My Life as a TV Real Estate Reality Show Star (imagined)

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Remax Results

Every morning I wake up with my head exploding with brilliant Instagram images on rehabbing houses. It's not an easy work, it takes a village. There are project plans, the decor has to be gorgeous, crew lined up, and buyers vetted. Hair and wardrobe make or break the image. What should I wear swinging a sledgehammer or showing a dingy basement? The look has to be professional and glamorous, yet with homey relatable images.

At 10 AM I meet the new couple at my office. They've been vetted by the casting team, contracts are signed, budget is set, and they’ve already bought one of the three houses we'll show. They are so excited!!! We go over the script, and plan the day’s shooting. I'm ready, cameras on, let’s roll.

In the opening shot we’re doing introductions and I'm asking them everything about what they're looking for, what would be their dream home? She goes on with the litany of, “I want, I want, I want, I want…” Listening attentively I nod my head, “You want four bedrooms, a gorgeous master spa bath, custom kitchen with a mile and a half of granite countertops, an outdoor entertainment center for under $200,000? Is that all?” Of course she does, I smile cheerfully. Let's go see some houses!

The first house is a tiny bungalow with deferred maintenance for $120,000 begging for an $80K remodel to make it livable. Let’s call it The Witch is Dead Gingerbread house. Next, a spacious two story in need of coming out of the 1900s built on a hill with 300 steps. We’ll call that one Goat Hill. The third house is a brick 1.5 story with an unfinished 1/2 story and basement. Lots of naked space. It’s within the budget, they like the neighborhood, not far from schools and a hop to work. This one is Head Start. No brainer right? No wait, they want to think about it? I whip out my iPad showing 3D floor plans where we are moving walls, opening up the back with sliding glass doors, building a patio with beautiful grape vines, acres of granite in the kitchen and adding a couch with nautically themed pillows. They love it, let’s write an offer. Whew, we won the bidding, had to go over list price which means we cut back on the pillows.

The next morning we huddle over the iPad blueprints. We make color selections, cabinets, and finalize the design in 20 minutes. I’m wearing overalls and a hardhat prepared for demo. Most Realtors don’t do demo. I don’t either but my producer says that buyers want engagement and love to see Realtors in action. We already closed on the house, so we can head over for an early start. The crew is coffeed up, they’ve started without us. The buyers are excited, they get to knock out a wall. I grab a sledgehammer, give it a swing, and OMG it hit a water line. There is water all over the place! The buyers are watching bug-eyed with their mouths gaping. The producer yells, “Somebody get a plumber!” I’m soaking wet, my hair is dripping down my face, my right shoulder is screaming at me, and I’m not video ready. Can we cut PLEASE? Things happen. We joke that this kind of thing can happen to anyone. God, I hope that they don’t sue.

While I went to the emergency room our videographer got some good footage of the buyers ripping out cabinets and taking out a demi wall. Only one ugly surprise, flattened dead squirrel was found under the fridge (apparently he was hiding, but couldn’t escape.)

I met again with the buyers with my arm in a sling for a photo op just to show that this is not a job for wimps, I’ve got grit, and its an Instagram moment. We’re all together at base camp smiling. The crew takes over sheet rocking, wiring, plumbing. I’m taking a couple weeks away to work on my Instagram for my online store, Fantasy Fixes, everything you need for a rehab for pennies on the dollar. Only a phone call away.

The phone rings Saturday night. Mrs. Buyer just walked through a Restoration Hardware, she wants to change the theme as she fell in love with a $5K couch. I pour myself a vodka, straight. She’s crying, she insists that the couch will change her life. I’m crying, she is ruining mine. Thinking of 14 ways to asphyxiate her with the nautical pillows or get her to change her mind I purr into the phone, “Don’t worry, you sound so stressed. Why don’t you take a hot bath (scalding), relax, and we’ll meet at the house in the morning to work it out.”

The next morning we met at the house, which is nearly finished. Mrs. Buyer is excitedly placing the $5K couch along a load bearing wall of her mind. We measure, measure again. The couch is ginormous, but the house is not. It would take up over half of the living room, it won’t even fit in through the front door. The husband stands quietly glassy-eyed, he knows when he can’t win. “Well, what is it that you love about THAT couch?” She loves the creamy linen and the charcoal piping. We picked out a deep blue velveteen. “What if, just what if we have a cream linen slipcover with charcoal piping made for the couch that looks like the RH couch, but can fit in this room? That way, you get both a summer and a winter look, and stay on budget?” She stopped, rolled her eyes left, then right, sighed, looked at her husband, and back at me with a huge grin, “Alright!” We all breathed deeply in unison.

After that, things moved along uneventfully. The buyers weren’t allowed anywhere near, but I think that they sneaked around at night. Finally, the day for the big reveal. The slipcover for the couch is done, the kitchen glows with sunlight, we even came in $25 under budget. It’s a win for all sides. My producer blindfolded the buyers, I’m their guide dog and lead them down the path. Cameras are rolling, “ARE YOU READY?”

