by Paul Slaybaugh | Dec 31, 2014 | This & That
Scottsdale, AZ – Real Estate agents have long utilized tour groups to expose their listing inventory to the local home selling community. A forum that allows agents to promote new and upcoming property listings to a group of fellow active area Realtors, the Real Estate tour group fosters the kind of behind-the-scenes marketing that many insist is greatly responsible for their success.
Or their gigantic backsides, at least.
In a stunning development, local Realtor Rich Anful claims that the four hour Tuesday morning boondoggles have added value to exactly one thing: his ass.
“Sure, it’s nice to meet and mingle with my colleagues every week to discuss our new business,” Anful stated when reached for comment at the Golden Corral. “But we’re really here for the waffles.”
Response to Anful’s bombshell was swift. Well, as swift as one could expect from this lumbering community of sauropods.
“Rich doesn’t speak for all of us,” fellow agent Abel Twerkins assured this reporter. “Most of us are here to actually work on behalf of our clients. Maybe his sales numbers would outpace his caloric intake if he put down the blueberry compote long enough to actually do some networking.”
Anful laughed off the criticism, insisting that his colleagues were simply protecting their golden goose.
“Look, all I’m saying is that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if these meetings were held at LA Fitness,” he assured, gesturing at his fellow agents. “Do I look like the only one here who brushes his teeth with a pork chop?”
“It’s glandular,” Twerkins responded, looking down into has own plate of smothered hash browns.
While none of the respondents polled could produce any tangible documentation that demonstrated a clear correlation between the weekly sales meetings and increased production, many assured this reporter that they had put together numerous off market deals as a direct result.
“Yes, I like the danish,” Bridget Waggles admitted, licking her fork. “I like the vendor raffles, too. More than that, though, I like to see the inventory firsthand. I also like to be the first to know about a new listing that might be coming up for one of my buyers.”
“Bridget hasn’t had a buyer in her car in three years,” Anful countered, looking out the window at a pink Mazda Miata. “Good thing, too.”
Reached for comment, National Association of Realtors spokeswoman Iris Knacks stated, “Om nom nom er gah” around a mouthful of jelly donuts supplied by a local title company.
– Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE NEWS
by Paul Slaybaugh | Dec 30, 2014 | This & That
“So let me get this straight,” Samuel Rothwall said, interrupting the twenty-something year old wonderkid with the lime green mohawk. “You’re saying that young people prefer electronic mail for urgent correspondence?”
Bonzai, the assistant manager of the Verizon Wireless store, openly gawked at the old coot in front of him that fit somewhere between Steggosaurus and Woody Guthrie in the fossil record. He could practically smell the mothballs beneath the Barbasol.
“Exactly,” Bonzai replied. “Of course, if it’s really a matter of life or death, we use the pony express or carrier pigeons.”
“Oh, a wiseguy,” Samuel retorted, pointing at his younger counterpart with a shaky wooden cane. “You know, back in my day, we had a name for guys with tattoos on their necks.”
“What’s that,” Bonzai invited, smirking as he rubbed the two-dimensional spiderweb crawling out of his white polo shirt. The small garment was tent-like on his skeletal frame.
“Unemployed,” Samuel finished.
“Whatever, pops,” Bonzai rebutted. “You’re the one who came in here asking for my help, remember?”
“And my date to the junior prom wore those very earrings,” Samuel jabbed, unwilling to let the pissant claim the high ground.
“Thanks for coming in today,” Bonzai replied. “Come on back anytime you’re ready to trade in that Betamax you call a phone.”
The insufferable twit strutted back behind the counter, exchanging fist bumps with a pasty-faced teen who watched the exchange. The pair didn’t weigh two bills between them. Despite himself, Samuel was moderately impressed that either twerp was even aware there had been life before Blu-ray, let alone VHS.
“Alright, alright,” Samuel sighed, his eyes darting back and forth between the obsolete brick in his hand and the sleek new smartphones in the display case. “My granddaughter says I need one of these gizmos so I can watch her piano recitals wherever I go.”
“‘I’m sorry,” Bonzai replied, tilting his head and cupping a hand to his well-perforated ear. “What was that?”
Samuel gritted his teeth.
