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Does it Bother You If Your Friends, Relatives Don't Use Your Services?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker 475.140531

Ever get pissed off or feel hurt inside when you find out that your Uncle used another Realtor to list their home? Does it make you upset if your "best friend" uses a different person to find a home to buy? It can sting. It used to bother me. Crying one

I could not figure out why they did all not call me. Sure I have had a bunch of people close to me who have used me to buy or sell property, but not everyone. One day I was at a listing appointment and having a serious talk with the home owner a woman who had just been divorced. She is a financial planner and we started really hitting it off and talking about our work.

She said to me that her favorite neighbor across the street was a Realtor as we walked around. Then she said to me "heck I don't want her to know my business, that is why I called you". Then she said that she has someone do her finances, her 401k and IRA that she hired away from her own company.

As I left, contract in hand I got to thinking. I don't want to get too heavy here but if your Aunt Sally who you really loved was a doctor would you like to have her examine you in an intimate way to make sure you were healthy? Not me, I want someone I do not know all that well personally but professionally yes. Even if my aunt was top notch and it was common knowledge I think I would pass on a prostate exam.

Enough of that. Do not let your ego get hurt if you find out the friend of family member did not use you to buy or sell their home. It does not mean you are a bad Realtor. Do not hold any grudge inside about what that did and congratulate them when you hear, don't mention your feelings

Be a professional

Be a professional

Comments (81)

Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Noah - It has never bothered me and in most cases I encourage or refer them to another agent because in my experience friends and family are the most difficult clients.

Feb 22, 2014 09:05 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

I had a friend tell me up front that she was a real btch to work with and she didn't want me to have to deal with her. That was fine with me.  I have done some business with friends and family and it can occasionally be awkward. 

Feb 22, 2014 11:48 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Noah, I suspect that this is exactly the reason people use other than their friend or relative.  We may not like it, but I think it is exactly right. Great post!

Feb 22, 2014 11:55 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Noah, when it comes to preserving relationships, it may not be a good idea to work with someone who is close to you - however, if your professional and personal relations are not mixed, I do not find any reason why one cannot work with a relative/friend/family! (And I know it's difficult to draw a line!)

Feb 22, 2014 01:15 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Noah, I understand why people don't want to use their best friend or family member who is a real estate agent. I would not be offended.  

Feb 22, 2014 07:12 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Noah, great post and to be honest, in most cases I'm more than happy to let friends use other Realtors as it would put some pretty big strains on a friendship (especially when they have some pretty unrealistic expectations).

Feb 22, 2014 08:54 PM
John Michailidis
Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee - Sarasota, FL
Real Property Management of Sarasota & M

Yikes!  A prostrate exam from my dear old autn Sally -- I could have done without that visual!  ;-)

Feb 22, 2014 09:35 PM
Raymond Patterson
The Patterson Team @ Keller Williams Excellence - Lutherville Timonium, MD
President - Patterson Team Homes

It's sometimes hard to make heads or tails out of decisions people make.  I would hope that Aunt Sally could help find me the best replacement for her.  I would certainly make sure my relative had the best agent possible if they didn't use my services.  It would be much easier if people communicated better and discussed their concerns prior to signing that contract.

Feb 22, 2014 09:58 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Suggested. It absolutely does sting but your explanation makes the most sense and is the easiest to accept.

Feb 23, 2014 12:37 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Noah...you are right on.  I do not get upset if close friends, neighbors, or family do not use me.  I also let them know that if they are not using me, I cannot legally advise them if there is an issue that arises.

I have had a few times where I was dang glad I was not involved and a few times where I was saddened as to the issues that arose with the sub-par agents they were using.

 But in all those cases...I did not get mad that they did not use me.  

Feb 23, 2014 01:26 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

This is some very good advice for everyone. It can also keep a friendship intact.

Feb 23, 2014 08:17 AM
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

Very interesting. There have been times when I passed on asking help from a relative because i thought it felt awkward. I would often ask them for advise and explain my case first, before going to another person though. Makes them feel better knowing that I talked to them first and didn't find out from another person. Also, never go to the competition!

Feb 23, 2014 12:26 PM
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

It is not personal most of the time. There have been some excellent comments posted here regarding the personal nature of finances, which are sometimes more easily shared with a stranger rather than a family member.  You are right, be professional and take the higher road if the family member chooses to go with a different Realtor!

Feb 24, 2014 05:28 PM
Tina Parker
EXP Realty Canada Inc. - Halifax, NS
Managing Associate Broker

It's disappointing every time but like you pointed out, it's not personal.


Feb 25, 2014 04:28 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Noah, thanks for the thought provoker. I have said that people don't use us because: 1. they don't know what business we are in. 2. They don't relate well to us.

Now I have a new perspective.

Feb 25, 2014 04:59 AM
David Saks
Memphis, TN
Broker / Industry Analyst

Nonpartisanship and freedom from bias or selfish motives are the keys, Noah, and the psychology, behind any successful business relationship.

Mar 04, 2014 12:02 PM
Laura Andersen
Keller Williams Realty Partners ~ 678.462.1191 agentandersen@gmail.com - Woodstock, GA
A HomeSOLD Name (678)462-1191 Woodstock, Georgia

Yes, it stings.  Unfortunately, you have to just move forward.

Mar 21, 2014 10:53 PM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

I do not use family members for my personal business and I explain to them up front why. I have my staging business  in a brokerage and when I need to buy or sell I use an agent from another brokerage. The reason... the only time I used an agent from the brokerage to buy a home the other agents made it plenty clear they were upset that I hadn't chosen them. They are over 200 agents in the brokerage. I could never buy enough homes to satisfy them all. LOL!!

Mar 23, 2014 12:27 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Interesting post and I have been on both sides o that coin. Some family members had used me and others have not. With this writing I am on the yes side with 5 transactions working with close family and friends. It must work to credibility and how much they hear you gossip at gatherings

Apr 15, 2014 11:05 PM
Duke thompson

Why do I feel so bad that my coworker didn't even consider my fiancé for listing his property? Even my girl said it's not a big deal but why does it bother me so much?

Feb 10, 2015 07:01 AM