Under Cover Agent

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Newsletters

Tank Tops Flip flops Newsletter edition no. 17

Everybody wants to talk to the guy from Costa Rica.  It’s amazing.  As soon as they find out I sell real estate, we are off on a 30 minute conversation.  Costa Rica has such an incredible amount of momentum right now, and so much positive press, that everyone wants to figure out a way to leave the rat race and move to this gorgeous paradise.  But truthfully sometimes I just want to be left alone. 

I was on a plane the other day going to Miami.  I know you will make fun of me but I actually fly to Boca Raton every 2 or 3 months so I can get my hair cut from the greatest stylist on the planet, Paul Ferraro.  Heh you don’t stay this good looking with out working at it.  The woman that sat next to me was one of those talkative types, and I just wasn’t in the mood to chat.  I knew from previous experiences that the moment I mentioned Costa Rica she wouldn’t leave me alone, and I was really enjoying a good book.  She asked me right away, “What do you do?”  I make movies I told her.  “Really?  That sounds interesting.  What kind of movies do you make?”  I slowly looked up from the page, smiled and gave her a seductive wink.  “OH!”  She stopped breathing momentarily and then slunk back into her seat, but not before glancing at my crotch.  I was actually going to tell her I made children’s educational films, but her imagination took over before I could finish.  Who am I to ruin a good rumor?  She never said another word to me again and it was the most peaceful flight I have ever had.  I finished the book and actually got a little bit of a nap.

I have always been a bit of a dreamer.  But from a very early age, I realized that a person has the ability to make their dreams come true.  So much of life is based upon the way you think, the choices that you make and the friends you hang out with.  When I was a teenager, I was taught a very valuable lesson.  “You are a direct reflection of the people you associate yourself with.”   I remember the exact day, who said it and where I was when I heard it.  It had a tremendous impact on me because I realized right then and there that if I wanted to be a successful person I needed to surround myself with people who were as ambitious and motivated as I was.  I needed to develop the habits of people who were going places in life, and not succumb to the excuses that failures make when they don’t accomplish their goals. 

One of the first books I read was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill which was written during the Great Depression.  It made a powerful impression on me and taught me a way of thinking that I still have to this day.  It is exactly why I joined RE/MAX and moved to Costa Rica.  No disrespect to my competitors, but we are the top real estate company in the world, and you really appreciate it when you spend a week at the convention in Las Vegas.  If you are going to be in this industry you might as well work with the best.

Every year, we set up a Costa Rica booth inside the big Marketplace at the RE/MAX International Convention R4, where thousands of agents from around the world can meet and network.  I can honestly say that 50% of my business comes directly from referrals whether it’s from previous clients or other agents around the globe.  But aside from the business aspect, it is also a blast.  We meet top producing agents, smoking hot women, serious investors and they all seem to migrate to our little corner.  We serve Rum and Cokes and give away bags of the richest coffee in the world.  I felt sorry for some of the other markets that are our neighbors in the convention.  There was the booth from Mexico and also from Miami, just a few steps away.  We had Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and even had India and China but nobody was talking to them.  They all wanted to talk to the guys from Pura Vida land.

Just next to us was the Canada booth and I really felt bad for this guy.  We would have 15 people deep, waiting to talk to us, and he was there all by himself, playing on his computer, looking like the kid who had all his Halloween Candy stolen from him.  I mean seriously, who wants to move TO Canada?  Everyone I meet wants to LEAVE.  You wear these badges around your neck that says MICHAEL / COSTA RICA.  It’s a curse.  You can’t go anywhere without someone wanting to stop you and chat.  I got in an elevator, true story, to go up to my room.  This couple gets in, and the next thing you know, I miss my floor as they continue to ask me questions.  They get out and another guy gets in.  Oh, you’re from Costa Rica blah blah blah.  Back down to the lobby I went.  It took me 10 minutes to get out of the elevator, no kidding.  Another time I am at the urinal, and the guy next to me is glancing down, staring.  I don’t know what to say, this is Las Vegas you know what I mean.  “Costa Rica!!!!!” he shouts out.  Dude, you are freaking me out!  Here’s my card, leave me alone.

