24 December 2010

Merry Christmas...

...and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011!

(Photo: near Tutzing/Bavaria; ©tckaiser)

03 December 2010

Lies Have Short Legs

That's the translation of a common German saying "L├╝gen haben kurze Beine", meaning that lies don't make it very far. Doesn't that make more sense than setting the pants of a liar ablaze?

Mutual respect in business relationships: I very much appreciate it, I often encounter it, I wrote about it before. But sometimes values get so blatantly violated that I have to air my frustration first before I can move on to the lesson. Which I did learn. Here's what happened:

In October, Brent B., an American who lives in China, contacted me to find a modern home in Florida. He stated he's not working with another Realtor; we communicated regularly and often. Altogether I sent him 42 listings. 

Arriving in Florida the Saturday before Thanksgiving, he had requested to see three of those the following Tuesday. I emailed Brent before he left China, and again on the day of his arrival. No response – odd. Tuesday evening, I received an email from him (the juicy bits are in bold):

That would be great. I was wanting to see some properties further up north and would like to see what a nice home out there would cost. I have heard offers are being taken, at some point, near half what the asking price is...

Let me know, thanks for the time and looking forward to our 3rd meeting. Regarding todays properties, our favorite was the 3rd (looks) the second (neighborhood) and 1st for (style) , but after some time and thought, we will probably pass as of now.

Four minutes later, a second email:

Mixing agents, we went out with an Agent introduced by a family friend in Miami today who is actually living in Fort Lauderdale, so the second part of that mail was for him and did not know if you were able to schedule for Friday so we scheduled with him (tentatively) .

If you would still like to meet up, let me know as I will try to rearrange an email.

Once again, sorry for the mix up.
Leaving the barn-sized hole in his explanation aside, not having heard from Brent is quite understandable. He was a busy bee, meeting a Realtor colleague twice and setting up a third appointment. Only a cynic would question if he would have told me without the mix up. Or if he told my colleague that he was in contact with me for two months, having received 42 listings.

And the lesson? 

For real estate buyers and sellers: Be honest. Be respectful. Don't lie; it's bad for you/your dogs/children/breath. 

For real estate professionals: ask if the prospect works with another Realtor. Ask again. And make clear what your position on lack of integrity is. Mine: I don't accept it. I have enough clients who have the right to my honest, professional, undivided and respectful attention. I don't have time to waste with clowns.

As a story of friends of mine unfolds, I am writing an interesting post: The Case Against Building Long-Distance. Currently it reads like the script for a bad high-school play, it's that pathetic. Stay tuned.