What I'm Seeing Now

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A Golden Rule Business

What’s that? It is one to which the old catch phrase applies – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or is your business the cynical opposite? “Do unto others before they do unto you.”

I prefer the former. I meet both kinds of businesses and people. And worse.

A careful consideration of the chapter from which the catch phrase comes (the Biblical Luke 6) reveals much more. This is teaching is NOT only meant for those who accept or follow the Bible. It really is meant for everyone. It holds society to a higher standard. It holds us to a higher standard. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. The phrase, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,” is in the middle* and is not the focus of the instruction.

What is the focus? Our enemies! In fact, especially our enemies. We are to be kind, we are to return good, we are to be gentle, and extend mercy, and not condemn, and … it goes on. Don’t think it means for us to take it and take it no matter what. There is a lot of wariness suggested too. We shouldn’t be dope punching bags. But we are to extend ourselves as examples of a higher standard and therefore not as blind guides. This is a very tough standard.

BUT …

Imagine a world in which that standard was the standard!!

• I would see insulation that is carefully installed, to last.

• I would see nails properly applied for that which they are intended.

• I would see doors and windows flashed so they would never leak.

• I would see shingles and flashing and gutters and downspouts installed so a house will be consistently dry.

• I would see careful carpentry, proper plumbing, smooth sheetrock, pretty paint, lovely lacquer, hearty hardware, flowing floors, exceptional electrical, healthful HVAC and sturdy stuff.

• I would see little things that are carefully-done things.

• I would see houses made for the long run.

• I would see…

• I would see…

• I would see…

And I would be proud. I would be proud to be able to say (finally), “You have an exceptional house here! I am so happy for you! It is safe, and dry, and beautiful to look at. Everyone has done their best!”

We can do our best and still screw up. Everyone needs room to grow. We are imperfect people. But an unintentional error is a million miles from schmuck work. A million miles from I-don’t-care work. Or it’s-not-my-job work. And I-sure-am-glad-this-isn’t-my-house work.

How should we do it? “Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over... for every tree is known by his own fruit.”

My recommendation:  That we make a New Year Resolution to conduct business unto others as we would have them conduct business unto us… The Rule is Golden for a reason. Imagine …

 

* The teaching begins with verse 27 and ends with 46, which really is the beginning of the next teaching. I had GREAT trepidation publishing this.

Being preachy is not my intention – if anything, I am venting. Hopefully you read it in that context.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 26 commentsJay Markanich • December 30 2008 05:13AM

Comments

I agree with the golden rule --- great post! 

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Norma.  Happy New Year!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

But if everyone built a great home, what would you do with your time? :)

Posted by Dennis Swartz, MBA, GRI...experience counts! (Full Circle Property Management) almost 10 years ago

If it was only that perfect world. Vent away. I agree we should handle our dealings like we want others to handle it. Its too good to be true.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) almost 10 years ago

Dennis - Hmmmm...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

It can begin with us Laura.  Happy New Year!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay,

My manager/broker Vanessa Bivens always says "Do the right thing". If ever in doubt of how to proceed in business or in life in general ask that questions and you will have the answer. I like your new year's resolution! Have a blessed 2009!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 10 years ago

Dorie - right and easy don't always go together, but in the long run it is easier to do the right thing.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

I really liked that you framed this in positive terms - attitude is everything!

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Janice.  Have a happy happy!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jay....I think a large part of the reason you see what you see is "the lowest bidder" and that can be the "thinks he is handy" homeowner or worse yet, someone he hired that said they were doing the job the way it should be done and when you don't know the SHOULD part of it,...you don't know if it IS done right...I told my husband about our "relationship"....kiss kiss...he's fine with it..have you told your wife ?

kiss

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 10 years ago

Sally - I haven't had kisses like that since my aunt... big smackers I could not clean off!  Thanks and yes, the wife knows.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay, In my opinion effort is everything. If you try your hardest that is all we can ever ask of anyone. Not everyone is going to be Babe Ruth on the baseball field, but they might be the Babe Ruth of flooring. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It is the effort we put into our work that truely matters. It is also important to recognize when we are not the Babe Ruth at a certain task and finding the right person to help us to do it correctly.

