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When Friends Reject

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Friendship and Business


I don’t know if others in the mortgage industry face this situation or not but lately I’ve been losing deals. I’m not talking about your normal deals either, but deals that my friends are initiating and closing. Since the beginning of the year three of my friends or within my circle of influence have bought homes or refinanced. And I didn’t get to be a part of any of them.

When we built our marketing strategy a vital component was capitalizing on the “under the nose” sources. Some call it “sphere of influencing marketing’ etc. Whatever the terms, the idea is to be the expert provider of your service within your immediate contacts whether friends or family.Since we are not from Arizona and have no family here, this meant the friendships we developed around the gym, young moms, church, Nepalese community etc. It is not that we become friends with the intention of doing business, but we do not shy away from making our work known to them as our friendship develops. In the past we have received inquiries from folks within our circle and have even closed transactions for them. Lately our circle is not seeking to be involved with us. Am I being to sensitive?

I’m not sure what may be going on. Maybe real estate agents do not face this issue, but I’m thinking if there is an inverse relationship between friendship and mortgages financing? Meaning the closer we become as friends the less likely we are to do business with them. I know there can be some concerns, since we will need to review all income and asset information, but we are professionals and abide by the strictest level of confidentiality.

Is there something to this phenomenon or it is just temporary and soon I’ll be refinancing all my friends! Or do you suggest to never mix friendship with business?

Writer for national real estate opinion column AgentGenius.com, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Vicki Moore

    April 1, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Realtors experience a lot – there’s a lot of us. It seems everbody knows one. Sometimes people don’t want friends to know their financial situation. I don’t think you’re being sensitive. I think your feelings are hurt. Mine are too every time it happens to me. It never gets easier.

  2. ines

    April 1, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    It’s definitely not you. We have done plenty of business with friends and also lost “friends” over business….trying to understand the human mind and why some “friends” may not want to work with you is beyond my rational grasp. What is clear is that you learn to know who your real friends really are, it’s all good.

  3. Elaine Reese

    April 1, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I would it expect it to happen more with the mortgage market simply because people might be hesitant to divulge all their financials with a friend. It sometimes happens to Realtors if people are afraid it might affect their friendship. It definitely is harder to work for friends but it can be done. I’ve done several.

    It’s better to maintain a friend than lose a deal. I don’t think you should take it too personally.

  4. Christina Ethridge

    April 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I’m not one to shy away from the ‘why’. I would ask why. But put the onus on yourself – ask them if you’ve done something or if they prefer not to work with friends. Our sphere of friends we include in all of our marketing – our monthly newsletters – our bi-weekly snail mails – our weekly emails. When we meet someone, we plug them in. From our kids sports teams to people in our bible study. We also support our friends businesses where we can. If I had friends that didn’t use us, I’d want to know why to see if there is something I could change or?? My dad has had people in the past say they didn’t use him because they thought their sale would be too small for him (he’s always been the top agent in the area). I made sure to change that image for him and us so people wouldn’t think their transaction was too small.

  5. David G

    April 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Shailesh,

    In case it helps there is a popular theory that supports the inverse relationship between (real) friendship and the economic value of your relationships; it’s Granoveter’s “strength of weak ties” theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Granovetter). You actually see it in practice when you speak to a blogger who gets 80% of their business from people they don’t know (yet) who have contacted them via their blog.

  6. Russell Shaw

    April 2, 2008 at 3:16 am

    For my first 10 – 12 years in real estate every time I found out a friend (read anyone I knew) bought a house from someone else or listed with another agent I felt betrayed. It simply “stung” each time it happened. As my business grew it still happened but it didn’t seem to matter as much. I knew I had “crossed over” when I found out about someone selecting an agent (who wasn’t me) and I was not in the least upset about it. In fact, I was so happy that it didn’t upset me that I talked about to my wife all the way home. The next few times Wendy still got to hear how wonderful it was that it didn’t matter anymore. Now, it is a complete non-event. Sort of like the sun coming up. I’m not surprised and it is just part of life.

    The key to it really being alright was the potential money really not mattering. Really not mattering.

  7. Bill Lublin

    April 2, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Hi Shailesh;
    I don;t know that your circle should seek to be involved with you , as much as you need to remind them that you wish to do business with them. But even if you did, I’m not sure that would matter, since, as Elaine and Ines point out, usually the issue is with the other person and not with you.

    From the time we’re little kids being chosen for teams in the playground to our adult lives, we always want to be chosen. And when we spend the time to become good at our trade and proud of the service we provide, it feels even worse when we are not the chosen one. But as everyone is quick to point out, while it might not feel good, and might always give you a twinge (it does to me, even after all these years) I think all you can do is put away the feelings, offer your best wishes and be prepared to help them next time -after all it was their loss 🙂

  8. ines

    April 2, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Russell – I’m so glad to hear it gets better – although for me it’s not the money, is the thought that they either don’t trust me or don’t believe in me. I would go out of my way to use my friend’s services, whether it’s a clothing store, a used cars dealership or a doctor.

  9. Shailesh Ghimire

    April 2, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I guess we all face this to an extent and it’s a matter of how we deal with it. I guess I’d like to read the “zen” state that Russell is in, and hopefully in a few years I’ll get there.

    Interesting theory David. I enjoyed reading about it on Wikipedia.

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Business Marketing

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

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Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

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The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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