A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE - Holiday Acceptance

By
Real Estate Agent with Gladstone Group & Long Island Business Brokerage

I was not an official member of the "certified" relo team in my company.  My branch manager was on vacation.  "Joan," an office-mate agent was given the responsibility as serving as substitute Mama while our manager was on vacation.

Joan called to give me a relo that happened to be close to my home.  I visited the couple (over 82) who were both survivors of the holocaust.  Sadly enough, they had voluntarily encased their home property (an enchanted ½ acre) in barbed wire. Lebkamp

They were delightful.  He had lost 75% use of his right arm/hand from experiments in Auschwitz, but had become an awesome artist...oils, wire sculptures...you name it.  Some of his artwork (donations) are in the Holocaust Museum in DC and he spends his time as a volunteer lecturer at the local schools and universities.  The only apparent means of survival is social security.  Their family was located in Colorado, all financially challenged.

Our Christmas Tree

After 4 delightful hours with them, it became evident that they did not really want to relocate.  They were in a place where they were giving to the community and felt comfortable and, most importantly, safe.

I reported back to the referring Realtor, who turned out to be their great grandson, that these people did not really want to move.  The grandson was delighted that a perfect stranger had the same observation that he had for years...they did not want to move.

The entire relocation was put to rest.

About eight months later, I received a call from the elderly couple telling me they were ready to sell.  I got the feeling that he was not in good health and wanted to be laid to rest where his family could visit him.

Okay, let's get this baby on the MLS.  No...they told me; they were too uncomfortable with people coming into their home (they were scared).   They said "We know you will find us someone to do a cash deal without putting us on the website."  I felt this was an improbable expectation, but being an incurable optimist, I racked my brain to find a solution for them.  I had none.

Now, you have to understand something; I hardly ever did open houses.  The rate of return on the time that was involved in doing open houses, was shameful. 

Coincidentally, I had another house on the market within blocks of this one; it was on Juanita Drive.

I received a call from the owners of Juanita who told me someone from their place of business was interested in the house and would be there Sunday sometime between noon and 4 pm. 

"Are you nuts?"  That is what I should have been thinking.  Sitting for four hours waiting for a maybe from their office?  Normally I would have said, give me their number and I will make an appointment with them...but I didn't.  I didn't even think about it.  I decided if I was going to be there for 4 hours, I would put up signs and have an open house (definitely not me!).

Who was the first person to walk into the open house; An attorney from one of my commercial deals.

"Mara, what are you doing here?"  I asked.  "Well," said Mara..."I woke up this morning and decided the money I have in the bank for my daughter's college fund is not doing anything and I decided today is the day that I put that money to better use in an investment property."

I closed up the open house, took Mara to the enchanted property, made my introductions...and left!

They made a cash deal to transfer the property and everyone was happy.

A few days later I received a call from the daughter of the elderly couple who lived in Colorado; she could not thank me enough.  She said she was sending me a check for $5,000 for what I had done.  I told her I would not accept it and she should put it towards her parents' move.  She was crying uncontrollably and kept telling me that I was their angel.

As a result of what I had done, the next door neighbor called me to list their home (even though their niece was a Realtor in my company)...and their next door neighbor heard about it and asked me to list their home.  The neighbor across the street saw all my signs and asked me to list her house.

 

The bottom line here is that a series of occurrences that normally would never have happened...all occurred.  Heaven sent?  I like to think so.

Where does this go?  I would like to see Realtors accept a certain percentage of pro bono (sp?) cases each year...I would like this approved by NAR and the Departments of State in each state.

You never lose when giving.  If no other business had come from what I did, I felt like a million for doing it.  But no good deed goes unrewarded, whether it be in your heart or in your business.  This made an ordinary day into a Holiday I will remember forever.

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Location:
New York Suffolk County Huntington
Tags:
holiday accetpance
gail gladstone
long island business brokerage

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Rainer
226,839
Ryan Shaughnessy
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com

Congratulations - that is truly a great story.  Business comes in spurts and often in unexpected ways.  Better result than trying to initially force a relocation.  When an owner is ready to sell, they are ready to sell.

December 14, 2008 08:03 PM
Ambassador
1,028,538
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
Century 21 Liberty Homes

What a wonderful story of giving and acceptance. I just read one where she acknowledged that she kept a mental bank of she gave.....for expectations of receiving.  What a gift we all are getting from so many learning lessons!

December 14, 2008 10:22 PM
Rainmaker
60,105
Tami Vroma
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate

Thanks for entering the contest.  You inspired me to write about some pro-bono work I did!  Have a Merry CHRISTmas!

 

December 15, 2008 09:32 AM
Rainmaker
240,185
Sylvia Barry_Marin_Luxury_Home_Marin_Short_Sale
Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay)

An Incredible Story - when you do good deeds, you get multi-fold returns when you least expected it !

December 15, 2008 10:54 AM
Rainmaker
1,372,632
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate

What a heartfelt post, Extraordinary!  My mom always said no good deed goes unrewarded.  You are a very special person.  thanks for the posting

December 16, 2008 01:03 AM
Rainmaker
334,601
Ann Cummings
Portsmouth NH Homes - Service With a Smile!
RE/MAX By The Bay - NH and Maine

Hi Gail - thanks for writing this post and entering it into the holiday acceptance contest!

Ann

December 16, 2008 08:39 AM
Rainmaker
223,559
Laurie Mindnich

Gail, congratulations- they were very fortunate to have found you- your compassion is inspiring.

December 19, 2008 03:53 PM
Anonymous #8
Anonymous
Anonymous

Gail - Thank you for sharing this inspirational story.  These events began from your heart in helping others. 

December 21, 2008 11:19 AM
Rainmaker
407,278
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator
Miller Homes Group

Great story, Hey I was looking at your profile and my goodness it might have been easier to list the languages you did not speak. Have a great New Year.

Terry Miller

January 02, 2009 11:03 AM
Rainer
3,810
Vita Strakhman
Bergen county Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Gail, this is a great story!  I always say "everything happens for a reson", and your story is a definite proof of that. Even though, this already happened, have a great year!

Warm regards, Vita Strakhman

March 06, 2009 09:31 AM
Rainmaker
714,035
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Century 21 AA Lindenhurst NY
Long Island NY Real Estate Agent

I agree with the pro-bono thing. Lawyers do it so why can't we? Great post Gail!

December 28, 2009 10:59 AM
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Rainer
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Gail Gladstone

Brokering Success
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