I was not an official member of the "certified" relo team in my company. My branch manager was on vacation. "Joan," an office-mate agent was given the responsibility as serving as substitute Mama while our manager was on vacation.
Joan called to give me a relo that happened to be close to my home. I visited the couple (over 82) who were both survivors of the holocaust. Sadly enough, they had voluntarily encased their home property (an enchanted ½ acre) in barbed wire.
They were delightful. He had lost 75% use of his right arm/hand from experiments in Auschwitz, but had become an awesome artist...oils, wire sculptures...you name it. Some of his artwork (donations) are in the Holocaust Museum in DC and he spends his time as a volunteer lecturer at the local schools and universities. The only apparent means of survival is social security. Their family was located in Colorado, all financially challenged.
After 4 delightful hours with them, it became evident that they did not really want to relocate. They were in a place where they were giving to the community and felt comfortable and, most importantly, safe.
I reported back to the referring Realtor, who turned out to be their great grandson, that these people did not really want to move. The grandson was delighted that a perfect stranger had the same observation that he had for years...they did not want to move.
The entire relocation was put to rest.
About eight months later, I received a call from the elderly couple telling me they were ready to sell. I got the feeling that he was not in good health and wanted to be laid to rest where his family could visit him.
Okay, let's get this baby on the MLS. No...they told me; they were too uncomfortable with people coming into their home (they were scared). They said "We know you will find us someone to do a cash deal without putting us on the website." I felt this was an improbable expectation, but being an incurable optimist, I racked my brain to find a solution for them. I had none.
Now, you have to understand something; I hardly ever did open houses. The rate of return on the time that was involved in doing open houses, was shameful.
Coincidentally, I had another house on the market within blocks of this one; it was on Juanita Drive.
I received a call from the owners of Juanita who told me someone from their place of business was interested in the house and would be there Sunday sometime between noon and 4 pm.
"Are you nuts?" That is what I should have been thinking. Sitting for four hours waiting for a maybe from their office? Normally I would have said, give me their number and I will make an appointment with them...but I didn't. I didn't even think about it. I decided if I was going to be there for 4 hours, I would put up signs and have an open house (definitely not me!).
Who was the first person to walk into the open house; An attorney from one of my commercial deals.
"Mara, what are you doing here?" I asked. "Well," said Mara..."I woke up this morning and decided the money I have in the bank for my daughter's college fund is not doing anything and I decided today is the day that I put that money to better use in an investment property."
I closed up the open house, took Mara to the enchanted property, made my introductions...and left!
They made a cash deal to transfer the property and everyone was happy.
A few days later I received a call from the daughter of the elderly couple who lived in Colorado; she could not thank me enough. She said she was sending me a check for $5,000 for what I had done. I told her I would not accept it and she should put it towards her parents' move. She was crying uncontrollably and kept telling me that I was their angel.
As a result of what I had done, the next door neighbor called me to list their home (even though their niece was a Realtor in my company)...and their next door neighbor heard about it and asked me to list their home. The neighbor across the street saw all my signs and asked me to list her house.
The bottom line here is that a series of occurrences that normally would never have happened...all occurred. Heaven sent? I like to think so.
Where does this go? I would like to see Realtors accept a certain percentage of pro bono (sp?) cases each year...I would like this approved by NAR and the Departments of State in each state.
You never lose when giving. If no other business had come from what I did, I felt like a million for doing it. But no good deed goes unrewarded, whether it be in your heart or in your business. This made an ordinary day into a Holiday I will remember forever.