photo courtesy of zoutedrop
I was newly licensed and very eager to get started.
Some agents had told me open houses were a great resource for someone like me - not many friends in town, no family, no real ties to the community. No sphere of influence in other words. I started seeking them out, but as luck would have it, someone in my office always beat me to the punch when an email would go out asking for an agent to hold an open house. I was a bit bummed, but still determined. I kept my eyes on my email and put the word out that I was looking.
The opportunity finally arrived via Reggie Hock. He had a property out in Helotes, TX available for a whole weekend of open houses. I wanted to do my best in order to impress Reggie enough to get more from him in the future, so I offered my services and made sure I was prepared. I made color flyers, had signs strung up all over the place - I studied that property nightly for days in order to know everything about it. The list price on the property was $589,740, so you can imagine how excited I was to sit in a house of this caliber. It was my chance to (maybe) sell a great home and possibly pick up some clients who were looking in that range. I was a new agent, so this would have been huge for me. In order to make the most of this opportunity, I told Reggie I would do the open house from 12-5. Five hours on Saturday and Sunday meant 10 hours of possible clients and sales.
Saturday came and my moment had arrived.
I arrived at the home and set up. The owners were away for the weekend and they had advised me there was a small dog that had run of the backyard and garage, but that he was friendly. They were very nice, telling me to make myself at home and enjoy my time there. The house was great and I settled in. I had never done an open house, so I didn't know what to expect, but I had big expectations anyway. I had covered the area with signs, so that you couldn't miss me if you tried. Someone had to take notice.
The day came and went without a single visitor. I was bummed. I wrapped up my day and headed home feeling broken and defeated. My high hopes had been dashed, but I am not a quitter. I came back the following day full of enthusiasm and ready to take on the world once again.
And then there was Sunday.
About an hour in, I got a visitor. They were a friendly couple and they toured the house and we chatted for awhile. I felt better. (On a side note, that couple has never responded to any of my contact attempts since then, so they didn't really pan out the way I had hoped, but that's not the story.) No one else showed up at all. Four more hours of loneliness (without internet access I might add). I was again broken and defeated.
Remember the dog I mentioned? Well, he comes into play now.
As I gathered my things, dark clouds formed over Helotes. The wind picked up and that ominous vibe that you get pre-thunderstorm started to build. I hurried to get my stuff to the car - I still had signs to pick up before heading home. As soon as I put the last thing from the house in my car and locked the door, the heavens opened. When I say opened, I mean opened. It was as if the rain gods had predicted the perfect moment to ruin my day. I still had signs strategically placed all over the area. So I started with the first one by the driveway. I pulled up to it, got out (without an umbrella) and pulled it from the ground. As I turned around to throw it in my car, the aforementioned dog jumped into the driver's seat, bringing with him mud and water. He immediately got down by the gas pedal and settled in as the thunder was scaring the you-know-what out of him. Of course, when a little dog is frightened, they get a bit nasty. So, as I tried to pull the dog from the footwell of the car, he began biting me. I didn't blame him, but I wasn't thrilled about a stranger's dog biting my hands as I tried to remove him either. Especially not thrilled as the rain was pouring into my open car door and running down my back into my pants. I could literally feel a river of rain right down the back of my nice, clean, perfectly pressed pants. Ugh. And this was only the first sign.
Needless to say, I removed the dog with only a few bites and scratches and moved on to my other signs. By the time I had thrown (literally thrown) all of my signs into the back seat, I was drenched. My light blue shirt was literally see-through and I weighed about 50 pounds more than I do on a normal day. My pants were soaked, my shirt was a mess, my tie was like an anchor around my neck and my brightly polished dress shoes made that dispusting squishy sound as I walked. I was tired and frustrated.
We've all had a bad day, but this one almost killed my career.
I was so new that this experience was pretty off-putting. Why would I want to hold open houses for no clients, no sale, and nothing but a sloppy mess? I was tired and hungry and wished I had stayed home all weekend watching hockey with my wife. Of course, you know how the story ended (or didn't end). I continued on and made it through to see another day. For that one weekend though, I seriously questioned whether this was what I wanted to do with my life. I probably wasn't as close to quitting as I make it sound, but in my head I sure was. I thought real estate was no fun at all. Now, of course, I'm having the time of my life. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and have had many successful open houses (some with rain even). Good thing I didn't walk away when I got a bit frustrated, I would've missed out.