11/03/09

Meetings with Remarkable Clients.

One of the most memorable real estate outings I ever heard about was from an Agent in my office.

One day, she got a call, from somebody’s representative and agreed to meet with a prospective buyer, sight unseen, at a large gated Pebble Beach property to start the tour of wealthy homes for sale in the area.   The commission on a  $10-$20  million home?  Too hard to resist the temptation. Gotta show some property to whoever shows up.

Turned out to be the black sheep scion of a well-known San Francisco-based family. He was a trust fund baby and the family’s fortune was centered around a signature product that had been a household name for most of the 20th Century.

Of course, it also turned out that this trust fund baby, was in his early 50’s.  He showed up in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce limo. Silk pajamas, plush crushed velvet smoking jacket. A thin white duke of a man in heel-less slippers, he almost glided across the ground as he shuffled forward, rounding around the side of the car. It could have been Hugh Hefner.  He had that odd caricature-like presence, that comes from living too long disconnected from the bigness of one’s own life.  This Hugh was additionally infused with a heapin’ helpin’ of  Howard Hughes-ness –  a once vital soul snatched up in the jaws of something unfathomable and carried into the dark night of the underworld, living some kind of lopsided, agoraphobic half-life in a twilight existence bound to a strange ethereal state of non-being.

He never went anywhere without his colorful pet duck trailing behind him tethered by a long, silver leash.  The duck was as well-trained as any show dog. Smart and well mannered. It knew it’s place in the hierarchy of things. The uniformed chauffeur following up the rear in this motley caravan of three, carrying a plastic bag in one hand, just in case.

This Agent, showed this client at least 5 different properties over the course of a day in Pebble Beach. She would lead the Rolls Royce through each princely gate, down the long winding approach of the estate driveway. Get out of her car first. Go up to the door and somehow explain to however answered that a man in silk pajamas and smoking jacket, accompanied by his pet duck and trusty chauffeur, was about to come through to tour the home.

 

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