Whenever you let someone know you’re a real estate agent, what type of response do you get? Almost always, the first response I get is “Residential or Commercial?” Then, after the initial ice breaker, I frequently get this follow-up question: “Do you know of any great deals out there?” Now, certainly I'm not the only real estate agent who gets this inquiry. However, the nature of the question never ceases to amaze me.
The last time I flew on an airplane, I was seated next to an off-duty pilot. Since I'm not one to shy away from a friendly conversation, I carried on a discussion with my seat mate throughout the entire flight. At first, I asked if there was anything he could personally do to make the lavatories, overhead compartments, and the distance between my seat and the seat in front of me any roomier. After politely offering me an earful of regrets, he asked what I did for a living. “So, what do you do Carie?” I responded: "Me? Well, I’m a Training and Communications Specialist with a background in real estate. I’m a licensed Real Estate Broker in both Illinois and Texas – and I have years of experience in training, marketing, sales, leasing, and property management.” “Hmmm ... that’s really interesting,” he replied. “I’m always looking for some good investments. Are there any great deals out there? You know – maybe a foreclosure or something with decent equity?"
Wouldn’t we all love to invest in deeply-discounted properties loaded with equity? I joked with him – and reminded him that most everyone on the planet would also like to have the answer he was seeking. Additionally, I mentioned that if I knew where all the great deals are, I would be flying on my own private lear jet instead of sitting next to him! We chuckled for a moment – then proceeded onto our next topic.
Until I uttered the words "real estate broker," you didn't really hear anything I said, did you? You know, I happily and passionately speak to others all day long about my occupation, credentials, business skills, and professional accomplishments. Yet, as soon as I mention that I am a real estate broker, it seems most everyone wants to know where they can get a great deal. Don't get me wrong – I understand completely. I mean, who wouldn't want to pay $5 and get $10 of value in return? All I can say is: Please take a number.