“I need your help,” he admitted.
“I said I need your help,” Samuel repeated, louder. “Happy?”
“As a clam,” Bonzai affirmed, sauntering back around the counter with his sunken chest puffed to its fullest. “So where were we?”
“You were telling me when to text, when to email and when to call.”
“You never call,” Bonzai snickered. “You don’t buy a rocket ship to drive it to Sears. Calling requires conversation. The entire point of all this technology is to streamline communication, get your point across without sitting through twenty minutes of bullshit.”
“So if I don’t call, do I text,” Samuel asked, perplexed.
“Or Facebook or Tweet,” Bonzai agreed.
“That’s what it’s called when you say something on Twitter,” Bonzai condescended.
“What the hell is Twitter?
“Oh come on,” Bonzai moaned, exasperated. “You’re pulling my leg, right?”
Samuel just stared at the preening peacock, imagining what it would feel like to wrap his arthritic fingers around that scrawny neck and squeeeeeeeeeeze.
Bonzai sighed, shaking his ridiculous head ever so slightly.
“Twitter is a real time social medium that allows users to interact directly with people across the globe,” Bonzai recited, boredom lacing his uninflected voice.
“Like a telephone?”
“Yes, wait, no,” Bonzai answered. “A regular old phone is limited to the person you’re talking to on the other end. With Twitter, you can interact with anyone online by sending them an ‘at’ response or a direct message.”
“Like an email?”
“Yes, wait, no,” Bonzai repeated. “Look, you’re making this harder than it is–”
Samuel waved him off.
“No, you kids are the ones making things more difficult,” he chastised the human Otter Pop. “You could be curing prostate cancer with all this technology, but you’d rather use it to play Pacman on your telephones.”
“Pacman,” Bonzai exclaimed, his shrill burst of hyena-like laughter quickly degenerating into a coughing fit. “OMG, my dad loves that game!”
Samuel turned to leave.
“Hey, where ya going, pops,” Bonzai demanded, his voice strained. “I want to hear all about the phonograph!”
“We give you color television and you reinvent the telephone,” Samuel muttered to himself as he approached the glass front door.
He turned when he reached it, his fingers on the handle. Bonzai’s angular head was buried in his mobile device.
“Now I know why you don’t like talking to each other,” he announced.
Bonzai looked up, waiting.
“Because there ain’t a one of you got a damn thing to say worth hearing,” Samuel finished, wrenching open the door. “All the world’s wisdom at your finger tips, but not a lick of sense to go with it.”
The fifty four year old limped into the daylight, leaning on the cane he had relied upon since being broadsided by a texting driver the year before. The door rattled shut behind him.
“Tag me in that,” Bonzai instructed his co-worker, knowing he had surreptitiously photographed the exchange. “Going to submit it to National Geographic.”
The pair shared a brief chuckle before returning to their phones, casting the room in silence.
by Paul Slaybaugh | Jun 20, 2012 | This & That
June 20, 2012
Scottsdale, AZ – As anyone who has attempted to buy or sell a home over the past seven years can attest, the Real Estate market has proven unstable at best. New findings released by the Phoenix-based American Behavioral Coalition this morning may explain why.
“The Scottsdale Real Estate Market suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder,” Dr. Angela Merkins of the ABC claims.
You mean it’s mental?
“Well, it suffers from a personality disorder anyway,” Dr. Merkins affirmed. “Comparing the peaks and valleys of the past decade to the market’s baseline history, we can only conclude that an acute trauma, brought on by a specific event, caused a psychotic break with consciousness that has yet to be fully repaired.”
Dr. Merkins expanded when pressed on the nature of said event.
“Could have been anything,” Dr. Merkins explained. “A chance encounter with a cash-poor investor triggering a suppressed memory from the 1980s, an episode of delusional paranoia spurred by an influx of Californian speculators, who knows? All that is clear is that the Scottsdale Real Estate Market went bugshit crazy on February 14th, 2005.”
From high-rolling night-owl that snorts Alka Seltzer off the bare stomachs of $5000 a night showgirls, to indigent transient that smells of four day old cat food and sour milk, the Scottsdale Real Estate Market has seen more ups and downs in recent years than a Mount Everest sherpa. Until recently, the market had been under the care and supervision of the mental health staff at ABC, but its current whereabouts are unknown after budget cutbacks mandated its transfer to a less secure facility.
