Bouncing Back from Crushing Disappointment

Head in Hands  I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again – Real Estate is HARD.   At least once a day I find myself slumped over my desk all facepalm-y.  You have really amazingly awesome days and then there are days where you’re like “THIS SUCKS!”   There will be days where you’ll put in a lot of leg work – doing searches, putting together CMA’s, making phone calls, gathering more information than you really think is necessary, but you know that it will impress the shit out of your clients.  And then you get a call from that client that you went above and beyond for and they’ve decided to go in a different direction.  Yep, it happens.  AND if you’re a newbie agent that can be absolutely devastating.

That being said, it’s story time…

This past summer I had two high priced clients.  These people were looking in a price range that I have until recently only dreamed of seeing.   One client was one that I had been working with for several months.  The other client was one that had contacted me about a foreclosure they were interested in.

The first client wanted to be in a specific neighborhood.  There wasn’t much for sale in that particular neighborhood.  So, this is where I got creative.  I got onto our MLS and searched for houses that were no longer on the market.  I found a few that I thought my client would like and I emailed him the information.  He was interested in seeing a couple of houses, so I started the search for the owners.  After a couple of days, I had one house ready to show and another one on the list, just waiting for confirmation on day and time.   The houses I was showing were anywhere between $400,000 to $800,000.   My client didn’t like the first house, didn’t think it would work for their family (the style ended up being too modern for them) so we walked the neighborhood.

After an hour of walking around, checking out the other houses on the list, my client decides to call it a day and we head our separate ways.  At some point during the weekend, he headed back to the neighborhood to look at the houses on the list again.  And that’s when it happened – another agent that had a home pending in the area, saw my client scoping out one of the houses and started talking to him.  He managed to convince him to put in an offer on a house with him despite my client saying that he was working with me.  This particular agent knew that I was working with them as I had shown the house that was now pending to my clients.  The whole thing reeked.  My client called me and told me what had happened and that he wanted to compensate me for my time.  I said that wasn’t his job, that it would be the seller that compensates me for any sales.  He explained he really didn’t understand how the sale of real estate was done here in the states and that where he was from they just walked into a house for sale, talked to the owner, signed the contract and that was that.   I was amazed.  I am under the firm impression hiring a realtor can definitely protect your ass and was dumbfounded that they didn’t have anything like that where he was from.

At the same time, I was dealing with a second marriage occurring.  This woman and her fiance were looking to buy a home in the area.  The fiance, (she gave me his name, I google stalked them both because this was all too good to be true) had given her carte blanche to buy a house in the area.  She had her heart set on this one foreclosure.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it happen as it had already been purchased by a lawyer from Chicago.  I’m good at what I do, though, and found them another house that met every single criteria they had.  The owners were desperate to sell and I had a buyer!  I was crazy excited.  We made plans to see the house.  Before they wasted my time, though, I requested their Proof of Funds.  They said it would be cash and I informed the woman that she could still get a Proof of Funds letter and send it to me.  She sent it, I checked it out to make sure it was legit (it was from Wells Fargo and a lot of scammers out there like to use wells fargo letterhead).  It was.  There was something that was not sitting well with me, though.  They had canceled once stating that the guy had been taken to the ER for pneumonia.  I was like “Okay, no problem – we’ll reschedule.”  The day before they were to come up, I called and was told they would be driving up that day, they were just waiting to be discharged.  Then, the woman said “He’s still in the hospital.  We can’t make it. I haven’t been able to even see him!” Wait, what?! Haven’t been able to see him?  I dug a little further and it seemed like this lady was being catfished and possibly unintentionally scamming me as well.  While not wasting my money, they definitely were wasting my time.

I told her that we would cancel because I wasn’t going to show the house without her fiance present and she said “I don’t know when he’s going to be better and I think I’m canceling the wedding.”  My answer at this point was “You do you.  I wish you luck.  If you want to see the house in the future, please let me know.”

Those two commissions would have been more money than I’ve seen in a year.  Where I live, our median house price is $120k-$130K.  I am able to support my family, but I work my ass off.  I was beyond devastated.  BUT I didn’t have a choice- I had to keep trucking.

You know the movie, “A League of Their Own” featuring Madonna, Geena Davis and Tom Hanks?  There’s this part where Tom Hanks yells at one of the players “There’s no crying in baseball!”  And the woman keeps crying.   There is no crying in Real Estate.  We are in an industry where there is no time to cry.  Working for commission is REALLY HARD and the more time you spend whining about what you didn’t sell is more time you’re losing on actually selling a house!  Thy name must be hustle!!!  It absolutely sucks sometimes, but you gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself off, finish off that glass of wine and get your ass back out there.  If you don’t, I guarantee you that there are sharks in the water and they will devour your newbie ass.  You just gotta show them that you’re going to grow up and be a shark too.

But how the hell do you actually handle disappointment? I don’t know what works for you, but this is what works for me.  I have an absolutely amazing support system.  I go out with my friends (whom I lovingly refer to at The Bitches) and have drinks, I hang out with my family and watch movies, I even occasionally stay in bed watching Netflix on my iPad.  I also work out 3 times a week.  You would be amazed at how much stress is relieved when you’re weight training. Lifting heavy objects (aka trying to throw heavy objects) works REALLY well.


Happy swimming, my fellow newbies!

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