Put Yourself Out There
I was invited to a backyard BBQ in Fullerton last month. I had spent the morning working in my garage and I had years & years…and boxes & boxes of books for the library/study I had hoped to one day set up and call my own. I realized that was an unlikely thing to happen now, especially with the rise in popularity of e-readers like my Amazon Kindle – which I love. Over dinner, I spontaneously asked Mary if she knew who might appreciate all of the books. Her first thought was a used book store owner with a heart for economically-challenged readers. Then she turned to the woman sitting next to her and asked her if she knew who might appreciate the books. The woman was ecstatic!
It turned out; she is a volunteer at the Long Beach Veteran’s Hospital. The volunteers meet monthly and take books to the hospital. She enthusiastically offered to take the entire load of books on the spot.
I laughed, shaking my head. I had hundreds of books in my truck that I didn’t know what to do with and Mary had two options for me in less than a minute. Mary said, “You just need to put yourself out there Vic!”
I was stunned. I tried to maintain a poker face, but I was sitting there stunned. When I started in real estate over ten years ago, Al Ricci told me I needed to put myself out there. He was talking about leaving notepads on your doorstep, paying to have my picture on your shopping cart and it was even suggested that I pay a cartoonist to do a caricature of me to emblazon on postcards I would send to you every month. You never got anything like that from me because it made me feel a little tingly – in an icky way – to consider doing that to the people I care about. Al is a brilliant successful broker. Mary had said the same thing to me, but it resounded differently because of our relationship.
Instead, I ask you to introduce me to the people you care about. Everyone knows a Realtor, but only you know a full-time real estate professional. I don’t have enough fingers on both hands to count the number of times I’ve gotten calls from old friends with horror stories about their real estate experience. Each story had a similar theme; we were going to rely on you Vic but my mother-in-law insisted we use this Realtor she plays Bunco with. I’ve never shared those horror stories with you, because I don’t want to throw friends under the bus. Some of them are pretty awful though. Absolutely appalling.
Two weeks ago, I got a call. The gist of the call was that my long-time friend didn’t think I knew Corona that well so he had started working with another Realtor they knew socially. He was completely fed up with her laziness and lack of communication. He speculated that I might not know Corona that well, but he trusted me exclusively and wanted to rely on me. Corona? The area I do almost half of my business? The area with pockets of Mello-Roos and areas of high-crime activity and great areas too? That Corona?
It’s time to put myself out there. I’m the full-time professional you know. Just like your Vet or your Dentist; I’m your professional Realtor. I’m asking you to introduce me to the people you care about.