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Saturday, May 21, 2011

A True Staging Story

Once Upon A Time...I spent 3 - 4 hours with a real estate agent for a listing at the W Residences.  We discussed the psychology of staging and how to maximize an almost $2M listing so there isn't money left on the table when the transaction is done, we discussed dating, food and comfortable shoes as well as how to lead the buyer through the property and create the desire to purchase this specific unit compared to others with the same floor plan.  And when she wondered what that big, white arc looking thing was outside the window of this residence, I verbally outlined the surrounding neighborhoods, told her about the Trinity River Project and the Calatrava Bridge that was being constructed.  (She lives in Houston and didn't know about these details.)

I REALLY thought we had a good rapport and connection - she even invited me to have drinks with her & her friend on the balcony of the soon-to-be-listed property that evening.  I wasn't able to join her for drinks but thanked her and we stayed in touch via text for the weekend because she was in from out of town and staying in the unit, helping the owner clean out his personal belongings.  

Within 24 hours of meeting her, I tell her I want the business and submit my highly competitive Proposal.

Flash forward 1 day:  I call to confirm receipt of said Proposal; leave a voicemail.  
No response.

Flash forward 2 days:  I text to confirm receipt of said Proposal.
No response.

Flash forward 3 days:  I email to confirm receipt of said Proposal.
No response.

Flash forward 2 weeks:  Maybe she had a family emergency or was involved in an accident and hadn't been able to respond to me.  I leave a voicemail saying something along the lines of such concern and to let me know any feedback on said Proposal - even if she opted to go with another staging firm.

Flash forward 1 month:  I feel like a crazy ex-girlfriend calling again, but I do it anyway.  This job would be great for my portfolio AND the exposure.  I didn't see it listed on MLS anywhere yet....maybe there is hope.

Sigh.  No response.

Flash forward 2 months (yesterday):  I call and leave another voicemail "just wondering whatever happened to the listing AND by the way, I have a referral for you in Houston.  Give me a call whenever you get the chance.  Hope all is well...."

Flash forward to today:  Curiosity gets me back onto MLS and lo and behold the property is listed UNSTAGED (?!).  (I'm not going to post the listing, because I'm not here to punish the seller for the real estate agent's lack of professionalism or simple courtesy.)  The property is VERY taste specific:  one room has a purple wall, the living area has an orange / black / gold "sponged" wall, there are stenciled "motivational quotations" on another, and the master suite has a round leather bed that sits alone with no other furniture or accessories in the space AND it resembles a bed from either The Jetson's or Dirk Diggler.  Really?  This is how you're merchandising a $1.9M condo in the W???

I'm thoroughly disappointed with the lack of manners this agent has.  She wasted my time and hers and is doing her seller a huge disservice by marketing the property "as is".  But I'm done with this.  This crazy ex-girlfriend is never calling again.  No ill will, and no judgement, right?  Deep calming breath.  Inhale.  Delete the agent's phone number, remove the "auto fill" email address and wish her luck.  Exhale.  

But like the crazy ex-girlfriend, I wonder "what could I have done differently"?  Sigh.

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