Myka Allen-Johnson left her teaching job after she had her life threatened, thumb broken, and hair torn out. But that was just the warm-up routine. Now she’s here to talk about how crazy her life has been since then, after she became a real estate professional.
It’s telling that, though her very first experience with real estate (as a teen accompanying her house-hunting parents) involved encountering a dead body, Johnson is still in it to win it. In her book, Tales From Sales: Outrageous, Hilarious and True Stories From Home Sales, Johnson navigates the silly and macabre with a larger-than-life Texas attitude.
As you may remember, we’ve reviewed the true-stories-in-real-estate type of book before (most recently Rosalind Russell’s). What makes this collection different is that all these stories happened to one woman in a little Texas town called Killeen. While this singular approach does remove some of the variety, it also gives these stories the personal touch that is often missing from compilation-based books.
Johnson introduces us to characters from the bearded lady whose air conditioner was eaten by a pack of wild dogs to the god-fearing mime to the woman who chewed a model home out of almost all of its fake wax fruit. Continue reading »
Ever walked into a private moment during a showing? Been tormented by a seller’s serpent? You’re not alone.
Confessions of an Estate Agent, by Rosalind Russell, is a collection of funny, embarrassing and entirely true stories from real estate professionals across the pond. Originally published in a week-day column in The London Evening Standard, Russell used her eight years of experience publishing the column to curate a hilarious, yet touching volume, illustrated with cartoons by Merrily Harpur.
Because each entry is just a paragraph, this is the perfect little book to throw in a bag for when you’re waiting in line at the post office. It would also serve as a great pick-me-up at the end of a difficult or strange day out in the field. Just knowing that you’re not the only one who’s been put out by a seller’s crazy requests or had their new suit ruined by a flying can of house paint can help ease the blow. And thanks to the subject-specific chapters, you can choose your salve to match the offense.
Of course there are some cultural differences; even the mere title of the book hints that they handle the particulars of a real estate transaction a bit differently in Great Britain. But the same frustrations regarding bureaucracy, unrealistic clients, and showing surprises are common over here too. And sometimes the differences are enlightening, or even encouraging.
Overall, one gets the impression of a dedicated workforce willing to go above and beyond the norm to make buying, selling, renting, and just plain living as easy as possible for their clients. Even when those clients happen to be totally crazy.
Though I loved reading it for the laughs, it also made me a bit nostalgic for our old column, In the Trenches (for those who aren’t acquainted, here’s an example). What do you think: Is this the sort of feature you’d like to read more of? Or do you hear enough of these stories around the office? Let me know in the comment section below.