Bruised

Sucker punched.

Real Estate is a contact sport, even without physical contact. Today I got sucker punched right in the belly and it hurts.

Friends, whom I trusted almost more than most any of my other friends, to whom I’d sold them their home some 25 years ago called me about three years ago to sell said home. We met, discussed marketing and set up a time line for repairs, improvements and preparations to which a couple months later I got a call that selling the home would be postponed. When postponement time rolled around we again looked at needed repairs and improvements only to have that can kicked out another 6 months. Again we meet to look at it all only to postpone again, and again and again.

Three years later, which was last weekend, I received a message while traveling home from a much needed vacation urgently needing to meet to discuss selling the home. Last Monday I arrive and the painters are there working. They are actually going to sell it, finally after three years of postponements. We set out a schedule for finalizing the preparation, staging, photography and tomorrow we were supposed to meet to finalize price and paperwork.

Today I got an urgent text asking to meet at my office. My first thought was if they are postponing again, as history would have it, why so urgent to meet at office right now? I was available and we decided to meet in 10 minutes.

I arrive, they arrive and we sit down.

Then the least expected words were spoken, “We are going to list our home with another agent.” Gut meet fist, as said fist punches you. I was flabbergasted, speechless.

This is someone I considered a really close friend, someone I trusted emphatically and someone I’ve always deeply respected. This is a friend first, past client second who has referred multiple other people, including their own family members, over the years for whom I’ve always given exceptional service.

Then comes the second punch: “We know that you would give us exceptional service, utmost honest dealings and that you would have our best interest at heart, but we need someone who’s more enthusiastic. Also we want you to know it’s not that the other agent quoted a higher value as you both came in exactly at the same asking price and sales costs, we just need more enthusiasm .”

More enthusiasm? It’s been three years so please give me at least a few days to realize, and believe, you are actually going to sell.

As I walked them to the door of the office and closed the doors behind them the tears started streaming down my cheeks. Two of the people who’ve been two of the biggest cheerleaders in my career and two people whom I’ve always looked up to, trusted and admired didn’t even give me the chance to present what I could do, as the presentation was scheduled for tomorrow, and dismissed me after 3 years of postponements for an agent that they apparently were just introduced.

Am I really that bad at what I do?

My dear co-worker Rocky comforted me as I sobbed and helped me back to reality and encouraged me to at least plead my case to them by calling them to convey that no one other agent could better care and represent them with any more enthusiasm than I could because I did love and care for them and I really do have their best interest at heart.

I did call to no answer. I left a message.

After I left the office Rocky text me this beautiful statement of encouragement: “I hope she calls. She needs to remember what she loves about you. You absolutely are her best advocate and she needs to be reminded of your heart and your determination to do the very best for her that anyone would be capable of doing. Anybody can be enthusiastic but you can’t fake genuine care.”

Thank you Rocky. I treasure your words. I really do have my client’s best interest at heart. So therefore I’m pretty damn good at what I do.

But damn it hurts.

Open Doors

”Listing Opportunity” the e-mail is titled

Another marketing spam my mind reacts

A closer observation before deletion reveals sincerity

The e-mail is opened and legit

In my work the listing is key

The key  to my future income and financial security

A response is sent with hope awakened

Anticipation mounts as an appointment to meet is made

Comparble homes are noted and pricing is set

Presentation prepared I properly dress

Upon arrival I stand before a home I might sell

A face of an owner waves me to the side door

Introductions made then a tour ensues

A large flowing floor-plan, a modern kitchen, luxurious baths

Views over the valley and to the ocean in the west

Expansive entertaining patio featuring gardens of beauty, privacy and tranquil

One million seven hundred ninety five thousand the asking price will be

Oh wait there’s another agent or two to interview

Feeling confident I am with the bond we made

Put off another day with more questions asked

Reassurances received from compliments conveyed

Seems they are busy and haven’t finalized decision

Another question, another compliment, yet a few more days

Tomorrow they will confirm with me my listing to be

The Dear John e-mail comes and my hopes fade

Two weeks of hope that my next paycheck will be are lost in a moment

That door open, that door closed

Another door will open as they always do

Which door will let me in I never know

Learning to accept and remain at peace is my goal

Gratitude that doors do open, enriches my soul

Keep It Comin’ Love

Business goal number 1 ;

My best year ever! Top producing agent with more than 15 million in closed sales.

