OBLIGATION - a Dirty Word When You SOI*

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I recently read on another forum where a new agent was heartbroken (and subsequently outraged) that his brother-in-law hired someone else to sell his home. Because he was brand new, he felt his B.I.L. owed it to him to give him the listing so that he'd get some much-needed experience. The new agent was bad-angrymouthing his B.I.L. to the rest of the family and swearing to avoid him at the next family get-together.

OUCH!

How fast can you say "Kiss Your Family's Business GOODBYE!?"

No one on this planet is obligated to work with us, regardless of any personal relationship. Instead of whining and sulking and pouting about the situation, our new agent should have taken all that energy and asked himself WHY his brother-in-law didn't hire him. And made an effort to do better next time.

Was it personal? Maybe, maybe not.  Although with this guy's attitude, it probably was. The minute I get a sense that someone feels I'm obligated to hire them (or even refer them), I'm turned off. Yeah, I'm contrary that way, aren't you?

Getting business from your SOI, particularly your family SOI is an art that once mastered, will seem oh-so-obvious and natural. But if you approach the people you know with the attitude that they owe you something because you're related or went to college together or because you sent them a pretty calendar last year, your SOI efforts will crash and burn.

What I would have advised the new agent to do (had he asked) would be to graciously accept defeat and cheerfully offer his assistance. I'd have told him to be pleasant, supportive and complimentary of the other agent's efforts. Sweet as sugar. Because... at some point, the B.I.L might just get frustrated with his listing agent and be open to talking again.

But instead, look what this guy did. He alienated his B.I.L. and gave the entire family a great reason to wonder about his professionalism. I'll bet that it will be a long time before anyone in that family dares to talk to him about their own real estate needs!  

*SOI = Sphere of Influence = The People Who Know You

sws

 

http://www.sellwithsoul.com/

Posted by

It's Here!

 

The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
What NOT to do in REAL ESTATE - BAD BUSINESS
Tags:
referrals
prospecting
soi
sphere of influence
all blogs

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
29,842
Jennifer Allan
Jennifer Allan, Inc. - Denver, CO

Lisa - Oooooohhhh... did you really mean that? That you can't "rely" on anyone? I'd prefer to use the term "obligate someone to work with you" because I think you definitely CAN rely on lots of people. As long as you don't obligate them... picky picky picky.

Lori - you make lots of great points in your long-winded response! Keep them coming!

Stephen - You scared me! You're kidding, right? (about the dirty laundry thing). My first year I was crushed when a friend hired someone else and I probably did feel betrayed. As Heather said, above, it does get easier to let it go.

Jim - I don't think we really disagree - I'm all for being loyal to my friends and family and as you may know, I think everyone ought to strive to generate the bulk of their business from the people in their social network. I just don't think we should carry around the attitude that if someone we know uses someone else that they've somehow betrayed us.

Jan 09, 2008 09:39 AM #18
Ambassador
1,368,684
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

I've learnt in this business not to take it personally. I was very sour with my friend when he chose MONEY (ie using that realtor resulted in rebate back to him) over our friendship. But I think I was the only person that valued our friendship. After knowing what happened, me knowing that I must not again let MONEY come in our way, I gave him my dining table - the one that had served my family well for over 6 years. I could have easily throw it away, but chose to be the bigger person. (I'm not asking for praises). But yes, it is hard to not expect though, dont you think?

If I was brand new, and knowing what I know now, I'll probably understand that perhaps the BIL wanted a more experienced agent to work with, or already had started a relationship (business) with the realtor prior to me becoming an agent. Who knows. Always give the benefit of the doubt.

Years later, I guess after I mellowed out, I think it's okay. He didnt have the courtesy to tell me but he said he was sorry to my husband. ???

