The phone rings. It’s a pleasant man named Roland, and he wants to know how I’m doing on this “beautiful” day.
“Great! How are you?”
“I’m great,” Roland says. “Would you like to make some money today?”
“Exactly! I like your attitude, Mr. Estrin.”
“Are you kidding, Roland? This is a special call. This is exciting!”
I explain how I routinely get calls offering me small business loans, even though I don’t own a business. I explain about the calls from AT&T just to see how things are going. And I explain how I get all these terrible telemarketers who totally ignore the do-not-call list.
“But this is the first call offering me the chance to make money,” I say. “So I’m all ears.”
I’m not sure his sales script anticipated this kind of enthusiasm, but Roland is a total pro.
“So I see that you own property at [REDACTED], and I’m calling to see if you’d be interested in selling?”
“Interested, yes,” I say. “Able, no.”
“I don’t understand.”
“That makes two of us.”
Roland takes a beat, then explains just how hot the LA real estate market is right now. He explains how the “smart money” is cashing out before rates go up. There is no mention of the dumb money that will help me cash out.
“I wish I was in a position to sell.”
“We can work with your bank,” Roland declares.
“Sure. But it wouldn’t be legal.”
“Because I don’t own that property,” I say. “I think you have bad information.”
There is silence on the line for a moment. Then Roland goes off script.
“Damn it! These Zillow leads SUCK ASS!”
Roland disconnects, and my real estate fortune evaporates.