Posted by: Marty Fahncke | February 7, 2007

Don’t prejudge people

I was reading Early To Rise this morning (every marketer or business person should subscribe, and it’s free), and one comment in today’s newsletter reminded me about an experience in my life where first my impressions were wrong… About 15 years ago, I was working as a real estate agent in Northern Utah.  At that time and place, the average house sold for about $70,000.   

One day, I was sitting in the office “on call” meaning I was the agent assigned to take any calls to the office from people looking for information, but not for a specific agent.   I got a call for a house listed out in the country, and the people wanted to see it right away.  Normally, the procedure is to have the people come to the office, pre-qualify them with a bank, establish their budget and criteria, THEN go show them houses.   However, this time I didn’t follow procedure, because the house was right on my way home anyway, and they seemed very eager to see it.   

I agreed to meet them in an hour.   As I pulled up to the house, a beat up, rusty pick-up truck sat out front, filled with people.  As the people started getting out, my heart sank.  This three passenger truck was filled with at least five or six members of the most redneck, hillbilly family you’ve ever seen. Dirty clothes, missing teeth, the whole shebang.   My heart sank as I quickly sized up the situation, and realized I was wasting my time.   I thought.  

The patriarch of the group came over, shook my hand and said, “Well, we got here early, and the folks inside saw us waitin’, so they let us in.  We already looked at the house, and we want it fer sure.  So…do I just give this to you then?” At that point, he reached into his jacket and pulled out $100,000 IN CASH! 

It turns out his wife was one of those construction-site-stop-sign-holder people, and had been hit by a car.  The $100 K was their settlement, and they didn’t believe in banks, so they actually got the attorneys to give them the money in cash, which he had been carrying around in his pocket, looking for a house!  One of the fastest and easiest sales I ever made, and sixty seconds earlier, I was thinking there was no hope.   Since that time, I’ve made a strong effort never to pre-judge people.



  1. Great post.

  2. Ok, that’s a great story.

    I suppose that back then, you didn’t even have to fill out a form reporting the cash transaction to the feds, did you?


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