# 24 Real Estate Man
Real Estate Man likes his career as a real estate man. He doesn’t give a damn about the bricks and mortar. What he realized, rather early on, was that real estate, contrary to many people’s impression, is a people business. Flowing through every residential property, every office, every store front, every parking space, is the life blood of people. Without people there’s no demand, no value, no energy. It’s all people driven: most of us have similar destinations but are worlds apart on the journey. That’s part of what make’s the business…..interesting
Real Estate Man’s Story:
I had a young man living in an apartment who was part of the Temple Foreign Exchange Program where, according to the literature: “Students can learn a different culture, make new friends and discover new ways to look at the world and themselves.” The tenants in 2331 Brown St were part of that very exchange program. There were 3 students living there. One of them was named Aarav. If he was learning a different culture, making new friends and discovering new ways to look at the world and himself — he kept it to himself. Unlike most tenants who like nothing better than to somehow get the opportunity to talk to me , Aarav seldom talked at all. For all tenants, if it’s a question, comment, observation or to just to make plain conversation out of loneliness, I’d like to think I’d be someone to turn to. It was rare for me to not get to know a tenant on some superficial level, at least. Aarav’s roommates were examples of that. It’s the part of real estate I like.
There are lots of benefits to this way of conducting business. A drawback being; if I have to get hard (enforce the rules) there may be a feeling of a friend’s betrayal rather than just the traditional but normal landlord-tenant antipathy. This usually results in exaggerated resentment on the part of the resident. But humans are my passion. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
With Aarav in 2nd floor Brown St there was none of the normal conversational interchange that both I and renters seem to enjoy. In his year of tenancy nary a peep came from Aarav. Out of the thousands of tenants the I’ve had throughout the years… I could count on my fingers how many times this has occurred. Whenever there was a problem in his apartment, one of Aarav’s roommates would report it. Actually a service tech I sent over (I think it was the electrician for a non functioning ceiling fan) commented that there was a kid on the 2nd floor Brown who didn’t talk. His roommates did though the electrician mentioned.
I prefer to show apartments to the prospective renters without the company of parents, relatives or influential consultants of any kind. Let the prospect make his/her own decisions. It will be he/she that lives there. With moms and dads or other “advisors” the decision making process is so often wrested away from the person who’s actually going to be living in the place.
Of the two, dads are usually easier to please than moms. Moms can usually find more present and projected imperfections in an apartment than any dad can even imagine.Today, I had the pleasure of a mother, daughter tandem who had an appointment to see Aarav and his roommate’s apartment. The boys’ year abroad was completed and they were to return to their home country: culturally enriched after making new friends.
The two women I met in front of the building on Brown St. that day were — interesting! I sensed that even before I talked to them. They emanated an energy: a strong, forceful, take charge aura, in addition to an arresting appearance. With the women proceeding, we walked up the stairs to the 2nd floor. I knocked on the door and surprisingly Aarav appeared. In the first words we’ve spoken all year he said that his roommates had already departed for home and he was leaving that later that afternoon.
What kept him mute all year certainly wasn’t the language barrier. His English was perfect. Actually he enunciated better than most American college kids. Maybe our lack of communication this whole time was his timidity?
Toward the end of the tour, I was showing the daughter the open kitchen and appliances therein. Aarav was alone in the living room with the attractive, strong, forceful mother:
Aarav (questioning……innocently?): “ You have beautiful breasts — may I touch one?”
I never heard the answer.
Later, I got a call from the mother. Her daughter would love to lease the 2nd floor Brown.
I’ve been searching the #Me Too list since and has not seen Aarav’s OR the mother’s name.