“I’m worried about it,” Dr. Merkins confirmed, acknowledging that the patient, disguised as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, recently checked itself out of a halfway house. “After a long period of clinical depression, the market was finally coming around. But now, all that progress hangs in the balance.”
This is often the most dangerous point for a psychiatric patient.
“The concern is that the patient will feel the medication and therapy that has brought him or her back to a point of normalcy is no longer necessary, especially if the pull to experience the rush of a manic phase is too strong to resist. They think they can just go back on their medication once they’ve experienced the exhilaration of the high and avoid the low, but it doesn’t work like that.”
Asked if she saw any particular danger of that occurring in this instance, Dr. Merkins was blunt.
“Look at what’s going on out there,” she lamented. “Multiple offers, bidding wars, pictures on the internet of the market passed out at a frat party with a lampshade on its head … the only thing missing is stated income financing for jobless meth addicts.”
When asked if she had had any communications with her former patient, Dr. Merkins blushed.
“It left me a message at two AM this morning,” Dr. Merkins confessed, holding up her cell phone as evidence. “Mostly slurred speech to the point of being incomprehensible, but I distinctly heard the phrase Colombian bath salts.”
So what does this mean for Scottsdale home buyers and sellers?
“Buckle up and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times,” Dr. Merkins cautioned. “And don’t take any open beverages from a stranger. Trust me on this.”
– Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE News ©2012
by Paul Slaybaugh | Mar 13, 2012 | This & That
“Why is his skin all splotchy?”
Chip Donaghue stared at the pathetic, grey man on the gurney. Tubes ran in and out of his crystallized body, connecting him to a bank of beeping machines and monitors.
“Sublimation is typical,” the humorless doctor beside him announced.
“Freezer burn,” the doctor clarified, his high-pitched voice at odds with its gravelly undertones. He struck Chip as a man who had spent considerable time exploring the outer edges of life’s spectrum.
The beeping intensified moments before the patient sat straight up.
“He’s awake,” Chip shouted, taking a step toward the bed before being restrained by a vice-like grip.
He looked back to find the doctor’s skeletal hand clamped to his meaty shoulder.
How can he be that strong? Chip wondered.
“Keep your distance,” the doctor rasped. “He’s not lucid.”
“Like hell,” Chip argued, struggling in vain to free himself. “Look at him!”
“That’s just gas,” the doctor informed him.
“Gas,” Chip protested, incredulous. “He’s sitting up for crissakes!”
“The cells in the core are the first to awaken,” the doctor assured him. “They expand as they release CO2. Get too close during the herky-jerky and you’re apt to get clipped by an errant limb.”
The patient’s mouth remained a frozen “oh” as his sightless grey-brown eyes stared into the infinity. His right arm suddenly shot straight up.
“Pow, right in the kisser,” the doctor whispered. Sensing resignation, he relaxed his grip on Chip’s shoulder.
The two men watched in silence as random body parts took turns flailing about over the course of the next few minutes. Chip was reminded of a fish flopping around on dry land, desperate for breath. The room took on a gamey odor as life returned to long-dormant flesh.
The chaotic symphony reached the patient’s face.
“Now remember,” the doctor reminded Chip. “He’s not going to recognize you. Not at first, and maybe not at all.”
Chip sighed. He’d been waiting for this moment for six years. Now that it was finally here, he wasn’t sure he was ready for it.
The patient’s left eyelid spasmed. Then the right. His nose twitched.
This is it, Chip gulped. Please … oh, please …
The patient did not respond to the doctor’s query.
“Mr. Niedelman,” the doctor tried again, in a stronger voice. “Can you hear me?”
Ed Niedelman broke six years of silence by barking like a dog.
“This happens sometimes,” the doctor assured Chip. “The synapses of the brain are especially prone to bursting and misfire upon rapid thaw. Give it a minute for the connections to reestablish themselves.”
“No,” Chip said shaking his head as the woofing continued unabated. “It worked! By God, it worked!”
