Selling The Mansion #4: The Interview

We interviewed with 'Mr. Big,' the man who would be our boss in early May of 2005 at the Conseco campus for the privilege of selling the highest profile mansion in Indiana.  Let me just say The Apprentice had nothing on this experience.  We had learned ahead of time that we would be the third real estate entity to interview for the position of selling the mansion. We would be the last party to face the bright lights.  When we walked in, it was us (Dick Richwine, my partner and I) and Mr. Big (you can read more about him in THIS post).  We sat at an 18 seat board/conference room table with no one else and yes, it seemed awkward. Maybe that was the point. Three of us in this huge room was an unusual environment but O.K., if this is what it took, so be it.  Mr. Big had no notes in front of him. No writing utensils, no blackberry to flip through (there were no ipads then) no reference materials of any kind. It was just him and us. There were no spread sheets or power point presentations that were going to phase him. Side note...unlike The Apprentice, there were no TV cameras and no one smiled either. By the time we were done we'd have given about anything to have Trump himself there instead of our future boss.  It was most of two hours of intense questioning and with each answer came a disagreement of that answer. Deeper and more cynical every back and forth went.  It became more tense as time went by. Mr. Big would ask a question, we'd respond and then he'd lean back in his chair and stare disinterested out the window. It was if we answered every single question wrong. Why would we really care? In addition to the prestige, there was a little matter of $600,000 in commissions at stake. With all of that out there, Mr. Big was thriving on letting us stew and it was working.  Finally near the 120 minute mark, we were dismissed.  There was no indication of how it went at any time. He just sat there, quietly thanked us for coming and went silent.  We walked out and I remember thinking, 'well, it was great we got to at least interview, I guess one of the other fools is going to be the one.'  We were sure we were toast.  17 agonizing days later we got the call from one of the attorneys.  Both the good and bad news was....WE were the other fools who were going to list this home. Our first time walking in this estate and our immediate thoughts would come to be three days later.  I'll detail them next in installment #5, First Impressions.