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  • Writer's pictureStu

What do you get when you cross a seagull with a house purchase?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

… it transpires you get a quick sale!


I learned this at a recent team day for MFAT’s Portfolio Delivery Services. We were exploring the topic of influencing in the afternoon, and Tim Jevon recalled a wonderful story about how his family helped secure their home.


Tim and his family were looking to purchase a property in Lowry Bay, Wellington. While they were checking out the property they became aware of a certain seagull - Jonathan - who frequented the family’s deck or liked to walk along the balcony’s balustrade. Jonathan regularly turned up for breakfast and had forged a bond with the seller’s family over twenty or so years. He would even tap on the window to wake the family up if he hadn’t been fed.


Tim and the family liked the look of the property and placed an offer with the real estate agent. However, Tim wasn’t confident their offer would land the property.


As Tim was in that uneasy space of waiting and wondering, he got to thinking about the family’s connection with Jonathan. This prompted him to call the real estate agent to pass on to the seller that his family were animal lovers and would take really good care of Jonathan.


Fifteen minutes later the agent called back to say the offer had been accepted! 🍾🥂


It turns out that the seller’s family had been worrying about what would happen to Jonathan, and knowing he’d be cared for made all the difference.


There are more than a few lessons here for the influencers and negotiators out there. As Jim Camp captured so well, “Vision drives decision”. It’s the picture in their head that drives their decision-making. In this case, that picture included the future and well-being of a treasured seagull. Addressing that picture helped clinch the sale.


Thanks Louise James and the team for having me, and thanks Tim for introducing us to Jonathan.


P.S. An actual picture of Jonathan is attached.


P.P.S. Jonathan has actually built a similar bond with multiple families in the suburb… he knows how to play the game!



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