The text read: “sorry.busy

This after a whole series of dropped balls and failure to communicate from a “Professional” during a recent transaction. This was a deal that could have closed 2 weeks early (per the wishes of both Buyer & Seller) . . . but didn’t because the lender and Title Co were missing documentation that was to be provided by this agent.

We were down to the wire . . . within 24 hours of the deadline (closing) . . . all parties were ready to close . . . OOPS . . . no termite letter.

Securing a termite letter was the contractual responsibility of the Buyer (I had the seller) and thereby the Seller’s agent . . . This was the last of the dropped balls.

20 of the 24 hours passed with limited communication even as I offered to assist.

Closing was to be 11 AM . . . @ 9 AM, I receive a call from a termite inspector who was at the house expecting to meet me (REALLY?) . . . First I’d heard . . . Luckily, he had Keybox access and could do the inspection . . . but could not deliver or electronically send the letter til end of day and was unclear as to the other agent’s directions . . . so he left it at the house.

Again . . . I could not reach the agent to find out how that letter was going to make it the closing within (now) 1.5 hours.

So . . . I did what I had to do to serve my client best . . . postponed my next appointment, dropped everything I was doing, and scrambled to the car to make the hour long trip to the house and back with the letter . . . I walked into the Closing on time with the termite letter, and we enjoyed a smooth closing.

During the closing (@ 11:06) I received a text from the other agent. It said:



Who among us is NOT busy?

Too busy to handle the details of a closing?

Too busy to take care of contractual obligations?

What’s everyone to think about this level of service?

Is it arrogance?

Is it lack of organization?

Lack of training/knowledge?


Whatever it is, it leaves the feeling among everyone in the transaction that this person is handling “more important” things than attending to details of this closing.

and it underserves EVERYONE!

I believe this is the 80/20 principle at work.

20% of the professionals accomplish 80% of the productivity.

Those 20% are the ones who are never “Too Busy” to serve at a high level.

If/when they do start dropping balls (compromising their own very high standards), they find LEVERAGE – Hire an assistant – an apprentice – an associate.

The good news is that these 20%ers also do 80% of the transactions, so when there’s an 80%er on the other side of the transaction, the dropped balls can be handled.

We do this because it defines us . . . Our ability to serve at a high level (Even when doing things that “Aren’t my job”) and keep the flow of the transaction moving smoothly all the while being like a duck . . . Calm and unruffled on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath.

If you’re one of these 20%ERS, BRAVO! Please know that we ALL appreciate you.

If you’re one of these 80%ers, please get some help (Assistance, Training, etc)

Don’t ever be too busy to serve at a high level, or you’ll wake up one morning with no one to serve.

Just sayin’



PS – Sorry for the “Tough love” message this morning . . . Just had to get this off my chest 🙂

PPS – I founded Pareto Realty on the fundamental practice of the 80/20 principle (also known as the Pareto Principle) . . . The 20% are known as “The Vital Few” – The 80% are known as “The Trivial Many” . . . Our commitment s to “stay in the 20%” . . . and we’ll do whatever it takes to make happen consistently.

Always do the right thing for the client!

Published by Barry Owen

Residential Real Estate sales Strategist Search - Analysis - Negotiation - CLOSED Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities Invite-Listen-Love

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