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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tennessee Waltz - The Waltz of Realtors

Every night when I was a little boy my dad would take me to my room. We would kneel beside my bed and I would say my prayers. I blessed my entire family and my dog each night. I didn't know what "if I should die before I wake" meant, but I said it and meant it. Then I would get in bed and my dad would either tell me a story, whistle a gentle tune, or sing me to sleep with either "Red River Valley" or his favorite "Tennessee Waltz". The lyrics go like this:

I was dancin' with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see
I introduced her to my loved one
And while they were dancin'
My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

I must immediately state my mother never, ever cheated on my dad. The thought would have never crossed her mind. The melancholy in his voice rang just too true when he sang that sad song, even to a little boy who knew nothing of the world.

Last week I met with another Realtor to take photos of her new listing for my buyer. I don't recall exactly how it happened, but she unburdened herself of a recent phone call or email from a buyer for whom she had been working for several months. It seems the buyer "bought" a house using another Realtor in Key West. Key West is a small place with maybe 350 Realtors. She let go and told me how much time she had spent on this buyer. How many different places she had gone to take photos for him or her. How many emails and phone calls she had made. And then to find out the buyer actually consummated the deal with somebody else.

She said she felt like such a fool. She complained that this had happened before. She said she trusts people too much. And then she complained that she will have to see this other agent for maybe 20 more years, each time remembering that he stole away her buyer. Frustrating. Hurtful. Maddening.

I'm sure all Realtors have had this happen. I have. I even know the physical feeling I get when it happens. It is very similar to the finding out that your sweetheart has been cheating on you, like in the song, and has run away with your best friend. If you have not experienced such a feeling, congratulations. And if you have, welcome to my world.


Anonymous said...

Excellent write-up today!

It's too bad this happened to your friend/peer. Hopefully she can shake it off and not let it bother her too much when/if she must deal with the other Realtor.

Maybe the client was never that committed in the first place and the other Realtor didn't actively steal the buyer away.

If a buyer is clear about already "dancing" with another agent, most good Realtors should know better than to step in.

Gary Thomas said...

The Internet has made it possible for buyers to work with many realtors at the same time, kinda like a pretty girl dating several guys, each who thinks he is the only beau. When she ends up prom queen with one particular guy, the others rightfully feel betrayed.


Anonymous said...

Unless the buyer had an exclussive agreement with the Realtor, there is nothing that can be done. Buyers will often show no loyalty to one agent or another but will go with the one individual who pleases them most at the time. The agent who does the most for the client, i.e. shows them around the island to various listings, buys them dinner, picks them up from the airport, listens to the clients boring stories or heartful woes is the one who is more often than not the one who won't get the listing or the sale. I would not only feel betrayed but downright mad at the buyer who led me on only to find out one of my peers got the sale. A good agent would not do that to another on this tiny island but then again it is dog-eat-dog out there now and I would hate to be the one wearing milk bone underwear. Sorry it happened but there is no loyalty in real estate. Not in this market.


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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.