When we first talked on the phone, she imagined our meeting would require her packing up all four kiddos, keeping them up way past bedtime, sacrificing yet another night of Dad time, and desperately trying to keep them all quiet and happy in an office somewhere.
When I offered to come by instead, and meet with her after the kids were in bed, she was shocked. She sighed long and satisfied, relieved. She thanked me profusely. There is so much time-sensitive stuff that has to get done with the buying and selling process, so much pressure and stress. I’m so glad to alleviate at least some of that with in-home meetings.
So was she. She knows time is precious, and we just saved her hours of it.
It reminds me of the last time I spoke with my cousin, who recently passed away. I was in a hurry, wanting to grab a Superstore rotisserie chicken to bring home for supper. I dashed in, discovered the chicken rotisserie counter to be empty, and headed back out of the store. On my way out, I met Steve. I felt compelled to stop and chat with him. We had a wonderful, deep conversation – the kind that makes you think it’s a God appointment. Months later, he was gone. I was so deeply thankful for that time we each took. I would have been disappointed had I chosen to race past. I would have wished for one more moment. Instead, we both decided to use that moment to connect.
Time is precious. It’s a rare commodity that should be respected and guarded, but also given generously. It’s not just our own time that is precious, but others’ time too. Everyone is busy, and wishing for more time.
Whether in your job, with your clients, or with people whose houses you want to buy or see – you’re dealing with people’s time. Respect, guard, and most of all cherish it.
Have you enjoyed a ‘God appointment’ lately? I’d love to hear about it!
The older I get, the less I care what other people think, and the more I’m comfortable in my own skin. (Where was this confidence twenty years ago!) Once upon a time I cared a great deal what others thought, and was very careful not to offend. Now I care more about being real. Loving, tender, and thoughtful of course, but not pleasing others if it means pretending to be someone else – even if that someone else is would-be clients.
I showed a house recently that had a floor plan with the master bedroom on one side, and children’s bedroom on the other side. I commented to the couple that it was a highly practical floorplan.
“That way you can make some noise” Their mouths parted in surprise, and then turned to grins. They probably didn’t expect someone with grey hair to talk like that. Of all the houses they’d have looked at, they’ll surely remember the floor plan of that house. It’s the house where you can make some noise.
My sense of humor may be a bit off, and I’m okay with it. I enjoy potty jokes, think rednecks are adorable, and like our family’s Christmas tradition of shooting off rifles from the deck. Some people wouldn’t hire me because of my weird humor, and I think that’s fantastic. If someone is offended by my sense of humor, they’ll probably be offended by me the whole time we work together. What fun would that be for anyone?
The other day I was in an open house, and two women came in to see the home. As they headed up the stairs, I mentioned, “There’s a private deck off the master bedroom, by the way.” They stopped and look at me, confused. “Yeah, you know, for those who smoke after?”
They darted away up the stairs. I soon followed, finding them in the master bedroom, hovered by the deck door, snickering and giggling. Of all the open houses they attended that day, they’ll remember me, and this house – the one with a deck, for those who like to smoke after…
I suppose if my mother would read this, she might be slightly embarrassed. Or maybe she would take credit for my sense of humor. I don’t know. Either way, I’m me –an integrity-havin’, quality service givin’, zebra print ipad carryin’, heels wearin’, redneck joke lovin‘ country bumpkin. Everyone’s got quirks, and I like mine.
What are your quirks that you’re comfortable with … or wish you were?
I don’t know if it’s the bluer spring sky, the melting snow, or the longer hours of sunlight causing it, but it seems the spring real estate market is hopping again. Three weeks ago I might have agreed with some of the dim forecasts about slowing markets. But suddenly there’s a surge of activity!
Recently I had 5 showings on one house, one a new listing had 3 showings in the first 2 days. Another listing had two offers. One property had been listed for awhile with no showings or interest at all. Suddenly there are multiple showings. Weeks ago, those numbers would have been much lower. Spring has definitely arrived!
I am seriously thrilled. The long grey of winter can wear, and I’m thrilled to bid it goodbye, if even for just a few months. All the slow and grey is giving way to light and spring and newness. Soon, flowers will poke through soft ground, kittens will frolic on green grass, and birds will nest in birdhouses near our deck. Firesides, flowers, and a whole lot of showings for my clients – these are some of my favorite things about spring.
What are some of your favorite things about spring?
Real Estate is full of anomalies that would never fly in any other industry. It’s not just because of agents either – sometimes it’s the clients themselves who pull crazy things that would never fly anywhere else.
The buyers and sellers I work with are, for the most part, fantastic. I love helping them, working with them, and discovering who they are. But some people – you know, other agents’ clients – I don’t know what happens to their brains when they decide to sell their house. Suddenly they’re not acting like people who have something to sell, but rather like spoiled royal heirs to whom all others must bow. It’s bizarre. All I know is that their salesmanship would bankrupt any restaurant.
If Home Sellers Did This with their Restaurants, They’d Go Broke
We’re Open… NOT
You enter the restaurant, eager for the kind of sauce-laden burger you’ve enjoyed there before. A waitress rushes to greet you at the door, “Sorry, but we’re closed.” You argue that the open sign and hours of operation posted on the door suggest otherwise. She folds her arms and shakes her head. “We’re closed.” You point to the staff wandering about the restaurant serving no one, and to the chef who stands in the kitchen with nothing to do. “Well, I don’t care about any of that,” she argues back, “I have a headache and don’t feel up to this today, so we’re closed. Try again tomorrow.” She then proceeds to shove you out the door. Try again tomorrow? Fat chance.
Super Price Me
Still salivating for a big, saucy burger, you see a diner across the street. It’s an unheard of hole-in-the-wall place, but they have a burger on the sign, so you go in.
You open the laminated two-page menu to discover a wide selection of burgers. Prices start at $50 each, fries are extra. You summon the waitress, and explain there must be some mistake. You have never heard of such burger prices in your life. Others sell for $8. “People can sell their burgers for whatever they like. Mine start at $50.”
You scratch a dried ketchup stain from the menu, and ask what makes these diner burgers so special. “I made them from a recipe handed down to me through four generations. I have great sentimental attachment to each burger I make, and that’s what makes them so valuable.” You really, really wish you could eat a burger, but cannot bring yourself to pay obscene prices. Alas, you must move on and leave the woman with her beloved burgers.
Do You Have The Time?
Wondering if you’ll ever get to eat a burger, you discover another restaurant and try once more. The place is, in fact, open, and the prices on the menu are reasonable. Hope sets in as you wait for your server to arrive at the table. Other customers at tables crane their necks, searching for the server who is nowhere to be seen. Finally, she bursts in and dashes table to table. She takes no orders, she delivers nothing. She only leans in, says a few words, and moves to the next table.
She approaches you, breathless, “You wouldn’t believe the day I’ve had. Between the traffic, meeting the banker and returning calls, it’s tough to find time to work!” She ignores your attempt to get a word in, “So anyway, I have to bring my cat to the vet and pick up some groceries, but then I’ll be back to take your order. Thanks for understanding my demanding schedule.” Her swift exit leaves you puzzled, infuriated, and realizing you may never again taste a restaurant burger.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but these are actual attitudes and behaviours agents and buyers must endure. Please help spread the word that the kinds of numbskullery illustrated here help no one sell their house.
As a buyer or agent, which of these situations have you encountered in your attempt to buy a home?