Let me set the stage...
Last week I was in Arizona speaking at the Tucson Festival of Books, and afterwards visiting my sister who lives there. On Sunday, we went to a Cactus League game and then to an art show. I'd forgotten to eat and we'd been out and about since mid-morning, so by the time we were heading home, this little introvert was hungry and pretty much out of social steam.
We stopped off at an open house in my sister's neighborhood. Cool, said Jennifer. I'm always up for a little real estate, even if I am ready for a nap.
Oh, my heavens. If you ever need a lesson on what NOT to do to your Open House visitors, just go visit one of, um... okay, I won't name names, but one of this gal's opens...
I don't remember paying extra, but we got the full-on, deluxe guided tour. I mean - we saw everything that house had to offer. And it was a big house. We watched as the agent demonstrated how the custom window coverings opened and closed. Not just one, but all six! Wow - push a button and the shade goes up. Push it again and it comes down. On all six windows! Amazing.
In case we missed the custom columns in the dining room, she pointed those out to us (twice). Same with the travertine floors, which are, she reminded us, very easy to keep clean. She described in detail how the seller would agree to provide a landscaping allowance in case we didn't fully appreciate his taste in pool decor (even explained how the credit would appear on our closing statement). We learned how the grassy area of the yard was perfect for kids or pets. How, from this angle over here, there was an amazing view.
Returning back inside, we were shown the guest rooms with the spacious closets. In case we missed it (or didn't know enough to care about) the HVAC unit, she pointed it out to us. (Later, she showed us the second one). As we were touring the master suite, we were assured that the home included a home warranty, that the agent had negotiated a special deal with her title company (so title insurance would be very reasonable) and how her preferred lender would pay for our appraisal.
My gas tank was below empty at this point. I was literally stumbling along behind my much-more-polite sister, who managed to keep a smile on her face and a running appreciative commentary on all the features. She must have received the telepathic messages I was sending her to PLEASE not introduce me as Jennifer Allan, author of Sell with Soul because I was decidedly NOT at my most impressive!
When we were finally allowed to leave, we managed to keep quiet until we got to the safety of the car... where we both exploded with "That was the WORST..."
And here's the thing. Aside from the fact that we probably don't care much about the HVAC system and can see the dining room columns without help, the agent didn't show ANY interest whatsoever in us - our wants, needs, interests or motivation. No attempt to build rapport. Just a determination to do her full sales-pitch, whether or not that sales-pitch was appropriate given the audience.
Hey, I used to think I was the world's worst open-house-giver. But now, I'm not so sure...
Stay tuned for "The Worst Emailed Sales-Pitch I've Ever Gotten!" coming soon...
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