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"Disposable" REALTORS®- “Bah Humbug” on Misperceptions

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.

"WHOA...wait a minute!" I say in disbelief.
" 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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Comments

PS...I'd love to hear your greenhorn stories!
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

I hope 2007 will allow me to have it more my way.  I'm tired of taking a day off onlyto have to end up having to handle something.  But I haven't figured out how to not do it.

 

Posted by Cynthia Sloop (Community Association Manager) almost 12 years ago
janeAnne, Great story. I only work by appointments and always have. My thinking is, I want my customers to know I am a busy Realtor and I am not able to drop everything and satisfy their every whim. They actually apprecaite it. I respect their time and they respect mine.  
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago
If you don't establish the ground rules, it's very easy to get burned out. You have to respect yourself first.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) almost 12 years ago
HI Cynthia...We have a team here in Asheville at our company. Our Field Coordinator does LOTS of running around, Tyler is available for Transaction Coordination during due diligence, we have a company Personal Assistant ....and the team approach has helped a great deal. Tyler may be available to help you out...He's VERY good at what he does and VERY reasonably priced!
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Bryant..funnything...when I wrote this, I actually thought that YOU would be one person here at AR who works by appointment. I agree with  your take on the situation. After all...if people are willing to make appointments to have their vehicles serviced, what would prevent them doing the same with their REALTOR? ...except possibly the REALTOR himself/herself...
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Sharon..GROUND RULES! I agree! I think there should be a continuing ed class this subject. How aobut you?
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
As an investor, I know that it is important to work with people who know their stuff. I appreciate that you have ground rules.
Posted by john thomas over 11 years ago
John. Thank you for your comments on my BLOG and for understanding that our time is valuable! Happy New Year.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
good advice! "I learned that it's my responsibility to set expectations right from the start.  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....thx
Posted by Arlene Brown (Eco Steward Realty) over 11 years ago
Arlene...The older I get in the process, the more I realize how important it is to give and to expect professionalism. From the moment my client and I first meet, I now keep that in mind.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Everyone~

 The Challenge: Say BAH-HUMBUG to mindless manners and disheartening drudgery. ..what are you doing for our "image" this holiday season? 

 

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 11 years ago
Thanks Janeanne for the great story. One way of setting limits the Rookie Realtor could have utilized was checking the weather forecast ahead of time and telling the customers that it was not a good day to go out in the first place.
Posted by Bill Westel, ECO (Eco-Steward Realty) almost 11 years ago

janeAnne,

Is this post eco friendly? As in recycled?  Good idea since I never read it before! My opinion on this is that these people would not have brought any driver a hot chocolate! I don't think there was anything else that Rookie could have done at that point. Some people simply do not think about others. As for appts, I work only in Residential, but when buyers call, I normally drop everything to accomodate them. I know this is not a good thing, but I really think my Sellers expect it of me also.  I have been trying to keep my appts within a certain time frame though, because I've found that people simply do not appreciate it. If I am working with my own buyer, I make the appts and we spend the day together. Okay, this is getting long. Hot chocolate with a dash of amaretto and kaluaha is a great winter drink, btw.

Posted by Karen Hurst, Rhode Island Waterfront! (RICOASTALLIVING.COM) almost 11 years ago

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