HOW WILL THE PIZZA MAN FIND ME?
While huffing and puffing at the gym yesterday morning, an acquaintance on the treadmill next to me turned and asked if she could “bother” me to answer a few real estate questions. She is a recent college grad, moving from Ohio to a small town in Georgia where she just landed her first job. She wants to buy a condo there and readily admits, she knows nothing about buying or owning a home. She was given the name of a local Realtor to help in her search but since they had yet to meet face-to-face, she didn’t feel comfortable asking her a bunch of questions. Lesson to Ann-my next laptop will have a built-in webcam to allow me to Skype with clients relocating to my area.
I love first-time homebuyers. They are so eager, innocent and excited to learn everything at once. They remind me of my daughter (now 21) when she first learned to talk in complete sentences and had a million questions stored up from her first 18 months of life. I am someone who loves to learn and teach so I welcome the intriguing and often surprising questions that first time homebuyers come up with.
Evidently, the place where my friend is moving is teeming with gated, condominium communities. They are an anomaly in our area of Northern Ohio so she had lots of questions about them. Her first question, “How will the pizza man find me?
My answer came from the perspective of a Realtor who, over the past 20 years of selling Real Estate in both Southern California and now Ohio, learned creative ways to get into many types of gated communities. Unfortunately, there is not always a homeowner present and anxiously awaiting the arrival of a hot and juicy pizza.
I explained to my gym friend that when someone expects you, you may be given a gate code. For those times when you don’t know the code, you can sometimes press the button for the unit number or occupant’s name and get “buzzed in” unless the occupant is not at home or the button doesn’t correspond to either the address or occupant’s name. In some instances, you need a key and without that, you are out of luck. Other times there is a gate guard who gathers your information and gives or denies access based on whether your reason to be there jibes with his list of reasons for granting you access. As a last resort, you just tail the garbage truck in front of you and pray the gate doesn’t coming crashing down on your hood or head.
Last night over dinner, I mentioned this conversation to a friend who spent last summer working for the US Census Bureau. He said whenever the 2010 Census enumerators encountered a gated community and didn’t know the code, they called the local pizzeria. Pizza places always know the gate code.
That’s what I love about questions like “How will the pizza man find me?” In finding answers to even the seemingly, simple questions, you always end up learning something new.