I'm a Realtor. And, I know stuff.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

I'm a Realtor, and I know stuff. Actually, all of us know stuff that is not real estate specific. Some of that stuff can be valuable information to staff and clients and it would be great to share. For instance, many years before I entered the real estate business, I worked for General Electric. I learned a lot of about machine mechanics, production and process. One of our most common questions we asked when things started getting off course was, "What was the last thing you did?" That often led back to the source of the problem.

How many deals have gotten off course because of personality issues, document issues, vendor issues? What is the last thing you did, they did, someone did? Was there a curt voice tone, a snarky email or text, or a cutting comment? Maybe it wasn't you. Maybe it was the other agent or a vendor, but how did you respond? We just had a closing delayed because a HOA rep and a lender could not get along. It was all personality driven. 

Later in my life, I opened an electrical contracting company. Here again, that experience taught me that electricity has a flow. The most important thing for an individual is not to interrupt the flow. If you can imagine, you would make a great ground rod that takes electricity to ground. That seldom ends well. Every deal has a flow. In real estate, you want to flow with it, and not try to flow against it. 

While I was young, I learned how to maintain my cars. That has served me well for decades, but it's not for everyone. If you want to make sure you don't get ripped off at a shop, you should have some experience or knowledge of auto mechanics. My biggest challenge is time. On a recent auto repair, it took me six weeks to get to it, but it only took an hour once I was able to get started. I just replaced the inner and outer tie rods on the front of my car. That repair always leads to a wheel alignment.

When I was picking my car up from the shop, a young man was being told his car failed inspection for brakes. The tech was giving him some ideas of costs if he just replaced pads, or if he also replaced rotors, and in a worse case scenario if he also had to replace the calipers. I'm listening to the numbers and I was watching the teen turn pale. The numbers started at $350 and went to $650 in seconds. The tech didn't even give him numbers for a caliper change. When I do a pad replacement, the materials cost an average around $75 for high end pads. In this case the $275 was labor. It's an hour or less repair for a talented mechanic.

The teen didn't know stuff, and his mother standing with him didn't either. I was thinking to myself, how many dates would that be for this guy? How many football games, trips out with friends, or other adventures would he miss out on? I felt bad for him, and everything in me wanted to tell him to bring it by my shop and I would teach him to do his own brakes, but I caught myself and moved on.

The point is this, what do you know that you can share with someone else? I just had a Sentri-lock refuse to release the shackle. The company support, and I, did everything we could think of it get it off the door. No good. They said they would have a locksmith come out and cut if off later, and they would replace it. Great. 

They couldn't get a locksmith, so they called and asked if I would go by and cut it off with bolt cutters. Sure, but one thing about those locks is they are super tough and bolt cutters don't even scar the metal. So, I reached back in my experience and took the lock off myself. My mechanical experience made it a simple task. The lockbox was mostly destroyed, but they were confident that was going to happen no matter who took it off. 

And, here's the thing, there is always a solution to every problem. It might not seem like it at the time, but you or someone you know "knows stuff." Collectively, as we share with others, we all build a mental database of great ideas, techniques and solutions to whatever we're facing. It might be getting more customers. Who knows how to do that? It might be prepping a house for sale. What are the most important things to know about that? It might be negotiating a home inspection report. There are people in your circles that have had experience and expertise that might help you. Remember, your life isn't made up of just the months or years you've been an agent, it's made up of a lifetime of experiences. Share what you know. You're a Realtor, and you know stuff. 

Comments (38)

Juliana Malouff-Mc Croskey
Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate BloomTree Realty - Prescott, AZ
Real estate agent with CSA serving Yavapai County

I know so much stuff, my kids think I'm a genious. Knowing stuff is because I learned from experiencing life and making mistakes.  Thanks for the blog Mike. I enjoyed it. 

Sep 01, 2019 12:15 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Mike, I  have to confess that everything that we have learned in this journey of life has taught us something, so I am sure we share stuff that we know. Speaking of real estate, I know more now than when I started 17 yeares ago.

Sep 01, 2019 12:49 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great advice! Yes, we can find a solution if we think hard or consult several people and you will find someone who experienced something like that befoe can and will help you if you just ask

Sep 01, 2019 03:01 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

'Im o glad I saw this in Kathy Streib "Ah-Ha"  moments for the week and this post certainly deserved a gold star! You are right..my life as an agent has accumulated such a plethora of knowledge! Its always good to share and I do..it's what makes it  so gratifying!

Sep 01, 2019 05:05 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm a home inspector and I know stuff.

Every job I've had along the way has taught me something.  So I know more stuff.


Sep 02, 2019 07:53 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

So glad Kathy shared this and I didn't miss it.

This is an excellent and well deserved feature post!

So true,  we all know something worth sharing and we all know people who know stuff that could be helpful to us. I love your examples!

Sep 02, 2019 10:03 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I had a supra box do that once, just would not release.  Said it was "communicating" with my key, but no go.  I actually (at the advice of the tech) turned and propped it upside down for 24 hours.  Then I tapped the shackle with a rubber mallet and tried again and wala it let go.  They still replaced it, but it was way less work than tearing it apart.  I've also replace an entire door knob to get one off in the last year as well.

Sep 02, 2019 12:38 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mike:

Well said!! We all have experiences from business and life we can bring to bear on our needs and problem solving in RE. And if not no doubt we know someone else who knows stuff we can, and should, ask for help. Don't be too proud to ask!!

Enjoy your holiday!


Sep 02, 2019 02:22 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
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

Everyone has knowledge And experience from past work that can benefit themselves and their clients in the future.

Sep 02, 2019 07:26 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Absolutely, Michelle. 

