Countless times we have said, “We look forward to working with you,” and this statement was never more spot-on than in the last week.
Sadly, DeAnna’s niece died unexpectedly in a car accident and a few days before she headed out of town to attend the memorial service, Dyan came down with a true case of the flu. It wouldn’t have been so bad except we had three different clients coming in from out of town to see properties. Gulp. To top things off, the day before DeAnna left, her husband came home with gnarly case of the vomits so what was going to be a quick, 7 hour drive with only her mom quickly became a 7 hour drive (ya, right) with 2 and 5 year old boys and for those of you with kids, this easily translates into, “There’s no way in hell you’re having a phone conversation in the car because we will be squealing from boredom the minute you try and check your voicemail.” It was a game changer for sure, but not insurmountable.
A mad dash to the doctor before the weekend just confirmed what we suspected and it was time to make some decisions AND arrangements. After three days of no improvement we had to resign ourselves to the cold, hard fact that for the first time in four years, neither of us could be available. So during DeAnna’s day of travel, Dyan tried to control her fever enough to have a conversation over the phone trying to reschedule, etc. hoping to make it all align. All the while, being quarantined to one room in her house so the rest of her family wouldn’t get exposed. Working through a head cold, sinus infection, etc. is no problem but working with the full blown flu – no bueno and as much as we think we can will ourselves into a state of functioning, this nasty, butt-whooping bug had Dyan out for the count. Sure, we could tag team voicemail, return emails, etc. but physically meeting with clients was just not going to be possible. For many, this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but for two Type-A, control freak, “Let’s make everybody happy,” personalities, this is a tough pill to swallow.
As we have committed to do, we just had to level with our clients and in this moment we received the most beautiful gift of all. Countless agents offered to help show property, return phone calls, and rearrange showings and more than one seller offered to show their home for us. The phone calls that did come in were ended with a simple, “No rush… get back to us when you can.” DeAnna received texts from clients offering condolences and Dyan received many offers of help. Amidst the chaos, we both felt this sense of relief because it was so clear that we were being valued for who we are, not just the service we provide. We felt so fortunate that our clients valued us not only as professionals but people as well. Obviously there was nothing we could do about the situation and as any “family” does, they chipped in and helped to carry our load.
One set of clients had planned their trip to Ashland months in advance to come here and see property. We knew they were disappointed when we postponed the outing for three days but we also knew this was simply beyond our control. During an email exchange (because naturally Dyan lost her voice and could barely talk) he explained how it was disappointing that they weren’t getting to see homes on the days they had expected, how they had taken time off work, etc. We both responded immediately and thanked him for being upfront and honest. We had no doubt they’d get to see all the homes they had hoped for, but it also meant we would be cramming a three day outing into one. Without question, it pained us to feel their disappointment, and at the same time it was also quite refreshing to have someone feel comfortable enough to speak openly about their frustration and then be willing to move on. When we met up with them he apologized for venting and we both said in unison, “Are you kidding…thank you for doing that.” Sure, they could’ve found another agent, hooking up with someone who had the whole weekend free to do nothing but tour them around but they didn’t. We half expected it, given we had never met them before but they didn’t do that and instead waited for us. We felt so grateful that they viewed us as people who offered a value to them, not just a door opening service.
This month marks DeAnna’s 15th year in real estate which seems impossible to believe given she is not a day over 29. Never in a million years did she think that a “job in sales” could be so deeply gratifying, rewarding. Owning your own business is certainly taxing but so, so rewarding. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for supporting us, for valuing our service to you and for making us feel like part of your family. Some of the best advice we ever received was to only work with clients you would be willing to invite over for dinner and I think it is safe to say that advice has served us well.