It's just business or is it?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

I have bumped into some buyers, sellers and even agents that say it's just business.  We have been slammed with he win lose concept for over a decade now...maybe longer for some of us from the corporate world.  I remember reading a book called "Hunt/Kill Selling" the author was Jack Matthews.  His basic concept was to hunt down the client (prospect) and go in for the kill (close).  His thought was, this is a very impersonal process get the sale and move on!

Today many buyers, sellers and agents think the same way.  Buy, sell close, gone....done!  So the only calming effect to the ciaos is the Realtor...us.  So if we are so shallow to think that we do not impact the process "it's just business" we are sadly mistaken.

About a year ago I received a call from another agents client.  I remembered the close.  This person was the seller I represented the buyer for this transaction.  I had no contact since and didn't have a clue where they purchased since I didn't represent them.  They called not because they knew me, they called not because I was going to give them a better deal, they called because of the way I handled the transaction!  They had to remind me or the sale....when they told me the address of their former home I knew immediately it was Jake and Sandy's house.

They said the agent was so impersonal and difficult to deal with that they felt like he was in it for the money only.  Well that is what every worker in America works for....money.  The difference is we don't have to act like it.  We can disagree without being disagreeable.  The win-lose or hunt/kill philosophy used to work but now client retention is also part of the business model that I use to continue my business instead of starting my business over after each transaction.

I understand clearly who I represent....I also understand my fiduciary responsibilities but can't I enjoy my profession at the same time and help put some sense into the process?

Have we come full circle where "it's just business"?  I haven't, I like, no enjoy being a knowledgeable Realtor that people can expect professionalism from and still receive the courtesies in life they deserve.

Is it just business for you?

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Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Gary, thank for the Bravo Zulu......that was the name of a landing zone called an LZ in Vietnam.  I try to adhere to being able to disagree without being disagreeable.  Thanks for the comments Gary.
Nov 03, 2007 07:34 AM #61
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Erica, I do the same, a consulting fee when the situation warrants.  The retainer idea is an interesting concept....I have seen it done is several states....depending on broker rules before you implement it, not all agents will be able to employ these concepts.  Thanks again for the comment Erica.

Nov 03, 2007 07:37 AM #62
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Allen, you are welcome, look at some of the diverse comments...means different things to different folks.  Thanks for the comment Allen.
Nov 03, 2007 07:38 AM #63
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Lane, it does seem to create a better payday when everyone smiles and your handed a check!  That even makes me smile when I am handed a check.  Thanks for the comments Lane.
Nov 03, 2007 07:41 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Emily, we all have been burned....I just carry a fire extinguisher and move on.....it has always been worth the effort for me...I just enjoy the business.  Thanks for your comments Emily.
Nov 03, 2007 07:43 AM #65
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Debbie, I hope you handed her your card and put her on your mailing list!  This is exactly the opportunity created when it is "only for the money".  The clients know it too!  Thanks for the nice (poor client representation example) of how not to behave.  Thanks for your comments Debbie.
Nov 03, 2007 07:47 AM #66
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Ryan, well put....the commercial side is a whole different world.  I can only speak for Michigan but agents are the facilitators keeping the process going....lawyers do the work.  We find the clients and match properties.  It is a personality game and people skills are one of the key requirements to success.  Thanks for the comments Ryan.
Nov 03, 2007 07:50 AM #67
Rainmaker
101,673
Trent Cluley
Jasper, GA

If I won the lottery, would I be doing this?  Nope.  (Well sorta, except I'd be on the buy side . . . a lot!).  Sure it's about the money, as many have pointed out. 

But this ain't bagging groceries!  This isn't mindless income.

This is about running a smart business.  Why wouldn't we approach it in a positive and professional manner?  When I go to a local restaurant, my water glass never runs dry.  Why? I'm polite and not very demanding, but mostly . . . I tip well.  I'm repeat business.  It's a simple concept, and they get it.  Why don't we as REALTORS, dealing with transactions hundreds of times more emotionally charged and worth thousands of dollars more in income, get it?

