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The Thing About Drama Is...

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

The Thing About Drama Is...

You could be minding your business taking a shower thinking about getting the wee ones off to school so you can meet your 9 AM only to discover your client and shorties have to wait because life, as usual, has a funny way of making other plans for you.

The thing about drama is you have no way of controlling what other people toss your way. You can only control your response to what you need to respond to. Even not responding means you have made a decision not to engage, so don't think for one minute you are not making idle decisions about your life every single minute of every single day. Your profession is what you do, not who you are.

I was watching someone work the crowd and wondered (a) is it crass and insensitive to hand out your business cards to people who are wondering where they are going to live if the place goes up in smoke or (b) is it a missed opportunity to connect with people who suddenly find themselves thinking about the possibility of moving?

The thing about drama is if you are careful and listen to the fears, needs, wants and desires of folk who find themselves unnerved, frustrated and lost you can help them if you place them first. Don't give them your card, go say hello and let them know you're around if they eventually need something because most people who are afraid of being homeless just want to talk about their circumstances.

I took the business card of the sales person when the person got to me and the shorties and stated I am a Realtor. It's very nice to meet you. That one statement resulted in someone asking me why I didn't hand out my cards as well. My response was it's an emergency and I just want to see if my neighbors are okay. I am waiting to take my kids to school and I live just over there. That simple statement got me three new customers. I didn't give them a card, I handed them my cell phone and told them to call their phones and save me in their address book. I would save them.

The thing about drama is if you are careful not to create new drama during an ongoing crisis, people will respond in a positive, proactive way if you give them control and make them feel less vulnerable. I have to thank Margaret Rome for that bit of wisdom. She taught me not to always give out your business card while we were hanging out in Maryland together. She was right. People will come to you if they want you. They will come to you on their terms if you just let them know you are available to help if they ever need it.

 

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

 

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Comment balloon 26 commentsC Tann-Starr • February 09 2010 06:51AM

Comments

I absolutely agree! Who wants to be handed a business card during a life crisis? They need to feel cared about and not feel like we are vultures who are trying to capitalize on their misfortune.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 8 years ago

Well whoever that person was, it seems like kind of a sick thing to do considering the circumstances! 

Posted by Barbara Kornegay, Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes (REMAX Essential) over 8 years ago

This is so well written. I couldn't agree more. I cannot imagine taking advantage of a bad situation, only vultures should get away with that.

Posted by Linda Greco Rich, ABR, SRES, Harford County Specialist (Exit Preferred Realty) over 8 years ago

It is best to make sure the family is safe and schedule another day. I had the same thing happen last week. My client got into a car accident. I informed him we will reschedule for another day. Take care of yourself first. He appreciated me caring.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 8 years ago

To me that "Realtor" lacked compassion and dignity- during a very emotional crisis. Trust me he wont be getting calls asking for assistance..tacky and very heartless action.

Now, if there were families displaced, it would be a kind gesture to call the landlord or owners to see if theres anything you can offer in assistance in helping them find housing--with the right intentions of really wanting to help, and not a tasteless attempt to procure a notch in your belt. i do beleive helping others in your community builds a reputation you would be proud of. Do a food collection, clothing drive. Organize a list of family needs.... give, without expecting a return...God knows your heart and I have received blessings for simply offering genuine help to those who need it.

 

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 8 years ago

Those business cards will no doubt be tossed.  I bet if you returned later in the day you would find some right there on the ground.  Your gesture will not only be remembered it will be appreciated.  The person handing out the cards made himself look bad and you look good.  He had no idea at the time just what a "wing man" he was for you!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 8 years ago

C - I love the phone handing idea! You can't get lost if you are saved in a phone. :0) Good going... and I agree totally on the card handing thing. That's the last thing that I would have thought of doing at that moment.

Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) over 8 years ago

CTS,

Compassion and concern will be remembered positively, unlike ambulance chasing.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 8 years ago

I wouldn't go around handing out my cards in the middle of that situation either, but your phone idea is a great one. Congrats on your new people C.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 8 years ago

C, I haven't been by lately (spending alot of time avoiding drama in my home state;-) but glad I stopped by! This is one of your finest and I'm proud to say I know you!

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) over 8 years ago

C,

What a calm and peaceful post in the midst of chaos and drama

"The thing about drama is if you are careful not to create new drama during an ongoing crisis, people will respond in a positive, proactive way if you give them control and make them feel less vulnerable."

Brad and Bob said it best at the Phoenix rain event... "people will buy what you have when it's right, you don't have to sell it"

Like JL and Lindsey..I learned a new technique on the phone. Great tip!

