Having friends is good.
This topic is talked about all the time – the value of any relationship. Whether it’s our clients, our agent friends, our vendors, or the people we “meet” online, there is a value to having them. If there’s no value, then perhaps they shouldn’t be our friends – real or perceived. I got to thinking about how I value the different people in my life on two separate unrelated cases in the past few weeks. Who are my friends? Are my clients my friends? Are my online friends really my friends?
The true value in any relationship is care. Caring about the other person on some level that creates an interest, a desire to know more, and a connection between the two people that for one reason or another gives them both returns, whatever they might be. I might be friends with one person for different reasons than another, but having a relationship with that person provides me (and them) with something.
Many of you are my online friends. We talk, we joke, we ask questions of each other. I’ve known some of you for almost a year now (my first article on AgentGenius, “Will the real Matt Stigliano please stand up?” was written on September 22, 2008) and many of you have become great friends to me. Kim Wood is one such friend. I knew we were friends long ago, but recently I realized just how much our friendship meant. Kim was feeling a little sick and went to the hospital, when I heard the news, I was worried. How can I worry about someone I never met?
I think many of us can attest to the care we feel for our online friends. The relationship is real. It’s discussed constantly in real estate circles, but I know it for a fact. I worried about Kim until I received more news that she was doing better. I sent her a card, one which didn’t make it to her. I sent it again and it made it finally. She had sent me a note on Twitter that said “I’m sure it will show up just when I need it.” It did and I was thrilled.
Kim and I had a secret competition in writing here at AgentGenius. We both posted on the same day (Wednesdays – yes this is a day late!) and would try to beat each other to get our article in before the other. Although the competition was about who was first, it was really more than that. I love her writing, so knowing that I was in direct “competition” with her for eyeballs made me push myself to write better posts. I miss having Kim’s posts here every week to compare my own to. She’s getting better, but I still miss that friendly competition – even though there was no prize other than bragging rights. Get better Kim, I need you back!
I’ve had a busy week of closing and phone calls have been non-stop daily trying to wrap up the final details and get things done. Yesterday, I called my client – we’ll call her Sue (which is funny, because I don’t think she should be named Sue at all, just doesn’t fit her for some reason). I needed to get a few details from her to expedite the closing process and when I called, I was met with a newsflash. Seems my client was having some heart trouble. Feeling palpitations that scared her to death. I forgot why I even called her. Sue and I spoke for about 20 minutes and I didn’t even think to ask her the questions I had called her about. She’s been an awesome client since the day I met her and I was genuinely worried for her. I wanted her to be better. I didn’t care much about talking shop with her. I had a job to do, but it could wait while we discussed what was going on in her life.
Sue’s okay, I spoke with her last night. They’re doing the usual tests and such. She sounds great and she wanted to talk business. I was there at 9 PM (which isn’t all that late for an agent) going over facts and figures with her before the documents were sent out to her to sign (she’s now out of state). We talked for quite awhile about business and life. She gets excited when I have new clients or closings. She wants me to succeed and is always boosting my confidence.
By forming relationships with both of these people, I have benefited. I gained confidence, fun, knowledge, and plain ‘ol good feelings. When they are down (but not out!), I am there with them – rooting them on to a successful recovery. Hoping to speak to them soon when they’re 100%. Sending them my best thoughts and wishes, just because I took a few minutes to get to know them. When we open ourselves up to getting to know the people around us, good things come from it. Not every agent is a referral and not every client is a paycheck. They are our friends and we can receive value from those relationships that far exceeds and referral agreement or commission check we’ll ever receive.
photo courtesy of hojusaram
August 20, 2009 at 1:32 pm
Matt – I can’t wait to give you the big ‘ole *hug* face-to-face…. again, not IRL (in real life) because the hugs I send virtually are in fact, real. The support I have received is amazing, from people that I’ve known and met f2f, people I’ve only known virtually, people I know locally and people I didn’t connect with at all before….. it’s amazing !
Relationship building is where it’s at. For clients, for agents, for friends.
And watch out, Boi, cause I have a lot of post ideas ready to come out – so I might beat you !!!
August 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm
PS I have a Gravatar and I hate when it doesn’t grab it !
August 20, 2009 at 4:29 pm
Life is gooder if you have friends. Amen.
August 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm
Nice article. When you click with people like that it’s like magic!
(Get well, Kim!)
August 21, 2009 at 7:06 am
I’m blessed to have a robust client base that also shares a unique bond with me – the fraternity of Navy Chief Petty Officers. I won’t bore everyone with the intricate details of what that means – just know that the “list” of “Chief Selectees” comes out in late July or early August, and that starts the training phase of teaching a Sailor how to be “The Chief.” By mid-September they have their “pinning” – also known as “The Happiest Day of My Life” – when they don the uniform and the ANCHORS. Chests explode with pride, mothers, wives, and fathers weep openly with joy, and new Chiefs are born.
Because I share that unique bond with many of my clients, we socialize regularly, and correspond frequently – regardless of our physical location. Fully half of my FB friends are Sailors – past and present. I do things no Realtor should ever do for their clients – simply because we’re Chiefs. A friend in need and all that…..
Today, Senior Chief “Wild Bill” Keown, United States Navy, is retiring in the Fort Meade, Maryland area. I initiated Bill into the Chief Fraternity fully nine-plus years ago. I am not there in body – but I sure am in spirit. Songs will be sung, many a toast made and off-color joke told. As concerned as you are for Kim, I am jealous of my friends that are there for this auspicious occassion.
I’d quote Kennedy’s missive about serving in the Navy – but I’ve gone on long enough and need to go dry my eyes anyway. Thanks, Matt, for making my day with another awesome reminder about what’s important in life.
Navy Chief, Navy Pride!
August 21, 2009 at 7:11 am
Need to add that “mothers, wives, HUSBANDS, and fathers weep…..”
August 21, 2009 at 8:58 am
A phone call or comment or virtual hug does wonders for us, when we are busy or under the weather. When my daughter was in a horrible car crash in 07, her room was full of flowers from virtual friends. Some whom I have never met to this day.
August 22, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Matt – Your sincerity is always evident whether virtual or Real Life. Dats why people luv ya! I can’t wait to meet you 🙂
August 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm
Kim – I’d be honored to be beaten to a pulp by you in a blog-off. Bring it on! Hope your days are getting better and definitely can’t wait to meet.
Ken – And life is gooderer if you have good friends.
Lisa – I’ve been lucky in real estate. I clicked with a lot of people who became my friends early on. I have one of the best “support teams” on earth. When I need something, I have friends in all sorts of places and it’s a great comfort to know and a huge confidence builder.
Joe – It’s always nice to know that you’re part of something special. I guess humans in general need that feeling. That’s why we have so many clubs, fraternal organizations, business social groups, and of course – social media itself. Belonging to something and building relationships is a part of life.
Missy – I saw a lot of it right here in my early days of hanging around AgentGenius. I didn’t know Bill’s wife, but I knew of her. Bill had become someone I associated with on occasion here and to hear of his loss made me feel as if I was a part of that life. The outpouring of comments to him included my own, a guy he barely knew and had never met face to face. Didn’t matter, because Bill responded to me much the same as he did many that he had met – as a friend. It really helped show me the value of relationships built through social media, even if there has never been an actual face to face meeting.
Paula – Thanks for the compliment. Hearing something like that is certainly a confidence booster. I look forward to meeting you as well – I owe you for the whole inspiration of the Google/scraper drama. That was a big moment in my real estate career for me and you took the time to make me feel a part of it all. I appreciate that!