dream house next to the Hollywood Bowel” (A great location in case of evacuation 🙂

  22. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm


  23. Gwen Banta

    April 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the pingback, Phoenix!

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Business Marketing

No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.



no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using you can use and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…



Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.



offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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