You're Eventually Going To Run Out Of Suckers

By
Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

You're Eventually Going To Run Out Of Suckers:
"Inspired by Phone with Rome!"

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 and I were chatting on the phone, not long ago, about a referral I gave her to a NorCal Agent, when we wandered into a broader conversation sharing a couple "war stories" about our industry (pros and cons). We got on the topic agent behavior in the market and this phrase popped out of my mouth:

"Agents that work transactionally, especially with their own agenda prioritized, are eventually going to run out of suckers."

Always the positive encourager, Margaret immediately announced "That sounds like a blog title" and encouraged me to write about it...as Margaret is quite good at doing 😉. 

The fact remains, especially with today's social media and online reviews, if you're a transactional agent vs. a relational agent, eventually, you're going to run out of people to take advantage of; you'll run out of suckers! You can be a great transactional agent without it being selfish, but you'll work much harder to keep your pipelines flowing with new business and you'll likely succumb to buying leads. If you are a dishonest agent, one that puts his/her own needs in front of your clients, your clients will remember how you treated them; they will remember how you made them feel and they will broadcast it. This is why you will eventually run out of suckers willing to work with you and your ways.

It takes a lot of effort to earn a positive online review, but bad service is effortless for your clients to announce to all that will listen. You want to be in the acknowledgement section, not the cautionary tale.

I really like connecting a REALTOR® with a referral to a REALTOR® with the ability to serve that referral; I do this often in Active Rain and with Buffini & Company agents. Typically they have a client needing service in a city in another state and they need to meet a good agent to serve their client. I make these introductions weekly and once you've made the introductions, I step away and let them do their thing. I've completed your part of the process, no obligations or referral fees, just good will.

I've heard of contractor getting referrals to clients from REALTORS® that then expect to have a piece of the action, they want the contractor to pay them for referring them. That is NOT a referral, it's called PIMPING or expecting Payola.
So, unless the Stiletto's fit, walk away from people that only want to cash in on you vs. champion you!

At some point your market area will run out of suckers and you will stop getting business if you're a "find'em, fleece'em, forget'em" kinda salesperson. Your well will run dry. I watched this happen to an agent that could have really made a hell of a career for himself during the short sale years here in San Diego. He was dominating the distressed home San Diego Market with TV ads and signage and could have blossomed that into a huge repeat and referral business from 2012-present.

But instead, he was screwing 80% of his listings and eventually lost his license and his prominent office on HWY 5 that everyone had to drive by daily and be brand-brainwashed by. He had it made, but made poor choices. Now, he's a cautionary tale instead of a business legend and 10 years later, I only remember him negatively.

Giver's Gain is the motto of Business Networking International (BNI) and
"Do Unto Other AS You'd Have Them Do Unto You" is The Golden Rule. 

I've created a "Karma 401K", it's a philosophy that dictates my actions; give first, put the good will out into the universe and trust it will it respond in kind or greater down the road. This is faith, not a technique and you have to believe in your heart, by doing enough good, life rewards the energy with like energy. I believe it because I experience it often. Tip: Don't keep a scoreboard, that's a transactional accounting of this relational believe. But do remember this -
If You Give It Out In Slices, It Comes Back In Loaves!
It's the power of the Compound Effect from the universe!

 

In the spirit of giving, I'm giving Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 a proper shout out for her inspiring this post with our conversation and congratulating her on 10 years in podcast-radio! I didn't forget Margaret and Thank You so much! 

Happy New Year to all!

(Fun Fact:  12/31/2022 7:39 A.M. I just received a very nice phone call from Margaret about this post. It's fun to make people's day and it's a good life!)

 

 

 

Photo 1 by Nathan Cowley: https://www.pexels.com

Photo 5 by Suraphat Nuea-on: https://www.pexels.com

Posted by


Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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(858) 232-8722
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

 
 
Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (48)

Jon Quist
REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Happy New Year To All.  

Sure hope you are correct about Transactional agents. Be nice to have them gone sooner than later. Makes actual agents look bad. Guilt by association and all.

Jan 01, 2023 08:52 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Jon Quist so true, but we weather that storm every boon-market and then usher them out and clean up their mess every normal to unusual market. It's the main difference between Summer Soldiers and Winter Patriots - we pros are here for all seasons and it shows in how we can outperform the "weekend warriors". Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2023 09:10 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Happy New Year Will Hamm and likewise, thank you for your posts and Q&A questions that spark daily conversation!

Jan 01, 2023 09:11 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Great Post, Thomas. I hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year!  Enjoy the day!

Jan 01, 2023 11:05 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Thomas, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jan 01, 2023 11:06 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD
http://www.medicalandspaconsulting.com - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I thoroughly enjoyed this post and agree with it … best wishes for the anew Year !

Jan 03, 2023 04:14 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Happy New Year! Myrl Jeffcoat and thank you!

Jan 03, 2023 10:13 AM
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

 "I step away and let them do their thing. I've completed your part of the process, no obligations or referral fees, just good will."

 

I'm a bit confused.  Are you saying that you never take a referral fee? Are you saying that someone who takes a referral fee is "Pimping"?

Jan 03, 2023 10:24 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

see my answer below...

Jan 03, 2023 03:29 PM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets I always like reading your articles!  Excellent point about "transactional" vs. "relational" agents. I was just discussing this with someone this morning.  

Jan 03, 2023 10:42 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Ah Wendy Rulnick that was very kind of you to say, thank you so much...
and Happy New Year!

