Working With Friends & Family

Q: I showed a few listings to a friend but he ended up buying through somebody else. Where did I go wrong?

A: Unfortunately, your story isn’t unique. Recently, a Realtor friend of mine told me the exact same story. He concluded his rant with, “It sucks!”

And I had to give him a little tough love. I said, “It doesn’t suck. You suck.”

I know I sound like an unsympathetic jerk but hear me out. There are two very obvious things that you need to know in this situation:

  1. Your friend doesn’t trust you to get the job done
  2. You don’t get to be mad at your friend; you should be mad at yourself!

Let’s break that down.

You friend doesn’t trust you to get the job done.

Think about the different hats you wear. You have to put your Realtor hat on. Are you are telling your friend about issues that come up with clients and colleagues? Do you gripe to your family about how busy you are?

When you complain to your friends and family about how difficult work is, they are going to assume you are unhappy with your job. Trust me, no one wants to work with someone who has a chip on their shoulder. They don’t want to add to your burden!

It’s not that you can’t confide in your friends or family but you want to make sure they know that you are NEVER too busy for their referrals or their business. That said, if you are truly unhappy in your job, perhaps you need to consider a career change. Don’t be stuck in a career that you don’t love. You will be miserable and people won’t want to work with you.

You don’t get to be mad at your friend; you should be mad at yourself!

If your friend is purchasing a home with someone else, especially if you showed them homes, quite frankly, you are the problem.

Be honest, maybe you are a bit of a slacker. Do you take shortcuts? How’s your communication? Do you give weekly updates? Maybe you need to brush up on your negotiating skills. If your friend ends up with a different agent, it’s likely that you aren’t providing superior service. You have to be better than average. Strive to be the best! Don’t blame your friend; it’s your own damn fault.

I did a large portion of deals with friends and family members. And I’ll be honest, it can be difficult to work with friends and family because it’s easy to take each other for granted. You can’t treat your friends and family like they owe you their business. They don’t owe you their business if you suck at your job.

Regardless of my client, I was on my A+ game at all times! I consistently communicated. I negotiated like a champ. I was always present. In turn, I never had a friend or family member who did not use me unless, of course, I didn’t want to work with them (we all have that friend or family member who we just can’t work with).

Even when my mom bought a home, she got every single one of those 35 items. She told me, “Tyler, you don’t need to send me pizza.”

I said, “I know I don’t Mom, but that’s the service I provide for all of my clients, no exceptions!”

You have to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are the problem. If you aren’t, then maybe they aren’t a true friend.

Always make sure your clients know you’re available, that you will execute, and that you are going to be there for them to close the deal. At the end of the day, that’s all they want; they want someone who can get the deal done!