A few weeks ago, my grumpy old cat Gus got out of the backyard and went on a near weeklong adventure. For some people this might not be a big concern but for me it meant every day and night we were on the hunt for Gus considering he’s 16 years old, very small, declawed in the front and deaf. While it may not seem like a cat going missing in a neighborhood has a lot to do with real estate there were quite a few correlations came to mind over the week. 

First, I made the mistake at first of relying on technology with things like his microchip, Facebook posts and nextdoor neighborhood groups. I suppose this might be something that for sale by owners might think as well, such as relying on Zillow and social media to get the word out about their houses. When in fact it was the combination of hitting the pavement, word of mouth and technology that brought him home. 

After searching high and low in the house, backyard, deck and putting out all of Gus’ favorite things along with calling the local vets and shelters, it was the old school method of neighbors, signs and sightings that brought him home. Besides sending text messages with pictures to the handful of neighbors we talk to regularly, it was a sighting from a girl in the neighborhood that got the ball rolling. Although we didn’t know about the sighting until several hours after it happened after it was posted on nextdoor, it was the spark we needed and a starting point. We focused on that area, talked to everyone out walking that night all over the neighborhood and surrounding streets, had friends share with their neighbors nearby, people checking their ring cameras, signs printed and ready to go for anyone that would walk by proudly showing Gus’ picture, where and when he was last seen along with some of his common behaviors that might make him stand out. The hustle and creativity that not every agent has, is what stood out to me the way it relates to real estate. When a property may not sell right away or not have the traffic that might be expected, what happens? While a first impression and early marketing is always important, there’s more that can be done like door knocking to surrounding houses and neighborhoods, connecting with lenders and other agents as well as consistency in communication and responsiveness. 

It worked! About 12 hours after the initial sighting of Gus on the sixth day he was back home by 6:30 am with a follow up sighting and post on a website called Pawboost. He was a little skinnier, with a bum leg and happy to see me. He was extra sleepy his first few days back home and after a very expensive check up at the vet, he’s going to be just fine. It seems it is going to take more than a week on the run to take the old man out, just like it will take more than a hurdle or two in a transaction for me to quit on a client or transaction.

 While I may not be the best cat owner in the world and Gus proudly wears his apple air tag on his collar now, I promise to work just as hard for my clients to find buyers for their houses just like I worked to find Gus.

Posted by Ariel Christy on
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