OK, I recently had one of those "What was I thinking?" moments, and it reminded me of something. When my wife was pregnant with our first son she received a piece of advice that I found extraordinary. It went like this, "Don't do anything once that you don't want to do forever." Of course we had no kids at the time, and we didn't realize how relevent that would be one day.
Well, we made it through two boys without violating the "Don't do" policy, but then we got a dog. It's amazing
how relevent that same advice would have been if I had followed it with my dog. While I was at a conference my wife and sons went to PetSmart and rescued a 115 lb Rottwieller. He was called "Hoss." He was so tall that his head was above our dining room table. At 115 lbs he looked kind of skinny, but within a year he was 185 lbs, and then he looked a little like a large black tube with legs and a head.
Eventually, we got him on a better eating plan and he has slimmed down to a nice 145 lbs, and he looks healthy. Now, here's where I violated the "Don't do" policy. He is very smart. So, we've been teaching him tricks. It really has been fun, and he plays along willingly. One day he was standing at the kitchen doorway and I asked him, "What do you want?" I taught him to walk in and tap his treat bag to let me know what he wanted. He liked it because it ultimately ended in a treat, and he is very food motivated. I thought it was cute, and I was very proud of our accomplishment. Then, before I knew it, he had taken the new trick to the next level. Instead of waiting for me to ask what he wanted he would come in and tap on his bag of treats. Before I knew it, he was like a rock and roll drummer. What I thought was "fun and cute" had turned into a 145 lb furry nightmare. He had to go back on his diet, and we measure the treats out from an undisclosed location now.
What does this have to do with real estate? Clients can be like Hoss. It is our responsibility to help our clients find the perfect house, get the best deal and ultimately walk away feeling like they had a good experience. But, once some cleints learn that we know where the treat bag is, they start tapping. What was once offered as an extra benefit or a simple favor for a client becomes an expectation with a commissin attached. Most of my clients have been amazing, but every once in a while I get one that asks for a little extra, and then a little more, and a little more until they are dominating all of my time and keeping me from other more pressing and more profitable business. I learned with the boys and Hoss that boundaries and balance keep us all happy and sane, and I have found that the same rules apply to real estate clients. So I leave this helpful advice, "Don't do anything once that you don't want to do forever."
Have a great sane and happy weekend.