I am not a fan of flying. I was, until recently, scared of heights. I don’t know anything about the dynamics of flying other than it seems a bit unconventional for a human but not birds. I do, in fact, love those that have mastered the skill of navigating the wind.
My father died 6 weeks after I was born and I never knew him. But, when I was growing up my mom, who was my idol, always told me, “Take care of the people around you. Be attentive to what their needs are. That is what you father did with me and, since he isn’t here, I think he would want me to share that with you”. When I was growing up I didn’t realize how that would come in to play in my real estate career.
I had a former client that had been referred to me by a mutual friend that was also my former client. This new potential client had a family and two young children (boy and a girl) and he was a bit down on his luck. I went to his house and met with him to discuss listing his house. He proceeded to tell me how his family had hit hard times and he vowed to his wife and two kids, especially the oldest one (a young girl), that they would be okay. It was a typical meeting that didn’t strike me as being too far off the beaten path of any other listing meeting.
Afterwards, he invited me to stay for a cook out. I obliged and hung out with them for a few hours. I watched as the house filled up with families and children from all over the neighborhood. Me, being a single guy and not being accustomed to being around kids, I was nearly at my whits end but, I stuck around to be respectful. And, boy was I glad that I did.
His oldest (about 9 at the time, a girl) came up to me during the the party and said, ‘ Dad said you are going to save us.’ I didn’t know what to say so I said what any single guy with no kids that was terrified would say, ‘Hey, what’s your name.’ She said, ‘My name is Taylor, and I wanna fly. Watch this’. She spread her arms out and pretended like she was flying in to the pool and dove in. We all laughed hysterically. She was a character.
Later, out of curiosity I asked her why she wanted to fly so much. She told me that her grandfather had been a pilot and that he had flown planes from the ‘cotchpits’ before. I told her that we would see what we could do about ‘getting her up in the air some day’.
While this family didn’t want to leave their home and move away it turned out to be the circumstance that benefited them the most. The home sold, they moved in to another home and got on with their lives. After the close of escrow I scheduled a little surprise for them.
They all arrived, unsuspecting. We got in my car and drove about 5 miles to Temecula, CA. As we rolled up to the launch site the kids went crazy. We, along with the guide, launched in to the atmosphere and had so much fun. The smile on that little girls face was priceless. When we landed and were about to leave the little girl came up to me and said, ‘Thank you. You are my hero.” My mom would have been proud.
This gift cost me less than $500 for all 5 of us. When you close your next deal. Think of something unusual. Think of something that will make a lasting impression. Go beyond the call of duty.
They say it takes all kinds to make the world, but I can’t help thinking what a much better world it would be if there were more people like my mom, my client and his family.
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