I stopped by Chic-Fil-A today for lunch. I rarely eat any fast food but the number one combo with a lemonade is an indulgence I occasionally allow myself. I swung into their parking lot to utter mayhem. I have no photos of the event because only a fool would have taken a hand off the wheel in what was the perfect storm of Chic-Fil-A on a Saturday at noon, and the newly opened Bass Pro Shop. I normally pull into a parking space to mayo my sandwich. Not this time sister. I got my arse out of there as quickly and carefully as I could and did a pit stop on the exit ramp to doctor my sandwich and prep my fries. Next thing you know I was zooming to my open house, stuffing my face at 70 mph, and feeling way safer than I did in that crazy parking lot.
One of the great reasons to hire a realtor (preferably me) is that you never know what is going to come down the pike on any given day in any given home sale. Right now I have 6 homes under contract. If you don't know, that's a lot. The one that WILL close next week presented some unique drama today. My seller informed me that her husband (who must sign the deed to transfer the home to the new owner, even though he is not on the deed) is out to sea. Really?!? This is a new one for me. Luckily, his father has power of attorney and will be able to sign in his stead. Phew. That was a close one. Same home, also today- one of the roofers who was there to do a repair that would be paid for by the HOA, thoughtfully tracked tar into the house onto the freshly cleaned carpets. I have that handled as well. The carpet cleaning company that originally did the job will be there tomorrow, I will stroke them a check and the roofers (who were very helpful and apologetic) will reimburse me. There are typically lots of balls in the air and a sale can go awry in any one of about a hundred ways. My heart goes out to the For Sale By Owner people. This is a tough job when you know what you're doing. And yes, I am a little embarrassed that my civilian candy ass has gotten so soft that I sometimes act like this job is tough. Semper Fi.
Most all of us can remember playing the game Candy Land in our younger years. Many of us parents still play it today from time to time. In case you are unfamiliar or may have forgotten, I'll refresh your memory a bit about it. Candy Land is a game of chance. There is absolutely no strategy involved. There is not one single thing you can do to improve your chances of winning. The players move along a multi colored track as dictated by the cards they draw, which depict either a single color square, a "double," or a candy card. When you draw, you move your man to the spot on the board dictated by the card. It is a simple game who's outcome is decided before it even begins with the shuffle of the cards.
My 3 year old, Gavin is a joy to play with. Each and every turn, regardless of what he draws, he reacts the same way. If he draws a card that moves him one space, he says with enthusiasm, "Aw yeah! Yellow! That's just what I wanted. I'm going to wi-in." Or "Woo hoo! Purple! You're never going to catch me Dad!" Occasionally we all draw a bad card. Getting the Candy Cane card or the Ginger Bread Man late in the game is definitely bad for your chances. When Gavin gets one of those, he is unfazed. He says not much of anything and is right back on his enthusiasm for moving one or two spaces or whatever else he gets with his next draw.
He is damn near unbeatable at Candy Land. He wins almost every game. I'm not going to delve too deep into the meta-physics of what is going on here but it certainly defies conventional logic and simple percentages which would dictate that he should win roughly one third of the time in a 3 man game. OK, so he should have a slight advantage because as the youngest, he always goes first. Still, most of his victories are by a much bigger margin than one turn. In a 4 man game with my Uncle last week, he deferred and said he wanted Uncle Billy to go first. Gavin won. Again.
I'm not making any big claims here, But Gavin's behavior during the game follows the basics of nearly every success book ever written.
As a lifelong dog owner, I am currently blessed with the two best dogs I've ever had. Kira (the brindle) and Luna (the blonde) are sisters from the same litter. They haven't been feeling the recent snow so much. I swear they are going out to pee like once a day. They are spoiled, inside dogs but they don't beg for food or sit on furniture. They are sweet hearts. But make no mistake, when there's a noise at the front door, there's 130 lbs of dog moving that direction quickly and loudly. They are vital members of our family and provide security no alarm system ever could. Here they are reenacting the domestication of wolves 20,000 years ago.
You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, right?
