The street on which I live contains an imposing still-under-construction apartment building that promises to be the most posh edifice in the neighborhood. It will likely eclipse “The Palace,” which presently takes highest honors in this category. (I live in “Twilight Court,” aptly named in my opinion: considering all the leaks, cracks and crumbles, my 30+ year old building is presently in its twilight years.)
Though many months away from completion, this new housing complex is now apparently up for purchase, meaning that interested parties can buy a flat in tower 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, or 7. (Nope, there’s not a tower 4. Bad luck.) After years—literally, years—of passing by this construction site and seeing trucks, workmen, equipment and materials going in and out of a muddy entrance, through a sagging metal gate covered in torn vinyl, I noticed yesterday that a red carpet has been laid on the sidewalk surrounding the gate. Non-workmen are not allowed to go inside the construction area, but anyone can walk on this red carpet that leads nowhere.
Furthermore, dozens and dozens of assertive real estate agents are situated on the red carpet, on the sidewalks around the building, and on the other streets in my neighborhood as well. Saturdays and Sundays are opportune days for such business, so yesterday (Sunday) this army was out in full display.
My first realization of this matter occurred when, while riding in the car of a friend who was giving me a lift home, we encountered an eager young man who jumped out at our moving vehicle, waving a flier. Other agents turned their heads in our direction, also waving papers and fliers, but we kept driving up the street and they shifted their attention to cars behind us. This continued to happen as we drove the one-way loop around my neighborhood until we arrived at my flat.
How can any of these agents obtain business if they have to compete with forty or fifty other equally ardent agents? Moreover, any person who is seriously in the market for such a luxury flat will most likely explore the property with an agent of their choosing—not a flier-waving maniac on the street.
The complete absurdity of this situation struck me later in the day yesterday. I watched as a moving car approached the corner near the posh building and slowed down as the driver rolled down his window, ostensibly to obtain a flier. Suddenly, no fewer than eight aggressive agents descended on the car, all yelling, and each pushing an advertisement into the driver’s face. An image of a safari jeep stopping in lion territory and brandishing a slab of raw meat came to mind.
I think I’d be less fearful of a wildcat in a game preserve than a handful of real estate agents trying to sell a
Hong Kong flat.