I had lunch the other day with a friend of mine here in Sarasota who is a real estate agent. I’ll call her Suzie (for reasons that will become obvious, I’ve changed her name). Midway through lunch she began to tell me the story of a situation that occurred with a new client last week. The previous Wednesday she’d contracted a bad case of the stomach flu that put her down for three days. On Friday morning, still flat on her back in her sickbed, she received a phone call from her friend, Clarice. The conversation went something like this:
“Hey, Suzie. I’ve got a new client for you. He wants to write an offer on a million dollar house.”
“Hi Clarice. Can we do it tomorrow? I’m sick in bed with the flu.”
“Nope. He insists it’s gotta be done today.”
“Well, can we at least do it late this afternoon? Maybe about 4 p.m.?
“Sure, I’ll set it up.”
Later that afternoon, Suzie dutifully dragged herself from her sickbed, gathered the necessary paperwork, and drove to the client’s house. They spent a couple of hours preparing a low-ball offer of $850,000, and then it was time for the client to sign the papers so my friend could present the offer.
“OK, now I just need you to sign in these three places,” Suzie said, pointing to the signature lines.
“Oh, no. I don’t like to rush these things. I’ll just keep these papers over the weekend and look them over.” So much for being in a rush.
Of course, when the offer was finally presented it was rejected because the offering amount was so low. Such is the life of a real estate agent. Although there are some really nice buyers out there, real estate clients in general have absolutely no consideration for their agents. They want what they want, when they want it, and if the agent doesn’t react quickly enough to their demands they don’t hesitate to move on to the next agent.
And this, my friends, is why I am no longer in real estate. I grew tired of arrogant, demanding clients who had no regard for me as a person, despite the fact that they knew I was a devoted agent who would attend to every detail of a closing; knew that I would move heaven and earth for them. Being a real estate agent is a thankless job that requires putting in long hours with no assurance of income. These days, I don’t earn a lot of money. I’m not getting rich as a travel writer. But I love getting up every day and I adore what I do. I am happier than I have ever been because I am being true to myself.
I might add that Suzie also loves what she does, and thank God for that. I just hope she gave the guy a good case of the flu. It would serve him right.