The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

A Day in the Life

“Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…”

Now that I’m in my second year as a real estate agent, business is starting to pick up and my multitasking skills are really being put to the test. Instead of one client in escrow at a time, I now have several deals going at once, and my goodness is it dramatic.

I learn lessons every single day, but one I’m having to remind myself of over and over again is to not count my chickens. It’s really tough for me not to get a lead and immediately calculate what the possible sale would contribute toward my production and financial goals. It’s doubly difficult for me not to count the deal as done once it’s in escrow. I try to remember, daily, that nothing is for sure until I have my paycheck in hand. Some days, this reminder is really spelled out for me.

Currently, I have two deals in escrow where I’m the buyer’s agent, three house listings and one land listing. This is the drama that took place today (remember, this is just one day):

1. Deal #1 in escrow is set to close next week. I found out this morning there may be problems with the mortgage. It could potentially get less than pretty.

2. I had an appointment to show a condo to a new client this afternoon. She called and canceled this morning. She said she’s putting her plans to buy ‘on hold’ indefinitely.

3. I got a call from the sign on one of my listings about mid-morning. The woman was driving by and wanted to see it. I made an appointment to show her the house at 1pm.

4. I showed up at my listing at 12:50pm (I have a problem, it’s called perpetual earliness and it means I’m destined to spend 25% of my life pacing outside or circling the block). By 1:15pm she hadn’t showed so I called the number back she called me from. She said she had forgotten, but would be there soon. She showed up at 1:30pm. I showed her the house and she said she wants to buy it (she actually said that, I swear). I have to admit, I was a bit flabbergasted because I’ve never had that happen before. But we will see. She isn’t thinking she wants to make a full-priced offer, so we may still be out of luck. The house is well priced at what we’re asking.

5. Deal #2 in escrow is set to close later in the month. I got a call to set up an appointment for the appraisal. I called back and was transfered three times and finally made the appointment to correspond with our already scheduled home inspection appointment Friday at 1pm. Half an hour later they called back to say the lender canceled the appraisal request. No word yet as to why.

6. When I walked in the door at home I had a fax sitting on my home fax machine. It was a termite report for Deal #1 from the title agency and it was labeled ‘dirty.’ Dirty means positive for termite evidence. I pretty much blew a gasket at that and called the termite inspectors (who had informed me two weeks earlier that the report was ‘clean’) and finally the title agency. The report had been misread by the title company. It was clean.

So that was the drama for the day. I have two over-all reactions to it.

#1: There are lots of agents out there who do 10 times the production I do. How on Earth do they cope?

#2: I’m proud of myself because I did not overreact of any of these developments. It’s been very difficult for me not to get too emotionally involved with these transactions. A big part of why I enjoy this business is that I love being a part of such a fun and important transition in people’s lives. This fact makes it easy for me to take on their emotions and stress about the day to day dealings. Ironically, this characteristic, which I believe has the potential to make me a better Realtor, also has the potential to be my ultimate downfall. If I can’t handle the inevitable cracks in deals without falling to pieces I’m going to burn out faster than you can say, “Which way to therapy?” It’s my job to soften the blow and make the ride as smooth as possible. So today was a victory for me. Lots of drama, but I’m not feeling dramatic. I’m feeling a little bit of: “Some will, some won’t, so what!”

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