Working For Money Or The Client?

Real Estate Agent with Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 BRE# 01494165



There has been some discussion on Active Rain this week about being "too good" for business. I wonder if this attitude stems from a misdirected focus in what constitutes our business?

Real estate is a people business! We all say this but do we really understand what that means? For me it means that our goal is to get the best possible outcome for our clients. When that is our goal, the money/income follows.

When we focus on making our clients happy, they come back to us in the future.
When we focus on making our clients happy, they tell people about us.
When we focus on making our clients happy, they become good references.

I know it can sometimes be harder to close a $200,000 condo with an FHA first time buyer than the all cash buyer of a $3 million mansion, but the clients expect the same thing from us. That we treat them like the only clients we have! The purchases (or listings) are still of the same importance to our clients, why should we treat one better than the other?

I don't think we should! I know from experience that when you treat clients well, they come back to you. That $200,000 condo buyer might have a rich uncle. That buyer might work in the relocation department of a large company. That buyer might win the lottery and want to invest.

Or that buyer might just need the best possible representation because they are buying the one and only home they will ever own!!!!

Anyone who has been in real estate for very long can tell you stories of the business that came to them simply because they did a good job with another one. I had one a few years ago where I worked harder getting my clients out of a deal whole than I did getting them into the deal. Was I going to make any money on that deal? Nope, but my reputation and duty was more important to me. A few months later....after they had assured me they would never move again....they moved. I made more on the new transaction by a long shot. They called me because they knew I would be there for them regardless of what happened.

Who are we working for....the money? or the client?



Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charles Stallions 05/05/2013 06:50 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 05/05/2013 10:55 PM
  3. Winston Heverly 05/19/2013 03:42 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I'd love to have lots of $200k buyers, lol.  My husband sold a $10k trailer this year.  Treated that client the same as any other.  Honestly, I think he probably was negative on that one :-) -Kasey

Apr 29, 2013 11:26 AM #40
Ruth Lerner
William Raveis Real Estate - Brookline, MA

My business is built on the 200K condo buyers, and I sell a lot of real estate to them.  Few people take them seriously enough, and provide them with the attention and service they deserve.  It's my niche, and it is working very well for me because I am greatly appreciated and I have little competition.

Focusing on the client is the business, and it is our fiduciary obligation.  

Apr 29, 2013 11:33 AM #41
Bettina Settles
Greenwood, IN
Your Indiana Connection


I have wondered that myself for a long time.


As a real estate broker, asset manager and a real estate investor who buys investment properties on a regular basis in other states and does need to rely on the integrity of the REALTOR have experienced many times that many REALTORS put money before they put the client.


Just two weeks ago I asked my buyer’s agent I had hired to give me the addendum he was given by the listing agent. I ended up having to call for the addendums myself and received them from the listing agent directly.


How did I know my buyer’s agent received them?…his assistant likes to talk and she told me the sellers agent had emailed them to my buyer’s agent but he has not forwarded them.


Apr 29, 2013 11:41 AM #42
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Good post, Karen, and I agree with you wholeheartedly.   It's always the smaller ones that cause the most grief.  There are times that these folks really need us, especially the ones who are not real estate savvy.   It's our job to make the process an easy, smooth transaction for them, and to see them happy in their new homes.   I know I do.  It makes me happy to know I've done my job well.

Apr 29, 2013 12:35 PM #43
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

So many people say that they are working for the Client, because the Client may lead to a big Referral or a bigger Deal.  Isn't that the same as working for the Money? 

Apr 29, 2013 01:27 PM #44
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Karen, like many others said - working for clients bring money anyways. If clients are happy, the financial part is normally taken care of - by way of getting referrals (provided we ask for!)

Apr 29, 2013 03:05 PM #45
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Exceptional post. Most small business owners don't target their markets or know their CLV. Regardless of the business you can determine the CLV and your potential income for any period of time.