So how was business for me on the first business day of the year? Fantastic!

I listed two properties into our MLS today and already sold one at $310,000 and have showings lined up for the other at $2,195,000. I spoke with one of my buyers who will be looking at a new listing in the neighborhood Saturday at $2,599,000 and had another new buyer prequalified for a $700,000 purchase.

What do I have to say to The Universe about this?

Thanks KC, no one could say it better!

About that empty seat beside me

I wrote the last (written) post observing those boarding the plane. I noted the seat beside me was still empty. Just as I was proof reading my observations had stopped and my focus had turned to posting before the boarding door closed. My seat mate arrived and I didn’t pay him much attention. I got up, let him into his seat and settled back into mine as I hit the post button. We acknowledged each other briefly and the flight got under way.

He got into his MacBook and I into the movie on my iPad. Bad movie, I don’t know why I continued to watch it. I guess I hoped some message was going to come through to save it. I had the red pepper quiche breakfast entree, my seat mate turned down the breakfast offering.

After getting back into the bad movie I changed my position for comfort of viewing. I was angled just so I could see his MacBook. This wasn’t on purpose, but for comfort. Bad movies make for easy distraction I guess because I started to get distracted by how fast he was going from homepage to article to home page to picture, you get the idea. It was like this guy had ADHD. Then I noticed he had up a page with Joe Niego on it. Odd, I go to real estate conferences where Joe speaks. Back to my movie.

Nature calls and the restroom was open. While washing the hands, and the mind wandering, I realized Joe Niego lives in Chicago. I was flying to Chi-town. Then the thought that maybe this guy beside me was in real estate as well. Maybe even in the same coaching program as myself. So before I left the tight confines of the lavatory, I decided that maybe I should introduce myself to my seat mate. You know, network for business.

As I take the five steps from the airplane head back to my seat I give Mr. Seatmate a good look in the face. Oh shit! This guy isn’t going to Chicago to see Joe Niego, he is Joe Niego.

I sit down and then think to myself how do I approach this one. As my mind starts to go full speed I’m thinking “here half the flights over, you’ve been seeing this guy at conferences for 10 years, you have to introduce yourself, it’s rude to have ignored him for the last hour and a half, what will he think?” I turned on the bad movie again. You know the kind, a young twenty somethings love drama.

What am I going to say? Do I just wait until we are landing? I don’t want to bother him. Dammit head shut up. Then it happened. Joe stopped his computer work to plug it into the seat power. I lean over and use his own words, the script he has taught me for years, to ask for a referral from him. He looks me in the eye with a big smile and said “I thought you looked familiar. You’re the guy who wears the San Diego baseball jersey to the events.”

We had a great conversation. He asked me questions that may help him to get to know his audience a bit better. He asked me questions that made me think. He inspired me. He even got his wife a leaf blower for her birthday. I complimented him on being a romantic.

Joe Niego and Fearsome Beard

Joe Niego and Fearsome Beard

There is no known cure for being cheap.

I remember how that statement stood out to me the first time I saw it on Project Runway. Jake Wall wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words. It’s available online HERE.

image

Being cheap has its drawbacks.

I learned today that a past client sold his condo to his tenant. He never called me to ask what his place was worth. I know him and he didn’t because he wanted to sell it without paying a commission. Little did he know that I would have happily given him advice without charging him, even if he sold it to his tenant without using my services. My advice is free, especially to friends and past clients.

I learned that the condo sold for at least $100,000 less than its current value. His past tenant, who now owns the place, is going around bragging about the deal he got. So much so I heard about it all through his boasting.

Due to my past client’s fear of not asking, in order to save himself a commision of $25,000 by listing the property on the open market, his net loss is at least $75,000 after paying the commission if it were marketed. If he had just asked my opinion, he could have sold it to the tenant for $75,000 more, the tenant would have gotten it for under market and the past client wouldn’t have paid a commission as my advice is free.

Cheap, it has it’s drawbacks.