The stories of the people behind, and in front of, the scenes in Australia’s most talked about industry.
The Tim Tam Test
“Oh, strong and black thanks Maree – just how I like my men!” Beth Myrvold’s cackle was enough laughter for everyone, as Maree’s husband, Blake, a proud Afrikaner, smiled politely and continued to look courteously at the swath of sheets and brochures in front of him on the kitchen bench.
Beth, one of Eastcastle City Property’s gun agents, whose knack for humour to build rapport was still a work in progress, had been called in by the De Cocks as they were thinking of selling and heading up the coast for a quieter life around Shell Bay.
“Thanks, Maree. Oooh, Tim Tams! Are these the vegan ones? Ah, doesn’t matter, one won’t hurt.” (“Tim Tams,” thought Beth, “They’ve gone top shelf bikkie here – I must be a big chance.”)
This beautifully presented three bedder, with pool, entertaining area and sought-after man-shed would be a prime listing for Beth, and surely would not hang around too long.
“Shell Bay. What a lovely spot. Have you got your eye on anything up there?” As a four-year property sales veteran, Beth knew how to open a conversation designed to find out whether or not these home owners were likely to sell, soon.
“Yes, we have Beth, a gorgeous cottage on a quarter acre one street back from the main beach. We love it,” gushed Maree
“Well we have to sell this first dorling,” shot back Blake, ensuring his wife’s enthusiasm didn’t keep him awake at night for the next 20 years.
“So, Beth,” Blake fixed his gaze on Beth as she chomped into her second Tim Tam, “You’ve had a good look around, what will we get for this?”
“Ummmm, well Blake and Maree, you’ve had a look at the market report I dropped in, and you can see the recent sales of properties that would probably compare to yours,”
This was the moment of truth that every agent dreaded.
Would the price guide that Beth was about to blurt out, match the expectations of the anxious, yet sometimes ruthless, home owners?
The number she offered could mean the difference between a third Tim Tam and the listing, or an abrupt ending to their cordial meeting and those almost fatal words, “We’ll have a chat and get back to you.”
Beth felt like time had stood still as she took another sip of her coffee and played the “guess the right price” game a dozen times in her head.
“Ok, based on what the market is doing right now in Linwick…the great position, beautiful presentation…ahhh…well…I’m pretty sure I can get you around…$825,000?!”
All fell silent.
Blake’s eyes remained transfixed on Beth and the non-verbal pause felt like it went on for hours. Beth’s heart was in her mouth and she nervously picked up a couple of the documents on the table and put them in a neat pile – a bit like a newsreader does after they’ve delivered twenty-five minutes of doom and gloom then finished off with a happy piece about Sammy the Surfing Ferret.
Just then, as Beth thought the bulletin had drawn to a close, Blake looked straight at Maree with the hint of a nod, and she thrust her arm across the kitchen table, grabbed the Tim Tams…and said, “Beth, would you like another?”
Beth’s ‘veganism’ vanished as quickly as the smile that had appeared and taken up her whole of her face, “That would be lovely.”
More from Beth and The De Cocks later.