Life is very exciting. I have two, count ’em, two whole listings, with two more, count ’em, two more, coming down the pike.
Two of those are rentals, which historically have been considered to be lower status in New York, but at this point are the most marketable things around.
So I’m fairly busy for me, and you would think that would make me more focused and better at guarding my remaining time.
It just occurred to me now that a contractor left keys for me with his doorman yesterday; there’s a showing that I have tomorrow that I haven’t yet set up because I can’t find the tenant; and I called my husband today and said that I couldn’t find my wallet … which was neither in my bag nor in its usual position on top of the cabinet because I had already tucked it into my side pocket. I’m just a tired, crazy, spacey kind of girl.
Which means that two weeks ago, when the buyer client called and was in a real hurry because he just HAD to see something that Sunday, I caved.
In the face of Tim’s "I want to go see this apartment now" eagerness, my "let’s meet for coffee and see how we like each other" — standard operating procedure — crumbled.
And of course, he’s turned out to be a waste of time. Down-payment rich, yes, which is a real plus in this market, but with an appetite for 20 percent more apartment than he can afford. I gave him that lecture when we first met, but in a rushed way because we didn’t do the usual first meeting. Instead, we saw two properties, and then decided that it might kind of work. Then we spent another two weeks shopping, and had combed through maybe 50 things on the Internet, seeing four properties.
I had set up appointments for about six others before he finally decided that shopping with me wasn’t fun anymore because the expectation that the Internet boards had set up that sellers were just going to cave in that last 20 percent wasn’t turning out to be true.
If we had had a nice, leisurely first meeting, I would have told him that. I would have gone straight into my "you may expect the market tomorrow to be lower, but you have to buy in the market that you face today" line. And maybe I would have saved myself two weeks of trouble and distraction.
When I first joined my firm, there was an agent who I really admired. She was gracious to her customers, and consistently a six-figure earner. Her secret seemed to be a kind of economy of movement; she really didn’t waste time.
The other agents thought she was lucky, but I always thought that she was smart, in that she knew how to tell the difference between an "A" lead and a "B" lead.
She’s been gone for about a year now, and my recent experience with Tim caused me to ask my boss how she did it. "Her parents had an auto dealership," he said. "She grew up on a car lot."
Well, I didn’t grow up on a car lot, learning how to sell; I grew up raised by a judge and a shrink, and I want to help everyone. My empathy helps me in some ways, but it hurts me in others — principally in that I don’t have time to take care of everybody.
To protect myself, over the years I have developed habits of filtering and screening, and they help some. The challenge, I discovered over the past two weeks, is that they help some only when I use them.
Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie."
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