I remember the movie Reservoir Dogs, which I believe was one of Quentin Tarantino’s first films. I love his action/demented dialogue/artistic style but one scene sticks out above all others in the movie. It was the diner scene when Mr. Pink refuses to tip the waitress saying that he doesn’t believe in tipping. “You don’t tip at McDonalds and they serve you food…so why should I feel compelled to tip a waitress?” That was Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire fame. Mr.White, played by Harvey Keitel then tells him in a way that only Tarantino can, that waitressing is the most common profession for women and that they work for their tips and are paid below minimum wage.
Well most of my female friends are Real Estate agents and guess what they are not paid anything. They work for tips only. The tip they receive in the form of a commission check and that is all they get paid. No sale…no tip…no income.
I bring this up because so many buyers are like Mr. Pink. They fail to get it. We are not out there driving around, previewing houses, showing houses, writing contracts because we have nothing better to do until Friday when payroll checks are cut. They forget this small detail if they ever knew it to begin with. People seem to generally project their fashion of generating money on everyone else, no matter the professional and don’t realize that as a real estate professional our only true inventory is our time. They are under a misunderstanding and it is up to us to remember the truth. Not to remind them, but to remind ourselves.
The best way to remember this little nugget is to work with only the most motivated buyers and sellers and not waste our time (that only we know the value of) on potential buyers that are not as interested in buying a house as we are in selling them a house. When we are the only ones that are motivated, the scales of power shift into the hands of the people that may be looking but not determined to buy. We have to shift that balance back into our favor by not worrying about making every deal happen but allowing the deals that want to happen, happen more often.
To fail to do this could have us working as a waitress in a lousy diner and being harassed by ugly little men that don’t believe in tipping.