Really? You're Hiring Your Friend?

Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike Realtors

I interviewed for a listing last Friday.  The seller told me they had interviewed another agent, and I was obviously the better agent, ...hands down.  Then I heard these words, "We have one more interview to conduct before we make our decision."

Now, I've heard these words before.  I'm not easily intemedated by them, and I have a plan of replys to go through when I hear them, ie "Look, we're both here now, and you believe in my marketing and negotiation skills, why don't we just go ahead" or "I'll be happy to call and cancel your last meeting for you." or even "when do you believe that meeting will be over?  I'll have the paperwork ready and get the listing process done for you right away."

None of it worked.  Turns out this is the phone call I got after their final interview, "Jason, we hate making this kind of phone call, but you were so nice, and we feel we owe it to you.  After meeting with the last agent we are going with him because we have known him a long time, and we were neighbors for years.  We just feel comfortable with him.  Your presentation and marketing plan was hands down the best we saw, and we really wish you the best."

"So, Mr. Seller, you're saying that my marketing plan is a more successful model, and my presenting skills are better than anyone you visited with, but you're still going with a different agent because you value your friendship over business?"

"That summs it up exactly, Jason.  We really appreciate your time."

All this to say something that I saw on The Office once when Dwight Schrute was training Ryan.  He said something profound, "Sometimes you do everything right, and don't get the sale."  

It's true.  These people loved me.  They laughed in my office, they like the answers I gave to their problems...they just didn't give me the sale.

Time to move on to the next one.


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Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


You just can't beat the good friend or family member out of the listing.  But they may not have a great market plan to sell the house and it may not sell.  So you may end up selling the house after all.

Mar 20, 2011 07:10 PM #53
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I would put an alert in the listing and highly probable that you may have a second chance. .

Mar 20, 2011 11:08 PM #54
Kathy Kenney
Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ - Robbinsville, NJ
Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale

Keep in touch with them, (ie, postcards for upcoming holidays, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.) and be ready to list in 6 months!

Mar 21, 2011 12:16 AM #55
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

I feel for you, Jason.  At yesterday's Open House, one couple mentioned they'd read my market reports for their neighborhood and asked why I wasn't still posting.  Explained I had moved and changed my focus but still listed there.  They wanted a market update so they can FSBO!  Yeah, I'm going to invest time doing that...

Mar 21, 2011 12:46 AM #56
Chris Mayr
D3 Interactive Marketing - Orlando, FL

My friends and family know that I don't do business with them.  I will refer them until I am blue in the face, but never, ever do business with them and that includes selling them stuff.  It makes for better Christmas dinners.

In our business, we always lose to the friends, family, kid down the street who "is on the Internet all the time", as if that is the qualification that was needed.  I always just say thanks and move on about my day.

Mar 21, 2011 01:03 AM #57
Caroline DeVore, Stowe Vermont Lodging, VT Bed and Breakfast Inn, Vacation Homes
Stowe Meadows Lodge, Stowe VT Romantic and Luxurious Inn - Stowe, VT
Caroline DeVore | Stowe Meadows Lodge, Stowe VT

I agree with posters who don't mix business with family and friends.  My brother has been a broker for 25 years and one of the best pieces of advise he gave me when I started was, don't do business with family and friends.  Agreed!  I believe your upfront work will be rewarde a little later down the line with these folks. Caroline

Mar 21, 2011 02:25 AM #58
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

That's tough, Jason. If you are the better agent, then it's their own loss. It happens to the best of us--hang in there!

Mar 21, 2011 02:31 AM #59
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jason, in this business you can win them all. Be prepared, you may get the listing if it doesn't sell. Move on!

Mar 21, 2011 02:36 AM #60
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ

This is the business we are in my friend.

Mar 21, 2011 02:49 AM #61
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Be ready 6 months from now! Great discussion.

Mar 21, 2011 03:30 AM #62
Jason Smith
Crye-Leike Realtors - Fayetteville, AR

Wow!  61 comments!  Thanks so much for reading.  I feel like a superstar!  :D  

Please know, I have a listing appointment tonight for a wonderful home and couple.  Paperwork will be signed, and money will soon be made!  

If you like my writing, please subscribe to my blog.  I'd love to have you reading on a regular basis!

Mar 21, 2011 03:31 AM #63
The ATC Properties Team
Keller Williams Realty West Monmouth - Rumson, NJ

Each rejection, regardless the reason, brings you that much closer to your next listing taken.

Mar 21, 2011 03:36 AM #64
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Jason, as already noted you don't get all of them, even when you're the best choice. Mike #7 may have hit it right, when the last agent/friend interviewed/visited, he may have told them a story about needing the money. Even if that's not the case, think it, as it might settle better.

Mar 21, 2011 05:21 AM #65
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I think that you have the right attitude...vent a little on AR and then get back to business....NEXT!

Mar 21, 2011 05:36 AM #66
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

So you lost one that you should have had, that is so much better than taking one you regret later, don't you think?

Mar 21, 2011 06:35 AM #67
Tara Cummins
Stratagy4SuccessNow - Mesa, AZ
Marketing Concierge, Strategy4SuccessNow

When will people ever get that you get what you pay for?  I love my friends, and I'll happily call on them when I want to go to lunch, go to a movie or get a pedicure.  But when I need to make a major financial transaction - or get my car repaired - I'm going to call a professional.

I agree with many of the comments here.  Leave the door open in case they come back to you and in the meantime move along.

Mar 21, 2011 07:42 AM #68
John J. Woods
Aardvark Appraisals - Palm Desert, CA


   It sounds like you couldn't compete with the 'relationship escalation clause' they already had among their offers...


Mar 21, 2011 11:16 AM #69
Nancy Bergman
Lyon Real Estate - Downtown - Sacramento, CA

I had the exact same thing happen to me last week. I spent an hour with a potential new client getting to know him. Find out the client went with someone who spent 15 minutes with him and didn't care for his agency. I think the co-owners just knew him.

Mar 21, 2011 06:25 PM #70
Navona Hart
Real Living Cornerstone - Farmville, VA
Selling the Best Properties in CentralVirginia

Jason, I am late to this party, in addition to Tni's recommendation to ask if they are interviiewing a friend, I always schedule my appointment as their last appointment.  Then if they list with their friend, I don't have to go on the appointment.  Works pretty good...BTW the scenario as described stinks badly.

Mar 23, 2011 06:21 AM #71
Jeff Markell
American Advisors Group - Irvine, CA
Reverse Mortgage Professional | NMLS 224196

Hi Jason: Sorry this one didn't work out for you and I understand your frustration. Always remember; Some will, Some won't, So what...Next!

Mar 23, 2011 11:13 AM #72
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