Tales from the Street

Don’t get hung up, there’s always a solution

My brother Roger has been a real estate investor since his early 20’s. He is quite an exceptional man, husband, father, and brother. He’s now given me the honor of assisting him with finding investment properties and that means a great deal that he’s entrusted that responsibility to me.


In late 2016, I was out showing Roger condo communities in North East Fresno. When we arrived at a gated community, our second stop for the day, we previewed a nice 2 bedroom, 2 bath single story unit that was close to shopping, hospital, freeway access, and many other great features. As we were walking through the unit, we discussed what could be updated to increase rental values and then decided this one was worth proceeding with.


Locked In

As we were finishing up and I was walking around turning lights off and locking doors, we came to the front door and the screen door was locked and must have automatically locked when we closed it on the way in.  It had a keyhole but the key we had did not fit. As a trained professional, it is my job to not panic and always smile like I know exactly what I’m doing. However, this was my big brother and he saw through my facade at once. I couldn’t get that door opened and he knew it.  We tried several more times to no avail.

I finally gathered the courage to call the listing agent and confess that we were locked in


I finally gathered the courage to call the listing agent and confess that we were locked in. Let me tell you, it was embarrassing too. In truth, I didn’t know if it was my “user error”or not. The call to the other agent went straight to voicemail so I left a message for them to call me as soon as possible.


While I was leaving the voicemail, Roger was diligently looking for a solution to our dilemma. He pointed out we could escape by climbing over the concrete fence in the backyard, but I really didn’t want to have to climb a fence.  As I was running the options through my head, Roger volunteered to climb the fence and see if the door would open from the other side.  My thoughts immediately turned towards; “What if he got hurt?”  I couldn’t allow this to happen. “How did this happen to begin with?”


I quickly called the agent again and once again, got voicemail. The realization was beginning to set in that it was either that concrete wall or we were going to be there for quite some time. Thankfully I was in pants and heels and not a dress! Off I went to scale the wall.


As Roger patiently watched, I pulled myself up and over.  Quite easily actually. I felt pretty proud to have displayed my agility like that; thank goodness that I’ve been faithfully going to the gym. Once I hoped over, I spotted a car exiting the community and I ran to get through the gate before it closed and locked me out of the condo community once and for all.  Once making it back to the unit, worried as to whether the screen door was going to open or not, I turned the handle and thankfully, it opened right up. Crisis averted, thank you God!  As Roger and I checked it out, the door knob had been installed backwards which is what caused this fiasco to begin with. At least it wasn’t my user error though. 🙂  As we were discussing the backwards door knob, my phone rang and it was the other agent’s assistant.  I let her know that we did get out okay but explained the issue with the door knob. She committed to address it with her clients and have the door fixed. I wonder how many others found themselves in my same predicament though?

Sometimes we aren’t meant to go out the same way we enter


We didn’t end up offering on the property but I did learn something that day. It brought to mind that sometimes we aren’t meant to go out the same way we enter.  Sometimes God closes doors so that we are forced to go another way and don’t make the same mistakes and repeat the same patterns again. God wants us to do things His way.  And the only way for those rich in stubbornness is by having God close the previous door to force us to think through and find an alternate solution through a new door.




Todd Mitchell

We are best friends, partners, parents, business owners, constant learners, goal setters, serial entrepreneurs, authors and above all, authentic.

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