A Day In The Life…

….of a new real estate agent!

This poor girl just started at our office, and already she’s having a difficult time.

While I sympathize with her trials and tribulations, it makes for a rather funny story…

handshake.jpg

To protect the innocent in my story, let’s just call this girl “Rochelle.”

Rochelle just started with Bosley Real Estate, and now occupies the empty desk next to me.

It seems like so long ago that I was also a green, newbie Realtor down in the basement here at 290 Merton Street.  I wore a shirt and tie to the office every single day for the first year in this industry.  It took me a year of seeing people wear “dress jeans” and some of the men wear short-shorts and halter-tops to realize that perhaps I was overdressing a bit…

The first step in your career as a Realtor is to notify every single person you’ve ever come into contact with that you are embarking upon a new job, and you can now effectively assist them with their real estate needs.

Friends, family, former co-workers, teachers, students.  Members at your social clubs, sporting events, or former clients.  How about those ex-boyfriends or girlfriends?  Friends from your former life?  Anybody that you have ever known could be a perspective real estate buyer or seller, so to eliminate anybody from your list would be limiting your potential client base.

You are creating a list of people to send “Announcement Cards” to, accompanied by the announcement of your new position in real estate in the Saturday edition of the Globe & Mail.

The one thing about this initial list that most people don’t think about is how vulnerable you make yourself!  You’re really “putting yourself out there,” by sending a card with your photo and short biography to everybody you’ve ever known. 

The thought about how many of these cards are going to be thrown right into the garbage might enter your mind. 

Or how many people will scoff at your “phony smile” or your “cheezy real estate pic?”

This brings us to poor, poor Rochelle.

Rochelle compiled a massive list of 650 people to send announcement cards to.  This consisted of 450 people she would mail actual cards to, and another 200 people she would send e-cards to via her Bosley email.

The day after the cards were mailed out, her excitement and optimism could have lit up the room!

She was so eager to start; eager to “make that phone ring!”

So I thought I would play off her enthusiasm, and I asked her if I could see one of the cards she sent out.

I began reading, and my eyes nearly popped out when I saw it: “…her dyanmic personality…”

Dyanmic?  Huh?

I weighed the pros and cons of telling Rochelle that there was a typographical error on her announcement card, which she sent out to everybody she knows.  I figured she would find out eventually, and better to hear it from me than from some bitter, sarcastic former co-worker.

“Rochelle,” I asked, “Did you, um, proofread these?”

“No, I didn’t.  You think I should have?”

I slowly passed her the card, and she read the entire thing and then asked, “What?”

Wow.  So I specifically pointed out the spelling mistake, and naturally, Rochelle freaked out.

As she frantically and incoherently rambled aloud, I continued to read the rest of her announcement card, and I soon realized that the “dyanmic personality” was the least of her worries.

Usually when you see a term in quotation marks where it is not meant to be a quote, it signifies that there is a hidden-meaning with respect to the word or phrase.  Perhaps it’s being used sarcastically, or is ironically the opposite.

Rochelle, in describing her approach to real estate, wrote about her service and guaranteed results…

….but she used the term hands on, and put it in quotations:

Clients will benefit from Rochelle’s “hands on” service with guaranteed results.

Call me childish if you will, but I couldn’t contain my laughter.

“hands on”???

The term itself isn’t out of place, but to put hands on in quotation marks signifies a hidden meaning, don’t you think?

“hands on”

“hands on” service?

“hands on” service with guaranteed results?

Before approaching Rochelle with this, I considered that perhaps my interpretation of this term in quotation marks was unique, so I individually asked four people in my office what they thought.  Without even telling them my opinion, they all burst out in laughter like I did.  So I had to tell her…

She was still reeling over the dyanmic typo, but the “hands on” description put things in a new light for her.

Amid her freaking and panicking, her phone rang, and low and behold it was one of her best friends who asked her what he had to do to get the “hands on” real estate service.  She screamed into the phone and hung up.  She didn’t find it funny.

I did.

In fact, I found this entire incident to be hilarious!  I’m soooooo glad this didn’t happen to me!

After a few more phone calls from friends and family, all asking her why she misspelled words on such an important announcement card and why she was offering “hands on” service, the situation got worse.

It seems that the 200 e-cards she emailed out were done not from her personal Bosley email account, but from one of the administrator’s accounts.  This way, her name did not show up as the sender, and it looked like junk-mail.  The administrator upstairs was bombarded with “unsubscribe” requests from people who probably didn’t read the email and others who just deleted it altogether.

And even if people did read the e-cards, their responses didn’t go back to Rochelle, but rather to the administrator’s computer where over two thousand emails get sent daily, most of which is junk mail and subsequently deleted!

As I said at the start, a new career in real estate means making yourself vulnerable right from the get-go, and Rochelle’s first week on the job showed her just how thick a skin you need to stay in this industry.

There is no shortage of gossip in real estate offices, and all the talk in the last week has been about the new agent who can’t spell and who gives out “hands on” service to all that request it.

Well, I guess the tough part is out of the way for Rochelle.

All that’s left to do now….is sell real estate…

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