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You can check out everything about a house from whether
itís ever been used as a meth lab to whether someone died in it
by going to websites like
When my beautiful bride and I put our
house on the market four months ago, the good part was that it
sold within 24 hours.
The bad part
was that we had to find another house in a market where demand
is high and supply is low.
After looking at dozens of
properties, we had a hard time remembering which was
which. She solved this problem by nicknaming houses
like buyers do on HGTV.
One was Jungle House
because the back yard was so overgrown that I left with bug
bites on my legs.
Another was KISS House because it
had so many photos of the band. (We thought the owner must be an
obsessive fan, but later found out he was the band's manager.)
Another was Seventies Songwriter House because it was
built in 1970 by a country music tunesmith.
each house online to see how much
homeowner's insurance and power bills are, if any child
molesters live nearby, etc., so that we could move quickly when
we found the right one.
Then last week I received a
strange email from Shelia, a customer service rep at our
insurance agency. It read:
"Glenn, Just following up to
see if I can help in your home search. I know you can't buy
Earnest Hemmingway's house, but wanted to see if you're going to
buy Kenny Rogers' house."
remembered that when we bought our last house six years ago, I
mentioned that my fantasy would be to own Earnest Hemmingway's
house in Key West. As someone who makes a large part of my
living from writing, living in the home of a such a legendary
writer would be great inspiration.
But I was
confused about the reference to Kenny Rogers. We didn't look at
Kennyís house, and donít even think he lives in Nashville.
What I didnít know was that when my beautiful bride called
to get a quote on insurance for Seventies Songwriter's House,
she mentioned that the homeís first owner had written several
#1 hits, and Sheila asked what some of them were. Because she was a big Kenny Rogers fan, the only one she remembered was Kennyís song "Daytime Friends and Night Time
While Shelia confused a writer with a
singer, she hit the bull's-eye dead on when it came to serving her
customer. In fact, she did the most important thing you can do
in customer serviceÖ
She listened to and paid
attention to what matters to the customer.
No surprise, we had Seventies Songwriter's House with the
guitar shaped pool under contract within 48 hours. And
it's also no surprise that Sheila's agency will continue to have
me as a loyal customer, as they have for nearly 30 years.
Customers will forget what you do and say, but theyíll
forget how you make them feel.
Sheila remembered how
much I love history and music, which made me feel like we
mattered to her, and werenít just another account number.
To Your Success,
The original owner also penned "Kiss an Angel Good Morning" for Charlie Pride. He wrote it
about his daughter Angela (nicknamed Angel), after his wife told
him he needed to spend more time with her. We plan on inviting
his widow and daughter over for a walk down memory lane, and to
share more stories. If they accept
our invitation, itíll be a living rendition of another country
song, "The House that Built Me" by Miranda Lambert.
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