It was like this the entire week. If you have been to Sin City, you know that you have to walk a marathon everyday just to get anywhere, and the convention hall was about a mile and a half from our rooms.  Hundreds of people would be shouting out, COSTA RICA, and High Fiven’ us as we went past. We were like rock stars.  But you still knew it was Vegas.  There is a wedding chapel in every casino and you can actually pick who you want to run the service.  There are Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Mr. T. impersonators which might be kind of cool, but also a midget who swallows swords and Chewbacca from Star Wars.  Now that is sick.  Can you imagine being married by a big hairy ape?  “I now pronounce you husband and wife”  No thanks.  It was nice to finally get that badge off at night and just be another tourist wandering around the strip.  Under Cover Real Estate Agent. 

The founder of RE/MAX is a gentleman named Dave Liniger and he is an extraordinary man. He almost died this past year from a staff infection that left him paralyzed for 6 months. He told the story of his will to walk again and actually got up out of the wheelchair and walked across the stage. His determination is a testament to the fact, that whatever the mind can believe it can achieve. I have lived my entire life reciting those words and seeing it and hearing it from someone like Dave was truly an inspiration. He spoke about how one of the biggest driving forces in his life, was the book Think and Grow Rich.  “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” he said. “Develop the habits of Superstars.” This is exactly why I am with Remax and why I go to these conventions. So I can associate with people who are driven. It is also why I moved to Costa Rica. So I could surround myself with people who want to live a better life. The majority of my clients and neighbors had a vision and put a plan in action to make that dream become a reality. They come from all walks of life, from many different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common. They want to live in paradise, and figured out how to make it happen. They set a goal, worked their plan and didn’t look for a reason to fail. I feel sorry for people who make excuses.

“The wise man does at once what the fool does finally” – Machiavelli

By the way Dave Liniger just wrote a new book called My Next Step about his struggles to overcome paralysis. Incredible! All of the proceeds from this book go to the RE/MAX charities that they have been sponsoring for decades. Children’s Miracle Network, Susan G Komen Race for the Cure and the Wounded Warrior Project.  Please order one; it will change your life and the money can definitely make a difference.

My Associate Joseph and I were flying on the plane, heading back to Costa Rica.  I was looking forward to another good book.  You see I am a voracious reader of Non Fiction.  I especially like to read books by very successful people but also people who have had to overcome traumatic experiences and survived.  It helps me put my life into perspective. I figure if someone can live through the Bataan Death March, I probably don’t have much to complain about when the water goes out and I have to take a bath in the pool that morning.  But of course, the guy next to us asked us what we did for a living.  I usually tell people I am an IRS agent that definitely shuts them up.  Sometimes I say that I am a bartender, this is one of my favorites, as there isn’t much excitement about serving drinks and people tend to leave me alone.  I love it when I say that though because they always get this funny look on their face.  Wow, he is sitting in First Class, tips must be good.

If I want peace and quiet, I have to go undercover.  Before I could say anything Joe mentioned Costa Rica, and off we went on a 2 hour fact finding mission.  I can’t begin to tell you though how many clients I have gotten this way, or at my favorite past time, professional sporting events.  I have been to a dozen Super Bowls and Stanley Cups and I love the type of people that get tickets to these things.  They don’t work at Church’s fried chicken I promise you.  These are middle to upper class businessmen and women, my type of people.  It is probably why I don’t go to Renaissance fairs or Dixie Chicks concerts either.  More than once, the guy sitting next to me ended up booking a ticket and coming down to Costa Rica, purchasing a little piece of paradise.

