Let's put it right on the table. Some folks hold REALTORS® a bit suspect , even disposable,much the same they do used car salespersons. I don't much like that...
Another thing. Some folks assume REALTORS® are happy to chat well after the last embers from the holiday fire are cold. . . I don't much like that, either. I could get crankier than You-Know-Who about these misperceptions.
Case in Point: (A rookie real estate person told me this tale.|)
The Characters: Two talkative customers and a greenhorn. The Scene: A windswept mountainside on a chilly, rainy December day. A mile of steep gravel road with several switchbacks cut into the mountain. This, not far from Asheville, N.C. where a 102 AC parcel awaited their company. Action: The young REALTOR® and his customers (not clients) head out well-prepared with topo, aerial, survey, county map, and walking sticks. Half an hour later they reach the old Appalachian farm, now on the market for development.
Rookie real estate person (RR) circles and climbs his way up and around the narrow half-gravel, half-leaf mountain road to the top acreage. They get out. Immediately notice a drop in the temperature. Barely walk a hundred yards when a snowsquall blinds them. They dash for the car. Then they inch, and I mean inch their way back down the slippery slopes which takes a hair-raising, interminable hour.
RR tells me he holds his breath the whole time and narrowly misses sliding over the side at least five(5!) times.. Thank the Good Graces That Be and his trusty Subaru, somehow they make it to safety. I'm a land specialist. I love this kind of story!
" Now that's a real bonding experience," I remark. But he actually blushes and says he hasn't finished his story.
With visible relief, they head over to the country market
where our RR hero fills the tank as the other adventurers
merrily (glad to be alive)
hop inside to get hot chocolate. Being inexperienced, it never occurs to him as they scramble back into his cozy, warm car that they would not bring a hot chocolate for their courageous REALTOR® ...but they didn't.
" After all you had been through?. Bad Manners!"
He looks at me sheepishly and confesses, " You could have bowled me over with a feather."
"I learned that it's my responsibility to set expectations right from the start, otherwise people get the wrong impression. They think I am "disposable"...
We all need to figure out a format that works for us and gives us the respect we all deserve. It starts with limits on the free rides, " he declared.
The Challenge: Say BAH-HUMBUG to mindless manners and disheartening drudgery.
Consider this: Commercial real estate brokerages operate 9-5, 5 days a week, keeping "normal business hours." Their audience respects their boundaries. That's what a hard-working, knowledgeable, self-reliant, modest yet competent, good-natured, self-respecting professional REALTOR® deserves whether that person is a residential specialist, a land specialist like me, or in the commercial end of the business.
What's the difference between that end of the business and the non-commercial side? Could it have something to do with an outmoded Bob Cratchit attitude i.e. not daring to establish ground rules? Maybe it's a mistake to advertise 24/7 availability. Possibly, in doing so, we open wide the door for the Scrooges of the real property world.
I had a hot chocolate breve with extra marshmallows this frosty December morning. It reminded me of the greenhorn's story. I feel lucky that my company and the eco-friendly brokers who team with me have the issue of " Mindless Manners & Disheartening Drudgery" under control.
By devoting lots of energy to a niche market- eco-friendly properties, large tracts of land, and preservation-oriented, stewardship projects-we have an advantage similar to the commercial side. Our clients think we are awesome, at least that's what they tell us. And, we have solved the 24/7 pacing challenge because 99% of the time, we work by appointment, mostly scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Here's a Hot Chocolate. Have one Your Way in 2008!
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