Last weekend we met our good friends, Julie and Nick, at The Piedmont Theater to see the new documentary, "Mr. Rogers." (I highly recommend.)
The thing is, that before watching this tender-hearted movie, I was never really a Mr. Rogers fan, preferring the high-energy, colorful gang at Sesame Street far more, nor did I steer the mild-mannered, cardigan-wearing Mr. Rogers towards my own kids as they developed their television repertoire.
I suppose, it will come as no surprise to those of you who know me well (or at all), that Mr. Roger's speed (or lack thereof) didn't exactly gel with my much quicker pace and personality. If I was going to join my kids on the couch, I wanted the programming to be more entertaining and engaging. Mr. Rogers was far too sloooow for my taste (Z z z).
Yes, I could appreciate his message of love and tolerance: "Would you be mine, could you be mine, won't you be my neighbor?" but c'mon, could we PLEASE, for the love of God, put the pedal to the metal and speed up the rinky-dink toy train? (Clearly, I could appreciate it more than I could practice it.) Let's face it, the production values of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood were very poor by comparison - even for their day - and never improved with time (partly by accident and partly by design, according to the filmmakers) AND where was the snappy dialogue and witty banter? Where were the laughs?
In retrospect, I now appreciate him much more; Mr. Roger's neighborhood was calm, quiet and quaint (in a world that wasn't at all: Jack Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, The Vietnam War . . .), but calm and quiet (here comes the analogy) doesn't work so well when it comes to selling Real Estate, AND "quaint" is the last thing you want people to say about your house (well, maybe not quite the last thing, but you get my drift). In stark contrast to Mr. Rogers simple sets and slow-moving action, when it comes to achieving top-dollar for your home, both the production value and the speed are everything as it relates to a successful outcome for you and yours.
Which is why full-service Realtors don't just plant a sign and make flyers, we set about creating theater, carefully planning the calendar and quickly putting strategies into motion. I'm afraid it's going to require much more than sock puppets and the land-of-make-believe to achieve your desired results. Remember, we're trying to create urgency, desirability, and BUZZ! ("Lights, camera, ACTION!) Subtract these "tricks of the trade," and you may find your listing twisting in the wind, and that's never where you want to be.
But is there an opportunity to slow down, ala Mr. Rogers, when it comes to the art of the deal? Is there a place for love and kindness when it comes to buying or selling a home?
Most definitely! In fact, there are several.
In other words, take your time. . . (just not too much).
I think Mr. Rogers may have put it best:
"I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?"
As it turns out, Mr. Rogers wasn't just kind, he was profound. In a world that seems to be less and less tolerant, we miss and need you, Mr. R. (and your messages of love.)
How can I help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.