A couple of encounters Steve and I had yesterday reminded me of a story I recounted here long ago. It was so long ago, in fact, that I can’t find where I made mention, so I will stare danger of repetition in the face and barrel ahead.
Years ago, one of my daughter’s then second grade classmates was giving a riveting oral presentation on some obscure endangered animal. As room mom, I had the privilege of sitting in on the lecture. I do not remember the specifics of this particular mammal at risk, but I do remember the part about predators and prey. “They prey on jackals,” her classmate informed. “What is a jackal?” one small but inquiring mind asked. Without missing a beat, the presenter responded in an unquestionable voice of authority.
“A jackal is a rabbit.”
Good enough. The three of the thirty young members of the studio audience who were still awake at this point were by all accounts quite satisfied with this answer.
Fast-forward to yesterday, Tuesday, or as we call it in Scripps Ranch, Broker Caravan Day. Steve and I were walking through a newer, lovely, over-priced home (this breed is not on the endangered list), when I remarked about the stove to the out-of-area agent-host. “An electric range,” I said. “That’s odd.” “Well,” he replied, “all of the homes in this neighborhood came with them.”
A jackal is still a rabbit.
If I hadn’t been from these parts, I would have now misfiled this entire development away as the Land O’ Electric Cook Tops. It’s OK for a second-grader to make stuff up, I suppose, but when you are all grown up and charged with promoting a product, know your subject. Or, at least, when you get stumped as we all do from time to time, don’t try to fake it.
Next, we proceeded to visit an older, lovely, over-priced home. It had a sun room. In what we now call the Case of the Missing Square Footage, Steve asked the out-of-area agent how big the home was. She could have said she didn’t know with certainty but, instead, the agent proceeded to rattle off random numbers. “The tax records show (x) but the seller says (y) but I think it is more like (z) unless you consider the position of Venus relative to Aquarius rising.” We left confused, and our agent was left standing in the spacious sun room of unknown dimensions quite pleased that she had dodged a bullet with authority. But as an aside, we weren’t able to make it back to the car without having to give this chosen real estate consultant what amounted to a full-blown comparative market analysis in the driveway. “What do you think of the price?” she asked. “A little high,” Steve said. “Is it (x) high, (y) high, (z) high?” I suppose that would depend to some extent on how big it is.
Then again, you can argue there is a time and place for faking it.
Our final stop was a lovely, over-priced home with a view. The out-of-area agent host was delightful but had no idea what a jackal is and was not afraid to admit it. “Do you live around here?’ she asked. When she overheard me telling Steve how this might be worth showing to one of his buyer clients because of the upstairs layout (we hadn’t been upstairs yet), our perky host blurted, “So you are familiar with this neighborhood!” And finally, on our way out the door, she yelled after us, “Do you have any clients?”
Yes, we have clients, but it is a mystery to me why we don’t have more. Good grief.