Joke of the day - #147: The $50,000 dog.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc.

We are always engaged in commercial trade of one form or another throughout our lives.  Here's a story about a young boy who got started in trade early:

An economist was leaving his office building and saw a little boy sitting on the curb with a dog. The boy yelled at the economist, "Hey, Mister, how would you like to buy a dog."

The man was intrigued by this sales approach and asked the boy, "How much do you want for your dog."

The boy told him, "Fifty thousand dollars."

"Fifty thousand dollars!" the man repeated in astonishment. "What special tricks does this dog do that he can earn enough money to be worth fifty thousand dollars?" the man asked the boy.

The boy replied, "Mister, this dog never made a nickel in his life. Matter of fact, if you count what he eats, I guess you could say you lose money on him every year."

The economist felt this was a good time to explain economics to the young man and expounded on how an item had to produce more income than it consumed to justify a high purchase price.  He ended with the statement that the boy might get five dollars from someone who just wanted a companion. Feeling he had imparted a very valuable lesson to the young man, the economist went on his way.

A few weeks later, the economist came out of his office building and the small boy was again sitting on the curb minus the dog. The man said to him, "I see you took my advise and sold the dog for five dollars."

The boy said, "No, I got fifty thousand dollars for him."

The business man was completely flabbergasted. "How did you ever get fifty thousand dollars for that dog" he asked.

"It was easy," said the boy. "I traded him for two twenty five thousand dollar cats."

As real estate agents, we make our living by working at the intersection between supply and demand.  We facilitate exchanges between people.  Generally, people will trade something they value for something they value even more.  For the people we help, that usually takes the form of trading money for a house.  They also value our expertise and service and trade a fraction of that money for our assistance.

Sometimes people will trade one house for another in an exchange.  In the case of a 1031 exchange, you might say that they value the right to depreciate the new property and write it off on their taxes more than they valued the old, mostly depreciated property.  Sometimes they'll throw in some money to make the exchange come out equally valuable to each party.

With this basic principle in mind, it's obvious that it doesn't matter what we trade as long as we value the item we receive more than the item we gave up.  Translating this to our career choice, it becomes obvious that we need to work at perfecting our skills, because higher skill levels mean better service for our clients and that means they'll be more willing to pay us. 

It also means that we'll find the job of assisting the transfer of real property becoming easier for us as we become more skilled. 

Of course, you could subscribe to the theory that you'll just do a slap-dash, sloppy job and you don't care if your client is satisfied as long as you get paid.  However, that attitude won't get you any referrals from the buyer or seller and it will probably get you a bad reputation among your fellow agents.  (Have you ever known anyone like this?)

Do you want personal referrals?  Take some time out to work on your skill set, it'll really pay off.  It'll also pay off in reduced stress as you'll find it easier to do your job.  It may even pay off in terms of more free time as you become more efficient.

Have a wonderful day!


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Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Eric - Funny joke, and really good analogy!

Apr 03, 2011 10:36 AM #1
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Eric Martell

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