Real Estate is a really exciting career. While we sell property, what we really deal with, are people.
One of the benefits of a career in real estate is meeting people – different people – with different needs. In doing this we get into some really funny situations that bring out the lighter side of life.
I remember as a green young agent of 19 my first sale was to a Dutch lady. She was rather elderly, and had a younger daughter perhaps in her late thirties. I had an appointment to meet them to take an offer on a property and when I arrived at their home the daughter was sun-tanning in nothing more than a G-string – completely unconcerned by my presence.
After stumbling through my introductions I was shown to the lounge where the mother was waiting. I sat on the leather couch and tried to complete the offer through stuttering and stammering – how does one focus? The daughter joined us half way through and sat next to me to add her signature. I didn’t know where to look – and skin on leather makes a sound I will never forget…. It took a few days for my blushing to subside. The things we endure for our sellers!
A seller once gave me a mandate to sell his townhouse and, as he travelled often, he gave me a key. His instruction was to always phone first to make an appointment, but if there was no answer and no one at home I could conduct the viewing on my own.
Buyers walked in one morning and inquired on the listing. I could not reach the owner on his phone, and there was no answer on the home phone. So we jumped into my car and arrived at the property. I rang the doorbell and knocked hard just in case. No answer.
We entered the townhouse and I showed the buyers in. I was so focused on showing them the features on the property and we entered the main bedroom and en-suite – at which time I found out the wife was at home… in the shower!
Needless to say we made a hasty retreat. But we all had a good laugh afterwards.
Agents endure many embarrassing moments. I recall the time one of my colleagues had to climb over a fence to gain access to a property (with the sellers consent) and split his pants. Funny if you’re watching!
Or when a dog took a bite out of one of my agents’ backsides! Dogs can really be awkward to deal with. I remember a Great Dane that was being friendly and slobbered all over the front of my trousers…. shades of Mr. Bean. Or worse still, when he did the same to my female purchaser.
Selling property is a serious business – but what’s great about our line of work is that it’s filled with moments where we really connect with people. It’s hard to beat the feeling of satisfaction when you find someone their dream home, or when you succeed in selling a property and delighting your seller.
Life is about fulfilling dreams. And good estate agents thrive on helping their customers fulfill their real estate dreams. Next time you work with an estate agent remember we are just people – like everyone else. Have a good laugh with us – let us into your world. We just want to help you achieve your dreams.
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa
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