Alternate Universes

Considering I really needed a full day away from real estate, I decided to bury myself in one of my personal projects.  I didn’t get started as soon as I wanted due to having to wait for necessary return calls from several of my long-term clients.  You’re likely thinking, “He does have a cell phone doesn’t he?”  Well, I wasn’t about to take several files with me to a place that was very much not where one would want to carry on a professional conversation.  One of them finally called, but the other must’ve thought returning my call not to be important enough on a Sunday, so off I went.

Not but two hours later, while I was knee-deep in chaos, my cell phone rang and it was him.  I was forced to let it go to voice mail because I had gloves on that are always difficult to quickly remove.  After getting them off and washing my hands, I played the message back which said something like, “No big problem.  I’ll catch up with you sometime this week.”  After listening to it, I text him back say, “Got your message, and will look for your call in a day or two.”

What really gets me, and likely many of the rest of you, is whenever someone wants something from you, you’re likely Johnny on the spot, but when the roles are reversed, it’s like pulling teeth to get even the smallest of requests filled.  I call them, “Only on my time people.”  I remember so well over the years the words coming out of the mouths of a few, “You ain’t telling me what to do!” What was unfortunate about those situations, is that there was no “telling” on my part, but rather simple requests.

A few years ago I was getting random calls from a widow asking me all kinds of professional questions regarding the sale of her home.  The first thing I remember saying was, “I wouldn’t sell until you’re at least a year out from the death of your husband.”  The subsequent calls had to do with pricing, what repairs should be made, and talking about what directions she’d be going when and if her home sold.

It wasn’t even six months after the death of her husband, a for sale sign went in her yard.  The home sold, and off she bounced from one location to the next.  The unfortunate moral of this story, is that she didn’t take likely ounce of my advice to where I finally considered her a contrarian where whatever I suggested, the exact opposite was done.  It didn’t take me long to realize it best that I save my breath to cool the soup and leave her to the advice of others.  Sometimes the best thing we can do in situations like this is to give our soulful opinions and walk away because there’s no helping people with such self-destructive mindsets.  Perhaps the one lesson she and others of similar mindsets learned after it’s too late, is that every time we physically move from one dwelling to another, there’s more money spent than one can possibly imagine.

I feel it my duty to pass a few bits of a conversation I had with a gentleman who’s looking at moving to Mason City.  While at the office, a cold call came in from out West regarding a listing I have.  During the conversation, I discovered he and his wife have decided to move to Iowa now that they’re rapidly approaching retirement.  He said they’ve narrowed their choices down to five Iowa communities, but Mason City’s not one of them, so I asked why.  It internally disturbed me when hearing that they’ve done their research on crime rates in various cities across our State, and Mason City is markedly higher per capita.

I spent about fifteen minutes enlightening him on the pros and cons of Mason City, and hopefully they’ll decide to at least make an effort to come take a look at a few homes along with getting a “feel” for our community.  I believe what impressed him the most were my filterless comments, along with being impressed that I’ve freely chosen to live here nearly my entire life.  Evidently my voice sounds like that belonging to someone a generation younger after realizing he was assuming me to be at least a generation younger.  I smilingly said, “If you have time, take a look at Holtz Realty’s website, and there you’ll find a picture of me.”

Yes, Mason City has its problems, and there are times when I’m nearly convinced I’m living in alternate universes whenever working with such a diverse and wide range of clients and customers belonging to nearly every socio-economic level right here in River City.  As I’ve said for many years, “If you’re knowingly setting yourself up for trouble here in North Iowa, it will more sooner than later find you.”

Tonight’s one-liner is:  I’m fond of pigs because dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as equals.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

First of all....Joe Chodur really doesn't like talking about himself but this is what we have found out about him.

Joe Chodur began his real estate career in 1981 during the...read more about: Joe Chodur

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