I get business one of two ways these days. Either people find me on the Internet or they are referred by previous clients. When I ask callers who found me on the Internet why they picked me, I often get the same answer. It's rarely because they believe I am brilliant, witty or experienced. Rats. They say it's because I have a friendly face.
If people are looking at the Lyon Real Estate website for Midtown Sacramento agents, my profile is all the way at the bottom. Because my last name is Weintraub, and it's sorted alphabetically. My office services primarily East Sacramento, Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and downtown Sacramento. At the bottom of the Lyon website is not the best place to be. I mean, a person's scrolly finger can wear out getting down to the bottom. We have more than 80 agents in our office.
Although I'm happy to be blessed with a friendly face and personality, I don't think that's the best reason to choose a real estate agent. But consumers have very little information to choose from when scrolling through photographs of real estate agents.
As I was driving along Business 80 yesterday on my way to show a home, I received a phone call from a prospective home buyer. She was calling about a listing in Sacramento. OK, what is the street? She yelled into my ear: Sacramento! No, what is the name of the street? She screamed again as though I was deaf: Sacramento, California!
Excuse me, I can't give you information about a listing if you don't tell me the name of the street where the home is located. What is the name of the street? The buyer finally responded: Cougar. I know that street. That's not an area where I specialize, but I told the buyer that I would be happy to refer her to another agent to show that home.
The buyer decided to argue with me, saying her mortgage broker told her that real estate agents can show homes anywhere in Sacramento. She insisted that I show her that home. Hey, it wasn't my listing. Instead, I referred her to my associate who is a neighborhood specialist in that area. To protect the innocent, let's say my associate's name is Bonnie. I gave her Bonnie's phone number.
A few minutes later, the buyer called back. She said, "I want to work with an American."
"I can assure you that Bonnie is an American."
"No, she's not," the caller hissed, "I got her voice mail, and her last name is Hernandez."
My mind went blank. I was shocked. It took me a few seconds to figure out what this caller was saying to me. I guess I must live in a protected world because I rarely run into this type of discrimination; although, sadly, I am aware that it exists. I didn't quite know how to respond, so I did what I usually do and relied on my gut instincts, my immediate reaction.
"I can't help you," I replied, "Because I don't work with bigoted people." I swerved to miss a slow-moving vehicle, pulled my cellphone out of its holster and pressed the "end call" button. I was kinda surprised at my reaction because I don't ordinarily hang up on callers. But she royally offended me.
Photo by Big Stock Photo
Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.