Back in the early 90′s John Gray wrote an iconic work called Men are From Mars, and Women are From Venus. It outlined in detail the communication differences between men and women. Differences that I think are fairly obvious to most people over the age of 13.
While most of us acknowledge and deal with these differences as a daily part of getting along in this world, I think they are more noticeable when situations arise that are unfamiliar. For instance, when a non-real estate person decides to get involved in marketing real estate. Meet Venus. Or just call Me Catherine.
After our great success on Saturday in taking photos of Sadie’s Eleven and posting them on Flickr, it was time to talk about what “we” wanted to say about the property. Meet the seller: Mars. Or just call him Dennis.
Dennis: “Why would you say that? Nobody cares about that.”
Me: “We want to spark their imagination. It’s got to be more than just a patio.”
Dennis: “I don’t think anyone cares about a band on the patio.”
Me: “I think we should put that the house is just a mile down the road from Willowcroft Vineyard.”
Dennis: “No one is going to care about that. What difference does it make?”
Me: “We are selling a lifestyle here! Not just a house! We want them to think of this as wine country.”
Dennis: “There are wineries all around here. There are horses here. It’s Loudoun County! All of that stuff is here.”
Me: “But people who are not familiar with Loudoun County don’t know that. We want them to imagine it’s like living in Napa Valley!”
Me: “Yes, I saw it. I thought it was good.”
Dennis: [He quotes this from memory - I. kid. you. not!] “If you prefer cedar/stone to vinyl/brick, fieldstone fireplaces to direct vent gas, beamed and cathedral to 9 ft ceilings, ceramic tile to hardwood floors, oak cabinets to maple clad pressed wood, glass walls to windows, a garage for 6 instead of 19 1/2 feet square, a guest house to a guest suite, your own pool to the community’s, lots of land to a postage stamp lot, then come see this!”
Okay, at this point it does not take a psychologist to figure out we are each promoting our own value systems here. Dennis is pressing what he loves about the house. I’m pressing what I think the potential buyers will love about the house . . . and it just coincidentally happens to be what I love about the house too.
We take a break from our “marketing strategy meeting” to move some stuff to the garage. When we get back, I pick up my camera and start taking pictures of colored bottles in the window at the end of the breakfast room.
Me: “I’m not going to use these photos to market the house, I just like how the light is shining through these bottles. I’ll use these pictures for something else.”
Dennis: [long pause] “So who told you that you could take pictures of my stuff?”
Yes, Virginia, there are Martians living in Loudoun County. The quicker someone buys his house, the sooner he can return to his home planet.