Of course, they are ready. Smile, and call it a day.

 

Whether you’re selling a house or buying a new home in the Minneapolis, MN, area, turn to Mary Jo Quay with RE/MAX Results for quality real estate assistance. Contact her at (612) 384-1360 or visit the website to learn more about her services or browse local real estate listings.

 

Posted by

Mary Jo Quay

“That’s what I do: I move people—H O M E.”

 Phone: (612) 384-1360

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Rainmaker
998,935
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

What a whirlwind!  Your sofa story reminds me of my daughter who also bought a ginormous sofa for her new condo. Yes, the condo is roomy, but this sofa is crazy big. The delivery men from the furniture store could not get in through the door. They left a huge divot in the wall to prove it.

It sat in the hallway for a bit - my daughter wringing her hands, until finally the condo maintenance guy and his son figured out a way to get it in. And now, they didn't saw it in half.

I liked your idea better.

Mar 19, 2018 03:33 PM #4
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

OMG Mary Jo Quay you cracked me up with this one!  I think many of us could put ourselves in this 'role'...way fun!  They make it all seem so simple and easy....right!!! As for the sofa story - my husband wanted one paricular leather guy looking sofa and when they brought it in it looked like - no joke - a large overgrown mushroom!! Not staying!  Sitting on it would cause you to slip down the front. We exchanged it for one that works and fits the room well! Guess who picked out that one!!

Mar 19, 2018 03:48 PM #5
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

That emergency room bit would be in my imaginery reality show for sure.  Too funny.

Mar 19, 2018 04:23 PM #6
Rainmaker
3,533,444
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Mary Jo Quay ,

Congratulations on the feature post! That was quite a story..I'm exhausted just reading it! You certainly made me laugh on this one! 

Mar 19, 2018 07:24 PM #7
Rainmaker
351,026
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Wow, Mary Jo, what a story! It would definitely make for great TV! :)

Mar 19, 2018 08:00 PM #8
Rainmaker
566,403
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Mary Jo Quay sounds like a fun dream. Nothing wrong with dreaming it. Who knows it may just happen.

Mar 20, 2018 05:29 AM #10
Rainmaker
3,126,866
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mary Jo. I really enjoyed this and think I'd enjoying knowing you.

Mar 20, 2018 07:39 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,311,729
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

May Jo has the know...

Mar 20, 2018 08:05 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,161,913
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

The actual scenarios we face daily in this industry are crazy enough, Mary Jo Quay ... stop!!!   Sometimes we couldn't make the things that actually occur up, right??

Gene

Mar 20, 2018 08:21 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,226,375
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Oh my gosh, that would have been quite the experience! And the funny thing is some of this actually happens!

Mar 20, 2018 08:24 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,135,874
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Very clever, Mary Jo. What an imagination you have? I am sure if you did actually get that reality show things would just go perfectly. After all, you are now well prepared.

Mar 20, 2018 12:33 PM #15
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Mary Jo

You cracked me up with this reality show portrayal. Imagined, yes, but no doubt a ton of truth from what we have seen in real life, and based on the realities of personal experience which are so much more truthful than these scripted shows.

Jeff

Mar 20, 2018 02:20 PM #16
Rainmaker
493,116
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

This was a fun read like a movie plot. Love the spin that shows your ready to tackle anything!

Mar 20, 2018 07:15 PM #17
Rainmaker
223,927
Susan McCall, Everyone needs a home
Compass Realty Solutions, Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA - Portland, OR
Quickly, professionally and with a little fun!

And they want to know how we make our money???  Loved the story.

Mar 20, 2018 10:43 PM #18
Rainer
139,920
Barbara Murphy
Tartan Properties, Pensacola~Pace~Milton~Gulf Breeze~FL - Pace, FL
GRI, e-PRO, GREEN, FMS, MRP

Hilarious, Mary Jo!  My husband's a remodeling contractor and it's shocking how many folks think you can make the kinds of repairs and updates you mentioned with the budget of a few pillows! LOL!  But that's what it appears to be on TV.....  Thanks for the fun story and hope to see you in a Reality TV show soon!  Just be careful with the sledge hammer......

Mar 21, 2018 03:55 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,949,274
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hello Mary Jo- very clever and a good read.Well-done.

Mar 21, 2018 08:25 PM #20
Rainmaker
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Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Mary Jo Quay I agree with the other comments here on your post - very cute, a fun read...I'm exhausted!  LOL  Congratulations on the Feature!

Mar 22, 2018 06:27 PM #21
Rainmaker
907,798
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love your story!  That's hilarious and so true.  We all have great ideas but they don't all fit in the room :)  

Mar 25, 2018 05:45 PM #22
Rainmaker
355,560
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I will say you have a very vivid imagination. I was watching your video as you produced it. I am now in the emergency room suffering from exhaustion. It was so real and absorbing.

After I rest up, I will start my dream.

Thanks

Mar 26, 2018 08:51 AM #23
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Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Gotta love that you put the reality in-hitting the water line!

Mar 29, 2018 10:15 PM #24
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