By Jay Lieberman
A pair of jeans I bought a while back fit perfectly.
And, here’s a shocker for all those that parade around on Facebook showcasing their designer clothes. My new jeans are not one of the big brands. True Religion. 7 For All Mankind. Lucky Brand. Or Diesel.
Are you ready? Hold onto your panties and jockstraps.
I found them one day rummaging through the aisles of a random thrift shop in Thousand Oaks California.
OMG. Jay bought something at a thrift shop? The hell you say. How could it be?
But, it happened. It was a Saturday afternoon not long ago when this went down. I left the store only $10 lighter than I entered it.
And these jeans are by far my favorite pair I have ever bought, as directly compared to my other ridiculously costly jeans that litter my closet, unworn.
It’s like these new jeans are trying harder.
Almost like it knows no one really wanted it as much as its other expense cousins.
These jeans seem to hug me all day as if to say, “Thank you for believing in me.”
I can’t help but feel the same way right back at my new denim friend.
We have bonded since. When I have a bad week and ate like a pig, my buddy doesn’t grab me hard around the waste to remind me of my bad decisions. He doesn’t want to hurt my feelings or make me feel bad about myself.
And, he has that power.
He and I are in it for the long haul…together. And we both realize that.
This reminds me of a client I had a couple years ago that was coming back into the market to buy a home.
He was financially destroyed, like a lot of people, during the 2008 meltdown. Lost his house. His wife. His 3 grown kids moved away. For lack of a better word, his situation just plain old sucked.
He came to us 7 years after this onslaught, after he was able to rebuild slowly and was ready to get back into the American Dream of owning a home.
We love working with folks like this, as the added element of helping someone get back on their feet really makes the difficult deals worth it.
It turned out that he did not have enough money saved for a 3.5% down payment required for the most competitive FHA loan program and the look on his face when I told him was like looking back in time. All of his previous problems came rushing back right in our conference room.
I could cut the sadness in the air with a knife.
However, once we began discussing the potential for down payment assistance and a few other options, his world changed. We got the lender on the phone right then and there, got him pre-approved in a day and went shopping for townhomes.
to work with. He listened to everything we said. He followed our lead. He would apologize for calling too often or not calling enough – completely unnecessary, but important for him.
Just like my jeans, it became a give and take relationship.
Just like my jeans, he wanted to make sure we knew how valuable we were to him.
Just like my jeans, he was trying harder to be nice, compassionate and respectful because of what he went through years ago.
If the tension got high, he would ease up on us, to give us room to negotiate on his behalf. My new jeans do the same thing when I eat too much at Thanksgiving.
It is those that have seen their own weakness and fragility that care for the fragility of others; that have appreciation for others, for what they do, and create long standing relationships to be able to care for one another.
My jeans and this particular client are the same. They think they don’t have much to offer, either because they have been sitting on a clothes rack in a thrift store for 2 years or because they have been at the bottom.
But, what they don’t realize is that exact feeling they have is what makes them so incredibly special and appealing.
And that feeling of gratitude they have for others is priceless. These are the jeans and the people I want with me.
ABOUT THEM – Jay & Michelle Lieberman have been called “provocative and entertaining,” but also “committed philanthropists”. Entrepreneurs and relentless innovators of the real estate industry, creators of the “Value-Driven Approach to Sell Real Estate”, founders of the Conejo Valley Teacher Only Program, hosts of the Conejo Valley Advice Givers Podcast Show, and attorneys and real estate brokers at Keller Williams World Class in Southern California. They feel honored and blessed every day they are able to serve their clients, their family, friends and their community. You can reach them at info@TeamJayMichelle.com.