Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christian Real Estate – A Blossoming Industry

When we sold our house we had no problem in finding an agent to help us. A lady in our church, a good Christian, was regarded as perhaps the finest real estate agent in the area. Our only concern was that she specialized in the top end of the market, and our home was – to put it mildly – far from “top end.”

We had a meeting and she assured us that she paid as much attention to the cheaper homes as to the deluxe. And she did. We got a price about twenty per cent higher than we were expecting (admittedly in a hot market).

“Christian real estate” seems to be a blossoming industry. And why not? Buying or selling a property can be a traumatic experience – emotionally draining, with possible legal and financial pitfalls along the way. Which Christian wouldn’t want a brother or sister in the Lord in charge of the process?

So there are networks of Christian realtors, and some agents openly advertise their religious principles, even donating portions of their fee to charity.

In fact, many other Christian business people – like car sales agents – also promote themselves to fellow Christians by placing stress on their faith and their principles.

For some years my city even had a directory of “Christian” businesses – that is, businesses run by people who were practising church goers (for inclusion in the directory it was necessary to get some kind of letter from your pastor).

It seemed a good idea. I used it a few times when looking for a tradesperson. But I knew Christian business people who were not in the directory. One day I asked a friend – a VCR repairman – if he knew about the directory.

“Oh, I know all about it,” he said.

“So why don’t you include your business?”

“Christians!” he replied. “They’re the worst customers. When they find you in the directory they phone at three o’ clock in the morning and expect you to be joyous about coming right away to fix their VCR. And then they expected a big discount off my fee. I was in the directory once, but never again.”

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