The Definition of Insanity (in Real Estate)

 

More than a couple of years ago, I witnessed something that makes me laugh and cringe at the same time.  Having lunch at a local restaurant, I spied a real estate agent and a loan originator having what I would characterize as a “first date”.  I couldn’t help but overhear little snippets of their conversation, and as far as I could tell, things were going relatively well . . . at least until the agent asked the LO this question: “So, do you like to sit at open houses with agents?” I immediately looked to the LO’s face awaiting the response.  I didn’t need to hear another single word coming out of the LO’s mouth because his face said everything:  you would have thought the agent had asked him if he enjoyed bobbing for apples in a pool of acid judging by the look on his face.  While his face was communicating complete revulsion, his lips said, “Yes, of course.”  And that’s when I looked over at the agent’s face to see, with absolutely no doubt, that she didn’t believe a word he said.  And yet, he was so close!

Speaking of open houses, I recently had the chance to sit at one with an agent, and between the pop-ins from various interested parties, fellow agents, and curious neighbors, we got to know each other a little better and swapped stories, professional and personal.  The one I remember most vividly was when she had graduated from high school, she joined the military –a heartfelt thanks to her and all others who serve!!! –and when she arrived at her first overseas assignment, she noticed that a very large number of her fellow female soldiers were pregnant.  Thinking she might have missed something in her recruitment paperwork, she asked someone who had been stationed at this particular installation for a while for an explanation.  Turns out the hospital at this military base had been dispensing outdated birth-control pills . . . and that’s not a good thing.

I’m going to give the medical staff at that hospital the benefit of the doubt and say they were most likely operating in completely good faith –I certainly don’t think they were sitting around the break room at the hospital thinking up ways to “prank” their female patients.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a soldier working in the local supply depot or maybe a general back at the Pentagon (my money’s on both of them being male) who saw that there was old inventory of this medication at that base and even had an inkling that this could lead to less-than-positive things but did nothing about it.  It would just be easier (for them) to let it go and deal with the results.

I’ve met a lot of real estate agents who tell me story after story of how they have a favorite LO, but this LO’s company is fairly regularly messing up their transactions, which results in MUCH LONGER closings, tons of mistakes, and understandably irate clients –their clients.  Oddly enough, most of the agents who share these stories with me admit that they stay with the LO and just put up with the headaches caused by the LO’s company.  What?!!!! That’s like going back to same doctor who dispensed the outdated medication KNOWING THAT THE HOSPITAL IS STILL STOCKING THE OUTDATED MEDICATION because you liked the doctor’s bedside manner. That’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, folks!  Just as it would be wise for the lunching agent to avoid referring business to the LO who lied to her face, it would be equally wise to find a new mortgage company who didn’t make YOU look like a liar, right?

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