I know, you are wondering about the photo I used to illustrate this particular blog.
Read on and you’ll get it.
During my long tenure in New Jersey, I worked for 13 years as a Realtor®. I liked selling, but I enjoyed marketing listings even more. I seemed to have a creative flair for finding ways to over come objections on even the most difficult houses to sell. For example, if a house was located on a busy street (and there were a lot of those) I had a fact sheet called “The Top Ten Reasons You Want to Live at 123 Busy Street” (but of course, I’d give the real address.) The focal point of the flyer would be the most curb-appealing photo of the house I could find. It would feature everything to make it look like your next home…even down to scratch-and-sniff paper that gave off the fragrance of chocolate-chip cookies baking in the oven.
Okay, I exaggerated. I never used scratch-n-sniff paper. If I could have found some, I would have.
The very first item, because it was the cold, snowy northeast was always “You are among the first streets to be plowed.” After that I’d give other reasons like “You are always on everyone’s way to carpool” and “It is so easy to give people directions to this perfect home for entertaining.”
It worked. I sold more than my fair share of seemingly unsellable properties by pointing out those silly things.
I was very successful, consistently finishing among the top in the office and even the top 4% of the company nationwide. I think sometimes people think that being a Realtor® is easy; you look at people’s houses, go to lunch, show a few homes and then collect your check.
Um, no. It doesn’t work like that.
It is really a 24/7 job. You can’t tell someone who is waiting to sell their house that you are going out to dinner and can’t come over to negotiate an offer…or you are going on vacation. I had clients that sometimes called me 15 or 20 times a day; they were so “fond” of me I was the first person they thought of in the morning and the last person they thought of at night. There were many times that I didn’t want to answer, but having been on the waiting end of selling my own homes I treated them the way I wanted to be treated.
One of the highlights of my listing career was being selected to market an original Frank Lloyd Wright home, built from one of his Usonian designs. I loved this house, even though it had fallen into disrepair. It was so unique that the potential for bringing it back to its original glory was evident, at least to me. It sat on a secluded five acre lot, heavily wooded with a little stream nearby. It was being rented by a family who had small children…and a big Golden Retriever they called “Romeo.”
I am not afraid of dogs. I like them, especially other people’s dogs. I have three “grand dogs”, Luca and Monty who are Boxers and Jax, who is a Cockapoo. We all get along just fine. I scratch them between their ears, they lick my hand and then they go their way and I go mine.
This Golden was sometimes left to roam about despite the fact that I always called in advance to make an appointment to show the home. I don’t know whether they just forgot or it was part of a diabolical plan to prevent the house from being sold and their having to find another place to live.
On one of these showings I had sophisticated Manhattan-ites who were looking for a weekend retreat. This house could only have been more away from the hustle and bustle of the Upper East Side if it was on the moon.
Romeo, who was sound asleep on his bed when we arrived, barely bothered to lift his head when we walked in. He seemed happy enough and I was content that he was content and I didn’t have to attempt to corral him in a room.
I was at my best, pointing out all the notable Frank Lloyd Wright features, giving the history of the house, showing them photos of the property in different seasons. Suddenly, for whatever reason, Romeo awoke and came bounding into the Great Room where we were. His enthusiastic tail wagging knocked a couple of votive candle-holders off the coffee table which shattered on the hardwood floor. I began frantically shooing him away lest he cut his paws on the glass.
I was in a suit and heels. I squatted, balancing precariously, attempting to pick up what I could before searching out a dust pan and broom. It was at that moment that Cupid’s arrow struck Romeo and he saw me as the long lost object of his affections. He proceeded to jump onto my back, pushing me down on my all fours and…
Well, let’s just say he wanted to mate with me. And he hadn’t even bought me dinner.
He felt like he weighed 900 pounds. He was a BIG dog.
Mr. and Ms. Sophisticated Manhattan-ites were laughing so hard at my struggling to get him off me that they were of no help for what seemed like several minutes. Finally Mr. gained control of himself, ran into the kitchen, found a dog treat and coaxed Romeo away so I could get up.
And, no, they didn’t buy the house…but every time I showed the property after that my clients would always remark on how “attached” the family pet seemed to be to me. Little did they know that I was the Juliet to this doggy Romeo.
Frankly, considering some of the dates I had before I met MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”) he may not have been such a bad choice. At least he had a personality. And he was easily pleased with just a biscuit.