The Story of My First | dashCMA

The Story of My First


I can vaguely remember the details of most of my “firsts.” That first friend (Robyn), first teacher (Mrs…), first crush (Daniel, but I can’t remember for the life of me what he looked like), first date (he was blonde, had brown eyes, a right-titled smile, introduced me to the band Weezer but I now have no clue what his name was), first boss (Mike, but I can’t remember any of my co-worker’s names even though I was there for 3 years).

As for my first real estate client, that’s a memory that is sitting in high-def, front and center in my mind.  Every single detail is crystal clear.

Not only was he my first client, he was also the first client I ever fired and also led to my first glimpse into creating dashCMA.

As this story might be a bit embarrassing for him, let’s refer to him as “Chuck.”

Chuck wanted to look at homes in Playa Vista. Playa Vista was starting to be known as “Silicon Beach” and the average days on market was 4. Not even a full hand’s count.

After several weekends looking at homes and then those home’s going into escrow before we were out the door, it was Chuck’s turn. Chuck found the home he loved.

This home had some character to it and we weren’t the only ones who noticed. The open house was packed.

The home was priced at $1.2 million. The home should have been priced closer to $1.5 million. Chuck wanted to offer $900,000.

Chuck and I agreed to chat later that evening after I had some time to pull together a market analysis to help him write an informed offer.

I spent a few hours curating the perfect presentation with the tools available. Chuck and I met and I brought my 60+ page perfect presentation.

We flipped from page to page looking at similar comparable homes and market trends for the area. Around page 14, I realized I was losing Chuck.

He cut me off and said, “I’ve seen you negotiate. You’re a good negotiator. And since you’re a good negotiator, you should be able to get the home for $900,000.”

At that moment, I realized 3 things.  One, Chuck is not ready to buy (side note: it’s been 4 years and Chuck has still not purchased a home). Two, he is correct. I am a good negotiator.

Actually, I’m a great negotiator. Three, a great negotiator is only as good as the tools available to them and the 60+ page tool was hindering my ability instead of enhancing it.

That night, I fired Chuck and started to create my own product. The first thing I wanted to correct was the concept of the “presentation.” Presentations are one-sided.

Talking at someone doesn’t build trust. Talking with someone does. No more 60+ page report. No more flipping from page to page and losing my audience along the way.

I wanted to build something that was conducive to a pricing conversation.

Thanks Chuck. For without you, i’m not sure how much longer it would have taken me before I would have the realization that is now dashCMA.