One of my assignments for this week from my awesome company, Go Realty is to write a blog about a client story. Of course the first thing that came to mind was a heart wrenching story of how I helped some clients through a difficult time in their lives, sold their home and found them a wonderful new place to turn the page and begin anew. Trust me, this one's a tear jerker. That thought was followed by a few other touching stories of me being the hero for people I helped who now think I walk on water and refer me business like crazy. (It's always the seniors. Ever since I was a kid in church, they have loved me.) Then I thought, why not give my readers a window into a real life moment in my career by telling a different story. So here it is.
One day last Summer, I had three closings in one day. That's a great day in real estate no matter who you are. Two of those closings were for the same client. I had sold his home and was helping him buy a new one all in the same day. The other was in fact part of the heart wrenching story I mentioned above. To say my client was a bit stressed is to say that Wake County goes a bit crazy when there's snow in the forecast.
The night before the sale of his home and purchase of his new one I had the unfortunate duty of calling him at 9:00 to tell him that his lender would not have his loan ready on time and that his sale closing would be delayed by roughly 3 hours. As a realtor, I know that this made absolutely no impact on the afternoon closing of his new home. The funds would be transferred to the attorney at 2:00 regardless of whether we sold his home at 9:00 AM as scheduled or at noon as was now mandated by his lender. All would be well. Despite my best efforts on the phone that night, I could not make him understand that. I went to bed nervous.
When I saw him at noon the next day, I could tell he hadn't gone to bed at all. He jumped out of his car like he seriously wanted to kick my ass. It is funny in retrospect. He was threatening to move back into the house he had just sold and call off the whole thing, which of course would've been a breach of contract and caused all sorts of other problems. We made it through the closing by the grace of the attorney who talked him down off that ledge. That guy did a great job that day. Still, he left that office mad at me and mad at the world headed to the walk through on his new home. The time change did mean that I could not go with him as I had to attend the other, feel good closing in between. I assured him that all would be well and that he would in fact be in his new home by sundown.
And he was. Despite a bit of extra stress, everything went as planned and he is a happy homeowner with a gorgeous new home. I think he even likes me again! I learned a good lesson in real estate that day: Clients get a free pass for bad behavior when it's time to close. I basically treat such episodes as if my clients just came out of surgery and are still a little loopy from the anesthetic and therefore totally NOT responsible for what they say.
So if you want to yell and scream a bit, you go right ahead. I'll listen to you and I'll do my very best to help you understand what's going on and to get you where you want to be. And I won't even hold it against you.
P.S. I do like it better when you don't yell at me :-)
We live in a tech heavy world and I work for a tech heavy company in a tech heavy industry. We at Go Realty have positioned ourselves at the forefront of social media and all of the magical marvels that this generation has to offer. We even made an app for Realtors called Go Connect that helps manage our transactions and our daily to do lists. And it is awesome. I am amazed most every day by the fact that I all have access to all the information ever known to man at my fingertips. This is truly a magical time in history. Still, my preferred tool for taking notes, brainstorming, organizing, drawing, doodling and creating is a throw back to another era.
Yes, I prefer a pen and paper. There I said it. I know how amazing all the apps are and how much more effective I could be if I would just get with the times. Call me a dinosaur if you like but don't sleep on this T-Rex.
My pen does all sorts of things for me. It encourages my creativity. I simply think better with a pen in my hand. I twirl it around and click it and tap it. It is a natural extension of my brain. Because it is intuitive and I have used it all my life, I never have to interrupt my creative process with frustrated thoughts of "How do I make this thing function again?"
My pen also sends the right message to people I may be interacting with. Think about the body language. If I am looking you in the eye as you speak and then taking notes with my pen and paper, my body language says "You have my full attention and what you are saying is important to me." If I am typing on my iPad, the body language is exactly the same as it would be if I were updating my status or playing Candy Crush. When someone is speaking to me about listing their home I don't want to send them a mixed message. And when I am in a classroom, while I can take notes on my MacBook or iPad, I like for the speaker to know they have my full attention as well. And there have been times when, in the spirit of being hip and keeping up with technology, I have been taking notes on my computer and then gotten distracted by an email and missed some important part of a class or meeting.
Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets. I am in fact writing this blog for a website that I designed on my computer. But there is a time and place for everything. And so far, no one has proclaimed that the MacBook is mightier than the sword.
Father to two wonderful boys, husband to one smokin' hot wife...this Marine vet did better than he ever should've :-) Or...maybe this is Christine writing this one. See if you can tell :-)