The Big Carrot

The Big CarrotI mentioned some months ago about there being those rare occasions in real estate where no matter what you do in keeping a file or transaction moving forward, there’s found a subsequent kicking back.  I have one of those particular transactions taking place right now were every step of moving forward, there’s been found another boomerang coming at me from another direction.  Over the course of having that home listed, the furnace went kaput, there were hundreds of wasps nesting around the home, there were families of mice taking up residence in the garage, all the smoke detector batteries went out, keys not being returned on time, a storm door being broken,  a faucet suddenly deciding to crack and leak, numerous long distance phone calls, and workers not showing up on time or not at all.  I told the owner today how much the home has really tested my patience, but I think I’m passing its test.  The thought has even crossed my mind that the house fell “in like” with me and doesn’t want to let me go.  But all things must come to an end, and I’m going to have an ear to ear smile when it has the softest of landings at its closing.

Just this past summer I’ve had about three or four men chide me for not giving them a monkey wrench grip of a handshake. While working on a tedious project about a month ago, I pulled a muscle in my right hand and had to be a bit careful with the handshakes. During that time yet another challenged me on my less than firm shake.  I was embarrassed to tell him I’d recently hurt my hand.  Prior to that, whenever men have challenged the weakness of my shake, I tell them, “I’ve worked with a large number of the elderly over the years and I’ve learned to be a bit more gentle with the shakes due to many having arthritis in their hands and likely the pain they’d be feeling if I squeezed too hard.”  Most all of them finally realized that it’s better to be more gentle than trying to impress someone with the strength and firmness of a handshake.  Just talking about it now makes it sound even all the more silly for anyone to vocalize over the gusto of two hands coming together.  After all, it’s not an arm wrestling contest.

I had an interesting conversation with a past client/customer today where she was speaking about a past business relationship she had with another.  I’d not realized she was a silent partner with that company and was shocked to hear her side of the story regarding the closing of their business and allocation of assets.  I said to her, “Why did you allow it when suspecting what your partner was doing to you?”  She went on to say that she was always given really believable excuses as to why things were that way.  She’d been told it was to help preserve the business assets for the both of them to share.  When they decided to close their doors, she found that nearly all the profits that were “promised” to be there, no longer existed.  I guess there were harsh words exchanged, but it didn’t correct the chronic problem of her partner having ever so cleverly moved the bulk of the profits out of the company.  All I could say was, “I’m so sorry to find you being another classic example of how trust in the business world is sometimes horribly abused.”  There are those who work harder at keeping the big carrot for themselves than simply sharing it like it should be.  I walked away from our conversation thinking of a number of those who’ve stayed awake nights thinking about how to have it all instead of sharing.  It’s been that way since we humans fell out of the trees.

Joe Chodur

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