Katrina's White & Green Bread Stories, w/ recipe

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Real Estate

Some bread is easier to make than others.  

As I’ve been working to make both white and green bread this week, my husband suggested that I write a blog about it.

So if you’d really like to know how I “make my bread” daily, read on.


Katrina or Publix
First off, my homemade bread is simple and lush. Oftentimes I include my homemade butter as I send Steve out on surprise deliveries to friends and customers. For those of you who have recently been a recipient - thank you for the kind comments.  Once a friend went to Publix to get another loaf at the bakery.  She was astonished to realize they made no such bread - she even showed a picture.  I guess I fooled her by placing it in a Publix bread wrapper, which Publix will often give me.  I was delighted I had made something so good, and so artisan.  It is easy and you may CLICK HERE for the recipe.  It has only one rise time then off to the oven! 


The Green Bread
What isn’t so easy is the other bread, the money from my job. Although I have hundreds of happy stories to tell about amazing people and experiences, it might be a good time to share some of the scarier aspects of being a REALTOR.  


Smile, Then Hide Your Photo
Did you know that we no longer place our photos on any of our marketing, our cards, our flyers, our open house signs?  This is intentional. We go to great lengths to protect our team - whom are often alone with unknown people mulling through an open house. Our daughter has received naked pictures to her professional cell phone. Solution: Steve’s phone number is now the only phone number listed anywhere online or in our marketing. Stalkers single out and pose as wanting to work with you. I have also been a victim of this behavior - more than once.  Very disturbing. That is the reason our signs have a graphic design with the name Steve Martin. There is no reason to believe that you might find a female at our open house.  Some of the photos I see on yard signs cause me to worry for their safety.  


The Danger Zone
I have personally been assaulted verbally on the job - while at an open house and another time during a showing. I also had someone try to run me down in his vehicle while shouting “you Realtors are what the problem is” - as he stopped short and threw stuff at me, claiming he was a police officer from New York. Read on…


How did this happen? 
I was at a scheduled showing with our customers. One showing at a time was requested by the seller.  A car pulled up and a few people started walking around the house looking for a way in.  I asked the person who appeared to be in charge where his Realtor was and if they could please wait while we were having our showing.  Turns out he did not have a Realtor, saw it online, and thought he would just show up to see it.  This wasn’t even a vacant house, not that it should matter.  Their actions were the definition of TRESPASSING.  As licensed REALTORS®, we have the ethical obligation to protect the public in regards to the real estate buying and selling process.  I felt the need to protect this seller even though it was not my listing. I told them without a Realtor they had to leave, as this was trespassing. This enraged him. I called the police and the agent for the property. My clients hurried back to their car.  He then ran his car right at me - stopping short to threaten me with calling the police. He even said that he was with the New York City Police, and then proceeded to throw things out the window at me. That’s the day I earned the nickname “Agent Bad Ass” from my customers, who still talk about that experience to this day.  


Text Message Requests - Who Are You?
This brings me to another situation that just happened again yesterday. Text Message Requests - we get them all too often. “ Hi, I am a potential buyer who wants to see such and such property tomorrow. Are you the listing agent and will you be able to show me the property?”  

Here are the red flags from yesterday’s encounter. 1) No name  2) Would not answer the phone when we immediately responded with a call back. 3) When we requested by text to “please pick up the phone and call us”, there was no compliance - just more texts. 4) As always, we asked for proof of funds or a current lender letter stating they were approved for purchase - the response was all telling….. “ I am a cash buyer and you are so stringent that I no longer want to see the house.  There are other properties for sale - good luck to you”.   

Why would I meet someone in a remote location without proof they could buy at all?  If you won’t speak with me, I will not be your agent. No REALTOR should work under those conditions, but many do. After all, it could be a sale right?  Although Sarasota County is one of the safest and most beautiful locations in Florida, there are bad people everywhere.  Please understand that your REALTOR has reasons for their safety protocols. 

If you’re thinking that this shopper could always call another agent if they really wanted to try to see the property, you would be right. However, when that agent tried to set up an appointment, we would still be requiring proof of ability to purchase before allowing them to bring a stranger into this customer’s home.  Buyer’s just need to get an agent and be prepared to do this the right way.


Driveway, Bloody Driveway
You only have to clean up a bloody stabbing scene once to decide to not accept future listings or show houses in certain areas.  A listing of ours was the subject of a gang related incident with blood everywhere - the police called us because our sign was out front and the home was vacant.  Steve spent 2 hours removing blood from the property for our customer.  For the record, this one was not in Sarasota County. We may not be allowed to steer customers to or from certain areas, but we can certainly steer our own cars. 


The Wrap Up
I do hope that this has been somewhat enlightening to you and possibly given you some fresh conversation for your circle of friends.

The only simple bread I make is the one included at the top of this post, but the most satisfying bread is the feeling of doing a great job for our customers.  Steve often says “you don’t know what you don’t know”. I appreciate you taking the time to know a little bit more about what we do as we help you with Your Slice Of Florida ®

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On behalf of Steve Martin Homes Group

- Katrina Smith