So here I am, holding “open house” for Thia. During this process, we invite the entire city to come and take a peak at a house and everything in it, with a small hope that somewhere at sometime, that buyer is just going to walk through the door. It’s known as the passive approach because most of the time you just have lookers, people killing a Sunday afternoon, or nosy neighbors evaluating the decor. So I here sit drifting, a lost child in the occupational world.
“You know, it’s like I told Thia about my mother, it just isn’t a pretty sight for people to come through and see her. But we came from Mexico and in my country, you don’t just put your mother away” says Ms. Gonzales.
“Of course not. My only concern is not disturbing her,” I say.
“Well, I told Thia the house would be clean and it is,” she tells me with a smile.
I smile back. I am embarrassed and wish I was somewhere else enjoying this afternoon and not immersed in fruitless futility to help the cool girl from the office. I wonder if my broker, Grace, ever did all this blind prospecting, open houses….. I can just see her: Grace, hair done up and dressed for the kill. I hear her voice inside my head….”Need to prospect more…..call every single person until they list or die….STP – see the people”…well I guess that’s better than the other acronym anyway….
Nothing like Grace for inspiration. I had spent many a day tooling around with her and Lucky Rollins in the big, blue Cadillac, sitting there in the backseat watching her hair play badminton with the roof of the car while we searched blindly for our location.
Lucky Rollins, chief advisor, would turn to look at me occasionally. He would pat the sides of his hair with his stubby little fingers while his thick neck turned in a mechanical sequence as he surveyed property. Lucky is what they refer to as a “top producer.” – top cat, top gun in the world of real estate.
“……Well you know I was at the RODEEEOOO last weekend,” Lucky smiles at me, imitating his best Texas accent.
“It’s a business about people. You just gotta get the formula down. Practice those scripts every day. Why, anybody can be successful…..Go and get ‘em , tiger!” Lucky urges me on.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! By the way Gracie, have you ever heard Glenn Adams speak? Heck of a guy!”
“No, I don’t believe I have head him yet, but I did hear Marty Femster talk about conversational hypnosis. That was a good seminar,” says Grace. “Now which street was it?”
Hmmmm…..conversational hypnosis I think to myself. Wonder if I should try that on my dog the next time he digs a crater in the yard.
“Oh, you’ve definitely passed it, I think we were supposed to turn right back there,” said Lucky.
“Good grief, there goes Madge and Bill, they’re gonna beat us there and they’ll think I don’t know where I’m going,” says Grace.
“Well, I won’t say a thing,” says Lucky.
So our favorite exercise is to drive along the streets of the subdivisions, the highways, the roads, searching for the secret recipe in real estate. Touring property….property time….property preview. Looking for the secret that will make us all rich and notorious. When we find it, we will need lots of publicity. We will need to see in print all the other offices that we mowed over to become number one. I can just imagine Grace skipping gleefully down the hallway, her silk skirt swirling around her while she waves a banner like we are all in some damn May Fest celebration…”Look who we beat!”
I’m not the only new agent struggling in my office. My friend, Linda is at it also. She is practicing the pushy side of selling and Linda thinks she is doing better than me. Linda bends the truth a bit. I chide her sometimes, but she becomes defensive.
“Well, I put a house on the market in that neighborhood, so I can call it my neighborhood, too.”
“But you are implying that you live there.”
“I’m in the neighborhood so much that I almost live there.”
I shake my head and concentrate on the cold call numbers on my desk. I think maybe I should try calling and telling people I’m not wearing underwear to see if that’ll get them talking….”…yes…hello, I’m not wearing…by the way when are you planning to move…..” I smile for a moment contemplating that thought.
“Make the Prospect (that would be the people you are telemarketing) visualize the benefits of selling their home through you.” Grace tells me. I think about what I can do to sell that house that nobody else can do, or that the people themselves couldn’t do. I can’t come up with anything right off.
“Bye the way, I’m going to have a property tour on my listed house,” says Linda.
“I would like for you to come and give me some input.”
“Sure thing, I never miss a good tour,” I reply. I wonder if I will indeed ever learn anything about real estate.
The egg salad from the kitchen smells strong and brings me back to the present. Lots of onions. Mrs. Gonzales has finally succeeded in capturing her younger boy and clothing him. I watch as he rolls around on the unmade bed in a pile of sheets.
“You know, last time they did open house, nobody came,” says Mrs. Gonzales
“Oh really?” I answer.
“Yeah. I think the neighborhood is going down here. We are in a transition.”
“Hmmm…well you can’t really tell….sometimes people are just busy or there is a foot ball game…” I say….