The doctor raised a quizzical white eyebrow.
“This is how Ed celebrates a big sale,” Chip explained. “If you remember, we had him frozen at the closing table for the Meyers transaction. We had no more leads to feed him, so figured we’d put him on the shelf while we rode out the storm. Wanted his last memory to be a good one. Bless his heart, he still thinks it’s 2006!”
“Welcome back, big dog,” Chip, the managing broker at Prickly Pear Properties, gushed as he approached his sales associate. “You ready to eat?”
Niedelman jumped out of the bed, howling. He nearly lost his footing as he landed in a pool of water on the polished concrete floor.
“Outstanding,” Chip bellowed, clapping his underling on the back as he helped free him from the wires and tubes that bound him. “Let’s go wake up Peterson.”
The doctor attended to the vacated station as the awkward pair lumbered over to the next cryogenic chamber.
“One second, gentlemen,” he sighed, eyeing the half-naked, born-again charlatan and his Svengali with despair.
He had lost nearly fifty percent of his clients to reanimation since January first. The recovering Real Estate market was exciting news to everyone but him it seemed.
Time to start farming for new clientele.
But who? As Realtors began their rise from the ashes, which demographic was ready to take its place at the precipice of a great unknown … and in his freezer?
A thin smile spread across his narrow face as it came to him.
Of course, he thought. Moderate Republicans.
by Paul Slaybaugh | Mar 7, 2012 | This & That
Scottsdale, AZ – Recent studies suggest that consumers still envision salesmen as fast-talking, slick-haired, turquoise-pinkie-ring-flashing hucksters who would sooner eat their own gold teeth than hesitate to push their mothers into traffic if caught standing between them and a sale.
Which makes the case of Agnes Friedman all the more unusual.
“I’m more of a go along to get along type,” Mrs. Friedman, a Real Estate agent with As You Wish Realty, LLC told BSRE news.
Admired by her peers for an amicable disposition which makes cross-transactions a breeze, she has come under fire as of late for her “path of least resistance” model of client advocacy.
“Nobody likes a salesman,” Friedman explained. “Well, I mean, maybe some people do, but I … I’m not saying it’s wrong if you do, just … what do you think?”
Bethany O’Leary, a former client of Friedman’s, was originally drawn to that very unsalesy manner when selecting a REALTOR to list her 4 bedroom McCormick Ranch home last May.
“She was such a breath of fresh air,” O’Leary told reporters when reached for comment at the same 4 bedroom McCormick Ranch home. “All the others wanted to talk about the market and toot their own horns. Agnes was willing to listen … and to ultimately do whatever I told her to do.”
Asked to corroborate, Friedman smiled and offered reporters coffee.
“No, the house didn’t sell,” O’Leary admitted. “But it didn’t sell on my terms.”
Dennis LeGrudge recently purchased a home utilizing Friedman’s services as a buyer’s agent.
“It started out great,” LeGrudge said over the sound of running water. “Agnes showed me everything, whether I was qualified to buy it or not. She even brought snacks.”
Things went awry once Mr. LeGrudge located a property that he wanted to purchase.
“At first, her advice made a lot of sense,” he allowed. “I didn’t want to insult the seller, so I gave him full price.”
In hindsight, LeGrudge thinks that may have been his first mistake.
“I wish I’d known the house had been on the market for fourteen months,” he lamented.
Problems compounded for LeGrudge when the home inspection revealed a bad roof and a missing air conditioning unit. Rather than banging heads with the seller on the deficiencies, his agent convinced him that all homes had issues, and not to upset the seller by requesting frivolous repairs.
“Frivolous,” LeGrudge scoffed. “Hear that burst pipe? I think they plumbed this place with twisty straws.”
One competitor, who chose to remain anonymous, hopes Friedman never lets the industry change her.
“It’s inspiring to see someone so determined to remain true to her benevolent nature in this dog eat dog business,” Agent X said. “I hope she never loses that.”
When pressed, Agent X admitted he has an ulterior motive for Friedman to continue with her current practices.
“Yeah,” he confirmed with a wink. “As long as Agnes negotiates like Bambi, I’m more than happy to thump’er.”
– Paul Slaybaugh, Disassociated Press