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Real estate agents wax sentimental about client withdrawal

My buyer just closed on her house last week. It’s her first place, so she is thrilled. It’s a paycheck, so I should be elated (cha-ching). Another satisfied customer, right? Well, what ought to be a joyous moment for me often ends up being bittersweet.

This always happens, especially with clients I adore beaucoup. We get keys, we do the happy dance. Once the giddiness subsides, we exchange handshakes, a pat on the back (maybe a hug), trade cliched farewell pleasantries and finally part ways. For the next week, a familiar feeling of void undoubtedly creeps up on me.  It’s what I call client withdrawal. No, not the kind where they back out of a transaction. It’s the kind where we miss them.

Us real estate agents are in a funny business. We spend massive amounts of time with clients and get to know everything about them. We know what turns them on, what turns them off, their work schedule , their days off. We are privy to information even their own families don’t know about, from intimate financial details, FICOs, to their private lives.

We educate them about the market. We hold their hand through the emotional roller coaster. We are therapist, confidant, protector, chauffeur, real estate agent (usually in that order!). We become so deeply entrenched in their lives… Then one day, POOF! It’s over. They move in and we move on. That flurry of activity, that sense of closeness suddenly gone. There is no weaning off period. Keys get exchanged, and in an instant these people who we have tended to almost daily vanish from our lives. I wonder if this is reciprocally felt?

I got my answer this morning. The aforementioned buyer popped me a text “this is the 1st wkd in months I have not seen you. I need my Herman fix! :-)” If we truly have done our job right, they miss us too.

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Written By

Watch Real Estate Expert Herman Chan put the REAL back in REALTY. In his show Habitat for Hermanity, Herman skewers the real estate business and pokes fun at his fellow agents, all the while empowering buyers & sellers with behind-the-scene tips & secrets of the industry! Get a glimpse beyond the glitz & glam of real estate. It's a hot mess! Featured on HGTV, House Hunters & other media outlets, Herman is the undisputed Real Estate Maven whose helpful & hilarious commentary you just can't live without! In fact, his real estate TV show has just been optioned in Hollywood!



  1. ross therrien

    January 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

    There are time we a glad to part ways but those are quickly forgotten by the ones we establish good relationships with. Hopefully their still local and the connection remains.

  2. Sheila Rasak

    January 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Well said, my friend, so well said! My clients symbolize a relationship of trust and unity that doesn’t dissapate with a hug or handing off of the keys. Each client takes with them a small piece of my heart as I’ve journeyed with them through their transaction. Getting to know them is almost always a pleasure and if it’s not, I don’t take on that client.

    I tend to keep the relationship alive with a note or an email here and there. I don’t believe in checking out when the transaction is over as checking in is far more fulfilling.

  3. Fred Romano

    January 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Maybe agents are getting “too involved” in their clients life?

  4. Erin Golding

    January 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    So true! It’s so nice to make a great connection with clients and miss them after closing. This is after all a people business

  5. Laurel Jack

    January 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Written to perfection, could not have said it better. We really are in a funny business. The different amount of hats we wear is endless. Keeps us on our toes for sure! Nicely done Herman.

  6. Matthew Hardy

    January 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Your answer to keeping the relationship going? CRM.

    Some people say that most agents don’t follow-up after the transaction. Some have told me that they’d be tickled pink if they had the data on every buyer and seller they ever worked with as a resource for additional transactions. Some agents do this. Most don’t. While the concept of “agent-for-life” can be proffered as marketing, the functional underpinning to make it a reality is CRM.

  7. Coleen DeGroff

    January 13, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Herman – you’ve got me all verklempt over here! I have a closing this afternoon with some very sweet buyers that I am really going to miss. It is such an honor to walk within our clients’ lives, even if for such a short time. Great article. Thanks so much for posting it.

  8. Matt Thomson

    January 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Matthew hit it on the head here…Hermann, I agree with your post almost whole heartedly, which makes follow up so important.
    My daughter had her 3rd bday party this fall. One of my current clients were there with their 3 year old. The wife asked for an introduction of who all was there. It was at that point that I realized 7 of the 11 families there had been clients of mine.
    Nothing wrong with keeping in touch, though certainly not as frequently as when the transaction is brewing!

  9. Agent for Movoto

    January 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Awww, this is such a sweet post. And you’re so right – agents do wear a lot of hats, but all those hats are about earning a person’s trust.

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