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Re-Learning Tom Hopkins’ “Unbelievable” Message

Yesterday I was in the midst of the particular hell known as the Costco roadshow, standing a few feet away from some fairly horrible dresses for toddlers and a really great five-piece gas fire pit with deep reclining chairs, being ignored by everyone who passed by when I saw a pair of agents who used to work in my office.

As per personal custom if not unwritten NAR rule, the first question I asked was how their business was going. I was assured in no uncertain terms that they had never been busier, to the point they didn’t really have time to chat with those of us trying to gain business at the local Costco.

(For the record, I didn’t expect to get any business from Costco. I was there as a favor to the person in my office who organized the road shows; she left the company a month ago, and I still was there trying to put together a display stand that was one pole short.)

Being the highly if not oversensitive person that I am, I came home and used my Wyldfyre software to determine just how much business these folks had done this year. I wasn’t just being catty – only 92% so – because their primary farm is Westbrook Village, an active adult community I’ve been working to gain a toehold in for about a year (with decent success, I might add.)

(And you may be asking how many parenthetical comments I might be adding before today’s post is done. At which point I’ll tell you the over-under is 15. Consider yourself warned and get some more coffee as needed.)

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The grand total? Two closed transactions. Dos. Sh’tayeem.

Remember the scene in American Pie 2 when they discuss then rule of three? (I don’t feel hurt if you don’t remember as the whole movie was utterly forgettable, especially when measured against the too-funny-to-breathe original.) This experience got me to thinking what factor would be appropriate for calculating actual real estate transactions versus what agents will tell each other?

Are sales three times less than people claim? Four? 18?

If anything this whole episode is evidence of the frail state of most real estate agent’s ego, which may or may not be a factor of current market conditions. In boasting of our own success, real or not, we somehow make ourselves feel better by hoping we’ve made the other person feel so bad they leave the business.

Or something like that.

(I wrote this whole post and never got back to the title. Stupid me. So the moral of today’s story is … stick to Tommy Hopkins’ “unbelievable” for an answer of how business if going. You won’t be a miserable liar and the rest of us won’t feel bad.)

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Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Ginger Wilcox

    November 4, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Unbelievable! What a great way to answer this question.

  2. Mariana

    November 8, 2007 at 2:53 am

    I love it (almost as much as the parenthetical comments)! Unbelievable is the best answer …

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