Many years ago in the dim distant past when both God and I were children, my parents used to buy The Observer on Sunday.
One of the things I remember from that paper was an estate agent in London who used to advertise properties on a regular basis.
The first thing I would do on opening the paper was to look for his latest advertisements.
Take a typical blurb from a modern estate agent –
Three bedroom cottage in the Wicklow Mountains.
This charming old world cottage retains many of its original features, yet has been modernised by the current owners.
While in need of minor repair, this property is a must see and is a bargain at €1m.
Yer Man in the Observer would take a different slant –
Absolute rip off in the Wicklow Mountains.
This property contains many of the features of a bygone age such as rising damp and dry rot.
The current owners have attempted to upgrade it and their handy work must be viewed as an example of how not to do things.
If you feel like doing a lot of repairs and have a spare €1m lying around, then this property might be for you.
Not so typical. And Yer Man had a phenomenal sales record apparently.
I would have thought that was obvious.
For a start, people could see straight away that he was honest.
Crowds used to apparently turn up to see just how bad the property was.
And last, but not least, they had very low expectations, and were usually very impressed by what they found.
There is a very simple moral to this. In a world where we are surrounded by propaganda, dishonesty, outrageous claims and hard selling, honesty pays.
It’s as simple as that.