Mark, #14, sums it up best, so it's essential to determine your valuation of time and opportunity with every future client to remain in business.

Apr 29, 2013 07:28 PM #46
Randal Jenkins
Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc. - New Port Richey, FL

Good post.   Karen.  Here is a thought.

I help my brother, the stock broker, with his presentation, and he helps me in my marketing.  We have bantered this about a lot and last night he quoted Brian Tracey story that is on topic.

The gist of it was that when Brian Tracey was a young salesman, after making a sale, he asked why the customer had chosen his company's products over the competition.   The new customer said that Brian had made it easy.  There was no stress when dealing with Brian.  

This is a type of sales approach and it sounds like you are taking it to another level. 

Karen, you talk about having a happy client.  And that is a lofty goal.  Maybe too lofty. 

I, in my banter have made comments like, this is Real Estate, happiness can be a lucky by-product, but it is not about happiness.   My hope is that in a difficult real estate deal, no one is too pissed off. 

People are not doing business with you because you make them happy.   They do business with you because you are a professional.   You are good at it.  And you really care.   Buyers see this and it makes a good buying experience, and that makes the buyer happy.   OK you are right.  Happy is good.




Apr 29, 2013 08:54 PM #47
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Karen - This is the right attitude.  I've had many instances of helping someone on a tiny job and then later, a much larger job (or a friend) comes along.  You are so right.

Apr 29, 2013 09:34 PM #48
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great post Karen.  Treat everybody the same and the rest will take care of itself.  $130,000 is the average sales price here in Fort Wayne.  I've sold $20,000 homes to happy clients and $500,000 homes to happy clients.  I was happy to serve them both!  

Apr 29, 2013 09:45 PM #49
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Karen an exceptional post and remonder of what it takes to be a good Real Estate agent. For me in the last couple of year sit was a rash of foreclosure listings that sell for a mere $40-60,000 on average that take far more work than those higher priced cash sales. But each buyer buying them has found their dream home and is so excited, teh reward is the smile on their face at closing and when an agent does do a good job, teh reward keeps coming with referals from that happy buyer or seller. 

Apr 29, 2013 10:59 PM #50
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Karen I have never turned away a client based on how much money (or little) they might earn me.  I just provide good service.

May 01, 2013 04:27 AM #51
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Great post. When you serve clients well, you don't have to spend that precious dollar on advertising, anyway. The clients return and refer often.

May 01, 2013 04:35 AM #52
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

May 04, 2013 11:32 AM #53
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Karen,

Congratulations on the featured post..well deserved. I'm glad I saw it featured again on Kathy's post this sound exactly like my broker! She has always told us you do the best job you can for your clients and you won't have to worry about the will follow! From day one in real estate my clients have been my focus and sure enough the money follows!! Sage advice:).

May 04, 2013 10:25 PM #54
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Hi Karen, just came over from Kathy's Sunday morning special-no matter what profession (Realtor, Inspector, Stager) we all need to do the right thing for our clients-that is how we build trust and the possibility of future business.

May 05, 2013 12:25 AM #55
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Karen, this post puts a huge grin on my face when I think about the associates who have come and gone chasing the dollar.  Some sales are difficult and some are amazingly simple.  There's no yardstick out there that can measure the rewards vs. the effort, if that's what an agent seeks then they're likely in the wrong business. 

May 05, 2013 12:48 AM #56
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

We treat the 2ook seller and the 2M seller the same we even charge them the same, how's that.

May 05, 2013 06:26 AM #57
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Thanks to Kathy I got to come over and and enjoy your post... our motto has always been... do unto others as you would have them do unto you... Sage advice...

May 05, 2013 09:52 PM #58
Des & Spiro Kouridakis
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties - Yorba Linda, CA
- North Orange County Experts

Thanks for your post Karen.  It's important that we stay humble and remember what is truly important.  Love that there are still many agents out there with integrity, and congrats on being one of them.

Oct 19, 2013 10:00 AM #59
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner

Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395
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