I took my Shit List out the desk drawer today and wrote two Realtors’ names on it. They deserved it. They kicked my real estate ass to the curb yesterday and ripped off my buyer right there in the street. I wrote their names on the list and put it back in the file.
There’s not a lot my client or I can do in the situation, unfortunately, other than put these guys on the List. And it may not seem like much– writing the name of someone who’s jammed you on a piece of binder paper– but I’m blogging you now that it can be very cathartic.
We all keep Shit Lists, as abstract as they may be. I happen to keep a hard copy of mine, which I genuinely believe frees up valuable emotional file space. Once I commit someone to my Shit List, I don’t have to spend time listening to the tapes of our conflicts anymore at night when I’m not sleeping. Once they’re listed, I release them like doves during the Super Bowl halftime show. Or balloons, or Pepsis, or whatever is released into the air at the Super Bowl. Poof– the anxiety is gone! Fly– be free!
Or, you know– some of it. Sometimes I have to actually write the whole letter to the other party explaining in detail just how lame they were. I fold those, too, and put them in the file with the Shit List. It’s the Shit file.
I don’t send the letters. That’s not what they’re for. What they say has largely been said already, and last-wording the other guy doesn’t usually help. It helps me personally because of the Super Bowl bird thing, but usually there’s nothing good that can happen as a result of sending the letter.
Not that I mind the conflict. I love conflict! I don’t particularly enjoy getting jacked around by liars who hide behind their churches and rip off earnest real estate buyers, but I certainly don’t mind disagreeing with someone or having an argument. I was raised by arguers and I’m raising arguers. Fighting is a drag; but arguing is healthy and if we were all better arguers, there’d probably be less fighting.
And there’s a lot of arguing in real estate. If you’re successful, you’re engaged in several different longterm arguments at any given time, arguments that can last for months. Some of the arguments are less cumbersome than others. Sometimes you feel you’re working “with” another Realtor, but as many times it definitely feels you are working against them. And of course you are! It’s a negotiation! You are absolutely efforting in the opposite direction. You’re both ( hopefully ) armed with science & perspective, and you’re going to court. The topics are complex, with many different levels and secret rooms. The best realtors argue out the most-attractive agreements for their clients.
Other times they just stonewall and cheat.