She Could Sell Anybody
“You want to go over my resume?” The young guy asked the real estate broker.
“I don’t do resumes. I do meetings.”
Bruce really didn’t want to be in sales, but his football scholarship to major in English Lit had not advanced him. Instead, he had worked in retail, did a stint as a server in a white table cloth place, and recently became a pro at the public golf course just outside the gates of his parent’s upscale community. Ah, such is the calling of fate to be in surroundings where men in bright colored shorts would bet on who’s ball was closer and had the shorter distance to the hole on the putting green and bragged about being the longest at the bar. The women golfers who knew better at both wagers would sip white wine at the four top table by the window where long vistas of green grass rolled out over small rises and falls of berms hiding the ridges of sand traps. Traversing that landscape punctuated by skinny flag exclamation marks, Bruce had listened to the foursomes discuss business when they weren’t bragging and teasing. A very unscientific study proved that most of the rich people were in real estate, and the most successful were women.
After several months of study, Bruce had received his real estate license and was ready to conquer the world. Little did he know that taking a real estate course taught you nothing about sales. The hours of study revealed the laws and regulations. The things you can legally say or lose your license immersed in the higher ethics before learning the truth about fencing with back stabbers. Meeting Paula had not been by accident. Her face with her wide smile, deep brown take me to bed eyes, and accessories few could afford showed up in the mail box where he lived nearly everyday with a “Recently Sold’ or ‘Just Listed’ post card. With such success, Bruce figured if anyone could show him the ropes, it would be Paula.
That day sitting across from her, showed a different Paula than expected from the junk mail. This Paula meant business. No forced smile and glistening eyes; she could care less about any pretense when it came to closing sales.
“So, Bruce,” she said in a monotone voice, “What can you do for me today?
“I want to sell houses.”
“People in hell want ice water, but what you need to do is tell me why you think you can sell.”
He stared blank. All the classes in English Lit failed to help him form just one complete sentence about his motivation.
“Well?” She coaxed.
“From my research, it is obvious the wealthiest people are in real estate. There was an article I read about million dollar producers...”
“Oh please, stop,” she said. “Many new agents don’t see a paycheck for a year much less cash in on million dollar listings. Those reality TV shows with all the personal drama have nothing to do with the real world. It may take years to build a decent referral list. What have you done to network?”
Another blank stare cued Paula to explain, “Contacts. You say you’re a golf pro. You must have a client list.”
“Oh yeah, true. I do.”
“Okay, tell you what,” Paula said. “Make contact with someone that’s looking for a house from your list. If you find one, come back and we’ll talk about the possibility of being on my team.”
Saturday morning brought Bruce back to Paula’s office on the most obvious day for Open Houses, “Good morning,” he said. “Ready to sell one of my contacts?”
Paula looked up over her reading glasses, “Your list paid off?”
“It turns out one of my regulars is a young guy with a new bride is looking for their first home? They’re in the waiting room.”
“Newly weds? In this neighborhood? You ever hear of the term ‘starter home’?”
“You ever hear of Maxwell Audi, Maxwell BMW, Maxwell Toyota?”
“The dealerships on TV? One of my BMWs came from them.”
“My contact is Maxwell Junior. Been in the business all his life and loaded.”
“There you go,” she said. “Deal me in. Drive them around and meet me at this address at noon. One of my agents has an open house at this listing.”
Bruce drives through the guard gate at Stoneybrook using his gate card from the familiar clubhouse to his right. “You got your sticks in the car?” The guy asks Bruce.
“Never leave home without them. Good news here is you never have to leave very far from home. Lot of residents have golf carts and all the have to do is show up at tee time.”
They hang a left by the driving range and the tree lined street meanders around thick wetland preserves with cypress trees decorated in long strands of Spanish moss along Heritage Isles Way. There on the left the ‘Open House’ sign in nearly blocked by Paula’s BMW X7 series SUV with lots of room to chauffeur client families to her next commission check. Bruce leads his first through the two story columns past the double glass doors to be greeted by Paula and her listing agent, “Welcome, come in and let’s visit.”
Bruce feeling accomplished leads the group into an obvious room, “This is the kitchen.”
Paula interrupts with, “Before we get into the pots and pans, step out on your screened lanai and check out the pool and spa.”
As they head out the French doors, she looks at Bruce, “If I could have kicked you under the bar I would have broken your leg!”
“What?” A puzzled Bruce asks.
“Of course it’s a kitchen. You think the stove and refrigerator may give them a clue? Get them to sell themselves.”
“When you go into a room, paint a positive picture of how they will use the room. Something such as, ask which one is the chef. Then, ask what would be the first meal they’d whip up for their love.”
“Oh, I see,” Bruce nods. “That makes sense.”
Paula adds, “Once you got them engaged, you got them ready to buy.”
The happy couple pushes back though the open sliding doors, and Bruce asks, “How many friends and family you think will fit in that salt water pool?”
“We could do a lot of entertaining there,” the young guy says. “And the out door kitchen looks ready for a cookout,” adds the wife.
Paula winks at Bruce.
The tour continues up stairs to the master suite.
“Look at these ceiling heights,” the guy speaks in awe.
“I love this,” the wife echoes.
They were well on their way to selling themselves, and Bruce was feeling his first success as they entered the master suite. The ensuite opened up with separate marble vanities, a huge glass enclosed shower with double shower heads and steam fixtures filled the entire wall. The oversize soaking tub displayed hydro jets for the full spa treatment. Our young confident Bruce decides not state the obvious announcement that this is the master bath. Instead, he paints the picture and to the scene, “Can you imagine how much fun a threesome would be in that tub?”