It's good to have a well stocked tool beltLast week I got a call from a client of mine. Her mother had just passed away and she was flying in from Phoenix to take care of the details. After expressing my sympathy for her loss, she mentioned that she'd become the executor of the estate and she and her four siblings needed to get mom's house sold. She and her one brother wanted me to handle the transaction (I had previously sold both of their homes), but her siblings also knew real estate agents, etc. I said, "no problem, I'm happy to meet with them".
We agreed to meet out there later that week (last Thursday) to do a walk through of the property. I got there about 30 mintues early (SEE! I'm usually EARLY!) and walked around the outside of the home making notes. Clean flower beds, touch up trim, pressure wash driveway, etc. They arrived a short time later and we walked through the house together. I pointed out the things I thought should be done, etc. At the end, we had a pretty comprehensive list of what needed to be done to get the home ready to sell.
At that point, they looked at me and said "How do we get all this done, we fly back to Phoenix tomorrow." I said, "Don't worry about it, I've got you covered. I'll get my landscaper, painter, carpet guy and house cleaner out here to give us bids. I'll e-mail them to you in Phoenix, you approve or disapprove them and we'll get it taken care of. You don't need to worry about a thing." Later that weekend, I met with two of her sisters and a brother-in-law and walked through the home with them as well. (I secretly think this was the approval process for using me as a Realtor) Again, I assured them they didn't have to worry about a thing, I'd handle it.
So today I got quotes from the landscaper and carpet guy. Tomorrow my painter and I are heading out. It just feels good when you can take the worry out of a stressful situation for people. AND it feels REALLY good that clients put their trust in you enough to 1) use you multiple times and 2) provide services for them knowing you've got their best interests at heart. My client did tell me that I'm "now a part of the family". Her sisters and brother-in-law liked me well enough that they said they'd call me if they ever wanted to buy or sell too! Very nice!
I'll let you know when the home goes on the market, but if anyone is looking for a GREAT rambler with a nice spacious open floor plan, do let me know. I'm happy to give you a tour!
Worst First Impression EverSometimes you just can't help but laugh at yourself and just hope it all comes out in the end. For example, take last night . . .
It was a cold foggy evening in the valley of Puyallup. I had a listing appointment at 6:30. I arrived at the office at 3PM and started to do my market analysis of the home. I had driven by the home earlier in the day to check out the exterior condition. It looked really nice and I was excited about meeting my prospective new clients later that evening.
By 5:30 I had everything together I needed. I had the market analysis, hard bound with a plastic cover. I had information from the title company. I had short sale information for them (this was going to be a short sale) I had the contracts prepared, I had my marketing presentation together, my shirt was pressed, my tie looked sharp and my sport coat equally as nice. I was READY!
I went out to my car and put everything in and went to grab a quick bite to eat. Unfortunately in these situations, about the only option is the drive thru, so Arby's it was. A chicken club sandwich, some fries and a drink. I sat in the parking lot and rehearsed what I would be saying to my clients in a few short minutes.
At 6:15 I headed for their home. I pulled into their neighborhood and looked over to my right where I was sure I had put the contracts, market analysis, short sale information, etc. It wasn't there. I reached behind me to see if I could feel it in the back seat. I couldn't. Panic started to set in, it was now 6:25. I pulled over, jumped out and searched my car. Nothing was there. CRAP! I called my clients and said "Hey, I apologize, but I left your file back at my office, it'll take me 15 - 20 minutes and I'll be back." They said "No problem, see you when you get here".
I raced through the fog back to my office. On my way, I distinctly remembered bringing the contracts out of the office. The last place I remembered seeing them was on top of my car as I was hanging up my sport coat. CRAP! I thought, they couldn't have gone very far on top of the car, they must be in the parking lot. As I arrived in the parking lot, I didn't see anything. So I ran into the building to check the bathroom, not there. My office, not there. My mailbox, not there. I checked my voicemail to see if anyone had picked them up and taken them with them. No messages. It was now 6:45 and I was in a huge panic.
I started driving back to their house when I saw my notebook in the middle of the road. I stopped to pick it up and noticed the market analysis a little further on. It was missing it's fancy plastic cover and had a tire tread pattern across the first three pages, but the binding had held and no pages were missing. Thank God for small miracles. I then looked around the corner onto Main Street where I saw a good 100 yards of papers strewn about in the gutter. Sonofabit**! I spent the next 10 minutes picking up fog soaked papers out of the gutter and throwing them in my car, all the while trying to not get hit by passing cars.
I called my clients on the way and left them a message "Hey, I've got a funny story to tell you when I get there. And a profuse apology."
I finally arrived at 7:05, 35 minutes late. First time EVER I've been late to a listing appointment. I walk in with my notebook and the market analysis, sans cover. I explain to them what had happened, I think they were sympathetic, but I seriously doubt I'll be getting the listing. Today I'm dropping off the short sale information they should have gotten last night along with a card that reads:
"Even Michael Jordan had an off night, but he was still the best. Sorry again about last night."
Sometimes you can't help but laugh at yourself and pray for the best.