Crystal Room Persuasion

Richard: The life of a musician is hard — but then, you knew that. Harder still is the life of a real estate agent in 2010. Seriously, that shit blows.

But Steven is no ordinary real estate agent: he’s arguably the best Fort Lauderdale has to offer. As proof, check this shady, Masonite-paneled abode, constructed in the late 1970s for New Age wunderkind, Yanni. Sadly, Yanni moved on long ago, but to make sure that househunters know the provenance of the windowless split-level ranch with off-street parking and beach view, Steven commissioned a portrait of Yanni’s longtime bunkmate, Linda Evans. “Buy this”, Steven whispers as shoppers stand quietly before the painting, “and you’re buying a piece of entertainment history”. (But not the portrait, because the portrait stays with him.)

When Steven paid for the portrait — $500, acrylic on board, signed on verso — little did he know what a great investment he was making. As it turns out, the house is haunted, and no owner has lived there for more than a year. Which means Steven gets to dust off the portrait every few months and make another 6%. Cha-ching.

Today, however, Linda Evans isn’t enough. (I never thought I’d write those words.) In this market, Steven has to go the extra mile to make his customers happy — though more often than not, it’s just an inch or six. At least the commission gives him something to think about besides the shoddy ceiling paint job.