A&E’s Storage Wars is one of my favourite reality shows. Besides the gamble and excitement of finding hidden treasure, it’s the mix of characters that I love. The way these treasure hunters behave and interact with each other make it entertaining. Otherwise, it would just be the Antique Roadshow.
No matter what industry you happen to be in, you’ll probably find a similar mix of personalities and characters. Real estate is no exception. I can’t help but make similarities to the different types of agents we bump into on a daily basis.
Jarrod and Brandi:
These are the young guns, new to the industry and anxious to make their mark and get some respect. Sometimes they get a little in over their head, but always try to hold their own. Their focus is getting inventory on their store shelves, no matter how big the price (or little the commission). A little rough around the edges and lacking some experience, but ready to make a name for themselves.
This hairy shouldered, muscle shirt wearing loof is a veteran to the game. He’s paid his dues and continues to search for that WOW factor, one twenty dollar bill at a time. Having been there and done that, Darrell often looks past the little things and has picked up a few bad habits over the years. He tends to focus on the easy payouts and takes a pass on the ones that require a little more risk or work. He likes to stir it up and cause some chaos just as much as everyone else. He is now training his son Brandon to take over as the next generation of the family business.
He’s the flashy, self proclaimed king of the storage auction world. With his name and catch phrase plastered all over his tshirts, hats and trucks, he makes sure that the spotlight is on him. He’ll never hesitate to tell you how successful he is and how good he can be. If it’s a storage locker he wants, he’ll do anything to get it. If he can’t get his hands on it, he’ll try to make sure you can’t either…or go broke trying. Is he the best in the business? YUUUP! Is he a guy you’d like to work with? Not so sure.
Everyone’s favourite loose cannon. He’s not there for the money, but the love of the game. His laid back, humorous approach to the industry is a mantra that many appreciate. He’ll rip through full lockers just to find that one unique collectible and always cracking jokes along the way. He does it his way and isn’t afraid to have some fun. His strange cars and skeleton work gloves add to his mystique. Having introduced many of his rockstar friends in the show, many fans have begun to research his background. It appears Barry made his fortune in the food and produce wholesaling business. While not always taken seriously, he’s definitely smarter than he looks.
When you have this many characters aiming for the same goal, they tend to clash along the way. On the show, we’ve seen Jarrod and Dave on the brink of a fist fight and often see Darrell trying to “bid up” others to get them to overspend on units. Even the casual Barry Weiss has been known to show some frustration at times.
Wars between characters are common in real estate as well. However, in real estate the victims of these battles can be our clients. Our purpose as REALTORS® is to help our clients buy and sell homes. That often involves working together with other agents to find a middle ground.
Very few professions are like real estate. One day, you’re competing against another agent for a listing and the next day working to put a deal together. It’s one of those strange little things that makes real estate so unique and quite challenging at times.
While there’s no right answer, it is interesting to sometimes ask yourself which character you play when it comes time to place your bid. Are you one to YUUUP! ? or simply ask What would Barry Weiss do?
(Thanks to Rob Reynar for his contributions to this post)