It can be said about me as a sibling, and as a playful boyfriend (then husband), that I am known as an “over-retaliator”. A backyard squirt gun fight would devolve into water hoses and buckets. My wife once playfully splashed me with water in the kitchen and somehow we both ended up soaking wet. I believe at some point I attacked her with a gallon jug of water.
So it came as no surprise to me when, in February of this year, I felt the same flush of revenge when I was publicly shamed on Facebook by one of my more active Realtor clients who experienced a vastly superior selection of candy in another attorney’s closing office. Scandal!
For perspective, one should know a little bit about the law practice of real estate closings, and the requirement of sugar confections being located upon the premises at all times.
When I set forth to start my own real estate closing law practice 20 years ago, I made sure to cover all of the basics.
Become proficient in the examination and critical review of property title. Check. Properly prepare deeds and mortgages. Check. Take care of real estate agents, be friendly, have clean bathrooms. Check. Have candy on conference table. Che- wait – what?
Yep. Sure enough, although hard to find in the Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, there is a little known common law requirement passed down throughout Georgia bar association history that states that “no proper member of the Georgia Bar shall conduct a real estate closing without the presence of chocolate and/or caramel within an arm’s reach” (or, blah blah blah, legal jargon speak, something like that, [. . . ] I may be embellishing this).
So, like every other closing attorney (who wished for repeat clients), I have always had my “bowl of candy” at the closing table. A pretty good one, too. Bigger and more bountiful than most.
But apparently not the best, in February 2017.
Because an awesome Realtor I will call “Tara” (which may or may not be her real name) was in another firm’s office for a closing. This particular firm is a very good closing firm. They are one of the premier firms in the city. This is a moniker I would (not so) humbly also give my own firm. One of the best of the best. But they had a display of candy that was pretty impressive – a table of bowls of different sizes and shapes and colors and confections for all types of candy choices.
Suddenly, one bowl of candy in the middle of a conference table was chumpy. So 2016. #closingcandyloser.
So what does “Tara” do? She decides in the middle of her closing to tag me. She TAGS ME. And says “Step it up Hartman”, so as to call me out to all the world, right there on Facebook.
And my response was immediate, deliberate, sugary, and expensive: Clozee’s Candy Carts.
I set about over the next 3 months to design, commission and build The World’s Greatest Display and Distribution of Closing Candy There Ever Was, Ever.
So with the help of Phillip Mullins from Shake Bone Millworks in Jasper, Georgia, we designed three unique Candy Carts which would be “candy stores in the closing room”.
I wanted these to give the clients the feeling that they were walking through one of those iconic candy stores you find in tourist towns everywhere. Where you can get as much of what you want, all of what you want, and more of what you want.
And so, there it was. I had, once again, over-retaliated. Thanks to “Tara”.
The Candy Carts (™) have been a source of incredulous laughter and fun this week. Folks have been asking lots of question like “Why?” and “Wow – this is the coolest thing ever – but – why?”. So, I felt compelled to share this awesome story.
Because perhaps many people in the world don’t know the connection between Real Estate Closings and Candy. It’s a long-standing tradition that has just been, how shall we say – weaponized?!?! To my competition, I say, what have you?
And oh, by the way, as a final bow to the annoying world of worthless “Marketing Months”, and also to prove that I am a marketing genius (buffoon?), I must also add that the timing of the release of the Clozee Candy Carts was purposeful:
June is National Candy Month. So there you go.
We are supporting national things, too.