Ever hear that old wives tale that says if you touch a frog, you’ll get warts? What do you have to touch to get a half dozen unsolicited phone books dumped on your front door every year.
You may not know this but phone books are the warts of vacant real estate. They’re probably considered the warts of occupied real estate as well, depending upon the occupant’s point of view.
As a real estate agent, I’ve stood at a lot of front doors and I’ve seen a lot of lonely phone books piled up by welcome mats. What amazes me is seeing years of phone books piled by the front door in some of the empty homes.
The phone book delivery person is, no doubt, an independent contractor paid to sprinkle them across town. I’m thinking that there must be a paycheck penalty for applying deductive reasoning or common sense to skip a home if nobody has retrieved the last five additions.
My own personal record for discovering a phone book stock pile at a vacant house was 11. There were about five or six outside which was impressive. There was another stack inside the door. Someone kept tossing them close to the front door of the foreclosed home and I guess real estate agents kept putting them inside when they were showing the place.
Even if there had been someone living there I wonder if they could opt out of phone book delivery if they even wanted to.
When I came home last week and found a fossil in a plastic bag on my front porch I actually Googled to see how to suspend the delivery.
The site where I ended up was www.YellowPagesGoesGreen.org. I filled out a few of the opt-out forms for “phone book companies” they believe are delivered to my area. Who knows, it may work. Either that or I actually just filled out my detailed contact information and got myself on more phone book lists.
Between the Internet and smart phones, a huge chunk of the American public no longer really has a need for a phone book. That phone book, chock-full of important contact information you and I are supposed to not be able to live without isn’t exactly a necessity.
Approximately 1.2 billion pounds of phone books are thrown out every year. So much energy and resources are being wasted for no other reason than to make highly unattractive paper front porch ornaments, plus it leaves a big, fat carbon footprint.
I’m morally conflicted but at my house that pile of pulp gets the express route from point A to point B which stands for “bin,” as in my recycle bin. The book, regardless of its color, can’t help but lose relevancy when a consumer can search online, find what they’re searching for and get consumer reviews and endorsements.
Now, I realize there are a few people who actually do use the phone book. From what I learned from an impromptu poll I took online, the biggest users are web developers who are looking for businesses behind the times who obviously have money to spend on getting a website built and people who are too short to reach the steering wheel in their car.
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.