Real Estate agents are supposed to pick up ALL their open house signs once the open house has ended. I normally do. But this one time I didn’t. Usually leaving out a sign overnight leads to bad things – either the sign will get vandalized or stolen, or a neighbor will call you and ask you (or tell you) to come and get it, or in the worst case, code enforcement can come by and actually fine you.
When I hold an open house, I put out between a dozen and twenty signs. The goal is to direct traffic from as many places to the property. Each sign is strategically placed so when you reach one, you can actually see the next one. I do this for two reasons: First I want people to know exactly where they are going, and second, it is so much easier for me to collect them at the end of the open, when I can see the next sign from the previous. I can’t forget where I put them.
But in this case things were a bit different. You see, I had this house for sale in the same neighborhood as my office. The house was an older 3 bed 2 bath house, but it was nicely updated, and in a great neighborhood, with excellent schools.
I put out my usual amount of signs, and decided to put one, on a busy corner just off Mopac and Steck. It was a difficult, and slightly dangerous place to put a sign, but it had great visibility. A bit out of the way from my normal signs, and not visible from any of the others, but I decided to put it out there anyway.
After the open house, I went about, and collected all the regular open house signs, and since it was getting late, decided to skip the one on the busy corner, and instead grab it on my way into the office monday morning.
Of couse, I was running late monday morning. I drove right past my open house sign, and arrived to the office. The first thing my sales manager did was ask how my open house went yesterday. I told him I had pretty good traffic, and thought there were some good leads. He mentioned to me to pick up my sign, because he had driven right past it just like I did a few minutes before. I replied that I was heading out in a little bit, and would grab it then.
Which I did. I left the office and found a safe place to park in a nearby bank parking lot. It was a short walk to the sign, but better to park safely, and walk than risk getting rear ended on the busy road.
That must be what the girl in the Mercedes thought too. She had a flat tire, and was parked right next to me, standing at the back of her car talking on her cell. She was running late to an appointment and didn’t know what to do.
Her call ended, and I asked if I could help. I mentioned that I’ve changed tons of flat tires in my day, and could have her back on the road in 5 minutes or less. At first she wasn’t sure, as I’m all dressed up in my business attire, and offering to fix a flat on the side of the road.
It didn’t take much convincing. She opened the trunk, and I got to work. Mercedes has a great roadside assistance program, but when they aren’t around, those Germans have fantastic tools so you can get the job done yourself. I pulled out the spare, grabbed the tools, put on the supplied gloves (yes, they have gloves in the tire changing kit so you don’t get your hands dirty), and 3 minutes and 45 seconds later was all done. I loosened the tire, jacked the car, pulled off the flat, and put on the spare, lowered the car, and tightened the lug nuts before she had finished her next call.
When it was all done she asked if I would take some money. “Of course not!” I replied. I simply said “I connect people and houses. If you or anyone you know is thinking about buying or selling a house, just pass my name along. That’s all I ask for.”
She said, and I’m not kidding when I say this “my lease is ending in 2 months and I want to buy a house. I’m not working with anyone, and would you be able to help me?”
Two months later, she had a new house, and has given me multiple referrals since then.