Jan 09, 2008 11:17 AM #19
Rainmaker
299,086
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Pretty powerful message.......No Guarantees, and No Obligations.....hopefully we earn the business, and respect for our abilities, but if not, how we project ourselves says a lot.
Jan 09, 2008 05:55 PM #22
Rainmaker
150,060
Janie Coffey
First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty - Ponte Vedra, FL
Uniting Extraordinary Homes w/ Extraordinary Lives
great topic Jennifer.  It is hard not to have your feelings hurt, but we cannot be everything to everyone.  There might have been a local expert in his area that would have been the best choice, there might be other reasons he didn't want to discuss (personal finances, etc.) you never know.  Just don't take it personally, or if you do, keep it to yourself and try to understand there may be things you don't know about that have NOTHING to do with you and move on.  Focus that energy elsewhere...
Jan 09, 2008 11:42 PM #23
Rainer
178,223
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL
Jennifer, I knew you were not talking about my situation. I was just kidding. The story, as I said above, just reminded me of something I actually went through during my first 2 months in the business.
Jan 10, 2008 12:41 AM #24
Rainer
274,607
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island
JENNFIER - It is frustrating when we lose business that we think that we should get, but starting an argument over it won't bring in any business, and as you pointed out, may very well lose future business.  There are downsides to working the SOI, and one of them is the personal disappointment that you feel if you don't get the business.  However, I still think that it's a much better way to go than cold calling.
Jan 10, 2008 03:12 AM #25
Rainmaker
495,730
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Hello Jennifer,

Great post and responses.  For our team, we've had rejection from all corners: Family; former collegues, etc.  One of the best responses on our part is to keep a focus on building our base of Core Advocates and nurturing those relationships.  Sure, we may vent to some extent, then move onto the more positive aspects of this great business.

Thanks!

John

Jan 10, 2008 04:03 AM #26
Rainer
80,366
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert
Hurt and disappointed I would be.  However, I would get over it.  If someone hired you out of obligation they will probably 2nd guess everything you tell them.  I want you to want to work with me.  The goal is supposed to be win-win.
Jan 10, 2008 04:59 AM #27
Rainmaker
19,995
Sharon Yeary
Sharcom Realty - Southlake, TX

I would be hurt if my B.I.L used someone else.  The B.I.L should have made an effort to talk with the new agent first and explain why he was choosing someone else.  We never know what kind of "person" this new agent was.  The first week I was in Real Estate I was giving some advice from an experienced agent...

If your friend or family decides to list their home with someone else or buys from another agent, DON'T take it personally.  It's Business.  I have also learned that anything involving money changes people.  They have another side to them when money is involved.

Jan 10, 2008 05:49 AM #28
Rainer
2,683
Aaron Williamson
WestUSA Realty - Phoenix, AZ

Years ago, I learned the lesson be careful of mixing business with friends and family.  If things go wrong over money you can have a life-long problem over it.  Several years back my father was interested in buying a new home; at this time one of my cousins had a real estate license and showed him a couple of houses.  Some time passed, he decided he would like to make an offer on one of the houses but wanted to see the house once again before making an offer.  Would you believe it, my cousins license had expired and she couldn't show him the house right away!!!!  He made an offer and bought the house through the broker.  My cousin bad mouthed my father through-out the family that he didn't buy the house through her.  Personally, I believe he went above board and tried to use her but her irresponsibe unprofessional attitude kept her from helping herself.  She wasn't ready when the time came, to do business!!!

Chapter 2 the present.  Yes I mean right now!!!!  My sister just remarried her first husband after being separated from him for thirteen years; the ceremony was January 1,2008.  ( a whole interesting story unto itself) She has moved to Texas and her house in Phoenix is listed with another real estate agent, not me!  This is totally the absolute best solution to this situation at least for the present.  The house is overpriced and I am willing to eat a frog if it sells at its current price.  My sister, whom I love dearly,(I was best man at her wedding, twice) is someone who would never willingly admit to me knowing more than her about anything!!!  At this point it is her business.  Period...  In six months, after the listing has expired, if she wants and is finally willing to listen to me; then and only then, I am willing to help.  There is a lesson I have learned in life,  "You can't sell an overpriced listing no matter how much you advertise/market it."  If I had the listing it wouldn't be on my terms and it wouldn't sell; thereby I would be a heel.  In six months maybe I will get a listing which stands a chance of selling; maybe I will become a hero?