As you so eloquently stated;

"An unintentional error is a million miles from schmuck work."

That is very, very true.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay it is interesting that (given the majority of people assign themselves to one religion or another) all of the great religions of the world have the principle of the golden rule in them. You would think it would be more prevelant.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 10 years ago

James - so, why is there no time to do it right the first time, but then time to come back later and have to make it right?  The second trip often costs more time than doing it right at first...  I think the reason is many think that the second trip will be someone else's problem.

Charles - I think it is prevalent.  We all want that good effort when it comes to getting.  The trick is in the giving.  I think it is not practiced more often because a lot of people are lazy lumps.  But that is just me thinking - who knows...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay, what I meant to say was that you would think that "evidence" of the golden rule would be more prevelant given that the religions of those that don't use it recommend it.:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Charles - yep!  Lazy lumps?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Yes lazy lumps.  I also think that it comes from thinking that what is important lies outside of themselves.  That getting to the next job and the next paycheck is more important that how you feel inside when you have done the "right thing" or done a "great job."

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Charles - again - yep!  Just this morning I was scheduled for an inspection on a foreclosure.  The selling agent called the listing agent who said that all the systems were on.  I told her to have him make sure they were on.  She said he said they are. Nothing is on.  Nothing! 

This listing agent is a particular problem around here - a real time waster.  He has done this to me many times.  I told them that if we all go to the house for the inspection and nothing is on that I need to be paid anyway, having given all that prior warning.  The listing agent says it will come out of the selling agent's pocket at settlement.  I don't know about that, but you would think this guy would figure it out...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Can't wait to see the look on the face of the selling agent when they find out they are paying you for your fruitless trip.  We have one of those here (actually a pair of those and they work together) and I can't complain more about them.  As soon as their names come up I go into rant mode.  Just thinking about how they act, the way they treat others, and their lack of ethics make me mad.  See, did it again.

 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 10 years ago

Jack - the way it has been happening is that the buyer pays me, as he should.  Then, in the closing docs or statements, they work it out so the buyer gets paid back. That can only come from one place.

I don't know how the banks choose their "listing" agents, but sometimes I think they forget that the client is the process, they are not.  One listing agent was called by my client agent and she suggested that he needed to go to the house to make sure the systems were on.  He told her he lived too far away to have to make a trip - why, what if the systems aren't on yet?  Ummmm...  I have had open-ended inspections fall through because the buyer simply got tired of waiting for the systems to get turned on.  We ended up moving the inspection to another house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

I had a past client of mine recently not have an inspection for that very reason. His agent wouldn't get the utilities turned on. From what I can tell the agent stonewalled the kid. Must've given him some story until he finally caved and just bought it with out having it inspected. It was a foreclosure so you can imagine the condition of the place. It's so nice to know there are caring people out there looking out for their clients.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 10 years ago

I, like you, believe in the Golden Rule.  But, like you, I see so many folks taking the short cuts that will affect the next homeowner.  How many times have I heard a Home Inspector, with a small list of repairs say, "If you want these things done right, do them yourself." 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 10 years ago

James - that is ridiculous!  An agent should be facilitating the process, not stonewalling.  Hopefully that is not what was done!  We rescheduled that one from the other day for tomorrow.  Hopefully everything is on this time.  The agent says that the listing agent has been "more than difficult."  Well, you got me...  I don't understand why.  Let's get this done!

Hi Chris Ann - I guess sometimes that is the best option.  Unfortunately those short cuts are not always found out until later...  Again, I don't understand why people do that to other people.  I sure wish it was not the case.  

I have a little thing posted on our fridge - primarily for my daughter, but it works for me too - it says, "Be good, do right, hang tough."  Easy to remember!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay, The last part of the saying is the most challenging, hang tough. It's easy to just throw up your hands and say I can do no more. It takes effort to follow through. I'll remember it.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Hey James!  You are right - when the temptation to tarnish the gold a bit comes, that is where it takes the fortitude to remember the principle.  I use that little saying with everyone, my kids, my Boy Scouts, people at church, you name it.  I'm not sure how far compromise gets us in the long run.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

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