Blog Sellers Be the Wolf - Be Like Chris

Be the Wolf – Be Like Chris

By Tracy Dau, October 4, 2019

My real estate partner, Chris Speth, has always reminded me of a character played by Harvey Keitel in the movie Pulp Fiction. That character is called “The Wolf”. Technically, the Wolf is a cleaner, which is a person that is brought in to fix a messy situation in a hurry. You call them to do the job that you personally don’t have the skills to do.  Cleaners are specialized people who remove incriminating evidence from a crime scene (usually one involving murder) in order to make the legal consequences of the crime go away. Cleaners flip a scene, shake things up, and transform a space so that it is whole again.  The house with stained carpet ✔ (taken care of), the house with the car that needs to be removed from the garage ✔ (hauled off), the filth and decay ✔ (bleach does the job), lastly, the multiple dump runs to clean the scene ✔ – done (by Chris personally- using his trailer).  Being a great REALTOR® is one thing, but being a combo ‘cleaner/realtor’ is something so incredibly special; it’s like having a bad-ass Tinker bell sitting on your shoulder protecting you at all times.

Elite cleaners, like my partner Chris, often work for agencies (government or boutique firms). You rarely hear about them because they are quiet and humble – stealth-like. You might hear a whisper about an event that ‘might have’ happened, but you will never know who cleaned it up because the cleaner never leaves a trail. Not only does he manage to get the job done, but he gets it done with grace and style. He’s the epitome of cool under pressure. Chris uses a checklist, and then he delivers. He doesn’t over-promise to his clients, nor is he cocky—instead; he surveys the scene, gets the facts and then confidently states what his plan is. Rather jumping-the-gun and diving in to the “the really messy parts”, Chris will often come up with a plan to delegate tasks. He understands that the goal can’t be met if he attempts to do it all himself, so he has a secretive team that he calls on: Clark, Jeff, and Jimmie often divvy up the work.

When all of the tasks are completed with the highest level of attention by the team members, the results can be extraordinary.  The key is to stay calm, cool, and collected throughout it all— and no one does this better than these guys.  The ‘situation’ that was once needing dire attention, is now cleaned up and transformed.

A Wolf understands that he must treat his help with encouraging words and celebrate all successful clean-ups at the Space Room.  Setting a holistic approach from the start of a clean-up, to consistently not loosing sight that whiskey is the perfect ending for all involved in the job. This assures everyone that the situation is under control. With a clink of glasses its done.  Cleaned, listed, ‘BOOM’ – Offer in the next day!

     The Wolf/Chris Check List:

  1. Introduce yourself to your new client
  2. Identify their needs
  3. Survey the scene
  4. Take notes – make a list
  5. Assess the situation
  6. Identify all of the shit that can go wrong
  7. Prioritize tasks
  8. Get to work and delegate if needed
  9. Always have a backup plan.  Always have a bag packed.

Tracy Dau

Broker | Earth Advantage


When you meet Tracy Dau, it doesn’t take long to realize where her true passions lie.  She loves houses and loves matching her clients with the place that’s perfect for them.  Ask her clients and they’ll tell you she’s a whirlwind of energy, a juggler of projects, a creative force, a good listener and a tireless advocate.  She comes to the job with a vision for what’s possible and the background to make that happen. Maybe it’s because she grew up in the breathtaking town of Juneau Alaska, where it rains 250 days a year.  It’s the kind of place where you either give into gloomy weather or dig deep and find the will to preserve. Maybe it’s because her folks instilled in her the drive to succeed. For the past sixteen years she has gutted and restored many houses, using any opportunity to work with her hands. Blending her formal training as a fine artist and designer with her experience as a builder, these old-house remodels have become her creative canvas. Her time as a product developer and architectural consultant at Rejuvenation House Parts introduced her to a community of like-minded folks who encouraged her to become a REALTOR®. She is drawn to vintage homes. The artist in her is drawn to their detail, the builder in her to their craftsmanship. Their charm and imperfections make them all the more fascinating and soulful. That’s what drew her to her first home. Stripped of all her painted-lady features, she sat sadly on a corner lot in SE Portland waiting to be loved and cared for. She had a yard full of shopping carts, a tree that had grown through her facade, motor-oil soaked mattresses and a basement full of the neighbor’s missing car parts, and yet, in spite of this her husband Nate and Tracy bought and fixed her up. This renovation lead to the next house-love-affair, followed by another and another. It only made sense to apply this knowledge and the valuable lessons learned along the way to help others looking to buy or improve their own homes. Which brings me to why she became a REALTOR®. Tracy chose this job because she is passionate about houses and loves the chance to develop relationships with her clients. When you choose to work with Tracy, she will advocate for your best interests, guide you through the home buying process and protect you from the stressful moments as they inevitably arise. She will advise you every step of the way to enable you to make good decisions, stay centered and reach your goals. Even after your  transaction has come to an end, Tracy is still available to answer your questions and help with your home projects. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Her hobbies include teaching her children, Lander and Olivia, about nature, hunting for sea creatures, spotting birds, drinking bourbon in the winter and gin in the summer, eating chocolate and traveling to warm destinations.
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