A positive approach is not only more financially rewarding, it's more emotionally rewarding.

As Jessica pointed out, we're going to get shafted, no matter how hard we try.  Even the most diligent servers are going to get stiffed on their tip.  It's the way of the world.  But, in our position as business owners, the more we bring to the table, the more in demand we become.  And supply and demand is a simple force to grasp . . . it lets us choose with whom we do business.  It puts us in control.  And control is bankable . . .

Exceeding means succeeding.

Nov 03, 2007 07:52 AM #68
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Well Chad.....we are not that far off on this one!  I two have to represent my clients be interest, be it buyer or seller.  I work to get the highest sell price or the lowest purchase price.  I have had clients tell me they were happy not to be on the opposite side of the transaction.  I think that was a compliment.  I smile and am working behind the scenes to get everything I can get for my client.  I like the chess match of negotiations....no emotions for me....like you said....it's not my house.  Scratch off the height marks....pack-up and take your memories with you.   The new owners are going to build new one just like you.  Thanks for the comment Chad.  (It still is a relationship business!  -:0)
Nov 03, 2007 07:56 AM #69
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Trent, it is "our" business and running it smart is certainly no crime....it is a must.  Enjoying it at the same time is even better.  We can pick and choose we represent...do with preferred customers.  I have a A,B, C, D customer rating system.  I rarely work with D's...sometimes with C's but the A's I am all over those type of clients.  Thanks for the comments Trent.
Nov 03, 2007 08:01 AM #70
Rainmaker
655,882
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Good post. Thanks for sharing.
Nov 03, 2007 09:21 AM #71
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Erica, Yup! It's not a hobby....in fact it is very much a career and a business.  I seen a poll that asked American workers if their jobs made them happy.  CNN poll to be exact.  Over 60% responded they were not happy in their JOB.  Another 20% were really unhappy with their JOB.  The point is if you look at any JOB that you can not enjoy.....it is always going to be a JOB.  So what is wrong with enjoying your work and making money at the same time?  If you noticed the majority of the responses acknowledged the money is part of it but the service side keeps them in the business.  I don't focus on the money for a personal reason....it creates money breath....people can smell money breath.....they know when you want money more than representing them.  Just an my opinion.  So yes the money earned is important to all of us, as career professionals.  The pay check is the result of our hard work, education and service to our clients.  It means something different to each agent and broker....but it is the money that makes people stay.  They earn a living, have the freedom to choose their hours, clients and run their own business...what more could we want?  Thanks for the comments Erica.
Nov 03, 2007 03:40 PM #73
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Bob & Carolyn, appreciate you stopping by.  Thanks for the comments.
Nov 03, 2007 03:41 PM #74
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Erica, glad I gave you a new saying.  I laughed....but it is true.  Thanks for the comments Erica.
Nov 04, 2007 04:33 AM #76
Rainmaker
154,330
Aslan Realty Advisors, LLC
Fort Myers, FL
Staying a step ahead with Pride!

Renegotiating With Integrity

“It’s not business, it’s personal”

Renegotiating
Renegotiating is the art of altering, revising, or changing a previously negotiated relationship. This relationship can be in the form of any professional or personal contract or commitment in which we have made a written or oral promise.

But what is it really? Renegotiating means that someone has reneged a promise or commitment. What do we think of people who don’t keep their promises or commitments? Not very much.

I contend that we can renegotiate with integrity. We can renegotiate and keep our reputation intact, whether we must break a commitment, or we are on the receiving end of such an action.

How are negotiating and renegotiating alike? They both deal with the dynamics involved in moving two or more parties towards an agreement, contract, or promise.

How do they differ? Every renegotiation is a follow-up to a previously existing agreement. A renegotiation has a history; a negotiation usually does not. This distinction holds the key to understanding how to renegotiate successfully.

First, let’s admit that renegotiating does indeed result when someone reneges on a promise or agreement. This starting point gives us the right perspective on what we are attempting to do when we renegotiate. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that this does not involve breaking or changing a promise or commitment.

