A Man’s Actions Speaks To His Character

A man’s actions speak to his character. Since I was taught the concept of that phrase by my friend Roy Rike, nothing has surprised me.

I used to be disappointed when people would not respond promptly to a correspondence or would cancel at the last moment, but now I know that it would have been out of character for them to carry out an obligation. It was infuriating to try to help someone who would slap my hand away, until I figured out they were destined to fail.

Since learning that phrase nothing has surprised me and when I look back on events of the past, I can clearly see now that they were a forgone conclusion, dictated by each individual’s character. One such event was the purchase of my current home.character words

I will start by saying that if a person’s actions speak to their character that by conventional logic, a person’s character dictates their actions. When I sold my last house, I was approached by a friend of a friend. He wanted to list my house. I asked him if he had ever sold a house before (I could smell rookie on him) he said “Yes”. I told him I wanted him to send me a complete listing of his houses sold in the last 2 years. He stuttered, he stammered and he confessed… “I have never listed a house…” but he is trying to break into the business and “if you give me a chance, I will do my very best for you…” I wanted to let him down easy so I told him that he was a liar and I was not going to trust the sale of my house to such a person.

What are the odds that he was going have my best interests in mind if he lies to get the job in the first place. When I selected the person who was going to sell my house, I selected the guy that sold A LOT of houses. He was a high protein salesman and he did not fool around. He sold the house in 3 days for more than his competitors wanted to list it for.

When it came time to buy my house, I used Amy MacDonald. Why? Because she was an irrefutable winner. She was an outstanding buying agent. She had the winning attitude and she was unstoppable… well she was almost unstoppable.

She was 8 months pregnant at the time and did need to take a little time to give birth.

She made arrangements for someone else to show us potential homes while she took a break for something much more important. She made arrangements with an agent local to the area who she did not personally know, but came highly recommended. Although others told her that he was a top agent, it turned out that he was in reality a bottom feeder.

To Amy’s credit, she has never said a bad word about him and during our last conversation she claimed to have forgotten his name. She is a class act, this guy, not so much.

He showed us a house that was, in technical terms, a piece of garbage. He then called us later that evening and to tell us that the house just went under contract. I asked him, “With who? The humane society because they figured it would be easier than moving all the cats living in the garage?” He said that is the way the real estate market is moving these days and that we had better “act fast”.

See this is called creating urgency. It is why certain advertisements urge you to “act now”, “limited time offer” and “supplies are limited”. This is why that store near your house has a liquidation sale or a “going out of business” sign hung, ALL THE TIME. This is why sometimes on late night TV you see an ad with a count down clock and if you don’t call now, they will refuse to take your money in exchange for goods and/or services. It is an old sales trick, one I did not need applied by someone working FOR me. This guy is supposed to work for me, his job is not to sell me, it is to transact the purchase on my behalf.

Lover's LaneAlthough we had many run ins with this degenerate, one of the most glaring demonstrations of his character was “Lover’s Lane”. We were looking at a house that had many great qualities and he was trying to make a sale, which, once again, THAT IS NOT HIS JOB. He pointed into the woods and said, can’t you just picture your kids playing out there. I said no, since there was a road that was going to run right through it. He laughed and said, “What? Are you talking about Lover’s Lane? That will never happen”. He went into a tornado of reasons why that could never happen. Zoning, The DEP, the EPA, WBLM, Wetlands, Rachel Carson, stump tax and anything else he could say to make the sale.

I looked over at him and I said, “You’re fired”.

In a short period of time this greasy salesman lied, attempted to pressure us, tried to get us to sign an exclusive agreement with him and shaft our agent (and friend). His actions definitely spoke to his character. It is one of the greatest pleasures in life that now that I am a successful businessman that I get to tell each one of my clients looking to sell or buy a house to stay clear of him and the agency for which he is affiliated.

Epilogue:

What ever happened to the “Cat House”? Well, three years later and it is still for sale.

“Lover’s Lane”? I see it each day when I drive my son to school. Its a nice little dirt road lined with a fair amount of new construction.

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Eric Simonds MsFP, is the owner of Saltwater Harbor Financial, LLC.  He bough a house in Brunswick from a realtor with true character and now teaches first time homebuyer course for a variety of organizations including community action programs and credit unions.  Eric takes pride in being a man of character and not “selling” his clients insurance, annuities nor financial products.

About

Eric Simonds has a passion for helping others. Over the past 12 years, Eric has gained his skills and credentials through both private and public sector careers in policy and compliance. This experience, in addition to his Masters of Financial Planning from Golden Gate University, allows him to provide quality financial planning to all Maine families through Saltwater Harbor. Eric takes great pride in operating his own financial planning practice, knowing he makes a difference in the lives of his clients. His motivation for success is fueled by his clients’ accomplishments and ability to achieve their financial dreams with his guidance.

Eric is both a 2011 National Huguenot Scholarship recipient and the sole 2012 National Association Professional Financial Advisors Merit Scholar. In addition to his Masters in Financial Planning, Eric also holds Bachelor degrees from both the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. Highly involved in his local community and family, he resides in Brunswick with his wonderful wife, Kate, their two amazing sons, two naughty dogs and a cat.