Real Estate/FBI agent
“What do you mean he’s dead?” I blurted out with the most dumbfounded look on my face.
“Sweet girl, he has been dead for more than 10 years, but his grandson lives in the green chattel house down the gap by the corner that has the empty lot with the black belly sheep”. I sighed and thanked the elderly man but knew that this wild goose chase seemed far from over. Let me explain…
A few months before my adorable niece was born, I was presented with an opportunity I would have been nuts to turn down; To work for the sales manager of Terra Luxury and Terra Caribbean. For those of you who may know, yes, she is my sister. On the flip side, for those of you who may also know, yes, she is without a doubt is the most hardcore agent so I knew I had my work cut out for me. The thrill of real estate and especially working with Rachel was that you can never quite tell what your next client’s needs will be, but she made it clear that whatever they were, we must always find a way to meet them.
This takes me to how I was the equivalent of an FBI agent who spent a weekend in Speightstown somewhat inebriated looking for a man who had in fact been dead for 10 years. Rachel had clients who were interested in purchasing 3 properties they had seen when they drove through Speightstown but here’s the catch, these properties were not listed for sale. So, what do you do in this case? You put on your FBI cap and get to work. Firstly, we needed to consult the Almighty ‘Google Earth’ and identify the lots, then confirm with the clients that these were the lots they desired. The next step was to employ every means possible to track down these owners to see if they would consider selling their property. I make it sound simple right? So there I was; I had the location of 3 properties and an inclination of what was going to come next. Rachel then said the most dreaded yet anticipated words to me: “foot to pavement for you this weekend” and I immediately envisioned people slamming doors in my face. Regardless of the anxiety of doing the most basic prospecting act in real estate, Rachel reminded me of her secret sauce to meeting her clients’ needs and I can’t reveal that because she still cooks amazing dinner for me weekly and I still cook like a freshman.
Saturday morning, bright and early I made my way down to Speightstown, palms sweaty, weak knees, arms were heavy and began my investigation. The instructions were concise, get the contact information for the owners of the properties south of _____. I approached the first chattel house, it was cream, similar to the BICO cherry vanilla colour, took a deep breath raised my fist and knocked on the door somewhat praying that no one would come to my call. The door creaked open and a woman with the kindest smile greeted me and in a matter of minutes, she gave me the names for all three owners and their contact details. I jumped back in my car and instantly called my sister in euphoria and told her I got the names of the owners and their contact information for her to say “oh Rosey” it was the 3 properties NORTH of _____. I knew it, that was way too simple for it to be over.
Round Two: Strike.
I turned around to look at the three properties North of where I was parked and there were two empty plots of land and a derelict house. My foot hit the pavement again and after hours of door-knocking and a couple slammed doors in my face, I felt defeated, walked into a rum shop and bought a Deputy. The bartender asked what I was up to as he had seen me walking around earlier. I told what I had set out to do and he laughed. Hearing someone laugh at me was the last thing I wanted to hear at that point. “You going about this all wrong girl, all the rum shops 'bout hay is where you could grab up that information. These men know everything there is to know about this town”.
Change of Strategy.
Instead of door-knocking, I needed to go bar hopping. An activity that I had perfected since I was a teenager. I didn’t take off my FBI cap, but I did pull it to the side and tackled my mission in a more relaxed and fun way. My kind of prospecting! By the end of Saturday, I had the contact details for two of the owners, made an appointment to list another property in Speightstown and drank more beers than I could count on my fingers. Alas, there was one more owner that I needed to track down and the following day I returned. An ally in one of the bars had done his homework and found the name of the final owner I had been looking for and of course, I thanked him by buying him a beer and perhaps a few more after that. I made my way through Speightstown once again confident that I was at the end of my mission and saw a group of older men on a corner having a board meeting and my gut feeling was if anyone were to know who the owner was, it would be these men! That’s when I found out, the owner I’d been searching for was dead....BUT his grandson was quite alive and lived close by.
I was on the home stretch, all I needed to do was pass the corner lot with the black belly sheep and hope that the owner’s grandson was home. I knocked on the door, hoping it was my last door knock and waited, no one was home. I was determined and killed some more time at one of the rum shops and when I returned, the grandson was home. I greeted him as if he and I pitched marbles and told him about my weekend in his town and he belted out laughing at my stories and was so thankful I had found him. He’d been considering selling the property but never got around to it.
So there I was, set out to find 3 owners, found 6, accumulated a listing, made friends and I can direct you through Speightstown as if it were the back of my hand. What was the final outcome? The purchasers never ended up buying any of the lots but that is the nature of this game. You never know how a transaction could pan out but I can guarantee you, if you need to find out any information on anything real estate related, ask your agent. There is always a way ;)