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The Pring Perspective

August 2009 “One that I DIDN’T sell”!

Stephen Pring I thought I would tell you about a property that I didn’t sell; about a client that I felt I’d let down!

I had been instructed to sell a property at the end of the 1980’s, just as the big recession at that time took hold (I’ve seen and worked through 4 of them now). My client, a retired gentleman, fell in love with another property, so he took a risk and took out a bridging loan to purchase it before selling his current home.

Try though I might, I just couldn’t find the right buyer for his property. The recession bit deeper, prices dropped, potential buyers dried up and in the end he decided to let out his property to offset the cost of the bridging finance. I didn’t handle rental property then and still don’t (I prefer to concentrate on doing what I know best and what I’m good at, without losing focus or being diverted). So that was the end of our association but I often thought of that chap and wondered how he fared.

Ten years later I was in a restaurant and I caught the eye of a couple at a table across the room. We did that “I know you from somewhere” nod and by the time dessert came, I’d figured it out. I popped over to their table and introduced myself saying “You won’t remember me but 10 years ago I tried to sell your house but didn’t manage to. I’ve always felt that I let you down because you took a huge financial risk at the time and I wasn’t able to get you out of it”.

His reply? (and I remember it virtually word for word!)

“I remember you very well Stephen and I’ve recommended you to people many times. It wasn’t your fault the property didn’t sell – the market was against us, the price was too high and to be honest I was greedy and didn’t heed your advice. In the end I let it out for a couple of years and then my son “bought” it from me – he never did want me to sell it you know. I always appreciated the efforts you made and I felt you had my best interests in mind the whole time. And more than anything else, you always did what you said you were going to do.”

And do you know, I’m really proud of that!

Sometimes, we don’t always succeed. Sometimes things don’t always work out as we would like them to and sometimes, it can even be for the best (though you may not realise it at the time)!

In that instance, I may not have sold my client’s property (despite trying my best) and he may not have travelled along the path he thought he was going to when he first put his house on the market but, in the end, things worked out well for him AND his son.

And as for me? Well, I didn’t earn a fee then but I now know that I’ve sold many more houses as a result of NOT selling it because my client recommended me several times and appreciated that…

“You always did what you said you were going to do”!

I’ve always felt that if I did what I said I was going to do and tried to do the best that I could for my client, things would work out right in the end… and by and large they do.

Results aren’t always instantaneous or obvious though are they!