Hot or Not: A Tale of Two E-mails

I find myself wondering today whether I suck or not.

I can handle all the talk of sales data being published, even though it will have zero context as to what may constitute “good”, and I can deal with the idea of online agent reviews, though I know people tend to be much more bold hiding behind a keyboard than they are in real life. But today’s examination is a tad closer to home …

Here was the day’s first e-mail:

Thanks for the update. I had a chance to talk with Kim last night about finding a home here and we both agreed that it makes the most sense to go with a realtor who lives in the area we want to buy in. That person would be an expert for that specific area. With you being in Gilbert we feel that it is just not going to work out for us to continue. We are on a very short time line which adds to the anxiety and frustration with this process and I am going to need to see as many homes as I can in the shortest time possible. The do want to thank you for what you have done so far for us and hope you have great success going forward. If you would like to talk live I would be more than willing to speak with you. I just thought an e-mail might be better at this time.

I get it. In fact, ever since discovering the girl working at the local pizza place is a doppleganger for my first girlfriend, I’ve found myself giving thought to the first time I heard this song and dance. It’s not you, it’s me. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

What bothered me, though, was the flawed reasoning involved. There can be some confusion about where I am since Thompson’s Realty is based in Gilbert. Reality is, I don’t know anything about Gilbert other than it’s a long ways away and my broker apparently has a 10,00o-square-foot castle there complete with moat, alligators and peacocks. Or maybe it’s only a Beemer.

I live in Glendale, work in Glendale and have built a career in the areas surrounding the Loop 101 over the past seven-plus years. Forgive the ego, but you’re not going to find a better buyer’s agent in the Northwest Valley than yours truly. My clients would agree.

There’s also the issue of firing someone via e-mail, a communications faux pas that I discussed on the book blog I’ve started as a hobby.

Moving along in the day, I received this in another e-mail …

She has VERY poor communicaton skills and is not very agressive for us in trying to nail down an accepted offer. We feel we need to move in a different direction. … So what I’m trying to get at is that if this offer is not accepted I will cease business with her and will be needing another agent to help my wife and I find our home. I liked how eager you were to help before and hope that you can help us.

And we’re already off and rolling with listings e-mailed matching the buyer’s requirements and an appointment scheduled for Sunday after I take a day’s break for Yom Kippur.

So, do I suck or not? Deep down, I know the answer to that question though the ego still gets as bruised now as it did 20-odd years ago on a grassy knoll at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. Ego aside, though, I don’t need the business of the first set of buyers. I want it, I want to earn it, but my world and my business is far from shattered without it.

Perhaps they’ll find someone better. Perhaps not. The last buyer who fired me in such a manner ended up buying 30 miles further west than they had said they wanted to be, adding about 45 minutes plus to the commute the wife specifically said she wanted to shorten.

Others have come my way after spending days looking at homes in the areas that the agent wants to show, not necessarily the areas the buyers want to be. Not exactly the best use of time.

I’ll concede I’m slightly arrogant on the topic and I’ll also concede it’s a somewhat more placid mask to hide some lifelong insecurity. At the same time, if I didn’t believe that I was the best at what I would do, I wouldn’t waste my time or my buyers’ and sellers’ doing it.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

1 Comment

  • Jim Little 6 years ago

    I recently closed on a Ventana Lakes home because of an email like the second. I like those.
    Shona Tovah

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