A Book By Any Other Cover

By
Home Inspector with Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections

Terry was blue. Hair, skin, finger nails, lips were all shades of blue. He painted on blue scars onto his face. He was an imposing figure at 6'3”. His smile was a grimace, which revealed blue stained teeth. He appeared to be a most intimidating character. When I first met him, I asked “tell me, truthfully, is red your favorite color?” I received his grimace in reply. He was a sales associate in a store, and I would watch as customers were afraid to approach him. Yet, two elderly ladies dared move closer to him to make an inquiry, and they found that he was the nicest guy in the world. He loved talking to customers, and he was an engaging conversationalist. He was a gentlemen in his character, which his appearance belied.

As a teenager, I learned not to judge people by their looks by a wise art gallery owner. I wandered into her gallery one day, when I saw a painting that I thought was beautiful. Here I was in my “War is Over!” t-shirt and ragged jeans. My hair was long and curly. Not really the look of the other patrons, but the owner came over to tell me about the artist. I ended up purchasing the painting on lay-away. For years, I was a loyal customer. One day in the shop I witnessed what could best be described as a bum walking into the store. The owner knew him by name. She guided him through the new pieces, and he ended up buying a few pieces. After his departure, I asked about him. Why would she leave customers who seemed to have money for this individual. She said that the man had two passions in life: his garden and collecting art. He did both on the weekends, and he never cleaned up before going out, because he was going back to the garden later. When he first came to her gallery, she treated him as she did any client, which led him to buy.

On the job last week, a client drives up in a beat up old car. She was not in the most appropriate of attire. When the Realtor arrived, he kept making references to undertaking drastic remodeling to the home. I did my job, and I treated her as I would any other client. Later, after she had left, the Realtor came up to me and thanked me for treating her so well. He said that she might not look like it, but she was quite wealthy. She was difficult to please, but she was going to buy two homes. He thought that I might have been put off by what I was seeing. I told him that I would always do my best to treat my clients well. After all, they are paying the bills.

In my mind, I was recalling my friend the gallery owner and Terry. You just did not know who was going to be your best customer, or who might be the nicest guy in the room.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
Texas Harris County Houston
Tags:
houston home inspections

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
52,026
Anona Large
Realty Executives Associates - Oak Ridge, TN
Oak Ridge, TN Real Estate

Frank,  Good story.  You just remind me about the "Don't judge a book by its cover" saying. 

I am chuckling right now and thinking how opposite that is with sellers.  When you see the outside of their house, you are not usually surprised by the inside. 

Have a Fabulous Real Estate Day!

Anona

Feb 19, 2008 12:05 AM #1
Rainer
52,026
Anona Large
Realty Executives Associates - Oak Ridge, TN
Oak Ridge, TN Real Estate

Frank - I just re read your title.  LOL.  No wonder this post reminded me about the "Don't judge a book by it's cover" saying.  That's your title.  Funny.  I best go get some more coffee. 

Anona

Feb 19, 2008 12:07 AM #2
Ambassador
606,358
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Frank, as a child, my grandparents ran a summer camp.  The whole camp was rented one year to a modest man in jeans who brought in underprivileged city kids.  He turned out to be the heir to a tobacco fortune, but you could never have guessed to look at him that he had money.
Feb 19, 2008 12:10 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,317,807
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
I had a guy call me for an appointment -- he had worn jeans and a old shirt - he asked about low end homes.  We talked for almost an hour. Then, he said he would get back to me - he was going to interview serveral agents.  He called several days later and said he wanted to work with me and in fact he was "testing" the agents he interviewed.  He actually was in the market for a very high end home.  So, I always treat everyone with respect and listen to their wants and needs.
Feb 19, 2008 12:39 AM #4
Rainer
59,821
Karen Webster...Grand Rapids, MI Realtor
5 Star Real Estate, Grand Rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI
I, too, have encountered rich people who don't look rich.  In fact one was a male friend who was asked "Can't you afford to dress any better?" and he replied "I can afford not to."
Feb 19, 2008 12:58 AM #5
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thank you for your comments. Sometimes the fact of the matter is that possibly anyone could turn out to be our best client, rich or not. Terry's nature caused him to be a nexus, so he was beneficial for networking. Moreover, with immigrant families, you may find that the person you are dealing with does not have much, but because of family support, he may be quite able to purchase a home, and he could also lead to other contacts.
Feb 19, 2008 01:23 AM #6
Rainmaker
159,372
Lindsay Pendleton
Relocating To Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas - Baton Rouge, LA
Marketing Agent - Property Management in Baton Rou
Frank- I love this post. You are really a good writer! Def. can't judge a book by its cover!
Feb 19, 2008 05:02 AM #7
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thank you Lindsay. I am glad you liked it.
Feb 19, 2008 06:11 AM #8
Rainer
9,996
Dawn Rodriguez
HomeRun Title - Hollywood, FL
HomeRun Title - Title Insurance Company

I'll give you 2 quick examples of your blog being correct.

1. Walked into a store one day and the saleswoman wouldn't acknowledge me. I wasn't dressed all fancy at the time. Ask about a Cartier bracelet and she actually told me that they were expensive and pointed me in the direction of where they were. Didn't give me the time of day. I got upset by this and just to show her, had my boyfriend come and purchase 3 of them. I gave the other 2 away for Christmas. There was another saleswoman there and I gave it to her so the one couldn't get the commission.

2. Friends of my boyfriend came over one day, which was the first time meeting them, in a broken down looking minivan and talking about going to Garage Sales. They go every weekend. The clothes they wore, looked as though they were from Garage Sales. I thought they were poor. In all actuality, they live in a home that's worth over 2 mil. on 10 acres of land. Amazing!

You can not and should not judge a book by it's cover! Great post.

Feb 19, 2008 06:50 AM #9
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thank you for stopping by Dawn, and the comment.
Feb 19, 2008 08:41 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,574,038
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Boy ain't it the truth!  I never like to stick with first impressions.... otherwise I never would have married my husband of 28 years. 
Feb 19, 2008 10:40 AM #11
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Georgina- I am just glad that my wife chose to marry me.
Feb 19, 2008 01:34 PM #12
Rainer
130,286
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN
These are excellent observations. Treating people fairly and respectfully is a lesson that hopefully most people learn in childhood; unfortunately that isn't always the case.
Feb 20, 2008 06:38 AM #13
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Rich- that is quite true. It occurred to me that might not be the case, so I thought back to Terry and the gallery owner.
Feb 20, 2008 08:25 AM #14
Anonymous
John Hurbon Benson Arizona

Hey Frank

 

Thanks for your comments and your blog.

 

John Hurbon

Benson,AZ    Baxter's town

Feb 25, 2008 06:01 AM #15
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thank you for reading and commenting John. I hope you stop by again.
Feb 25, 2008 06:24 AM #16
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
75,699

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*

Additional Information