Over the years that I have been a real estate agent, I have learned that one of the best ways to turn a customer into a client is to find a common connection and build rapport. You can typically find something you have in common with almost anyone, and it is easier to get someone to open up to you when you can actually hold a conversation. Of course during these conversations, peronal tidbits of your life can come out and what you say can help or hurt you.
Take for instance one home owner who contacted me about listing their home. After meeting them and speaking about their home, I was told they loved what I offered for marketing and told me they thought I could sell their home. I thought I had the listing, until they told me they felt my kids would get in the way of my marketing and showing the home, so they wanted an agent without children. What?
I was really shocked by that one.
So now, I leave my kids out of conversations as much as I can, and I make sure I don't tell people about family functions or events for the reason I am not available to see them. Now I tell them I have an appointment at that time as I find that no matter what, if you tell a client that you have a personal function to attend, instead of attending on them, they get offended. Guess agents are not allowed to have a life.
Another example of what to tell or not tell is health related issues. I had minor surgery recently that had me in the hospital for a day. I had my phone with me so I could receive emails and messages, which my husband helped monitor. I didn't tell many people as I didn't want them to worry, and I didn't want any clients to think I wasn't working (heaven forbid I take a day off). Sure enough, while I was recovering, a client called about something which I would not be able to get to for a few days, but was already in the works. He got mad at me because I dared to have surgery without consulting him first. As mad as I was at his lack of empathy or understanding, I bit my tongue and told him I would get on it as soon as I could drive (aka, no more pain killers). But really, what business is it of his anyway that I had surgery?
So I have to ask you, what is your "line in the sand" for what you will or won't disclose to a client about your personal life?