Alcohol Makes Me A Better Realtor! How, I am sure you are wondering?
Well I have my Dad to thank for this little reminder. First, let me state a disclaimer for my family who cringes whenever I write about my experiences with him. I make no apologies because it is my truth I have lived I share. Plus, just in case someone is going through worse than what I lived through, perhaps this will serve to give them the tools to endure and triumph in the face of mistreatment.
Monday evening at the Homeless Shelter I have managed since 2006, I had a Guest so intoxicated to the point of just raging, looking for any excuse to allow Evil to take control and unleash it on the weakest victim around.
People who excessively consume alcohol rarely recognize it as a drug producing four personalities! There is Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Mr. Hungover, and the worse of the four characters, Mr. Evil.
Growing up I endure a Dad who drank so heavily all the time, I encountered all four personalities all the time. Mostly though, Mr. Evil. I learned to fade into the wall after having enough encounters with Mr. Evil, who I was absolutely terrified of all my growing up years.
This personality would come through the door attacking the first victim he would encounter. My younger sister I would protect by telling her to head to her bedroom and close her door, or head to the basement once I heard the garage service door slam shut.
Too many times I was at the wrong place at the wrong moment he came through the back door his eyes seeing the fear in mine was like fuel to victimized me either verbally or physically.
I literally lived in terror of this Man unfairly beating me because he needed to unleash the anger the alcohol brought out of him to express.
It took enough beatings to get wise enough to listen for when he was returning home to find some place in the house to hide, so I would not be the convenient excuse to beat up on. I can so relate the movie “The Color Purple” when at the dining room table the meltdown payback moment occurred. I can remember the lines so clearly “I’ve never asked you for nothing …!!!”
For me, I was in my late teens when I decided I was taking my last beat down. He raised his fist at me! I told him you touch me, one of us will be leaving out of here on our backs, and it will not be me. He lowered his fist and said “I see it in your eyes you really do hate me!” I said “what you also see is whatever success I encounter in life, it will be a constant reminder to you I did in spite of all the evil you did to me!”
For the first time in my life I learned how courage is fearlessness powerful enough triumphing over Evil!
I was never allowed speak to him while sober about his behavior while drunk. In his mind he believed because he did not remember, he did not do any of it! In his mind he should not be held accountable for what he did not mean to do. Nevertheless, I lived with the physical pain and bad memories constantly haunting me.
Monday evening became a full circle moment for me at the Shelter. I am a strong believer in we go through some things in life to grow enough so we can be an absolute solution to someone’s problem.
At the very moment I thought I could take a brief dinner break after the thirty-five Men had just been served dinner by our valued devoted volunteer team, my Co-Shelter-Site-Manager Irene approach me with Dale there is a fight about to break out in the gym!
I hurried to step in between to two Men to discover one was intoxicated selecting who he thought was the weakest Man to victimize. Oh what a familiar scene I have lived through so many times in my life. I was more than ready for the moment.
I calmly with a low firm voice told him to back up, turn around, and walk away. Him recognizing no fear in me he did just what I asked. I turned to the other Man telling him to let this go. Sit down and finish your meal. He will not be a problem to you. I turned and followed Mr. Evil to insure enough distance because I anticipated his next move.
He turned back at me giving me all the excuses he earned the right to attack this other Man. I stood there allowing him to vent. I told him he was in God’s house a place of peace. He needed to release this. He would have to go through me to get to him, and I have never back down from a fight. He refuse to let his anger go. I told him I would much prefer he sit down, eat, and allow his body time to excrete all the alcohol consumed. He told me he could not stay there and not beat that Man up. I said so you rather wonder outside in the cold, then be here comfortable in a warm loving sanctuary where I love and care for you and your safety. He said if you will not let me at him, then I must leave. I walked him out the door. Upon leaving I told him I am extending you enough mercy if you will take some time and walk off this anger, I am willing to allow you to return.
This is a Guest who when sober is a joy to have stay at the shelter. I have observed him to be humorous with and likeable by the other Guests. I bet I can make a safe bet when sober when the other Guests tell him about his behavior he will say he does not remember, or he really did not mean any of it?
If you have read this far you may remember at the start of this message I stated alcohol has made me a better Realtor. I bet you are wondering how?
Having to endure so many unfair beatings growing up, I learned to turn terror into courage. I learned to make fear work for me by being fearless in my adult life. Having fear be such a familiar companion growing up, it taught me it can never stand strong against courage. Once I discovered the power of courage, I learned to value Dale. I learned I had the ability to possessed gifts, talents, abilities, ambition, cultivated skills, applied knowledge, and gained wisdom I could share whereby others could benefit from, upon cooperating with what I had to share.
This courage is especially helpful in this day in age of easily obtained internet based knowledge. Real estate information is so easily accessible it is easy for Buyers to fall into the trap of thinking they know more than the genuine real estate expert professional serving them.
The hardest part of my work is convincing a Consumer they really do need to follow my guidance if they want to get on the smoothest path to achieving their homeownership goal. So often they want to challenge me with insubordination, when I tell them the first step when they plan to finance their purchase is to do their financing homework first. This means allowing a Mortgage Professional I trust to determine if they can procure financing within their budget.
I have been on the wrong side of a transaction when I have allowed fear to be stronger than courage in allowing a Buyer to dictate their unwise conduct because I feared losing them as a Client.
I write the wrong side because it really does feel like the wrong side when thirty to sixty days into a home under contract deal pending I must tell a Seller who organized their moving agenda, I am sorry this Buyer I procured for you it turns out just discovered some skeletons in their financial history they now need time to clean up. How much time? Well, it may take longer than you are willing to wait.
Now, imagine the reaction of a Seller who has the one ideal home they really want under contract contingent upon the close of their present home. Imagine how quickly they can turn into Mr. Evil wanting to take out revenge on me and my Buyer?
Imagine a Buyer having given moving notice to their Landlord who has procured a new Tenant for their place, leased signed! Now, they really began to fear the possible reality of homelessness due to all they have research somehow convinced them it is perfectly just fine to shop for a home, get it under contract and then discover if they can truly buy it. Please re-read this paragraph again allowing it to really sink in!
Having lived through being the painful victim of the over consumption of alcohol, it altering behavior to the point of my learning how to transform fear into big bad boss and bold courage, I can confidently say to a Buyer if you will just unconditionally follow my guidance, I can get you to your goal very smoothly, efficiently, and with a whole lot less pain than you insisting on doing it your way, which could be very costly to you!
When I was going through all of the pain alcohol caused me, I never ever thought there would be a day I could say, it possessed the power to make me a better for person for all I endured. Being a long continuous victim of Alcohol over consumption introduced me to the confidence gained by lots of relocation problem solving for hundreds of successful Buyers who trusted me to be the solution to their relocating problem.
Daily, I live to solve lots of relocating problems. Just remember though, you must possess the courage to follow my good guidance working for your best interest in you achieving your relocating goal!