August 31, 2011

Labor Day in America, do Americans work too much???

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:57 pm by winterbaserva

According to the History channel “Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.”

As manufacturing became the mainline of American employment, the labor unions found their voice and became exceedingly vocal in their protest against poor working conditions. They began to organize and set up strikes and rallies, as well as attempting to negotiate better hours and pay. In September of 1882, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, thus holding the first Labor Day parade, if you want to call it that, in U.S. History. This caught on and became known as the ‘workingmen’s holiday’, and has since that time been celebrated on the first Monday in September.

Ironically, the very right that was hardfaught and passionately disputed in the 1880’s has become in the present day work world a moot point! Granted, the working conditions here in America are extravagant compared to those days, and the pay has adjusted nicely with the times, although in many fields that is also debatable; but how many of us are working ’12-hour days and sad to say some seven-day weeks’ as the NORM?

The facts show that the good ole U.S. of A. works more hours in an average week than ANY other country in the world. No siestas like our southern neighbors, no four-6 week ‘holidays’ like our European and Australian counterparts. Have you ever met a grumpy Aussie? ME EITHER! In the business of real estate we are the worst offenders as far as I can see. Most Realtors don’t have any boundaries with their time, and when they do, they are considered by others as ‘unprofessional’ or it’s viewed as  ‘bad customer service’. Yes, I get it, we are in a ‘commission based’ career field, but if we don’t take some time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our labors, what are we working FOR? If we show some respect for ourselves, our time, and our SANITY, maybe our clients will too! So….have fun and follow my lead on taking TIME for yourself. Here are a few pics from my recent vacation!




August 18, 2011

The one call a Listing Agent NEVER wants to get!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 3:58 pm by winterbaserva

As I flew out the door headed to my seller’s house I went over in my mind what the showing agent had said, “The basement carpeting is soaked, can’t tell where it’s coming from, better let the owner’s know!” Yeah, not so easy to do since my seller was out of the country, with no return in sight. As I opened the lockbox and headed for the basement I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. The carpet was wet in different places, and I couldn’t tell where the water was coming from. My mind immediately kicked into recovery mode and I called my assistant to get the number for a few of our plumbing vendors, and restoration clean up companies. Five phone calls later, including one to my trusty home inspector to find out where the water shut off valve might be, I had a moment to take a breath, and regain some vestige of composure. This might have been something I could wrap my brain around if my home owner was in the same HEMISPHERE as me and knew about his EMERGENCY home disaster! But being the ultimate professional Realtor that I am, who thinks on her feet, I realized I was on my own with this little misadventure.

According to my assistant, it was approximately 12:30 AM in the region that my home owner was visiting, and as he slept peacefully, with full confidence in my ability to protect his interests in his absence, I tried to convince myself not to run away, since I could think of a few countries I would rather be visiting myself at that exact moment. One more deep breath, and the plumber finally arrived. He found the culprit pipe leak within minutes and proceeded to ask who was paying for his services today. I looked around and didn’t see anyone else, so I reluctantly signed off on the $350 service fee, happy that the flood had subsided. Not long after, the restoration company showed up for what was going to turn into a much longer stay than the plumbers. As I threw the clothes that had gotten soaked in the washer, turned it on, and gathered up the remaining delicate items to drop off at the dry cleaners, I looked around at the damage to report to my home owner. It was obvious that it was going to turn into a home owner’s insurance claim, but I didn’t have his insurance information, deductible, etc and did I mention it was the middle of the night where he was? Oh well, story for another day. As the words ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ wafted through my mind, I smiled and thought to myself , “I’d hope that he would have done the same for me if he was in my place”, and either way, this is what being the best is all about.

It’s about protecting your client’s best interest, whatever it takes! If this sounds like the kind of ‘service with a smile’ you are looking for when you are ready to put your house on the market, give me a call at 678-463-3173, that’s Winter Baserva, real estate agent extraordinaire!