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Will You Be My Friend? NO !

Why, oh Why?

Some lessons are hard to learn. Some take more than one time for me to learn them. Am I the only one? Unfortunately, I don’t think so. But hopefully because I’m willing to dig in, confess, and share – it’ll save someone a little bit of turmoil.

The Friendship Rule

The past week has been one of those rides… you wonder if you are at the top of the mountain you were climbing – or at the bottom of the deep, dark pit. I met my sellers almost a year ago. It was a bit of a non-typical listing appointment, but I go with the flow and have learned that my listing presentation will not fit everyone, so sometimes at the last minute I have to switch gears. We talked. We talked about the family, future plans, and real estate. Plans were underway to look for a new home and sell the current one.

After some fun times looking at houses with Mrs. Buyer she mentioned she would love to “go out” sometime. “I can tell we are going to be great friends.” I’ve been here before. I knew what I had to do, and it isn’t ever comfortable, “Mrs. Buyer, please don’t take this personally, it isn’t. But if I am not friends first, I don’t mix business & personal relationships.” It is very easy to become friends, and I do have some good friends that I’ve met as a result of Real Estate transactions. Most clients even those I haven’t talked to in a couple of years, would most likely “hug” upon seeing each other again. (Go ahead – cringe- but it’s true.) My rule is… I will not work on making a personal friendship when a business relationship is in progress. Before or after the transaction is complete – let’s go!

I Broke my Rule

It’s not the first time and won’t be the last time. During one of the deep, dark pit times of the week, I lost my business and professional focus. I was talking it out with a good friend of mine who said, “Take this and learn. What mistake did you make? What can you do better next time?” I didn’t have to think hard. “I became emotionally involved in the transaction.” I care about Mr. and Mrs. and the Kids. No, it’s not “the deal” part of the deal that I’m focused on. It’s selling the house they need to sell. I know there are some agents who can completely relate; others would roll their eyes, say get out of that listing and move on. I have no doubt I have done more than most agents would do to market the home. It has google juice bursting out of the windows. My personal belongings were there to brighten it up a little. Those details aren’t important – but there are lots of those extra mile things that I did for them.

Next Time?

My lesson for me is that I have to learn how to be sympathetic without being empathic in situations. That is the bottom line. There is a time for consoling friendships and a time for professional real estate advice. No tears need to be shed. Keep it business focused. Keep it professional.

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Learn from my mistake. Thank you in advance for the “you need to reduce the price” comments. It’s not really what the post is about, but I’m sure you’re thinking it 🙂

Image Credit

Written By

Kim resides and works selling Real Estate in Chester County, PA. She is a blogger and also writes for her own blog, West of Philly Burbs and Mothers Fighting for Others. Kim is a Social Networking Junkie and you can connect with her in many places including Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr.



  1. Mark Eibner

    April 23, 2009 at 3:17 am

    we’re at it again Will You Be My Friend? NO !: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this ..

  2. sheilabragg

    April 23, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Will You Be My Friend? NO !: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PROMISE that the ShamWow g..

  3. Real Estate Feeds

    April 23, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Will You Be My Friend? NO !: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PROMISE that the ShamWow g..

  4. Ken Montville - The MD Suburbs of DC

    April 23, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Yeah, it’s tough working with clients that you really like as people. Especially since the new conventional teachings are “it’s all about the ‘relationship'”.

    Heck, forget the “let’s go out”. What about when they start to “friend” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter? What happens when they stumble across my Active Rain rants about “the client who…[fill in the blank]”.

  5. Cheryl Allin

    April 23, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Will You Be My Friend? NO ! #feedly [great read about biz/client relationships]

  6. Matt Thomson

    April 24, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I’ve not found the same to be true for me personally. For me, real estate is not my life (not saying it is for you either, I just can’t phrase it any better). I’m not going to say no to a friendship so I can get my job done. Friends are more important to me. I get that you can hurt friendships if business goes sour, but I haven’t had this happen…yet.
    I listed a very good friends’ house and couldn’t get it sold. They re-listed with somebody else who promptly got it sold…for $65k less than what we had it listed for.
    Lesson learned. I should have listed it at my professional opinion, and not their desires. Things were awkward for a day or two, and we’re still good friends.
    I don’t make friends with all my clients (I don’t like them all), but I certainly don’t refuse friendships to stay professional.
    Just a different way of doing things…works for some, not for others.

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