Truth----honestly,

Jan 10, 2008 02:17 PM #29
Rainer
68,124
Irene Morales Ward
REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. - Stafford, VA
Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
Jennifer - Great post and one that rings oh-so-true to me.  Almost all of my family members live outside of VA and I am guilty of not using them as a great source of referrals.  Quite honestly, I prefer to leave business and family life separate but I understand the tremendous resource many have with this arrangement - especially if your family is local.  You were right in identifying the new agent's unprofessionalism.  He certainly shot himself in the foot but let's hope he'll learn a lesson from that and keep his personal disappointments to himself next time.
Jan 15, 2008 01:25 AM #30
Anonymous
Jessica Bigger - Humboldt County, CA Realtor

 

Wow.  I found it absolutely fascinating to hear all of the variety of opinions on this topic.  But I have to agree with Jennefer on this one.  And I think the take home message is, regardless of how hurt and angry you feel when someone you know uses another Realtor, if you burn your bridges with that person and complain about it to other folks you're only hurting yourself and your business for the future.  Be gracious and see it as a learning experience.  They may hire you in the future when you have more experience.

 

Jan 18, 2008 09:00 AM #31
Rainmaker
185,417
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

These are great points even though it is very hard when someone you know very well goes to another agent.  Jessica's comment says it well, too.  By showing your anger and/or hurt and by not being gracious, you are only making yourself look bad and possibly also causing that person to feel badly, too...which does not help anyone.   I totally agree, but it is still very hard when it happens.  So....you handle it gracefully and shake it off like a duck.....but then what do you do when they want your opinions and advice while they are working with another Realtor they actually hired?  What is a  gracious way to handle that besides telling them that you really can not interefere with the agency relationship they have with thier current agent?

Jun 22, 2008 03:52 AM #32
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Debra - Just cheerfully and professionally answer their questions, unless they're "asking" you to criticize their agent - NEVER do that. You have PLENTY of business and you respect your friend's choice because he or she is an intelligent human being. If you show even a hint of disappointment or resentment, you'll damage your credibility forever with this person.

Jun 22, 2008 04:21 AM #33
Rainer
2,683
Aaron Williamson
WestUSA Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Just a little update.  Your comment today caused me to look back here and see what this thread was.  My sisters listing did go for the full six months and expire.  Throughout these six months she would come to me and talk.  Throughout the six months she would continually drop her price.  Eventually, she ended where I thought she should have started six months earlier.  After six months she needed a rest from the experience of trying to sell her house, so she didn't relist right away.  As usual, she came to me to talk.  I told her the market is a little weaker than it was six months before and she could probably get 180-185K.  Her real estate agent brought-in a buyer, after the contract expired, for 182,500 and the deal was done. (closed last week)  I am not a proponet  of mixing business with family.  It can be done, just be careful of long time consequences.  Personnally, I am happy to not be so desparate for business to let her going somewhere else bother me.  Maybe I am a little arrogant that I called what was going to happen, actually happened.  She would have been better off listing at the proper price in the beginning and she would have recieved more money with-out having to go six months selling.
Jun 22, 2008 05:18 AM #34
Rainmaker
185,417
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

Great answer, Jennifer, thanks!!  One question, though....are you recommending advising them on thier transaction while they are working with another agent?  I always thought that would be an ethical violation...

May 01, 2009 10:44 AM #35
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I don't really know the ins and outs of what is simply helpful versus intrusive, so I guess that would be important to consider. Philosophically, however, I would want to be cheerfully helpful so as to not damage my reputation or the relationship. Great point though!

May 01, 2009 12:13 PM #36
Rainmaker
185,417
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Suburban - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

I can completely understand and appreciate your point, Jennifer, cheerful, helpful and professional are the best ways to be....and...as important as this is ...what did you learn from it?

Aug 03, 2009 05:15 AM #37
Anonymous
Mavrick
Hahahaha. I'm not too bigrht today. Great post!
Sep 18, 2011 11:48 PM #38
Anonymous
rektsixmcb
XURaez scbhpkezizgu
Apr 05, 2012 04:02 AM #39
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
484,257

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention