Arthur Riolo is a world-class storyteller. Arthur sells real estate in my little town north of New York City. He sells a lot of real estate—more than all his competitors combined. That's because Arthur doesn't sell anything.

Anyone can tell you the specs of a house or talk to you about the taxes. But he doesn't. Instead, Arthur does something very different. He takes you and your spouse for a drive. You drive up and down the hills of a neighborhood as he points out house after house (houses that aren't for sale). He tells you who lives in that house and what they do and how they found the house and the name of their dog and what their kids are up to and how much they paid. He tells you a story about the different issues in town, the long-simmering rivalries between neighborhoods and the evolution and imminent demise of the Mother's Club. Then, and only then, does Arthur show you a house.

It might be because of Arthur's antique pickup truck or the fact that everyone in town knows him or the obvious pleasure he gets from the community, but sooner or later, you'll buy a house from Arthur. And not just because it's a good house. Because it's a good story.

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