A few years ago, my father and I went to the World Series together, as the Colorado Rockies had finally made it to the big dance.  There is nothing better than watching a ball game with your father while sucking back some cold beers.  My Dad and I were really enjoying our time together, laughing, hugging, and cheering on our team.  This woman behind us reached down and tapped me on the shoulder, telling me how much she enjoyed watching my father and I bond.  My Dad hears this and turns around.  Literally at the top of his lungs he screams  “Yeah, isn’t it great!!!  My son came all the way from Costa Rica just to go to the game with me!  HE SELLS REAL ESTATE!!!”  I missed the next 3 innings as everyone within 5 rows wanted my card and some information.  But I did make a sale from that so I guess I owe my Pops a referral fee. 

Thanks Dad.

After the plane landed and Joe and I were home, I immediately felt a sigh of relief.  Out of Sin City and back to Paradise City (where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, Take Me Home Yeah Yeah).  The first thing you notice when you arrive in the USA is how miserable everyone is, and when you get back, you immediately realize how incredibly happy everyone is that lives here.  I was absolutely slammed as I had a dozen sets of clients who had specifically made arrangements to arrive after I got back.   One woman named Cindi broke her big toe tripping over a stair while we were looking at condos.  I saw her a few days later and asked her how she was doing.  She told me that she had never in her life, come across more caring people than she had in the few days since her accident.  People she had never met before were helping to carry her groceries up the stairs, give her rides in their golf cart and one couple even went out and bought her a cane so she could walk easier.  These are the type of people that come to Costa Rica.  This is why I live here.

Eight years ago I met this great guy named Wayne, who was on vacation in Playa Hermosa.  We have kept in touch this entire time, while he was putting his plan in action to finally make the move to paradise.  He came down this trip with his partner Laura and we spent a few days looking at properties.  During one of our conversations, I asked if they were married, as it would be easier to apply for their residency as a married couple than as two single individuals.  Marcela, their immigration attorney, told them that she could easily marry them if they ever wanted to tie the knot.  “Will you marry me Laura?”  Wayne asked, and the next thing you know we are in the courtyard, next to the rose garden, under the Palm trees.  Costa Rica law says there must be two witnesses and my agent Roland chose to be the best man.  So that left me as the bride’s maid LOL.  Marcela might not be an Elvis impersonator, she is much better looking, but she did an amazing job and it was one of the most glorious weddings I have ever attended.  Thanks guys for allowing me to be a part of your special day.  We look forward to having you here fulltime soon.

I finally had a day off after a long couple of weeks, and I spent it relaxing in the pool, drinking cocktails on the raft.  I definitely can’t go Under Cover here in Coco, everybody knows me and they always want to talk real estate.  While floating I realized that I am truly a very Lucky Man.  I have an outstanding life.  I work in the best industry for the Number One Company while living in the finest country in the world.  I have a beautiful house, a nice income and more friends than I could ever have imagined.  I have my health, a pack of loving dogs and I am surrounded everyday by the most phenomenal nature and beauty and the happiest people you will ever meet.  I have always said that I was a bit of a dreamer.  I love when dreams start coming true.  Are yours?  Pura Vida.

Michael Simons

This past week our little community lost a great friend when Gabriela Rivera died in a car accident.  She was one of the most positive people you could ever meet, and she was a friend to everyone.  Her smile would light up the room.  Please say a prayer for her children and her family.  RIP Gabriela.  We will miss you tremendously.

 

Link to Frequently Asked Questions about Costa Rica

If you have had a great experience with my office and Costa Rica, I want to hear about it. Please send us a video of yourself telling us WHY and I will post it to my website for everyone to see. Or send me an email and I will put it in my Testimonials. I appreciate your business and that you have decided to read this Newsletter more than I could ever tell you. THANK YOU. Please take a little more time and check out the entire site. We have added a lot of information lately that I am sure you will find helpful. Also, please forward this to any friends you think might be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. Is there a story behind Tank Tops and Flip Flops you ask? Of course, but you have to stay tuned for another Newsletter. I hope all is well. Stay healthy. God Bless you and your families. Stop procrastinating and hurry back!

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