Judging customers

There is an almost-legendary story in my office of a client who walked in on Christmas Eve (New Year’s Eve?) many years ago dressed in raggedly-looking clothes who wanted to see a property or two. Despite the client’s not looking like he could afford to look at even one $50k property, the agent on duty (we’re open 7 days a week) sized him up, showed him the properties and, as legend has it, eventually sold him over one million dollars’ worth of real estate.

Yesterday, dressed in jeans, boots and a fleece, I was looking at some shoes in Nordstrom in Short Pump. I was killing time waiting for my wife and was unsure as to whether I should buy them (or even to try them on without the wife’s approval). I was talking to the salesman and commenting on the quality of the leather, the sole, etc. They happened to be fairly expensive … the gentleman “helping” me nonchalantly took the shoe out of my hands with the comment of “well, they are quite nice, but they are quite expensive too, you really get what you pay for …” and put the shoe back on the rack.

How exactly does this pertain to real estate? Real estate is a referral business. I never know when the next person I meet might be the vaunted million-dollar-buyer … or one who may want to purchase a $150k condo, move up in five years, then again in seven, all the while referring their friends and colleagues to me … Living by the Golden Rule is simply good business.

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