Does Your Role as Your Clients’ Realtor End?
Our clients perceived us in a variety of forms and substance. Once we begin the client-agent relationship, we are not only bound to perform our fiduciary duties as their exclusive representative. We also find ourselves enmeshed in inevitable roles especially when rapport, trust and friendship develop during the process.
“What do you think or what is this?” inquisitions pop up when they find themselves puzzled by a small device protruding on the ceiling wall; when their eyes sparkle as the sun’s rays bounce from the green riverbed granite counters; when their bodies jolt from one room to another akin to a child’s motions boosted by fledgling adrenaline; when a male buyer’s face smirks upon discovering a finished basement with a built-in wet or dry bar, a pool table at the corner, a dart board pinned against the wall and a flat screen tv screwed at the center of the room.
They find comfort in our reassuring words when their sail drifts against the pre-determined destination. Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung would have been proud of us for having the ability to understand human nature.
After sitting at the closing table to witness the consummation of our journey with our clients, the door between you and the clients does not close simultaneously. It remains open to welcome them willfully whenever the need for them to knock arises.
I learned that some of our clients umbilical cords will stay attached to us for an indeterminable length of time. In retrospect, it feels good how my clients come to me for advice, questions and assistance in an emergency situation.
Once the dusk sets in, it is my signal to change into my favorite outfit.. my pajamas. However, work does not stop there. It’s just that pajamas give me the sense that the worries of the day are over and it is time to set work aside and luxuriate in the serenity evoked by the hovering moon and stars.
I was about to turn my tv on to watch “Big Bang Theory” when a buyer who closed on her house two months prior to her panic call said in her guttural tone “Maria, my basement is flooded. Please come immediately.” I told her to calm down. Then in a slow but clear words, I instructed her to turn the shut-off valve from the main line.. that is the yellow metal above the meter. “If it is up, turn it down. If it is down, turn it up.”
“Did the water flow stop.” I was relieved when she said yes.
Anyway, I quickly put a light long sweater on to cover up my pajamas … did not even bother changing. I grabbed my phone quickly and called my contractor. Luckily, my buyer lived in Manchester and the contractor was available. There was no broken pipe or anything that required repair. The buyer just have to learn properly the right way to drain water from the boiler.
I knew I did not have the expertise to resolve whatever was causing the problem. But what I knew was it would make a huge difference if my physical presence was right there in the midst of the panic-stricken mother and daughter.
The Insurance Agent
I received an email from my buyer after two years since they bought their first home. In her message, she said, “Maria, I got this mail from an insurance company telling me that it has come to their attention that the sewer pipe connected to the town’s main line is old and is not covered by my home owner’s insurance. There has been reports of broken pipes in the area and that she has to call the number indicated on the letter.”
I asked her if the sender of the letter is her current insurance carrier. She said no. So to answer her question, I told her to call her homeowner’s insurance company and inquire if this is covered in her policy and if not, ask if she should add it to her coverage. I told her to give me an update thereafter as to the outcome of her inquiry. She sent me an email on the same day. Her insurance policy covers that type of occurrence or incident.
The Property Tax Expert
“I hope you and your family are doing well upon receiving this emai. How are you? Maria, I got this notice from the town stating that I am delinquent with my tax. Did you have any clients who had received the same notice?” He attached the notice in his email for my review.
I said,”No. This is the first time I saw such notice. Is your property tax wrapped into the loan? Let me check your HUD-1. In the meantime, find out if your taxes are included in your monthly mortgage payment.”
I flipped through my closed file cabinet and retrieved his folder. On his HUD-1, it stated that he paid through December 2015. I got his email first week of February this year. Therefore, his tax from January to June 30, 2016 is already due assuming that his taxes are paid separately from his mortgage payment…which, in his case, it is after confirming with him.
Although he was not a first-time buyer, he was not sure why he got the notice. My advice was to call the number on the letter and asked why he did not get the bill from the town collector and hopefully, he would not not have to pay the penalty. I also called the town collector and inquired about it. The collector said that a bill was sent out August of last year.
Hence, that was a problem he needed to resolve with the town’s tax collector. The unfotunate part was he did not get the bill, he said. And he was penalized $100 for the delinquency. Anyway, this will serve as a reminder to him that the government don’t play games when it comes to taxes.
The Heating Expert
Northern New England could not complain about the winter this year. The weather has not been harsh except for the second week of February when the temperature registered below zero degree. The Polar Vortex has not been blasting our region with continuous severe cold air.
While I was trying to resolve my own predicament… blowing hot air right into the hole in the sheetrock to thaw a frozen pipe, I got a call from my previous buyer as they were not getting enough heat when his thermostat was cranked all the way up to 71 degrees. I told him to call the service technician from his oil supplier. I could not think of any other appropriate advice other than that. And that was the next thing he did after we hung up.
The Family Member
It was not all problems and issues which led my past clients into contacting me. Yesterday, I received two texts from my first-time home buyer who purchased a HUD property in Manchester CT last year. On the phone screen were two adorable pictures of a baby boy who was born 3 days ago.
“Look what I brought home today,” she said. The thought of sharing that great news and lovely picture of the new addition to the family was extremely heartwarming. I felt her joy vicariously. Most importantly, I felt that there is this part of me that she keeps just like the Vaughns who found the only daughter in me.
The Journey with Past and Future Clients Realtor in Manchester CT
They say there is no business like show business. Let me be the contrarian in this regard. There is no business like real estate business, particularly the Realtor’s business.
We don’t need the glitz, ritz and shimmering lights to become a star. We don’t glimmer with superficiality because we shine for who we are and not for what we are not. We will cast our own demise if we do.
We don’t chose to become part of other people’s lives. They chose us to become part of theirs. We are interwoven into some of our clients’ personal activities and agenda.
Is it a good thing?
You and only You can answer that.
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