Boycott Foley Family Wines,  Title Insurance

Some people came and listened, some of them came and played

It has been a long week.  I’m not sure why I took a divorce listing.  I guess I thought they could act right for the period of the listing.  Not so much.  Coupled with two and a half days out of town and the house being torn up so that the carpets could be cleaned while I was gone and you can put a fork in this dog.

We went down to Monterey for a seminar.  At the end of the day I believe it’s a system I need to make my business work better. I was even more interested once I found out that a local top producer who I really respect was there and used the system.  I’m not necessarily sure why I would want to give a rich man more money, but  conversely, what I’m doing is only marginally working.  And I really am not doing a great job with the nuts and bolts of running my personal business.

They went into great length about how most real estate agents are average, most people for that matter.  I’d say there’s a lot around here that are less than average, marginal on a good day.  I’m good at what I do, I’m just not great at the part where I do the books, plan the day, that sort of stuff.  I think my clients get exemplary service from a smart negotiator with a good eye for real estate.  My office looks like a crime scene.  That makes it harder for me to be good.  And I typically have no idea what’s in the bank and what bills are due, I don’t know my marketing budget and I’m not getting out on my bike like I want to because of the lack of organization.  What’s worse, I don’t really know how it should be.  So I chose to go with some business coaching to get this thing turned around.  And like I said, one of the area’s top producers was there, a member of the choir.  And it’s not like I don’t see her CLS550 parked out in front of my gym every morning.

I know I am not average in general.  But I am doing an average job of some things right now.  Even my income which took a beating for about six months, was way above average for a Realtor.  I am not an average weightlifter, I am one of the better powerlifters in the country.  In my age/weight class I am the best.  I played for the All Blues when they went to the Nationals.  We didn’t win it all but I played on the second best rugby club in the country.  Not average.  As a Title Officer I never got to put “Underwriter” on my business card, but I underwrote with higher caps than most people will in their entire career.  I did billion dollar transactions, with a phone call.  Not average.  I sent two people to jail earlier in my career for fraud.  One was stealing from private lenders the other was stealing from old ladies.  Both incidents ended up on the 5 o’clock news.  Not average.  As a notary I stopped a major loss.  I was asked to go to the jail to sign off the seller.  I got there and it was a lady probably 50 years old sitting out there in Santa Rita.  I asked the question.  “What’s she in jail for?”  As it turned out, she was in jail for stealing the house she was trying to sell.  No one recorded anything to alert anyone.  Not your average notary.  And I defy you to find someone has blown up a decent title career better than I did. I get asked all the time if I’m a dog trainer.  I’m not.  I have never been trained, but I train my dogs.  Better than average.  Not quite ring quality, but far superior to everyone else.  You should see us walking down the street.  Both dogs are at heel, shoulder to shoulder not pulling and even these two goofballs will sit in unison.  (Xica and Beauregard were precision)

I don’t want an average or even a better than average real estate career.  I would figure it out eventually on my own, but in this economy I don’t have room or time for missteps.  I blow it and we’re living in a refrigerator box under the 680.  I’m going with a new system, I am the converted, and I hope it works.

While we were in Monterey, we spent most of our free time drinking wine.  Except the times we drank beer or in Sonofabun’s case, vodka.  We stopped by a little store called Wine from the Heart.  They did little tastings.  It was kind of wierd in that they poured wine out of the bottles, in to little tiny one ounce bottles or two ounce whatever it was and then served those to the customers.  Those had little bitty lids on them and it all seemed like a lot of labor for not much return to me.  When we arrived there were two ladies at the bar.  Two hammered real estate agents from Cupertino.  The young man behind the counter pulled down a Foley and suggested we try that.  Well, you can only imagine how that went.  I got to preach the gospel to these ladies.  Neither of them used Fidelity, they hated how Fidelity treated their staff.  Hallelujah!  One of gal’s Mom worked for Fidelity.  Preach it Sister Winedog!  Don’t like his business practices in the title industry?  Do your Mom a favor and don’t drink his plonk.  Can I get an amen?  She says “the company is making money but the employees haven’t gotten any of their paycuts back”.  Testify!  It was a good night.

To that end, Fidelity posted a first quarter profit amidst a bunch of leveraging, restructuring of debt and, oh yeah, lay offs and crushing pay cuts for everyone but the executive team.  There is your feel good story of the day.  They did some squirrelly restructuring thing with the tranches, but that stuff has always made my brain bleed.  Suffice it to say it gave them some wiggle room and reduction in debt service.  Naturally with all that executive decision making those boys are exhausted, so giving Foley himself a 170% raise while all of his staff sits there with up to 40% in salary reductions makes sense.  That’s right 170% pay raise for Foley himself.  For the love of God, listen to me, don’t drink his plonk.

Clifford Bay
Firestone Vineyard
Foley Estates
Lincourt Vineyards
Three Rivers Winery
Wattle Creek

Leave a Reply