In my other life, my previous life, before blogging and Costa Rica, I was a real estate broker. I guess technically I’m still a real estate broker, but I’m now in recovery.

I still work with some of my property management customers in Key West, helping find tenants, solve maintenance issues, collect rent, pay bills… all possible with Skype. If you don’t have Skype, get it! The world becomes accessible.

Anyway, here’s an ad I have running in the Key West Citizen right now:

422 Furn Apts LK
COZY, clean, quiet, lush compound, now to 10/31. $850 INCL util, cable, basic phone. F/L/S. 920 Center. Sally O’Boyle Realty 305-407-2404.

Here’s how the phone calls go:
Prospective Tenant: "Hi. I’m calling about the ad for the old town efficiency. Can I see it?"
Me: "Sure. Have you driven past the property yet?"
PT: "Uh, no. Where is it?"
Me: "At 920 Center Street." [I don’t say ‘Like it says in the ad.’ Besides, if I were looking for a house to rent, I’d drive past it first to see if it’s someplace I’d WANT to live. Alas, I’m not 23 anymore.]
Me: (continuing) "I ask everyone who calls to drive by first, make sure they like the neighborhood, like the location and the look of the place on the outside. If you’ll drive by, look over the gate and then call me back, I’ll set up an appointment for you to see it at your earliest convenience."
PT: "Uh, OK."
Me: "Are you aware that the lease is only until the end of October?"
PT: "OH! End of October? Oh, no. No, I’m looking for a longer term lease."
Me: "Well, thank you for calling."

If the lease term is OK…
Me: "And you understand it’s an efficiency?"
PT: (Pause) "You mean like one room?"
Me: (Without attitude) "Yes."
PT: "Oh. No. There are 3 of us, so I don’t think that will work out."
Me: "I see. Well, thank you for calling."

If the efficiency is OK, we continue on to the other questions which invariably include: "How much is the rent? Is there a phone? Are the utilities included? Is it furnished? Is there TV service? Is there a bathroom?" OK, I’m kidding about the bathroom question. I rarely get that one.

Fortunately I’m used to questions being asked by people who can’t see the obvious because I live with three males who can’t find the mustard in the refrigerator door. Here’s a clue: IT’S THE ONE IN THE YELLOW PLASTIC BOTTLE WITH "MUSTARD" WRITTEN ON IT.

Oooooh, someone is a little testy today.

UPDATE: One of my males is making brownies. He found everything all by himself and promises to share the brownies with me. I take it all back.

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