Posts Tagged ‘selling’

From the Editor’s Perch…

May 18, 2014

Carl1 (1) Carl1 (1)Web

Erasing Yourself

 

One of the hardest things when preparing your home for sale – beyond the enormous amount of work involved – is scrubbing the place of your personality.  We like to believe we’ve added something.  It’s a very special place and first, of course, we found it.   Homeowners, before they are anything else, are like happy, ruddy-faced beachcombers returning with a ‘found object’.  Perhaps it’s a conglomerate with a bit of barnacle, aggregated gravel, some seaweed and a seagull feather stuck hard to it – all with a greenish, slippery touch that doesn’t immediately suggest itself as a paperweight.  But this is what the realtor is for – for making this connection; for painting this realization!  Because then, after finding our home, we realized its potential.  Initially, it wasn’t that paperweight you see resting on my desk today.  Oh no, no, no, no…  A lot of effort, dare I say talent for this sort of thing, and money went into creating what you just saw.  Our place, though small, is a jewel, with tremendous sparkle in a one of a kind location which should provoke a quick sale at a high price.   All we really hope is that we can find the person for it that will appreciate it properly.  And all the realtor really has to do is to show it!  We smile and nod emphatically.

 

The realtor often doesn’t quite see it as we do.  Their excitement level may not be ours.  They might make a few suggestions, besides asking open-ended questions such as, “What kind of person do you see as buying a place like this?”  ‘Well,’ we supposed, ‘individuals much like us!’   (We smile and nod emphatically again.)

Or, they might not be suggestions.  “Those cat silhouettes (hanging on the window and inner door frames) should go.   Lots of people don’t like cats.”   “That moss on the patio stones should be pressure washed away.” – “But moss is beautiful.  It’s a romantic detail that defines a patio bower and fits it within the community of the other vegetation.”  The realtor shakes their head.  “It’s moss.”   – “But I like moss.”  Deadly pause.   We walk back into the home.  “The chandelier needs to go.  And everything in the kitchen should be packed away, except maybe for two canisters and a bottle of wine.”  “No personal pictures.”  “Think empty.  Space is better.”   “And, of course, it all needs re-painting.  But I wouldn’t bother about that.  The buyer can handle that after the sale.”  “And are we far enough out that they could cut down that cedar, or what are the rules here on that? ”  He asks, staring out the picture window.    –  “Don’t cut that  cedar.”  “It’s in the view.”  – “But the view is more than some stiff scene way in the distance which could be replaced by a painting.  It’s also trees and vegetation, and things closer by, that move!”  –  “The buyer is not going to care about that.”  – “Well, you might tell him that it can get real hot here in the summer on this hillside and if he cuts down that cedar he can figure on paying about $150/month more for watering.”  –  “I’m not going to tell him that.”

 

“You don’t like moss.  You don’t like trees.  You don’t like cats.  I can’t see us bonding,”  I tell the realtor halfway through our stroll.  He doesn’t respond; just looks at me.

“But,” I continue, “I don’t suppose that doesn’t mean we can’t work together.”

“It’s not what I like, or don’t like,” the realtor explains.  “As a professional, it’s my job to tell you the things which will help you to realize a quick and profitable sale.  And what I have been mentioning are those things.”

I nod my head.  “I guess my personality isn’t  worth much.”

No one says anything, and we continue on.

In the days that pass, what I can’t stuff into a carton for transfer to our new home, I farm out like a foster child, or trash.  For quite some time it will feel like we’re living in a motel.  My office has even developed an echo.  And I’m about ready to leave.

Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

August 6, 2011
I’ve Sweated This Out

 

Look at That Space Above Your Sofa!

“Every time your Editor posts a note the readership drops off.  So I’ve waited until we’re safely into the double digits before tilting these words at my latest windmill…

It has always seemed to me that one of the reasons for Art, is that it makes that space on the wall above our sofas look more interesting.  No harm.  The reverse of this, however, is that if you do purchase a work of Art to hang above your sofa – you do so because you would rather look at that Art than at a blank wall.

Which brings me to a criticism of actors which I make after directing on several occasions for the local stage.  Contemporary actors often seem to feel that if their acting embodies their character, then they have done their job.  But consider this for a minute in light of what I’ve said above:  The wall above your sofa perfectly embodies that wall.  A brick embodies a brick; a stone a stone…  The list, of course, is infinite.  Everybody you will pass on the street downtown perfectly embodies themselves.  Is everybody on the street interesting to watch?  Or are they interesting enough to PAY to watch?  …you’re right to keep a tight grip on your wallet.

A common feeling in the acting community is that ‘since I am good at what I do, I should be paid for it’.  The Producer’s reply to this demand is, “When you make me money, I will pay you money.”   This attitude among actors is a prime reason that so many fairly good shorts and films that get produced locally go nowhere – to the frustration of all involved.  The actors all feel they’ve done their job.  But by the producers benchmark they have failed.  And I think they fail because the actors have not recognized that they are in sales.  It is not enough to be a character; you have to SELL that character.  When you’ve sold your character, the person in the audience says to themselves, “I’m with THEM.”  That’s a fan, and that’s a paying customer. 

In most local films, I’ve seen very few actors who are willing to sell.  And when there is one who does, the character is so often so peripheral that there is no place for the audience to follow them to.  This common artistic mentality on the part of local actors seems to be the same with failed salespersons everywhere:  “ I showed up.  I worked hard.  I presented the product very professionally and credibly to lots of people.”  These hopeful ‘salespeople’ never realize that they weren’t selling; they were having conversations.  Selling is making people act.  Selling is making people want to DO something.  Selling is WANTING and ASKING and CLOSING.

I recently saw the film, “Aliens and Cowboys” (or “Cowboys and Aliens” – one or the other?).  In the first portion of the movie I was surprised that Daniel Craig struck me as the better actor, and that Harrison Ford seemed to measure up short by comparison.  He just didn’t quite feel right in his character.  Daniel Craig is so strongly carved as to feel almost feral, and he certainly was riveting to watch as the tough, violent, lone Westerner.  But in the latter half of the movie, as soon as Harrison Ford softened and produced his famous wizened, half-smile – my immediate reaction was, “I’m with him.”  Harrison Ford knows how to sell himself (and his characters).  There is a reason for his box office success.”  – Editor

Photo by Anonymous


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