Don’t try and spin this perspective. It won’t work, and it’s not honest. Be clear about what you are doing when you want to renegotiate, and you will be received more positively. We don’t have to feel guilty that we can’t keep a promise. Feeling guilty is a waste of time. Renegotiating is inevitable because situations change.

Renegotiating with integrity requires clear, honest communication between all parties. Our approach is crucial. If our approach to the other party is honest, direct, and humble (yes, humble! and I will explain why), our receiving a positive response is more likely. Treating people with respect is the first key to successful renegotiating.

Freeman’s Five Principles:

It’s Not Business, It’s Personal. How to begin: how to organize a renegotiation on the basis of proper behavior. Identify the four sequential stages of any successful renegotiation: Common Ground, Solution, Comfort Zone, Settlement. These four stages are guides that serve as signposts, telling us where we are at any point in the renegotiation process and how to proceed. We need to behave as if it is personal, and react as if it is not.

The Secret of the Orange Ball is to help identify who is in control at any particular time in the process, and how to take control to reach the next stage.

Hit the Refresh Button is a key technique for keeping all parties (you included) focused on the essential goals at hand. This applies to the most common types of renegotiations: real estate lease renegotiations and buyouts, contract renegotiations and buyouts, contract collections, restructuring debt—accounts payable/accounts receivable, and personal contracts.

Transcend the Details focuses on the seven fundamentals of renegotiating. I use these fundamentals to guide you through each stage of the process, so you won’t gett bogged down in the details of the situation.

Calling in the Cavalry helps you to discern when, and where, to look for help during a renegotiation, and how best to make use of the valuable experience and expertise that others can offer you.

Nov 04, 2007 11:14 AM #77
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Paige, this is more like a post that you placed and recopied to my blog.  I hadn't seen it before so it adds the renegotiating principle to the mix.  Thanks for the post.
Nov 04, 2007 11:43 AM #78
Rainer
68,124
Irene Morales Ward
REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. - Stafford, VA
Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate

Gary - I'll put in my two cents without writing a blog :-)  I see both sides of the coin.  I sense Jessica Horton's frustration as a listing agent although I am primarily a buyer's agent.  Sellers get frustrated and pull the plug not keeping their end of the bargain.  Another blog recently touched on the subject of a cancellation fee which I am ALL for.  I don't work for free and I am not a charity "testing the waters" for my sellers. 

On the other hand, because more than 75% of my business is with buyers, I am most definitely in it to give them the "warm and fuzzies"!  As Sara Nopp eluded, I only work with buyers who show me respect and are worthy of my time and effort.  I give 100% of myself to my buyers and sellers - always looking out for their best interests but there is a definite difference between the listing agent and the buyer's agent's perspective.  A listing agent has to be tougher and more professional, in my opinion, while the buyer's agent can afford the gentler, kinder approach.

Nov 06, 2007 01:44 AM #79
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Irene, I work both sides of the street as a listing agent and a buyers agent.  I have to admit because of advertising and referral programs I probably am split 70/30 seller/buyer.  My contract has reimbursement for marketing and advertising costs....time is donated if a seller pulls the plug early.  I also have a written customer warranty....It can be frustrating, interviewing and knowing the client help identify potential dead ends.  I try to offer the same me....to every one.  I am working hard for sellers to maintain the purchase price and I work equally hard for my buyers to get the best price.  It is an interesting position and perspective to deal with both sides of the coin.  I can understand the "kinder, gentler approach" when working with buyers.  Thanks for the comments Irene....stop by more often.  Great comments.

Nov 07, 2007 10:26 AM #80
Rainer
67,227
Joyce Heffner-Williams
Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty - Monument, CO
Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate
The relationships are worth more than the money in this business...
Nov 08, 2007 02:23 AM #81
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Troy.....the relationships are the how and why we make money.  Those that do not build the relationships for repeat business are really missing a large part of future business.  Thanks for your comments Troy.
Nov 08, 2007 12:30 PM #82
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