Missoula, Montana, Sergeant Mulvaney, and How I Fell in Love with Redfin's Clients

Mulberry StreetAs a Redfin agent, I’m on the phone with clients most of the day. First Time Homebuyers, Dealhounds, Investors, Upsizers, and Downsizers all make an impact on my daily life. The other day I realized something- most people would be either apathetic or cynical after dealing with this many people day in and day out. I’m not, though. “Why is this?” I asked myself. I would like to think that its a statement about my extraordinary patience, or supernatural graciousness, or general love of people. I would like to think that. I would be wrong. The fact is, I am lucky to interact with some of the finest and most diverse people in the Seattle area, and conversing with them on a daily basis makes my life richer.

Oh yeah, and they’re not boring either.

Since the birth of my son 3 years ago, my knowledge of the literary works of Dr. Suess has skyrocketed. In fact, you could probably call me a Seussologist. My most recent favorite is And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. If you haven’t had a chance to read this masterpiece, I recommend that you spend the 13 – 15 cents necessary to make it happen. It is the journey of a young boy named Marco, who on his way to school runs into chariot drivers, Eskimos, a Rajah, a brass band, the Mayor, Sergeant Mulvaney (a motorcycle policeman), a magician, and of course a man with a ten foot long beard. So, leave it to me to visualize my Redfin clients as part of this caravan of uniques that make their way down Mulberry Street. Now, I think at this point it would be wise for me to clarify what I mean by that. I’m not saying my clients have ten foot long beards or ride blue elephants or belong in the company of Hurley from Lost, but what I’m saying is that Redfin clients are just unique enough to make you fall in love with them.

Last year when I was taking a trip through the Rockies, I made a stop in Missoula, Montana. I love that town. There is a big letter M on the side of a hill, and apparently everyone in town has taken the time to hike to the top of it. This “let’s climb a mountain, own some land, and be a part of our environment” spirit is one aspect of what makes Missoula unique… but there is something else which makes Missoula unique too – people get along there. I mean they really get along – Republicans, Democrats, Constitutionalists, Libertarians – everyone. You’re just as likely to run into a gun slinging cowboy as you are a sandal wearing Harvard grad, and in some cases they end up being the same person. You see, its not political beliefs or fashion or financial status which unite these very different demographics, rather it’s the respect of allowing people to do things their own way. It is this independent spirit which exudes from Redfin’s Clients, and in the end, it is this spirit which makes me root for them, respect them, and attempt to give them the best experience I possibly can.

It’s been an adventure since I began working at Redfin. My clients have ranged from local TV personalities to MIT professors to ranchers. They fight just as hard for their $120,000 condo in Lakewood as they do for their 1.2 million dollar home on Mercer Island. They do things like negotiate barn cats into $900,000 transactions and put unlimited escalation clauses into contracts. They blog about their experience when they’re happy and they do the same when they’re unhappy (see comments). They agonize over data about whether they should list their house on a Tuesday or a Friday, and they spend their Wednesday nights eating pizza with us in downtown Seattle in order to learn the Yoda-esque secrets for getting the best deal on a home. Simply stated, they don’t even march to the beat of a different drummer. They refuse to march at all.

What’s so perfect about this whole situation is that Redfin’s agents have the same revolutionary quirkiness about us. Consider the background of our agents: one is an Opera singer, another is a volunteer firefighter, and another just got back from traveling the world (literally the whole way around the world). Some speak Spanish and another speaks Arabic. We have experts on manufactured homes (that would be me) and experts on Belltown condos. Some of us own investment properties, and others of us are waiting to buy until the market further softens. All of us though hope to make the real estate industry better through our unique approach to serving clients.

And so it turns out we’re a good match for each other. We eccentrics can stick together, do real estate a little different, and in the end make the whole industry a little better.

So here is to the notoriously quirky, meticulously analytical, boisterously different cavaliers that are Redfin’s clients and agents. You have made my job more rewarding and my mind more thoughtful. Each day is an adventure as I work together with you to help you buy your dream home.

Until next time…. when we see each other on Mulberry Street.

Bonus: Did you know there is a Dr. Suess National Memorial?

Photo Courtesy of thepocket.com