Featured in Cosmic Cow Pie.

Cosmic Cow

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 8 years ago

You think well under pressure, C. I don't know if I would have thought about handing somebody my cell and suggesting they call their cell. That's a brilliant idea.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Nothing like chasing a hearse! I am glad you and the shorties are ok and all of your neighbors!

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) over 8 years ago

Goodness!  I'm glad that wasn't your building and hope no one was hurt.  Love the phone idea, I'm going to remember that one.

Hope you and the family are well!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) over 8 years ago

Carolyn, I loved the story and loved the post.  Also, btw, I always say that our jobs are what we do, not who we are.  So I enjoyed the quote in your blog!

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) over 8 years ago

Very well written and very well played.  You totally did the right thing, there.  Way to be an example to others in the way of good business ethics.

Posted by Carissa Acker (Real Estate by Design with Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

I guess some people just have that "ambulance chaser" mentality, which made your reaction seem that much more humane.

Posted by Jesse Skolkin (Independent New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser) over 8 years ago

Jackie, I admit to being fascinated because we all do what we think is best. I just don't think that's the way to go in 29 degrees with fire trucks spanning three blocks. If I were in my PJs and an overcoat I might have said something else entirely (LOL).

Barbara, I've seen people do it at a funeral. Sometimes I think people really believe if they are the first to get a card in they will be the first to get a call. Not so... I had someone e-mail my hubby for a year but when it was time to buy I called a Rainer. BB and TLW got hubby his short sale done in record time. I need to blog about that. I'm waiting for Mikey to send me some pictures. Dude has been in FL since January and I have yet to get an after shot. I only have the before shots (LOL). I may have to fly down there if this keeps up. I want my eye candy so I can write about our social media closing. :-)

Thank you, Linda. I frequently tell people don't miss your moment. I stumbled blindly into mine without thinking it was there. Sometimes those can be the best ones, especially when initiated by another person because he/she/they want to. :-)

Harry, I'm with you. I have an out of state buyer who took time off from work to drive, then fly into NYC. We scheduled a bunch of showings and now the pending snow blizzard is killing our carefully crafted schedule. I told her it was okay if she couldn't make it in but she's upset because she took off from work to find a home. Only the individual knows what really matters to them and how they really feel about the unexpected changing their plans. I have empathy and sympathy but I am not really in their shoes because what is happening to them isn't happening to me. We have to be careful when we interact with people.

Michele, it was a bit disconcerting to see but I have to admit to being fascinated by the whole thing. When I meet people I find interesting I always ask them if they have a card. Sometimes I want to ask but hesitate because if I ask for a card it means I really am thinking about continuing having contact. People in PJs are not thinking about making contacts, they're thinking about all the things they left behind which may or may not be there if the situation gets out of hand. I have a friend who lost everything because the fire was in the apartment above her. The water ruined her place and the fire marshals where involved in an ongoing investigation so no one could go into her place to save her valuables or clean up. By the time they cleared the police tape the heat and mold left her with nothing. I was thinking about that while waiting for the trucks to move so I could get my car out of the garage. A lot of my life is in my apartment. All of my paintings (except for what my parents and the gallery have) are stacked against the wall and the photographs of my memories are priceless. I can start over if left with nothing but I don't want to... Everything I do I think about my kids while I do it. This stuff belongs to them...

 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Gotta feed the shorties and ban them from the kitchen. Will be back shortly after the wee people get settled in. They are on a hunt for dunkin donuts and it would be nice if a dozen could last at least three days. At the rate they are going I may be up all night trying to keep them out of fridge (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 8 years ago

C - Blessings to you for being there for your neighbors in the most caring and compassionate way!

 

Hope everyone is okay.

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

C- I don't do drama, LOL except the political kind, RLOL. 

I never 'got' all that teenager drama stuff, I had to grow up too fast so never was in the right frame of mind for drama queens, I had to survive:) 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 8 years ago

I hope your neighbors are OK. I'm glad all your wee ones are worried about is donuts. Blessings to you.

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 8 years ago

That was a beautiful post - very well written. Thank you for sharing your story, and for having a strong enough sense of self that you did not lose sight of being human just to try to make a sale.

Posted by Jessica Steele (Welcome Home Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi guys! Thank you for the kind words. They are very much appreciated. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 8 years ago

You are a good person C.  Handing out business cards in a crisis is tacky and insensitive and totally self serving.  xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 8 years ago

LOL @ Susan. Oh the things I could say here but wont. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 8 years ago

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