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Public Accountability for My Resolutions- Humor



 new years hats

 Ahhhh, yes…2009 was a very long year. Many of us were bruised and battered, and a few even required tourniquets. Some of you discovered Primal Screaming, while others dipped into the occasional Prozac Cocktail. There were smiles in between the hard knocks, and even a few whoops of delight, but overall, the year tested the patience of most every real estate agent I know. 

Thus, I, “L.A.’s Sherlock of Homes,” am going public with my 12 resolutions for a better year (one for every month of course.) Maybe if I state them aloud I’ll have a better chance of keeping them: 


I promise not to bitch-slap the 25 year old starlet who is buying a 3 million dollar Malibu pad and wants me to lower my commission so she can buy a, $8k Viosky couch.  Okay, “promise” is a strong word. How ‘bout “resolve”? Forget it, the kid is still getting one upside the head. 


I will never again say, “Hey, I can strip wall paper!” just to convince a buyer that the ugly cow print in the bathroom should not deter her from making an offer. Okay, I lied. I’ll probably do it again. I may even promise to re-roof the house if someone will hold the ladder. 


Granted, I’m not off to a good start, but let’s try again. Okay, I will not be frustrated and deflated if the market takes another surge into Dante’s Inferno. (I know I can keep this resolution – my uncle Vito owns a bar where I can get free booze if I need to medicate.) 


Okay, I’m getting into this now. I resolve to not laugh at my six foot tall,  Barbie doll buyer with the painted on capris when she bends over to test the water temperature in the pool, splits her breeches and falls into the deep end….even when her wig comes off and gets tangled in the automatic pool sweeper. Okay, I can’t stop lying. If it happens again, I’ll probably laugh until I cry. 


I will not think homicidal thoughts when, on the eighth counter, my buyer refuses to budge if the seller will not throw the bloody Plasma into the deal. I think I can, I think I can I think I can….

Nope, he’s dead. 


I resolve to cheerfully clean the seller’s  house every time we have an open house (even though he has a cleaning person) because my heart is big and I understand the pressures of surfing all day. Really. Honest. Com’on – give a sister a break – I’m trying

Nope. He’s dead, too. 


I won’t kick my friend into December when she tries to steal my client at a cocktail party. I’ll kick her into 2011 in the parking lot. 


I will let my buyer bring her dog on house hunts, even though the crazy canine tore up the leather on my new Lexus. ($1214). However, this time I will tape the dog’s paws to its head just before I tazer the owner.) 


I resolve to learn more about SEO, all of Gates’ new products, and all the computer stuff that requires a Rosetta Stone if you are as thick as I am. Ah, who am I kidding?  No I won’t. My IQ won’t support anything more complicated than lipstick. So I resolve to study all the new products from Revlon. 


I will try to make a better dry martini. And I’ll practice all year. (Yay – I think I found a resolution I can keep!) 


I will not covet the lavish goodies I see everyday in the gazillion dollar Hollywood Hills homes I tour.

I will steal them. 


How am I doing? Hmmm…I just re-read my resolutions and it seems I am weak and hopelessly flawed. I also see a trend toward violence and debauchery. Thus, I will resolve just to enjoy myself and do the best I can not to wake up in the back of a police car. This is Hollywood, folks – I’m doing well just to stay out of re-hab. Oh wait – I just discovered a new business plan – maybe I can pick up some buyers at Promises!


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. anitacrum

    January 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

    OMG Gwen, this was great! I needed that laugh this morning (ok it was more like a snicker, a chuckle and then it dissolved into giggles which abruptly came to an end when it culminated in a *gasp* snort). 😉

  2. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Your whole comment made ME gasp and snort, Anita – thank you! I’m waiting to hear some resolutions from the rest of you. Let’s see who breaks their resolution first. (That reminds me of an old Seinfeld episode…)

  3. Michelle DeRepentingy

    January 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I already broke my only resolution, which was to get dressed in something other than pjs everyday. I showed a house in in pajamas on Wednesday, BUT my client told me she was wearing hers too – so we both showed up in pjs! I think I am going to adopt your October resolution as one of mine…Happy New Year!

  4. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I love an honest person like you, Michelle! And I LOVE to sit around in PJ’s. In fact, I am the Hugh Hefner of Real Estate. I must admit, however, that you topped me by actually showing a house in your P.J’s. That’s classic!

  5. aMY L cavENDER

    January 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Awesome post Gwen! Thanks for the laugh. Never would I have thought a resolution would be to get out of my PJ’s but I have to admit that was on my list too. (and yes, I have broken that one already)

  6. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Amy, I do my best work in something flannel. My dog never gets out of her PJ’s, so why should I? (And she somehow manages to get a free ride and a lot of vacation time). Hugh Hefner has built an empire in his sleep suit…and I bet we look better in ours!

