One of the things that we are all taught in our figurative Real Estate cradles is that the best way to get clients is by referral and that the best referrals are those that come from your sphere of influence (friends, family, current and former clients, etc.). While this is quite true, I for one, know how difficult it can seem to get these folks to spread my cards out like confetti on New Year's Eve.
But, today I learned, or more accurately re-learned that while good news travels fast, bad news travels faster and the selfsame folks that don't remember to toss your name in the ring when the opportunity for a referral comes up won't hesitate to share their opinion of you if it is poor.
I have a wonderful new client whose condo I am listing (more about that once it debuts on the MLS) and I stopped by her place of business to pick up some paperwork. Attached to the pile of papers was the business of another agent that I am familiar with. Before I even got a chance to ask why the card was there, my client announced in front of all the customers within earshot in a very busy store that I should never work with this agent because they were "crazy". And she clearly didn't mean crazy in a good way.
Several folks glanced at the card before I had a chance to cover it up, but that didn't matter because my client then said this person's name aloud and repeated her opinion to make sure I was clear about how she felt.
Now, as it happens, privately I share her belief about this person (and for very good reason), but what I took from this exchange was not just the knowledge that my client did not like this agent, but the realization and reminder that everyone, myself included, could easily be in that same boat.
While a good job well done might not get your name bandied about with the reckless abandon one would hope for, a bad job or bad behaviour will quickly have your name on more folks lips than Chapstick is in Aspen.
Of course, I have to be honest here and say that it is indeed heartening to me to discover that while they may not always tell me in so many words, folks really can see a difference between a good agent and the other kind. And, for good or ill, this is one referral that they won't hesitate to share.
Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!