I was at a meeting with some potential new clients the other day. In the process of getting to know these people, I was struck by some of the things they said. They were sort of in their own bubble, and thought I was with them, but I really had no idea about some of the things they were talking about. They didn’t like straws made of plastic. The best I could figure is that they were for the environment. The thing that I admired about them was that they were committed to something. They were sincere in their efforts and not condescending or anything like that towards my indifference to their issues. I told them what I would tell anyone looking to buy a home; My job is to help you find your dream home or sell your current home. It’s not my job to judge or advocate personal positions I have. I will put a few instances in this post about things I have advocated for in the past, however. It should shed some light on how I look at things.
Professional Baseball Ends With Sadness
When I was in college, Albert Pujols was a rookie. He had an amazing rookie year and went on to have many good years. I don’t think I’ve seen a better hitter with the combination of average and power that he had. 2011 was his free agent year with the Cardinals. I felt like he was going to go wherever the money was, and it had nothing to do with liking the Cardinals or not. The whole season was sort of clouded by this feeling of will he stay or will he go. He said he wanted to stay. The Cardinals said they wanted to keep him. But for me, it didn’t matter. Someone was going to give him a huge contract. The Cardinals didn’t have a great track record of handing out record contracts either. They also acquired Matt Holiday in 2009 and they had signed him to a new contract in 2010, so I wondered if the Cardinals were really going to keep both players. The sports media in St. Louis seemed to tilt towards paying Pujols. I don’t know what joe fan really wanted. To me, it seemed like Pujols should go. He was looking for more money, let him go get paid. I still felt bad about it, and I wanted him to stay with the Cardinals. He went to Anaheim, and then he signed a personal services contract for after his career was over. As hurt as I was, if Albert Pujols wanted to sell or buy a house in St. Louis tomorrow, I’d be happy to be his real estate agent, even though he plays for Anaheim. Heck, Jim Edmonds played for the Cubs! I’d buy or sell him a home, but I don’t think we run in the same circles.
Professional Football Ends With Sadness
I graduated from high school in 1995. That same year, the St. Louis Rams moved from California. How great was that? We finally had a football team that we could call our own again after having to watch the Chiefs for years with a constant reminder that we lost the Cardinals. I was so excited. I read every news article, and I knew all the players. I still think Lovell Pinkney was a talent and that the Rams didn’t use him right. I went to college in Springfield, MO, and they weren’t going to show the Rams on TV, even though they had an open slot for the NFC affiliate game. When I found out, I called the television station to complain. What a travesty you aren’t showing the Rams! They have Grant Wistrom! He’s from Webb City, just down the road from Springfield. The operator at the station said that was nice, but Springfield is Chiefs country so they didn’t really care. Anyway, I advocated for the Rams…I did my part.
Oddly enough, I was also fan of Stan Kroenke. His son played for the Mizzou basketball team, during the Quinn Snyder era, and if I remember right, he also had issues with concussions. Anyway, the press was always about how Stan had married a Walmart heir and that made him a billionaire, but I was smitten by his story that he’d worked at his parents’ lumberyard at an early age and then became independently wealthy in real estate development. I even downloaded a speech he gave at Mizzou once in the business school where he talked about the Chesterfield Valley development. I got a masters in Real Estate Development from the University of Denver partly because I wanted to be like Stan. Or so I thought. Stan even got involved with the ill fated St. Louis Stallions expansion attempt, because he liked St. Louis.
I was a fan of the Rams when they were awful in the mid 90’s and I was a fan when they were awesome in 99-01. I stayed a fan when they went back to being awful and I became skeptical of the NFL after the Rams lost to the Patriots where it sure did seem like they basically held the Rams receivers the whole game and the refs didn’t call anything.
Well, we kind of know how this story ends. In an odd set of events, Stan Kroenke’s minority interest in the Rams paid off when they were sold. At the time, he said that he was committed to keeping the team in St. Louis. He hired Kevin Demoff, who faithfully toted the company line that they were committed to staying in St. Louis. The St. Louis sports media seemed to be fixated on the terms of the lease and the integrity of the NFL. They reasoned that because the Rams said that they were going to stay, and because the NFL had relocation guidelines, the Rams would have to stay. The national media kept writing stories about how there was no fan support for the Rams, but they would neglect to mention that the Rams had the worst record in the league for about 10 years before they moved. I’ll never forget when word was leaked that Kroenke had purchased the Hollywood Park horse track and they said that Stan is a developer and that he buys land all the time, so no reason to think the Rams would move.
As a fan, to watch the team you rooted for for 15 years insist on moving and trashing the city on the way out wasn’t tenable. The day the Rams moved was the day I stopped watching the NFL. It was easy to see that I’d been tricked for years. Yet, I advocated for the Rams when they were here. I can’t stand any of them, from Stan Kroenke, to Kevin Demoff, to Roger Goodell. Still, if they were buying a house or selling one in St. Louis, I’d work with them. Because that’s my job, to sell houses.
Tower Tee Debacle
In my own backyard, I advocated for Tower Tee. When I was a kid, our family were members of Mackenzie Swim Club, which was on the property in the back. My friends and I used to spend almost every day at the pool. My first swings in a batting cage were at Tower Tee, and when I got older, I did use the driving range from time to time. Ah, the memories. When news broke that Tower Tee had been sold for development, I was crushed, Especially since the operator of Tower Tee originally wanted to stay in business. Whatever happens to the property next, it isn’t going to be the old Tower Tee driving range. My childhood memories were being erased literally less than a mile from my home. Where should I direct my anger? To the owners of the property, Tegna, who also own Channel 5 in St. Louis? Should I direct my anger at Channel 5? How about the developers, McBride, or J.H. Berra? If anyone from these organizations wanted to buy or sell their home in St. Louis, I’d work with them. Because that’s my job, to sell houses.
Taken To Extremes
Would you sell a home to a convicted felon? If they are out of prison, my job is to sell homes to people who can afford to buy them. It’s unseemly, I know, but sometimes your job isn’t pleasant. It’s not for us to advocate or judge people. I will say this: I can’t work with people where there isn’t a good fit, so if the other person was abusive towards me, or was threatening personal harm, or didn’t qualify for a mortgage but needed one to purchase a home, I can’t work with them.
We could pick any number of reasons not to patronize a business. And, I’m mindful that some businesses choose to use controversial causes to further their profits. However, at Deerwood Realty, our job is to help all people buy and sell houses. We don’t look at our real estate brokerage as a piggy bank from which to dictate to others positions we feel are pertinent for the time. Each of our clients can advocate for any number of positions they’d like, and we’re OK with that. We want you to find the home of your dreams, or help you sell a home that you’ve outgrown. It’s not about us, it’s about you. That’s the Deerwood Realty Advantage.