So I had totally forgotten about this until I read this trend of TIFU's today regarding silent alarms.
Except my alarm was far, far from silent.
Obligatory "this happened about a month ago".
So, I lease apartments at a ritzy community. At the time of my fuck up, I was only a couple of weeks into this new property and was still getting familiar with the units and different apartment features.
Touring prospective residents through models and vacants is a huge part of the job, but I always took the opportunity to explore the apartments myself as I was still getting to know my new community.
One day, a woman and her two children came in to look at a specific style of apartment. I was ecstatic because I had yet to see that floorplan myself and had been wanting to. We hopped on the golf cart and I gave her my usual charismatic spiel, going over the community features and amenities as we made our way to the apartment in question.
Things were going great, her kids were happily sipping cokes in the backseat. We arrived at the unit, it was on the top floor, and made our way inside.
Everything looked great; I made an extravagant display of the renovations, waving my arms across the granite counter tops, pointing out the crown molding, the glass backsplash, the Nest thermostat and the anti-slam cabinetry. I received a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" from both mom and kiddos and she was giving me a lot of classic buying signals. I had this $200 commission in my pocket, I just knew it!
We made our way to the master bedroom and I knew she was going to love the size of the closet, so that's the first thing I wanted to show her. Previously, all I'd had seen were paper floorplans, so I was excited to see the closet myself. I was prepared for the size and the built in shelving. What I wasn't expecting to see was a dial on the wall.
I flipped on the lights, and did the majestic arm wave. Of course she loved the closet, as expected. As my resident stepped away to explore the bathroom, I stayed behind to explore the dial. I thought it may be something a previous resident installed to control music or an intercom, but I didn't see speakers anywhere.
Then I realized it was a button.
Oh boy, when you put an unlabeled button in front of me.
Of course I'm gonna press it.
"I wonder what this does!" I said aloud before I made my fatal decision.
So I pressed it.
I shrugged and walked away to join my resident in the bathroom, but about 10 seconds after I stepped away, the loudest, most high pitched, ear-shattering siren I've ever heard started bellowing throughout the entire apartment. My prospect screamed from shock, her kids immediately started crying as well, and one of them spilled their soda on the new carpet.
It was so loud that I could feel my ear drums pulsing with every wave of the blaring noise.
I asked her if she wanted to leave, but to my absolute horror, she still wanted to browse the apartment!!
She must have been partially deaf because someone like myself, with average hearing, would not have chosen to stay in that apartment. It was literally painful.
So I let her stay while I stepped outside and got on the phone with the front office, looking for a code to shut the alarm off. Took about 5 minutes but I finally got it turned off. The alarm code box was by the front door.
I apologized profusely and finished the apartment tour in near silence and with a throbbing headache, and as we went to leave the apartment... who else would be at the door but 2 police officers wondering who the hell were these people leaving this empty apartment??
Thankfully they understood the situation and laughed it off, but the mom and her kids were visibly shaken by it.
After driving her back to the office and apologizing profusely for her terrible experience, I wished her farewell and invited her back to see us, hoping shed still want to apply online.
Needless to say I never heard from her again.
I've learned my lesson - don't touch buttons in empty apartments. At least not while a prospect is with you!
Tl;dr: I toured someone through an empty apartment, found an unmarked button and pressed it, activating the loudest siren I've ever heard, prompting the police to show up, scaring the shit out of my prospect and her kids, and losing a sale.