Happy Clients Don't Care How Much You Made

Real Estate Agent

I've been in the real estate business for more than a decade. I have worked for a broker who would not allow any adjustments to commissions, and broker's who let me charge whatever I wanted. One broker I worked for actually had a discount listing option and I admit that I used it a few times.  So, I preface by saying that in some very rare cases, it may be necessary to have such an option available. However, my theory about commissions is that the clients could care less..as long as they get what they want and are happy with the services they received from you.

Yesterday on the way home from a closing, my client said to me " I know you don't make alot of money on this, and I just want to thank you for everything you have done for me. I appreciate it so much. And, give me another business card. I want to give it to my new neighbors who just put their house up for sale by owner. I'm going to tell them how great you are."

We never discussed how much money I made on the deal in literal terms. But of course the commission paid to my company was on the HUD 1 statement. And in spite of this she still felt that the services she received outweighed the compensation I would receive.

We have agents running around trying to "list the masses" and thinking that making a little money on many listings will be better than making a decent commission on just one. You know these people. We call them the 'here's your sign & good luck' agents. If you're like me, you have probably listed a home that expired after the 'here's your sign & good luck' didn't produce a buyer. These agents are missing the whole point.

What is the point? The point is that it's not how many buyers and sellers you get, it's how many you keep.

Do you breeze through their lives, rushing and giving them only half the professionalism they deserve leaving them with a bad attitude when they see your commission on the HUD1 at the closing?

Do they feel like you 'got too much of their money' for what little you did?

Do they express opinions to others that 'realtors make too much money for nothing'?


Do they ask for more cards and thank you and refer you to their friends, family and co-workers? 

Do they call you when their mother needs to sell her home?

Do they remember your name in 5 years when they are ready to move again?

Referrals, repeat business, clients for life....I'll take that over instant gratification anytime.





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Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

In 2008 past client's business and their referrals kept me busy.  2009 is showing a similar trend.  I love new clients, but past clients are the foundation of my business.

Apr 28, 2009 12:37 AM #1
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

I couldnt have said it any better...this is exactly why you are successful in slower times.

Great post, worthy of a star !

Apr 28, 2009 12:39 AM #2
Chad Janusa, MBA - New Orleans Real Estate
Metairie, LA

Good info! I am new in the game, and in training I've heard this over and over.. "clients for life." I work in New Orleans, which is basically a city made up of small business. Word-of-mouth and referral business is necessary to stay afloat in New Orleans. It's not what you know but who you know!!

Apr 28, 2009 12:49 AM #3
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Great example of just doing your job with no expectations. Currently, I cut out my print advertising. I only do word of mouth, radio and Internet. I am busier than I have ever benn. It takes one client at a time. Building a Network is slow and tedious. However, it is very rewarding $$$$$.

Apr 28, 2009 12:57 AM #4
Kimberly Luna
Panama City Beach, FL

Norma:  One agent friend of mine had a banner year last year and all her business was referrals and past clients. She never prospected.

Michele: Thanks for the kudos

Chad: I really wouldn't have considered NO as a 'who you know' city, but I think more and more it's getting to be that way no matter where you live. People want to do business with people they know, trust, and are recommended. My best advice to you is to attend as many networking meetings that you can get to. Join service organizations like Rotary, Lions Club or Kiwanis clubs. Maybe be an ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce. Get out there and mingle, mingle, mingle. Best of luck to you!

Harry: One of the top agents in my area (in my opinion) never advertises. I've never seen an ad in the paper, a billboard, etc with his info. He gets all his business by doing what I suggested to Chad. It's worked for him..and it's working for me too. Thanks!

Apr 28, 2009 01:34 AM #5
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Kimberly..i was down and blue..buisness was slow ..in two days .I received 2 referals from past clients! Thank yousmile

HelpfulHannah your friend in Philadelphia

Apr 28, 2009 01:35 AM #6
Kimberly Luna
Panama City Beach, FL

Hannah...good for you! Just proves you should never, never, never give up!

Apr 28, 2009 06:55 AM #7
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