A Lesson on the small things-remembering the details

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CELLing Realty CalBRE #01445865

Today I had to get the thermostat replaced in my house as  somehow the connections werent working properly  and  the heater wouldn't turn on.  There was a lesson learned while watching the repair man, one for everyone.  While watching the repairman I was reminded that forgetting about the small things can make all the difference in the world for the successful completion of a job.

The Small Things Photo by Kathy McGraw


The small things; how many times have we remembered the big things, but somehow forgot the small things?  The repairman today called and asked what size thermostat it was.  He wanted to get a replacement that was close to the size of the old one so no paint, or lack of paint, would show.  

He shows up and takes the old thermostat off, and puts the new one on, then he notices it needs batteries.  What, batteries, heck I barely remember to change the smoke alarm one once a year, now I would have to remember the heater too?  Anyway, he didn't know it needed batteries, so he had to go get some to test the whole thing.

After he got back from getting the batteries, he tried and tried to get the heater to turn on, and it wouldn't.  So he states the new thermostat doesn't work and he'll have to take it back, which he does.  When he gets back again he hooks the new one up, and yep after awhile he said it didn't work.

I can understand one, but not two new thermostats not working, something must be wrong....and sure enough it was!  A tiny piece of cardboard was covering a part of the mechanism, and somewhere in the several pages of directions it said to remove this!  Just a small piece of cardboard, a small detail hidden in the directions was stopping the thermostat from working.

Think about it...how many times have we forgotten something that could derail a sale, or that makes a contract incomplete? Something that we didn't even think of that later causes us problems.


Remember it's not always the big things that need the most attention.....it's the small things!


By: Kathy McGraw  Real Estate in the Whitewater area of Riverside County, CA

Comments (8)

Thesa Chambers
West + Main - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

glad you will be warm :)P

Jan 05, 2011 05:04 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Kathy, that is so funny, well, not really. But so true! We often overlook something very, very small and it causes everything to fall apart, to blow up, to fail.

But all we need to do is read the directions, take out the tiny piece of cardboard and move on!

Stay warm!

Jan 05, 2011 11:40 PM
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Kathy... you are right on!!  It often is the small things that make all the difference!  Thanks for the reminder, and Happy New Year!  Kathy

Jan 14, 2011 08:29 AM
Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

So true -- the small details that make a difference in a sale, and in life.  I think it's the little things that can escape me as I sometimes just don't see them.  I'm glad I have a transaction coordinator for that also - she helps when I miss something.  What I think is most profound about your post is that remembering the little details is also what keeps our lives warm, not just with the heater, but also in our relationships with friends and family.  Thanks for the post, it took me to a wider place!

Jan 21, 2011 06:18 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Kathy - I came by to say Hi and wish you a belated Happy New Year!  Something or someone doesn't have to be big to make a huge difference.


Jan 23, 2011 09:44 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Kathy - it's the little things we miss that cause the big issues to appear ..... as the saying goes if all else fails read the instructions even the little details buried in the instructions

Feb 28, 2011 03:56 PM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Thank you all for the comments....looks like we're all on the same page :)  It really is easy to miss some things....the little things ;)

Feb 28, 2011 05:40 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

We constantly forget small things and take many small acts for granted. But some small things are need to be forgotten( like some stressful moments during negotiation).

Oct 08, 2014 05:13 PM