Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Comment-less Cards

Daisy went to her doggie grandma's while Treza went and wandered around the mall. I set stage - read counter - with farmer's market cookies, fall decor and a basket for the gift card giveaway. For days I prepared for my very first agent only open house. Knowing that I wouldn't be tehre to talk up my very first listing and sell the house with my words I did my best to show the home well from behind the scenes. The sellers washed the windows, vacuumed the carpet - twice - and left the home looking pristine. I sent out e-mail blasts to all of the agents inviting them to visit the home from eleven to one. I even promoted a gift card giving for visitors who entered the drawing with a business and comment card.
From eleven to one I watched the clock like a hawk, waiting anxiously to receive the feedback from my visitors. Would they think it was overpriced? Would they be thinking of which buyer to bring through first? How many cards would I find in my "home sweet home" basket promising one lucky winner a gift card to a local coffee shop? Would a rush of requests for showings soon flood my email inbox?
At one thirty I hurried into the home with excited anticipation eager to count the cards and read the comments. I made my way to the kitchen counter and reached into my special "home sweet home" gift card giveaway basket. And there it was. One singular piece of paper with one solitary agents comments.
My heart sank. My spirits were crushed. I had such high hopes for my very first agent open house. I never doubted for a moment that many agents would attend. I pictured a steady stream of guests pouring through the door for two solid hours. But there in the basket reality hit like a ton of bricks. The house, so lovingly staged and meticulously cared for, had sat for two hours fully lite and completely empty. The only agent who had come through, turns out, came through at one o'clock, just minutes before the open house has ended.
Feeling utterly dejected and disappointed, I pulled the comment card out of the basket. I'll be honest I didn't even want to read it. I feared a scathing review. "Over-priced." "A tough sell." "Sorry, no buyers for this house." Or worse yet, "Who do you think you are trying to sell this house for this ridiculously high price?"
With a deep breath I unfolded the solitary comment card and read two short, incredible, sentences. "Great house and well staged. Shows beautiful and is well priced."
Suddenly it didn't matter that only one agent came to my open house. Numbers and foot traffic didn't matter. I had feedback and it was good. The house, my very first listing, had approval by another agent - and not just any agent - but the top producing agent in the office.
My second empty open house provided another valuable lesson. Approval isn't about quantity, it's about quality. You can have the approval of the world and yet never make a sale. All of your buyers can be "just looking" for the fun of it. Every agent through the house can be there simply for the cookies. But if you have a quality visitor, well that's what makes all the difference. Having the approval of someone who is there to truly know the market, preview homes for clients and know the new inventory is the approval that matters.
And so it goes with God's approval. I can seek the approval of the masses but that kind of approval won't do me any eternal good. The approval that matters and counts is the approval of one, the approval of THE One. I can't earn that approval by staging my personal house, my life, with the best furniture. Heaven knows I can never have clean enough spiritual windows. Thankfully, God's approval and validation isn't contingent on how well my house shows. Approval in God's sight comes when I have a surrendered spirit and humble heart. It is what is going on in the deepest corners of my house that garners the most encouraging comment cards from God.
So to all of the agents that didn't come to my agent open house today, thank you. I learned a lesson from the blank comment cards you unknowingly left behind. God reminded me that I am here to live for His approval alone. The way in which I order my life and stage my internal house should always be to please and honor Jesus Christ first and foremost.
When God leaves a comment and encourages me with feedback such as "shows beautifully," I will know that I have something better than a sold sign and hefty commission check coming. I will know that I have eternal life for the future and a life that shines for the glory of God in the here and now.

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