Sep 03, 2019 09:41 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I love your post, especially the automotive part. My family owned a Mack Truck dealership for 65 years. I ran it for the last 20 years we owned it. FYI Real Estate is easier, and a lot less stressful. It is still distressing to hear stories like the one you shared about the young man and his brakes. I can’t tell you how many times people have try to pull that on me! It always ends with me telling them not to pee down my back and tee me it’s raining

Sep 03, 2019 07:35 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Mike, your post has gotten me tuned up on auto repairs. I have to share the worst one ever! One day before we sold the dealership, I noticed something was not right on the front end of my Acura. I decided to carry it to a tire and brake shop to have them check it Out! We did not work on our own company cars, because our hourly rate was higher than auto shops. It was more economical to pay someone else to do the work. The owner of this shop knew I owned a heavy truck dealership. He knew we had larger versions of everything he had. He comes back telling me my front end was about to fall out. Well I knew that was BS. I told him to give back, and I would be on my way. He actually made me sign a release saying I was leaving with a dangerous car! I drove it immediately to our shop and told our service manger to check it out. That was not an easy job because our front end machine was set up big trucks, and had to be modified for cars. To make a long story shorter, there was nothing major wrong with the car. It took us longer change the machine than it did to fix the Car! The owner of the tire shop to this does not understand why I have never be back

Sep 03, 2019 08:07 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Tom, I feel your pain. I had a company I trusted for years and they did any work I had done. In the fall of 2017, I was completely overwhelmed and didn't have time to do much of anything. The shop told my wife she needed a full round of brakes, rotors, pads and emergency brakes. I told her I'd pick it up, but she said, "When will you have time?" I relented and let them do the repairs. Seven-hundred dollars later, it was done. A year later when I was doing my taxes, I found the receipts for all of those parts. I had done the exact same thing 10 months prior to that shop visit. I've never been back. When I went to the new shop, I told the guy what all I've done and I encouraged him not to try to pull one over on me, and so far, two years in, he hasn't. Actually, he has swapped two motors on our vehicles and a host of other things. I still do the brakes, tie rods, hubs and a bunch of other things. But, I'm not concerned if I'm too busy and have him do them. (For now.)

Sep 03, 2019 09:38 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Mike, I had to do the same with a sentrilock lock box. Took me about 30 minutes.

Sep 03, 2019 11:41 AM
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Whether we are in real estate, law, nursing, or retail, we all have experiences outside our jobs that we can share to enrich the experiences of the people around us.  The good news is that in real estate I think we have many more opportunities to share and learn from others than in some jobs with a more defined job description.  Fun read Mike!

Sep 03, 2019 05:55 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I know stuff, my friends and family members know stuff - it's really great when we share. Then we all know MORE stuff!

Sep 03, 2019 09:05 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Knowing stuff is important, growing up on a farm we learned this early and I taught it to my kids, though the accusation of "child labor" may have come up a few times in their teen years.  Now they are all highly sought after professionals who "know stuff".

Btw, I may have never returned to that mechanic after hearing them ripping off that kid and his mother.

Sep 07, 2019 08:59 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Awesome, Bob.

Sep 07, 2019 09:05 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh my gosh, you are so spot-on, Mike! I think I surprise my hubby with some of the things I've learned in this profession. Most have to do with maintenance/inspection items but, still, it's good knowledge to have - and I certainly don't mind sharing when someone asks!

Sep 08, 2019 12:33 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Mike Cooper, GRI - This is a great post and I'm glad I stopped by and took the time to read it carefully. What you said makes perfect sense. In my opinion, two of the greatest problem solvers and thinkers in the world are Farmers and Auto Mechanics. I was a penpal to the guy I married while he was in Vietnam. We got married right after he was honorably discharged and I graduated HS. If you guessed he couldn't get employed, you're right! He flew helicopters and could take one apart and rebuild it if he needed to. Therefore, the only type of work he could get was being an Auto Mechanic. I was always surprised that no matter what I broke or how many cars weren't running, he could solve the problem and fix it in a very short time. One day, after my kids were born, he was able to save the life of a very prominent man by using CPR. He was honored by President Regan, the Red Cross, and went on to National Public T.V, public speaking, became a first aid and CPR instructor, EMT, Paramedic and Chief of the Rescue Squad. All that happened in five years. I asked him how he knew how to perform CPR and work on human bodies when there were accidents, etc. He was very calm. Not arrogant or condescending. He said he was trained to think and remember, in the few seconds you have to think, it may be the only time you have. Do it right the first time. Lives depend on it. It was a sad day when he passed away, but that is something I never forgot.

Sep 09, 2019 11:11 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Patricia, I married the farmer's daughter and we lived on the farm for a few years. They fix everything. Something has to be completely destroyed before they buy new, and I really learned to respect their commitment to keeping things going. My dad was a mechanic and he also built McDonalds. You are so right about mechanics and farmers. Your husband sounds like a great guy, and his philosophy was right on. Sometimes you only get one chance to do it right.

Sep 09, 2019 12:27 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Mike Cooper, GRI - How interesting! You married a Farmer's Daughter and lived on a farm. My theory must be correct! You're right about something has to be completely destroyed before buying new. That's how it was for us when we bought cars. I hate getting ripped off by auto mechanics. They don't work nearly as hard as my spouse did. He died before everything turned to computer diagnostic testing.  

Sep 09, 2019 01:21 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This Hass to be the funniest title of a post of everything I’ve seen on here. Absolutely fantastic! Love and light as always!

Sep 09, 2019 10:16 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP Are you glad when you’re glad you stopped by and everything is well worth it? It just makes life more beautiful. :)

Sep 09, 2019 10:17 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

...and trust that your Realtor 'knows stuff'.  It's annoying how many pp think they are experts in real estate!   And the more experience you have, the more you 'know stuff'.  Share the knowledge and get clients to trust you!

Sep 18, 2019 12:24 PM