I saw a cool article on Inman this morning about showing fails. It reminded me of some of the things I have seen as a commercial practitioner over the years that were totally avoidable. To be fair, I'll start with me:
- I went to show a warehouse in a very sketchy neighborhood at dusk. I was driving a really nice car and within 15 seoconds of parking I was surrounded by a group of young men who suggested that I offer them my wallet, watch, and keys. I was in a suit - they all had matching bandanas and tatoos. I managed to talk my way out of any trouble, but during the very intense conversation, the prospective buyer drove by without stopping, of course never to be heard from again. He did not call the police, just left. Safety first.
- One of my agents went to show land in the south part of the Las Vegas valley with a very wealthy and persnickety client. We had warned him that his Suzuki Samurai might not be the most capable off-road vehicle and that he should borrow one of our trucks, but his pride kept him in the small SUV. He got high-centered on a giant barrel cactus about 3 miles from the nearest paved road and they had to hoof it in 105 degree heat. No sale.
- I sold a piece of land to a new industrial developer who had thier own agent, who had only done residential. I urged her to let me help her with the project, but was fought off by the other agent who would not even consider getting help. They designed and built a project that failed to contemplate the turning radius of a semi with a trailer over 40 feet (most of them) and could not use their very expensive docks on the back of the building except for small trucks. Know your limitations.
- Looking at a parcel of land with a client, I noticed a really ugly barn in the back. I asked to see it and the owner hemmed and hawed, but eventually let me in. It had been convered entirely with 4' x 8' real estate signs (explaining the rash of missing signs over the last few months that we had been blaming on one of our competitors). Probably 200 signs, all stolen, and he had only painted the outside. Listing taken, police not called.
- I was showing a large parcel of development land to some high-end investors and we got stuck in some deep sand. Everyone helped push the truck out, but one of the guys lost a very expensive Italian loafer. We dug for nearly an hour and never found it. He was in from out of town and it was his only pair of shoes. I took him shopping and nearly choked at the cost of a replacement pair.