The Parade Passed Him By......The Death Of A Salesman

Real Estate Agent with Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 BRE# 01494165


I tried to help someone today. I was in a local real estate office (not even mine) and I saw an older Realtor® that I knew. He sold one of our old homes....15 years ago.

He looked the same, maybe a bit more worn. Probably worn out. He was surprised to find I was an agent also..and that I was having a great year. He has barely been hanging on the past few years (the bust of the boom).

He asked me to go to coffee. Even though my day was very busy, I went. There was something in his eyes that bothered me. As he's a gentleman, he ordered for us both and treated me. And we started to chat.

He wanted to know how I found clients. He felt that he had outlived, or out-used his Circle of Influence. Ah Real Estate 101....the Circle of Influence. He was finding that people were busy around him, but he didn't know how or where they were finding business because he wasn't finding it.

Over the following hour, I found out that he had no website nor web presence. He was barely able to log into an email account he had with the company. I talked about Active Rain, Trulia, Zillow....etc. but these were words he'd never heard of....much less what I was trying to explain. This was not his world. He told me that he still missed the listing books (before my time). He is comfortable with paper.

Before I left him I made him promise to set an appointment with the company webmaster and set up his free website. We'll see! But I know it won't happen. He wants to adjust, but probably can't. He talked about retirement and some time with his wife.....I hope he does it. This lovely gentleman...a true "gentle" still looking for a time and method which is long gone.

Time moves forward fast in the Internet Era.


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charita Cadenhead 12/16/2010 12:05 AM
  2. Will Nesbitt 12/16/2010 01:49 AM
  3. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 12/18/2010 11:50 PM
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Show All Comments
Brien Berard
Remax Professionals Laurel MD - Laurel, MD
Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate

Thank you for sharing this.  I really appreciate that you spent time with him.  I was worried that when I read it, I might see myself.  Fortunately, I do have a web presence. 

Dec 16, 2010 08:13 AM #126
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Hi Karen, This is a truly sad story and an all too common one at that. I have exactly the same situation with an oldster in our office. I have spent a lot of time trying to help knowing full well he just won't get it. He's being edged towards the door and I can see in his eyes he isn't quite ready to go.
Dec 16, 2010 08:34 AM #127
Tracy McPeek
Cottonwood, CA

This story is so sad.  Thanks for taking the extra time, it probably lifted his spirits and you may have very well been the best part of his day. 

Dec 16, 2010 10:15 AM #130
Tamara Inzunza
Realty One Group Capital - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

Sounds like he also may have clients who are being ignored.  You should ask him for a list of his past clients and BEST clients.  Offer to connect with them and pay him a referral fee for each transaction that you make.  Don't try to make the man LEARN THE ain't gonna happen.  It sounds like he doesn't have the inner strength to move forward, so help him, by helping the people who already know him.

Dec 16, 2010 10:37 AM #131
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Thank goodness I stumbled onto your post via Steve H's reblog.  It is very deserving of the feature you received. 

I applaud you that although you had a busy day you weren't too busy to take the time to listen to and counsel this gentleman.  If this agent loves paperwork he would probably make a great admin. assistant or buyer agent.

Although he isn't a techie he probably has some great people skills.  I think that's great that you are willing to utilize his experience.


Dec 16, 2010 11:10 AM #133
Phil & Celeste Pafford, Corona CA - Corona, CA
Corona Short Sale Broker

This story will be about us in 20 years (or less).  I'm already gett'n "set in my ways"!  ;-)

Dec 16, 2010 11:17 AM #134
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

That is a very touching story Karen.  Kind of sad but very real.  There are a few agents in our office that are the same way.  1 just went into referral and 1 is retiring.  Sadly, if you can't adapt you won't make it in this business.  When I am an "older" agent I sure hope I can adapt to the changes.  Wonderful post, well written and very touching. 

Dec 16, 2010 11:23 AM #135
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Karen, such a sad story. I have found the longer agents have been in business the more resistant they are to change. I know several agents that are quite successful even though they aren't using the Internet. They see no reason to change, but for those that are having difficulty, the Internet presents new opportunity. 

Dec 16, 2010 12:14 PM #136
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Me again.  Your post inspired me to write my own.  Thanks Karen.

Dec 16, 2010 12:56 PM #137
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes

Nice post and great headline from a classic..

The Solution is an assistant or partnering up with somebody that is tech savvy. My former partner was an Outstanding salesperson but basic when it came to internet advertising.

Hmmm.... I bet his "people" skills are outstanding and all he needs is some personalized support.

Lenn in comment #20 states it perfectly...



Dec 16, 2010 01:23 PM #138
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Hi all....I was out all day, Christmas shopping with my best friend. I'm touched that this story touched you all. We are such a supportive group here and I'm honored to be among all of you.

Short follow-up....I called him today and talked about what he wanted to do, going forward. Traveling more with his wife and spending less time working does sound nice. Finances are not a problem. The problem is that he gets bored and real estate is his passion. So I asked if he'd consider coming to work with me....we are going to meet next week and talk some more. The door is open, so we'lll see.


Dec 16, 2010 02:24 PM #139
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

What a great opportunity for both you and this Gentleman.  I bet he will pamper your clients and treat them well.  You'll do the internet things.  A perfect relationship?

Dec 16, 2010 02:55 PM #140
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Karen, you are one great person with a big heart.  I hope you can help to strike some sparks back to this gentleman's life.

Dec 16, 2010 04:11 PM #141
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Karen thanks for the follow up.  That's great news that you two will get together again to explore and discuss the possibilities of a working arrangement that could work to the satisfaction of both of you.  He could spend more time with his wife and travel some and real estate some and hopefully you would both benefit.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great New Year.

Sue of Robin and Sue


Dec 16, 2010 04:31 PM #142
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Karen, I feel that if you can just lead him to get started on Active Rain that he will discover what he's missing...and how to get from here to there!

Dec 16, 2010 05:02 PM #143
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

What a sad story. I'm glad you took the time to go to coffee with that gentle man.

Dec 16, 2010 08:58 PM #144
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

"He told me that he still missed the listing books (before my time). He is comfortable with paper."

"Time moves forward fast in the Internet Era."

Those three sentences sum it all up.

Dec 18, 2010 11:50 PM #145
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Human connections - that's what sets us a[art.  Good work reaching out, and I look forward to hearing "the rest of the story".

Dec 19, 2010 12:53 AM #146
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

What a touching story. Then again, 2 years ago if you had told me I'd be blogging regularly, I would have looked at you funny.  A lot of agents I know are approaching the end of their careers and just don't want to "add another thing" to their repertoire.  And in many cases, why should they?  But anyone with 5-10-20-30 years left in the business needs to adapt to the new world, painful as it may be.

Dec 19, 2010 01:39 AM #147
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Karen, thank you for sharing this great story.  I truly believe some one like this can still survive, even without the internet, because of the strength of their relationships, however, it would be very difficult to "thrive" now and in the future without leveraging technology and the internet.

Dec 23, 2010 07:45 AM #148
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner

Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395
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