Well, it's been a heck of a week!
The long and short of it is that last Sunday my beloved 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan (or the rolling billboard as I liked to call it) DIED on the way to an open house. Yep, I'm cruising down the highway in the middle lane, of course, when the oil pump decided to fail. When the oil pump fails in your vehicle, it basically has a car heart attack and quickly dies. Not a good thing...especially when you're on the way to your open house.
This is the life we live in real estate by the way...the car will not fail on Monday morning at 9 a.m. when things are typically slow...no, it has to happen on the way to the open house. My wife calls this "Character Development". I won't tell you what I call it.
After the van crisis, I got to the open house about 30 minutes late thanks to my awesome son and his willingness to help out his poor stranded dad. My sellers are wonderful people, so they covered for me till I got there. After the open house we had the van towed back home to the mechanic's shop and went over to our friends house for the Superbowl. I didn't know at the time that I'd be spending A LOT of time with this poor guy this week. Neither did he!
So this week I have lived with no ride. We got the diagnosis on Tuesday of the death of the van, so on Wednesday I headed out to the car dealer to buy a Honda Pilot. I always wanted a Honda thanks to their longevity and reputation, so this time I was going to get one. And I did. Found a nice certified one with low miles. Looked nice. Price was a bit high, but hey, it was a Honda, so I bought it on the condition that they would fix the deep paint scratch and other nicks (one on the hood) on the driver's side.
I needed this car for this weekend as I had a buyer coming into town and they promised they could "get er' done" so I went off with my friend to wait for my beautiful new ride to be ready.
In the meantime, this is international networking week. I'm president of a BNI networking group my neighbor and I started. You know what that means, right? That means that when special stuff comes up, you have to participate. So Wed, Thurs and Friday I found myself up at 5 a.m. to go to networking events. And guess who got to go with me? Yep, that would be my buddy Joe. On Tuesday we had headed up the road to another town for a final zoning hearing on a piece of property that I represent a buyer on.
Now you're wondering why Joe would do this right? And you'd also like to know how he has time to do this too. I'll tell you.
Joe is retired because he lost his legs years ago in a rendering factory accident. I don't think you need any details. Let's just say that it is a miracle he is alive. Anyway, he is pretty much set for life. I helped him buy an awesome house this past year and he's pretty much my best friend. So he has the time to hang out with me and he's the most giving person I know. The truth is that I couldn't make him not hang out with me this week. Helping others is his gift.
So Joe and I were up early, ran hard and put basically 1,000 miles on his Dodge Caravan thanks to trying to buy a car and keep up with my spinning-out-of-control-world of real estate. He even ended up driving me and my buyer and her son around Friday to show houses. (She came in town a day early). If you ever want an adventure, try showing houses to a 70 year old client with a handicapped driver and a wheelchair sitting in the middle of the van and her grown adult son and you in the back seat. A good sense of humor is a must in that situation!
This morning as I write this, there is a 2005 beautiful Acura MDX sitting in my garage. There is no white Pilot because when I went to pick it up Friday morning there was a major mistake. They ushered me back to the credit guy who wanted the money. But I wouldn't give it to him because I wanted to make sure that scratch was fixed properly first. And it wasn't. They basically powder coated it. You could see it running down the side of the car and still fill it deep in the paint. And they didn't even touch the other blemishes they were going to fix. I explained to them AGAIN that I wasn't being vain, but that Realtor cars can't have deep scratches going down the side and blemishes all over them. You should have heard them backing up the train to fix the mistake. "Yes sir. We'll fix it right. We have the best paint shop in town. Blah, blah, blah..." What I didn't hear was the price reduction I would have liked or a free loaner car for the week it was going to cost me.
Instead, it was going to take another week in order to put things in order. Grrrr. I don't have a week to go without a car again. And Joe's a nice guy...but driving me around for a whole nother week - well, everyone has their limit you know.
So we left the Honda Pilot, went out and helped my nice client find a house, found a house, made an offer, negotiated once and got into contract with a fast closing date. At 4 p.m. we were headed to another car dealer to test drive the Acura and another Pilot.
You know the outcome. The Acura ended up having less mileage and a lower price and no scratches!
So now I have a cool realtor car and Joe can take it easy again!
Real Estate. You gotta love it!
PS - I'm pretty sure there are lessons here in regards to the scratches on the first Pilot. I don't have time to pull them out, so you're welcome to contribute...especially in regards to our world of real estate!