Case II: Chapter 7: A Real Real Estate Experience
Later that afternoon, Dudley stopped in to see Isabella Duncan to ask about the real estate agent that she had mentioned previously. As each day had passed, he realized more and more that he should not delay selling his home in Cerrillos.
“I’m glad you’ve made this decision, Doc. I know it will be hard to leave the home you shared with you late wife, but it really is for the best. Let me call Hannah to see if she can meet with you later this week. She is very familiar with that area and can provide you good advice.”
Dudley was sitting in an easy chair in the lobby when an attractive, well-dressed woman who appeared to be about his age walked directly over to him and says, “I presume you are Matthew Dudley. I’m Hannah Halverstrom and Isabella Duncan suggested that I talk with you.” She extends her hand to greet him.
“Yes, I’m Matthew Dudley and I presume you’re the real estate agent Isabella recommended to me.”
“That is correct.” She handed him her business card.
Dudley looked at the bright yellow card which read:
Dudley was surprised at the card’s appearance because it seemed inconsistent with the professional looking woman standing in front of him in an expensive, well tailored business suit.
The look on his face telegraphed his obvious surprise and Hannah said, “Sorry, wrong card. She handed him a second business card from her briefcase which read:
“It’s a long story. Perhaps we could go someplace quiet to talk about your needs can I can explain the two business cards and help alleviate some of your very obvious apprehension.”
They went into the dining room and found a small table in a corner where they had some privacy to talk. Dudley went to the service counter and poured two cups of coffee from the carafe and returned to the table. A broad smile covered Hannah Halverstrom’s face and she said, “Isabella told me you are an old-fashioned gentlemen. I certainly appreciate a man with those kinds of courtesies. Thank you very much. Let me begin by explaining the confusion caused by my business cards so that we can begin discussing your needs.”
“I grew up in an upper middle-class family in Baltimore and became captivated by the freedom movements in the early 1960s. I was young and very foolish and ran away from home and wandered around until I ended up in Tawapa, one of the growing communes near Albuquerque in the Sandia Mountains foothills in a place called Placitas. Over the next year or so literally hundreds of young people from around the country came into this area and the population of these communities grew. For a while everyone was idealistic and worked together to build a healthy alternative lifestyle. But as time passed, I realized that too many of the men who came to these peaceful communities did not share the idealistic values of the community and were only there for the drugs and “free love”. It became increasingly dangerous and I knew that it was time for me to get out and grow up. I moved to into a very small apartment in Albuquerque and enrolled in the University of New Mexico. By the time I finished my degree in Business I had also made up and repaired the most of the damage I had caused with my family. But, I had grown to love this area and decided to stay. Over the years I worked in a number of different areas but always remained attracted to the community of Placitas and its ties to the history and cultures of New Mexico. It became apparent to me that my life mirrored much of the life in and around New Mexico and that I could help other people find their way through real estate. There are many people who came here to escape something or someone. There are people who came here as artists and craftsmen because of the incredible light and the scenery. Those people are searching for something on an emotional or spiritual level and I feel connected to those people. Spirit and Light Realtors works with those people in search of some more fundamental meaning to find a location and an environment where they feel free to paint or write or otherwise express themselves. On the other hand, because of the history of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, there is also a significant amount of government-funded military and related industrial activity. Those people are generally looking for a more practical approach to real estate and are turned off by the “hippie, artsy-fartsy” approach. They are the typical client of HHH Realty. I hope that gives you a better understanding of who I am and alleviates some of your apprehension.”
“That is certainly an interesting story and I suspect that you are not the only person who came here to run away and stayed for other reasons. My own story is not quite as exciting but is also not too dissimilar. I presume that HHH stands for Hannah Something Halverstrom. I’m curious; what does that middle H stand for?”
“It stands for Hard-ass!” She laughed. “My clients who are military or business people expect me to get the best price for them as well as meet their other conditions. I guess I earned that nick-name based on my performance.”
“In your case, Mr. Dudley, the area in and around Cerrillos is much like the Placitas area I know so well. The community is comprised primarily of people that I would characterize as “ones who don’t play well with others”. The fact that they chose to live in a small, relatively isolated community says a great deal about their worldview. But there also people from Santa Fe who see Cerrillos as a quaint little community where they can avoid some of the chaos that is Santa Fe. I believe that the ideal buyer for your home will be a unique individual like yourself who is also searching for something. I will take these things into consideration as we develop the appropriate marketing strategy to sell your home quickly and at a fair price. Does that sound like a reasonable approach to you?”
“Absolutely. What can I do to assist you?”