Jan 03, 2023 03:27 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Tim Maitski - neither. I do not charge for introductions. I only charge for referrals and vice versa, I'm saying I only pay referral fees to agents sending me a client.

e.g. When I provide a REALTOR to REALTOR connection e.g. I connect you and your buyer from Atlanta to Mimi in Colorado, the referral fee is between you and Mimi. My part was to connect you and your client moving to Colorado with a great agent I put my name to like Mimi Foster in Colorado. I can't ask Mimi to pay me a referral fee for connecting you two. The fee she pays is to you alone, you provided the client, I provided the introduction and I receive the good will which is an investment in the future.

Now if I referred you a client and I contacted you directly, I do expect my 25% referral fee from you. 

The pimp is the guy in the above scenario who wants a fee for the introduction. When that should be the good will and a way to build that relationship with both agents. What goes around comes around.

Jan 03, 2023 03:35 PM
Mimi Foster

Well, hey DUDE (aka Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets)!! Thanks for thinking of me! It's nice to know there are people out there who you KNOW will treat your people right. Hope you're doing well and that you are attracting quality clients and a prospering business. ALSO, I adore Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 and the way she handles her business. I love how she picks up the phone and just deals with things. A true mentor to all of us who will heed her advice. Be well!

Jan 04, 2023 03:15 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Amen to that and so good to catch up with you on the text machine today!

I love your wit and sense of humor (and your snark too 😉), thanks for being one of the good ones like Margaret!

Jan 04, 2023 04:48 PM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

insightful and definitely on the money. It's so hard to understand how an agent can put their owns needs/desires in front of a client... baffling!

Jan 04, 2023 06:15 AM
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

I'm trying to see the difference in your two scenarios.  

If I call you up and introduce you to my client who needs a Realtor in your city, and you then take on my client and sell them a house, you expect a 25% referral fee.

If I call up a contractor and introduce them to my client who needs a contractor, and they then take on my client and sell them a new kitchen, if I ask for a referral fee from the contractor then I'm pimping?

I don't see the difference.  In my opinion, they are either both OK or they are both pimping.    

Or maybe I'm missing the difference between an introduction and a referral.  Sorry to belabor this point but I like to be clear when it comes to matters of principles.  I'd hate to be unknowingly seen as a pimp.

Jan 04, 2023 06:24 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Tim Maitski you are over complicating this. 

1. You send me a referral I owe you a referral fee.
     Traditional & accepted.
2. You call me to connect you to a good Bay Area agent for your referral, I connect you to that agent, she owes you a fee for the client you referred her, I step away. If I expect a referral fee for my part in that scenario, I'm pimping aka brokering instead of networking and building good will. I just became transactional vs. relational.

3. Your client asks you for a referral to your best contractor, you refer him him only because you want to support him and give your best contractor to your client so they have a great experience= win/win.
But, if you hold up your contractor for a referral fee for doing that, it flies in the face of good will and now you're pimping or brokering referrals. You just became transactional vs. relational.

Call me if you are struggling with this, happy to talk you through it.

Jan 04, 2023 07:21 AM
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Are referral fees only good if you are in the same business?  Is it the "tradition" that's key or is it the intent?

I'm having trouble with your #3 scenario.  You using the term "pimping" doesn't seem right.  

What if you thought I was a great Realtor and wanted to refer your client to me so they could have a great experience in Atlanta.  I have 23 years of experience and a lot of great reviews on Zillow.   What if I didn't want to give you a 25% referral fee but instead, I would give your buyer a 50% buyer agent commission rebate?  Would you still send me the referral since you wouldn't be getting any money?  Or would you instead find another agent to refer to who would give you a 25% referral fee instead?  Would that then make you transactional?

 

Jan 04, 2023 08:34 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I think Mimi Foster summed it up nicely Tim. 
Happy New Year and good luck to you in your endeavors.

Class dismissed. 😂

 

Jan 04, 2023 03:57 PM
Mimi Foster

Wow, Tim Maitski, you seem to be straining at gnats. The #3 response from Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets was about good-will. Many of us find agents around the country whom we admire and would want our clients to work with. But it's a decent amount of my income yearly, and if you want to give my referral a 25% rebate and pay my referral fee, bravo for you. But for many of us, ActiveRain is about building relationships which, in turn, become referrals. Why you gotta make it so complicated? (and YES, obviously referral fees are only if you're in the same business since, by law, we aren't allowed to pay non-licensed people a referral fee for sending us clients)

Jan 04, 2023 03:22 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a great post!  Margaret is inspiring and a great agent, mentoring anyone she visits with. It's so sad to see agents crash and burn, especially with such good presence.  Sad really.  And agree 1000% about Givers Gain.  That's a great way to live AND do business!

Jan 04, 2023 09:57 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Thank you Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ I know you to be of this mindset too. 
Thanks for being one of the good ones out there and leading by example!

Jan 04, 2023 04:01 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

You too Thomas! Have a great rest of your week!

Jan 04, 2023 06:15 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

First very well deserved feature. Second, give credit where credit is due is another plus. Third, most agents do not understand real estate is really sales but think it is something else. What that else is I don't know. Fourth, thanks for a very well written post.

Jan 05, 2023 04:33 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

A little late to the party.  Trying to catch up on some blogs today.  Enjoyed this one.  Thank you for sharing and I wish you the Best in 2023!   Congratulations on the FEATURE!  Well deserved!

Jan 11, 2023 03:00 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Diana Dahlberg you're never late when you're spreading kindness and good vibes!

Happy 2023!

Jan 11, 2023 07:18 PM
Diana Dahlberg

Awe!  Thanks!  That put a smile on my face!  Happy 2023!

Jan 12, 2023 01:12 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Leanne Smith I like to think that "what else it is" in #3 is:
building relationships and creating advocates.

Thank you for popping by my post! Happy 2023!

Jan 11, 2023 07:20 PM
Leanne Smith

Agree and if sales is the transference of feelings than building relationships and creating advocates is a natural result.

Jan 12, 2023 05:15 AM