Amazing friendships will get you through the highs and lows of life. You depend on your friends for their listening ear, their sage advice, their love and support and to tell you when you need to get it together. Friendships give your life meaning. With that said, one would think that your friends would support you in your real estate career. One would also think that they would trust you with what could very well be their largest financial decision. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.
Why Won't Your Friends Work With You?
What happens in many cases is that your friends will not work with you when it comes time for them to buy a house or sell their house. Why? There are several reasons why this occurs.
They Want to Keep Business and Friendship Separate
They value your friendship too much to risk anything happening during the transaction that may cause a strain or completely dissolve the relationship. It's easy to say that nothing will happen and that you will always be friends, but that's just the point. Things do happen during a transaction that you can't or don't see coming. Decisions have to be made and things have to be negotiated. Many of those you cannot control and they could easily damage the friendship beyond repair.
They Don't Want You in Their Business
In most friendships you don't talk a lot about money. Your friends probably don't know how much you make, how much debt you have or your credit score and vice versa. They believe that as a real estate agent you need to know all of this private information about them and their finances. In most cases they don't give you the opportunity to explain the process and to let them know that only their lender needs all of that confidential information and that all you need is a pre-approval letter.
They Don't Trust You
I guess it's not fair to say they don't trust you. They do trust you in the "friendship" arena, but if you are a new agent they probably don't trust you to help them buy or sell a house. They know that you have only been in the business for two minutes and are still learning the business and therefore they prefer to work with someone with more experience. Although you were successful in your previous careers, they don't think you have enough knowledge in the real estate field to do the best job for them.
What Do You Do?
When you became a real estate agent you probably were depending on your friends to become some of your first clients. Now don't get me wrong, some of them will work with you when you are new, but what I'm trying to help you understand is why some of them won't and what you can do about it. Unfortunately I don't think you'll like my answer. In my world, friendship supersedes business. It's hard to get new old friends. Some of your friends will "disappear" for a while and you'll wonder what happened. When they resurface they'll tell you that they just closed on their new house.
A Punch to the Stomach
It will feel like you just got a punch in the stomach when they tell you that. The first thing you'll want to say is, "Why didn't you work with me?" Don't do it. Smile. Swallow and say, "That's fantastic, where's the new house?" It will take everything you have to stay calm because the pain will be real. But here's the thing. Yes it would have been great to have the commission from their house, but for whatever reason they just didn't feel comfortable working with you. Don't get into that right now. Simply congratulate them. Will it sting? Yes. Will you get over it? Yes. What's important is your friendship. It may not feel like it in the moment, but your business will survive without that commission and more importantly, your friendship will survive. And by the way, it's not only friends who won't work with you. Family members may shy away from you too and the same response applies. They will always be your family so you must respect their decision.
The Silver Lining
Every real estate agent has experienced the "punch in the stomach" sensation. It's part of the job. Now that you know it will happen to you, you know how to handle it. But here's the silver lining. Although your friends and family may decide not to work with you on their transaction, don't cut them off. Continue to market to them and let them know what you are doing in your real estate business. They may refer you to their friends and colleagues. It's not that they don't want you to succeed, it's that they don't want to mix business with friendship and family.
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Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in 2016. Candy, “The Real-Life Realtor”, coaches, mentors and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success. She is a firm believer in managing expectations and her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience. Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful!
Learn more about her training program at www.RLRETraining.com or send her an email at Candy@RLRETraining.com.