In every profession there are unwritten rules as to professional boundaries. What information to share, and what information not to share as appropriate.
For instance, if a painter asks how your love life is going, you might be caught off guard if your only interraction with that person is on a business level.
But in a real estate profession, it’s not uncommon to ask how a client or prospective client’s family is doing; how their job is under the circumstances; or when their daughter is due to give birth.
In real estate we are ingrained in people’s lives because we need to be in order to understand their housing needs. We need to know their wants and desires so we can solve housing issues, helping people to get from point A to point B. But not ever profession is so entrenched in a client's life.
Recently, I experienced a faux pau during a recent medical visit. The doctor began saying in the middle of my treatment how his girlfriend was from Venus. What does that have to do with anying other than the doctor's personal life.
Since I’m from the same planet, I wondered, “Was he bashing all women or just his girlfriend? “
And if the conversation wasn’t bad enough, his lack of empathy and caring during the visit left me feeling he wasn’t even concerned about my well-being. I felt as if he had too much on his mind to care.
When I winced, he asked where I felt that pain. Pointing to the hardware in my back, I commented, “You know, aisle 13” as If I were in a hardware store because that’s how he made me feel.
Minutes later, at the same medical office, a staff member reprimanded an employee right in front of me, a new patient. How do they expect to remain in business or keep employees with their lack of professionalism?
Do I take it upon myself to give them a sour yelp review?
That’s not my mode of helping someone see what they are doing is wrong. And is it my responsibility?
Am I responsible for correcting/helping a business owner who has decades of experience that should know better when treating any patient, let alone a new patient?
Are we real estate professionals guilty of working when we’re in the middle of personal matters? Are we 100% on top of our game when we’re with clients, helping them with what is oftentimes their largest single investment?
There have been times when I’ve worked through a migraine when I should have postponed showing homes to clients. They would have understood.
We are all replacable but shouldn’t we provide so much value and authentic service that clients will wait for us to be available? If the answer is no, then it’s time to revisit your value in this business.
This medical visit is a reminder of how NOT to do business. They won’t receive any referrals from me and I will look for a new professional.
Real estate is no different. If you want to be successful, be THAT business that everyone wants to refer!