Opportunity is Everywhere. Even in Disaster

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker 69190

Lake Carolina  Nearly a decade ago now, when I was fairly new to real estate my doorbell began to go nuts one random morning about 6AM. I was equal parts curious and  confused as I tried to figure out who on Earth needed my attention so bad and so early. As I opened my front door I came face to face with a Richland County Sheriff's Deputy and he was holding my briefcase. He immediately asked me if I recognized the briefcase and if I would step outside.

  As I explained that it was my briefcase and pointed to the company name on the side, the officer stated that it was found in me neighbors front yard. Realizing that I had been out with friend the night before, I knew I had a late night, but not nearly the kind of night that would cause me to come home and throw my briefcase at the neighbor's house so I was really confused by this point. To make matters worse, when I stepped out of the house and into my front yard, the neighbor in question, who waved at me at this point, was sweeping the street between our houses. I thought I might be dreaming in all honesty.

Lake Carolina in Columbia, SCTurns out that my neighbor was sweeping up glass from a broken window. Someone had broken into his car overnight and stolen an Ipod. When the police came, they found my briefcase, but the informed me that there was no sign of forced entry, so they didn't believe anyone had been in my car. I couldn't help but ask if they though I had thrown the briefcase into the neighbor's yard myself.

  I could see from my porch the the GPS that once hing from my windshield was missing. A second deputy stepped forward to fill out a report. While doing so, he questioned what manor of company I worked for and I told him I was in real estate. Turns out he was about to start looking for a new home. Once he had finished his report, we made an appointment to get together and discuss his home search.


Lake Carolina in Columbia, SC  Flash forward all these years later and that officer who had just gotten out of the military and was on his first day of training with Richland County that morning did buy a new home. He built one just up the road from my home at the time and my wife was the agent for the builder. In fact, he went on to use me to buy two new homes, both through my wife's builder and to sell one home as well.

  The fact of the matter is that while I was not happy to start with that my GPS was stolen, several transactions later I have lessened the sting a bit. You never know when you will meet your next client and sometimes a bad situation can turn good pretty fast if you let it. I still do not like being stolen from but I can tell you this, I use Google Map on my phone like everyone else these days, but I leave an GPS in my windshield with the door unlocked every night now just hoping it will get stolen. I have had 6 transactions between the homes bought and sold by the officer himself and friends he has referred to me. That's less than I would have spent on marketing for the same amount of deals. Again, you just never know when your next opportunity will find you, even if it doesn't start off on the right foot.


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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

It is important for us to understand the significance in your title words, JL.  I have visited areas where disaster has struck.  While many folks had lost a great deal, it was being rebuilt, providing an opportunity for new ideas in the restoration, and jobs for the craftsmen helping to restore.

May 14, 2018 04:21 AM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning JL Boney, III ,

I'm so glad to hear your story and see it featured. You never know where your next clients will come from so its important how you conduct your life on an every day basis. Consumers want to deal with an agent who is level headed..opportunity is out there at every turn!

May 14, 2018 04:50 AM #8
Eric Sztanyo
Keller Williams Advisors Realty - Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati & NKY Realtor® | TeamSztanyo.com

Awesome story. You can trust even in the bad times that it can be made to turn out for good. 

May 14, 2018 05:09 AM #9
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Yes - there are many opportunities that we probably miss everyday.  It does involve talking to someone - whether forced in your case - or more casually. But through communication we relate with each other and can find common ground. And perhaps a sale!

May 14, 2018 06:22 AM #10
James Grant
Asheville, NC

Hello, JL, That was a great story. We cannot know when the blessings have to come and even the bad situation will turn into Blessings. Have a Nice Day!

May 14, 2018 06:48 AM #11
L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

Opportunity is always knocking in different forms!  Great post!

May 14, 2018 07:36 AM #12
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Thanks for sharing this great story JL Boney, III, LOVE happy endings. 

May 14, 2018 07:59 AM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The cycle of abundance visits with everyone constantly making the rounds

May 14, 2018 08:00 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi JL- lucky you that that's all that was taken!  You are so right...you never know when an opportunity will present itself. We just have to have our eyes open (and make sure that we're always on our best behavior!)

May 14, 2018 09:20 AM #15
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Great story, you never know who you are going to meet and when. You just have to be open to the opportunity.

May 14, 2018 10:01 AM #16
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

What a strange happenstance, but a great ending with getting the responding officer as a client.

May 14, 2018 10:19 AM #17
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

I really love happy endings. Congratulations 

May 14, 2018 01:27 PM #18
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's quite a story, JL. You just never know where a lead may come from do you!


May 14, 2018 08:21 PM #19
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

Great story! The old lost briefcase marketing strategy.

Maybe lose about 10 more briefcases with your business card attached in strategic locations frequented by wealthy people, or at the local real estate investors group!

Of course, they might call the bomb squad for an abandoned briefcase. But maybe they will mention your name on the 10 o'clock news when they see your business card!

May 14, 2018 08:28 PM #20
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

sometimes all you have to do is knock on the door and the door will open. Love and light!

May 14, 2018 10:41 PM #21
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You never know where the next deal is coming from do you? Well played series of events!

May 15, 2018 09:04 AM #22
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

Great story. Everyone we meet is a potential client, regardless of the circumstances. 

May 15, 2018 10:10 AM #23
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is an example of how an unfortunate situation can turn into something positive!  Interesting post!

May 15, 2018 08:42 PM #24
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Opportunities are everywhere, yet, recognizing opportunities and taking action regardless of your location is the key to your benefits.

May 16, 2018 03:15 AM #25
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Opportunities certainly are everywhere! But that's one I wouldn't have wanted to repeat!

May 16, 2018 10:11 AM #26
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JL Boney, III

Columbia, SC Real Estate
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