Sunday, March 14, 2010

Christine's House

Mark and I have a running debate. We often spar over whether or not selling houses is actually selling -- as in requiring sales skills.

Mark is a natural-born salesman. He could sell ice in the Arctic. I, on the other hand, want to go hide in the house at my own garage sales. I could fail miserably at selling ice in the desert. So, if selling houses really IS sales, I am getting into the wrong business!

I say that you can't sell someone a house -- in terms of being the force that convinces the buyer to purchase. A house isn't an impulse buy. A house is our largest material necessity. No one is going to buy a house on impulse like they buy those shoes or those golf clubs that they end up smuggling into some hiding place in the closet.

A person must find THEIR HOME. They must find the place they want to wake up in the morning and go to sleep in at night and be the backdrop for all the scense that go on in the middle. They must find the place that FEELS RIGHT. My job is just to come up with a list of possibilities and open the doors.

Similarly, you can't go out and find a buyer for a house you're trying to sell. You can try to pull as many people as possible into the house to see it and make the house look as optimal as possible (hence my staging business). But, for the most part, you have to wait for the right person to walk into "their" house.

This week I spent several days with my first buyers: an incoming History professor from Virginia, his wife, and one of their three young sons. They had three days to learn Fayetteville, choose their favorite area, and find a house they wanted.

The first day was a whirwind! We looked at 12 or 14 houses in many different parts of town. They honed in on their preferred area and then we tried to find the most optimal house in that region.

I'll never forget the look on Christine's face the first time we left the house they would end up choosing. She looked like she was in love! I never saw that look on her face in any other house. The love affair was clear enough that I even said to her, "It looks like you've found your house!" Her reply was: "Ssssshhhhh!"

Over the next two days, I watched this couple weigh their options, wrangle over their differences, and wrestle with the financial practicalities of it all. I also watched them make the same decision at least four times over. Christine knew her house.

I just openned the door!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Never Mind...

I was going to write something sparkling and witty and brilliant for the blog this morning -- especially after being rather (ok, VERY) depressing lately with "As She Lay Dying" and all that.

But then I read Heather's blog post for today and now I'm completely intimidated. She makes it look so easy. Maybe that's why she's #22 on the 2009 list of Best Blogs! That would make sense.

My writing is something I do for myself (I remind that same self). But it would be nice to be semi-decent at it (kinda like semi-sweet chocolate is really, massively spectacular despite the disclaimer-like use of the word "semi", you know?).

Oh well. Yawn...

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Anything and Everything Principle

File this under "Things I've Learned"!

I have learned that, when I don't know what to do about a problem, the best solution is to do anything and everything I can think of -- simultaneously. This usually combines exercise with vitamins with Googling with seeking wisdom from others with prayer with brainstorming with whatever else I can think of. Basically, it's throwing the whole tool box at the problem!

The really neat thing it that it almost always works! You may never know what exactly it was that worked, but something DOES work! It may be one thing. It may be a combination of things. It may be the whole dynamic or just taking an attitude of action. But something usually works! And I love the comfort of knowing that something WILL work. To go from a place of despair to a place of confidence and hope is a wonderful thing! There's something about pulling yourself out of the mire and crawling up onto a rock like a frog out of a swamp that grows our legs and frees us to jump!

My favorite example of how this method worked for me came in response to a medical diagnosis: hypothyroidism. Me? HYPOthroid? It didn't feel like MY body they were talking about. It just felt WRONG. I had the lab re-run the test. Same result.

The doctor wanted to put me on synthetic thyroid hormones FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I balked at the very thought.

I begged the doctor for time and took to my computer. In the course of researching the thyroid, I happened onto a little phrase that said that the thyroid gland is a calcium receptor. Hmmm...

When I thought about it, I realize that I was drinking a LOT of calcium fortified orange juice every day and some milk on top of that. I calculated that I was getting 4-5 times the recommended daily allowance of calcuim. What if I'm overloading my thyroid with too much calcium, I wondered. I switched to regular OJ and focused my mind on the number I wanted to see on my next thyroid test.

A month later the test came back at the exact number I had envisioned! Problem solved!

A few years later my thyroid levels were off again. I realized that I was drinking LOTS of milk. I cut back on the milk and my thyroid levels went right back to normal again! Like magic!

If you have used the "anything and everything" method or do so in the future, let me know how it went/goes. I want to hear stories!