Monday, October 27, 2014

Howard the Shelter Cat & Pet Rent

Howard the Shelter Cat snubbed my latest idea that he should start paying his fair share in rent. I thought it would be a great way to supplement my vacation fund.

As usual, he just yawned and turned his whiskers aside showing his usual indifference to anything non-food related.

It's a good thing I'm such a sap for the furry guy. Otherwise,  he'd be getting his eviction notice speedy quick.

Apparently, charging renters an extra monthly pet fee is becoming more and more the norm, according to recent news reports. That extra fee is in addition to those hefty non-refundable pet security deposits. Most landlords are charging anywhere from 10 to 50 buckeroos extra a month for the privilege of having a pet.

The extra fees supposedly help to pay for those pet walkways, parks, waste bags and other expenses related to pets.

Lucky for Howie, we don't rent. We own a home. Chalk up one more reason it's better to own, then rent.

Still, if there were some way Howie could work just a bit for his room and board…

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Home Diva Unplugged

I wanted to post something interesting… and uplifting… and perhaps valuable. 

Instead, I've been feeling slightly snarky, and that snarkiness is flowing unabated like floodwaters after a torrential rain.

Heaven help us… We've got the Home Diva here Unplugged.

And that my friends is probably not a very good thing.

No siree, Missy. It's got me singing along with Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, "Got a real good feeling something bad about to happen…"

Since I launched my ad(venture) in real estate, I marvel at the number of people who aren't very fond of real estate agents and who begrudge agents a commission. 

I'm not exactly sure where these people think I live, but apparently they think it's somewhere in never-never land where I can work for free, pay my bills with monopoly money and eat pretend food. Jeepers creepers, if that were the case, I would look a lot more like Barbie than a Cabbage Patch doll. I'm just sayin'.

I wish I could blame the public's perception on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing reality shows where agents come across as self-absorbed prima donnas appearing to rake in a ton of moo-lah while barely breaking a sweat to complete a transaction. 

Instead, sadly, real estate agents need to shoulder some of the blame for this poor public perception. Like the public, I must say I have encountered agents who fail to return telephone calls, fail to communicate in a timely manner, fail to problem-solve for clients, fail to be pro-active, fail to ensure a transaction works… fail to… 

Well, let's just generalize: Fail to do their job. Period. Exclamation Point. End of sentence.

There. I said it. Yep. Home Diva Unplugged. I never said it would be pretty.

These agents are the ones who make it difficult for the rest of us who view this as a career (not just a job) and who really do care about their clients and providing excellent customer service.

When I started this (ad)venture, I read (and was told) that 90 percent of real estate agents drop out after their first year because they under-estimated the amount of work it takes to grow a business, and they didn't realize the financial cost of getting their business up and running. The costs–office fees, MLS fees, marketing, required association memberships, lock box and key card fees, insurance, brokerage commission splits etc.–come at a hefty price.

For me, that attrition statistic rings true. I think I'm the only one left in my office who started working about the same time I did. (An interesting little tidbit, don't you think? What can I say? I'm stubborn and snarky.)

And now, if we could just get those other ones in real estate brokerage firms all across the country who fail to do their jobs to move on… Well then, I think the public overall would have a more favorable impression of real estate agents, and perhaps, I would be a little less snarky.