  7. aMY L cavENDER

    January 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Too true Gwen 🙂 I have even been known to attend rebarcamps in a Snuggie.

  8. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Snuggie – that’s a great idea. I am going to recommend that my company adopt snuggies as their official uniform – kinda like that C-21 jacket. And they can be accessorized!

  9. aMY L cavENDER

    January 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    We need them a little more here in Colorado! Love my hot pink Snuggie.

  10. Brian Brady

    January 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    “I promise not to bitch-slap the 25 year old starlet who is buying a 3 million dollar Malibu pad ”

    “I resolve to not laugh at my six foot tall, Barbie doll buyer with the painted on capris ”

    I’m pretty certain that one of my resolutions is to hang out with you this year. You know, for the umm…networking opportunities.

  11. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Great, Brian – You be the beauty and the brains of our little operation, and, with all my psychotic tendencies toward physical smackdowns, I’ll be the brawn.

  12. Sal Antsipenka

    January 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t go ballistic over all described I just make a stone wall face and tell them I am a Russian. First they get scared a little; next they offer to have a Vodka drinking contest during which sign 8% commission agreement plus 3% buyer broker agreement compensation, plus offer to pay for the party and the girls. Why do you think Russians always negotiate with booze on the table? So I am working my angle – no New Year resolutions.

  13. Gwen Banta

    January 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Sal, can I be adopted into you family, please? I like your style! Now I know how to get those high commissions. I am going to start building my alcohol consumption right now -Vashe zdorovie !

  14. Joe Loomer

    January 9, 2010 at 8:56 am

    January – I resolve to put on my “Depends” and remove all forms of food or drink from the vicinity of the computer BEFORE reading Gwen’s posts.

    (made this resolution about two minutes ago, first I need a bath, a mop, a kleenex, and a facecloth)

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  15. Joe Loomer

    January 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    January – I resolve to put on my “Depends” and remove all forms of food or drink from the vicinity of the computer BEFORE reading any posts by Gwen Banta.

    (ok, made that resolution two minutes ago, but right now I need a mop, a facecloth, a bath, and some clean skivvies)

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride!

  16. Bill

    January 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Early in my career I had a client bring her dog on our home shopping excursions. One of those tiny, long haired and trembling like it was terrified kind of dogs that could fit in her purse. On our first outing I held my tongue as I wanted to feel out the situation and get to know her. After that the precedent had been set and I wasn’t sure how to tell her to leave the dog at home. After showing 125 homes she dropped me for a another agent.

    Ahhh… to be young and stupid again.

  17. …kudos for the courage to publish your resolutions, and 12 of them at that!

  18. Elaine Reese

    January 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one that resolved to get out of the warm jammies. Mine are heavy fleece and the warmest thing in my closet. But with the cold weather we’ve been having, I’m having a hard time keeping my resolution.

  19. Gwen Banta

    January 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Bill, the poor dog was probably trembling because it knew it’s master was an unreliable bonehead!

  20. Gwen Banta

    January 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks, Phil – but I knew I wouldn’t keep any of them…except maybe October’s.

  21. Gwen Banta

    January 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Don’t get out of your jammies, Elaine – real estate agents work such ungodly hours that we should all just feel proud that we managed to get out of bed!

  22. Gwen Banta

    January 10, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hey Joe – Happy New year! I am glad to hear that all your systems are still working, for my life would be without purpose if I could not make you soil your shorts periodically. However, if I may suggest oh so gently…perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to drink less fluids.

    I plan to test your self-control every chance I get. I am even saving a few zingers to send to you on your private email – like the one that happened today. My buyer backed up against the electric gate as it was closing, which hooked his pants with an enormous Fleur-de-Lis. He almost got “pantsed,” but instead he got de-Fleured. The gate tore off the seat of his Armani’s! You can imagine how hard it was to keep a straight face when, as we drove away, I noticed a chunk of cloth still attached to the gate. Thank God we had to cancel our tour, because I was only able to maintain my composure until I got him back to his car. Then I did a Joe Loomer!

  23. Joe Loomer

    January 10, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Sorry about the double-whammy – my comments weren’t showing up yesterday….

  24. Real Estate Investment Ideas

    January 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    We all need humor once in a while and Gwen has hit a home run here! Funny…I particularly liked August and dogs add pleasure to life’s insanity. “Don’t taze me bro!”

  25. Gwen Banta

    January 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    @realestateinvestment – I won’t taze you…may I may tape your paws to your head.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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