When Clients Become Friends

Real Estate Agent with Better Homes Gardens/Mason McDuffie DRE#00890955

It doesn't always happen, and a great deal of the time Realtors and their clients are glad  to go their separate ways at the end of what is often one of the more stressful experiences of their  Client's lives.  And, we are not their friends, but a Professional, a Realtor who is their advocate to guide them to a successful close of their transaction.

 While you may get invited to the housewarming, and you may invite them to dinner, it rarely goes beyond that to where you genuinely become friends. And that is as it should be.  Friendliness without familiarity, comfort without excessive fluency.  It can get to be a real mess to let those boundaries blur until after close of escrow. We may be their confidante to their problems, but we must be discerning and discriminating as to what we share of our personal lives. It is about our clients, not us.

 You will always be there as their Realtor in a professional capacity. (hopefully)

 And while its not always appropriate, sometimes the chemistry is just there and you become genuine friends. After all, there were things about you and your Client that attracted you to each other. Sometimes you may not have liked what you saw about yourself in that, but there it was, none the less. The type of Clients I get always tells me something about myself that I can become aware of and use as a growth experience.

 At times, you share interests, or hobbies or fundamental values. I have made a few wonderful friends through this wonderful business over the last 27 years. Opportunities I would never have had to get to know people so thoroughly  that one never would get in most businesses. We learn about their finances, their children, their hopes and dreams; and still, that elusive quality of becoming friends just doesn't happen, then once in a great while it does.

I'm not saying it should, it's not forced, and most of the time it's unexpected. If we are professional, we maintain a boundary of professionalism, and sometimes the line gets blurred. Especially when people are vulnerable, as they sometimes can be in these situations.


 But we must always maintain that boundary of professionalism until the deal is closed. Then sometimes you find that you still get in touch with each other and it morphs into a genuine friendship. That's nice when it happens, when you are both on the same page.

Comments (9)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rayne, I end up being a friend to my clients..and do get referrals.

Jan 18, 2011 10:36 AM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

All but 1 of my transactions turn out to be very good friends.... We participate in togetherness after the transaction. Professionalism? Of course when I put my Realtor hat back on when they need to sell/ buy again.

Jan 18, 2011 10:37 AM
Rich Sellers
Rich Sellers Lake Arrowhead, CA (Coldwell Banker) - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor DRE#01148405

Good advise! It can get confusing sometimes.

Jan 18, 2011 10:38 AM
Jason Frey
PureWest, Inc. - Livingston, MT

Rayne - great post on a topic that I'm sure we can all relate to.  I find that what you say is true, some people you have a great chemistry with and continue to have interaction with post-transaction, some you are happy you helped but do not have many common interests or are at different points in your lives, and yet others...the tail lights can't fade fast enough!
All best,
Jason Frey

Jan 18, 2011 10:38 AM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

We have "clicked" with quite a few of our clients, have become friends, and now socialize with them.  You are correct to note the need for professionalism until the deal is closed!

Jan 18, 2011 10:40 AM
P.J. Virgilio Jr., Realtor 408-568-6578 Selling homes in the Greater San Jose area and South through San Martin, Gilroy
Keller Williams Realty Silicon Valley - Gilroy, CA
San Juan Bautista and Hollister as well!


Well said and good advice to follow.....


Jan 18, 2011 10:41 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

I've been very fortunate to have friends become clients and vice versa.  I treasure those friendships.  Usually friendships are built on trust, and when the trust is established professionally and you 'click' as you say, it's quite natural for a friendship to follow.

Jan 18, 2011 10:44 AM
Rhett Laufenburger
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp - Peoria, AZ
Sun City West AZ Mortgages

Your post was oh so real.  I like the comment about sometimes we can get them out of our hair fast enough.  I'm bald HAHAHAHAHA

Jan 18, 2011 10:54 AM
Andres Munar
Keystone Alliance Mortgage - State College, PA
Experience The Difference

You know what they say don't mix business with pleasure. In most cases my clients stay exactly that "clients" but some become good friends and they do refer me business. It's not something i suggest to be done with every but in some cases it's well worth it.

Jan 18, 2011 11:01 AM