What was I thinking?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/7c5

OK, I recently had one of those "What was I thinking?" moments, and it reminded me of something.  When my wife was pregnant with our first son she received a piece of advice that I found extraordinary.  It went like this, "Don't do anything once that you don't want to do forever."  Of course we had no kids at the time, and we didn't realize how relevent that would be one day.

Well, we made it through two boys without violating the "Don't do" policy, but then we got a dog.  It's amazing
how relevent that same advice would have been if I had followed it with my dog.  While I was at a conference my wife and sons went to PetSmart and rescued a 115 lb Rottwieller.  He was called "Hoss."  He was so tall that his head was above our dining room table.  At 115 lbs he looked kind of skinny, but within a year he was 185 lbs, and then he looked a little like a large black tube with legs and a head.

Eventually, we got him on a better eating plan and he has slimmed down to a nice 145 lbs, and he looks healthy.  Now, here's where I violated the "Don't do" policy.  He is very smart.  So, we've been teaching him tricks.  It really has been fun, and he plays along willingly.  One day he was standing at the kitchen doorway and I asked him, "What do you want?" I taught him to walk in and tap his treat bag to let me know what he wanted.  He liked it because it ultimately ended in a treat, and he is very food motivated.  I thought it was cute, and I was very proud of our accomplishment.  Then, before I knew it, he had taken the new trick to the next level.  Instead of waiting for me to ask what he wanted he would come in and tap on his bag of treats.  Before I knew it, he was like a rock and roll drummer.  What I thought was "fun and cute" had turned into a 145 lb furry nightmare.  He had to go back on his diet, and we measure the treats out from an undisclosed location now.

What does this have to do with real estate?  Clients can be like Hoss.  It is our responsibility to help our clients find the perfect house, get the best deal and ultimately walk away feeling like they had a good experience.  But, once some cleints learn that we know where the treat bag is, they start tapping.  What was once offered as an extra benefit or a simple favor for a client becomes an expectation with a commissin attached.  Most of my clients have been amazing, but every once in a while I get one that asks for a little extra, and then a little more, and a little more until they are dominating all of my time and keeping me from other more pressing and more profitable business.  I learned with the boys and Hoss that boundaries and balance keep us all happy and sane, and I have found that the same rules apply to real estate clients. So I leave this helpful advice, "Don't do anything once that you don't want to do forever."

Have a great sane and happy weekend.

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Rainer
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Tamara Schuster
Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois - Naperville, IL
Realtor Broker - Naperville

Wow. Nice post. My best friend has a similar quote " Don't start something that you can't continue to do because people are disappointed when you stop".  Makes you think that is for sure.

Mar 25, 2011 08:39 PM #1
Rainmaker
824,953
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks for commenting Tamara.  Great quote!

Mar 25, 2011 08:40 PM #2
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Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Mike, as the parent of a hyper active and wickedly smart Labradoodle, I could really relate to this one.  Fortunately for me, Willie is only about a third the size of Hoss, otherwise I'd be in huge trouble!  Hoss is actually a lot bigger than most of my clients!  Cute post.

Mar 29, 2011 06:36 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks for your comments, Patricia.  Hoss is a mess.  He is radically loved by his human friends around here and his exploits warranted his own Facebook page for his fans.  He cracks me up more days, and I can't imagine the house without him standing guard.  Or at least sleeping on the sofa by the front door.  Oh yeah, he is actually the second larges in this house of 5. 

Mar 29, 2011 06:58 PM #4
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Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Hey, Mike!  I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  

Apr 03, 2011 10:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Wow!  Thanks, Patricia!!

Apr 03, 2011 11:21 AM #6
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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

That can be a hard lesson to learn but once you've done the "don't do" deed, it serves as a constant reminder not to make the same mistake twice.

Apr 03, 2011 11:24 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

You know, Charita, I have to remind myself over and over.  I tend to get caught up in the process and let my guard down, but I'm working on it.  Thanks for commenting!!

Apr 03, 2011 11:29 AM #8
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Mike, I found you on Pat's list and I just want to say, you are an excellent writer and great story teller. We who have had both dogs and clients ( sometimes at the same time, LOL)  like you describe can attest that there is no exaggeration with your "Don't Do" story. A wonderful post and you certainly deserve the special recognition. Well done Mike!

Apr 03, 2011 12:29 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, William.  I appreciate the generous comments.  My dog is one my great sources of inspiration.  He's always doing something that gives me those 'ah-ha' moments.  Thanks for your comments!!

Apr 03, 2011 01:08 PM #10
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Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

Mike, that's an excellent post. Having a dog I can totally understand. A large back tube? LOL. My sister has a Great Dane who stands there & looks right into your eyes if he wants something.  It's kind of creepy having a 'face to face' with a dog.

We have to stick to our rules on how clients treat us, how we do business or they will just keep 'tapping'.

Apr 04, 2011 10:55 AM #11
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Linda K. Mayer
License # 01767321 - La Verne, CA
Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST

Mike, that's great!  ROFL  I can see this big dog doing this all the time "like a rock n roll drummer"!  I can also see my dogs picking up this trick (if I gave them the opportunity!)  Thanks for the great laugh and the great advice on life and business.

Apr 04, 2011 11:47 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Lyn, thanks for commenting.  That large black tube still scours the area looking for treats, but I've had to cut back a little to keep him looking good. 

Apr 04, 2011 12:55 PM #13
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Linda, that big dog is quite a star around our house.  He actually has his own Facebook page.  Such a ham.  Thanks for commenting!!

Apr 04, 2011 12:56 PM #14
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Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Mike,  Still laughing at the similarities between your critter and mine.  Yes, we do train our clients how to abuse us !!!  Good selling to you !

Apr 04, 2011 01:03 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Bill.  If we could train our clients as well as our dogs train us we'd be set.  Thanks for commenting.

Apr 04, 2011 01:15 PM #16
Rainer
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Deborah Varelis
Sato Real Estate, Inc - Anna Maria, FL

This post made me laugh!  When I got married, my Mom said to me  "Start out as you mean to go" took me awhile to "get" it but I also used that with my kids.

Apr 04, 2011 04:04 PM #17
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Deborah, that was good advice.  I'm glad you got a chuckle from my big black dog.  He's a real goober, but wildly loved around these parts.  Thanks for commenting. 

Apr 04, 2011 05:03 PM #18
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