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Racist Neighbors

Switching from education to real estate has been nothing but a breath of fresh air. Ironically, the education world is full of unnecessary competition, backbiting, and negativity. Real estate, on the other hand (even though we are all in literal competition with each other for the same clients) is such a wonderfully supportive, positive, and empowering industry. Even so, some elements of negativity do arise from time to time. One negative aspect that creeps up every now and then is the client’s belief that everything (from a broken kitchen pipe to the opposing side backing out of the contract) is my fault. This is a trait that the education world has made me all too familiar with. It seems that everything always has been and always will be, my fault. 😉🤷🏻‍♀️

It’s all good, though. Now I have some great stories to share with you.😜 For the next couple weeks, I will take you on a journey of some of the things I’ve been “in trouble” for. The first story I’d like to share with you is actually related to my Airbnb side of real estate.

So we’ve been open for business since January 14th. In that time we’ve hosted about 30 guests. My neighbors haven’t had a problem with our Airbnb business until one day last month when a family–who happened to not share the same skin tone as my neighbors–chose to stay for a few days to honor the anniversary of a young family member who was murdered. This point will become important later.

The day after their arrival, I received an email from Airbnb stating that my neighbors had filed a complaint. They complained of loud noises and too many cars in the driveway. So I contacted my guest and asked for some context around that complaint. She said, “Yes Ms. Ashley, that was just my family on the porch. You can call me anytime if you’d like.” So I dismissed it and hoped all would be well for the rest of their stay. I didn’t hear anything else until I showed up to clean on their last day.

The guests were pretty late checking out, so I had to go in and start cleaning while they were still in the home or else I’d never have the place cleaned in time for the next guest. They talked with me quite a bit and were extremely nice and helpful people. The minute the last car pulled out of the driveway, the doorbell rang. I thought they forgot something. Nope. It was my neighbor. Standing in the doorway with sunglasses on and the biggest scowl I think I’ve ever seen on an adult. 😳

Luckily for me, my first career prepared me for such a time as this.😉 The previous ten years of my life consisted of parents cussing me out on the regular, so I was ready for this old lady. She asked if I had a minute. I said, “Not really, they pretty much trashed the house so I really need to start cleaning.” She wasn’t having it. She said I better listen to what she had to say. Fine. Come on in lady, let’s hear it.

She went on and on for a good ten minutes about how horrible my guests were and how she couldn’t sleep because she feared for her life. 🤦🏻‍♀️ She started shaking, turning red, and choking back tears. Damn, she’s really mad. I just stood there and let her vent, trying to show an understanding smile without saying much of anything until she finished yelling. She said things like, “I can’t believe your prices are so low! You are just inviting all these people. I can’t believe you want to have these people in your house. Do you know why they were here? Her son was murdered! I can’t believe you want people like that in your house! Your house is nice. You need to increase your prices to keep all those people from Saginaw from coming here! And you better not put lawn furniture outside because it will just invite all of them out here!” Woa woa woa lady. So that’s what this is about? You don’t want black people staying next to you? Eventually I asked her if any of my other guests had given her problems. She stared at me blankly. Then, realizing what I was actually asking her, she said, “Uh, uh, well yeah at your Super Bowl they were loud outside.” Okay. I’m sure it’s terrible to have to live next to an Airbnb house, so I get it. However, I cannot and will not be screening my guests. I told her I’m not sure what she wants from me but that my part in the solution will be to post a new house rule saying quiet time begins at 10pm. 🤷🏻‍♀️ (If y’all have any other suggestions, I’ll take them! 😉). Her solution to the problem? “I’ll move!” 😂 Go on then. 💃🏻

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