Family is Family and Business is Business

14 Mar

If you've known me or ever worked with me chances are you've heard me utter this phrase.

"You'll find the most principled people on earth standing in the unemployment line"

I had to come to terms yesterday with the fact that I have to face and eat those words….


Here is why;

A few days ago I received an inquiry from Zillow. Someone interested in more information on a potential home. A great majority of these are just folks casually scrolling through and not always looking to make a move. I was asked to follow up at 1pm and then rescheduled to 6pm. At 6pm on the nose I phoned. I asked for the name that was left and was greeted warmly. I introduced myself and after several minutes of warm exchanges we arrived at the story.

"It's time for us to have our own home" I was told while she told me about her husband to be and lovely children. I asked if she had been working with any other agents or lenders and was told that no lenders at this point but a friend of hers, who is a realtor in the Carolinas, had given her some advice about looking appealing to a lender.

She asked me to validate this advice she had been given by a friend. "Does that sound right to you?"  I try to be respectful of other professionals so I went with the luke warm "Well, it sounds like it's a plan you've been working and if you trust the person giving you direction I see no reason to throw my " Satisfied with that answer we continued on. It became clear to me that this particular buyer was going to have more obstacles between today and the American Dream, owning your own home. That said I felt very confident that I could see her vision through and help her reach her goals.

She informed me that her mother was going to be in town this weekend and it would mean a lot to be able to see the home with her mother if I was available. Now I know by the time she is ready to purchase this house will be gone. I also know that showing unapproved buyers is like standing at home plate with nothing but air in your hands but family is family and if this were my mother I hope someone would understand the sensitivity here. In addition, when I choose to work with someone I want a customer for life so what better way to showcase that? Right?

I suggested the following "How about I call you on Friday to check in and find a time on Saturday for you and mom to tour this home with me, would that work" She responded "That would be wonderful! I feel much more relieved after speaking with you." I thanked her for the kind words and ended our call in great spirits.

The next day I receive a text from an unknown number saying " Hi Adam, I'm *** *** from *** *** realty. I'm sending you a referral to you for *** *** in Pennsylvania. What is your e-mail address?"

*For Context* it's is very common for agents from other states to introduce their friends/family to realtors licensed in those states. There is no set fee for that but it's not uncommon for the agent referring the buyer/seller to receive 25% or so of the commission.

I responded curiously "Referral....?" "I was called direct from zillow? In my zip?" [that I pay a LOT for]

A text message soon follows from the mystery person….

"Well, its my sister and she advised you of that. It's fine if you don't want the referral I'll send it to another agent in PA"

I was in total shock. I couldn't believe the incredible lack of professionalism and integrity in this TEXT exchange. I did not respond and I never will.

Our call is still scheduled for Friday. I already know what I'm going to say...

"**** I wanted to touch base with you and see if your plans had changed regarding possibly viewing on Saturday with your mother? However, before we continue I do need to share something with you if I may. I understand that your sister is insistent on receiving a 25% commission from me personally for introducing us. Where I am taking issue with that is I don't see any determinable connection between us. I need help understanding why she feels she has earned a referral fee from me, a person she's never even spoken to. She has informed me that if I don't pay her she will persuade you to use another agent. Which is your choice and I respect. I believe the reason you trusted me with your story is that you know I can help you and your family find your home. I have no desire to get in between family. Family is Family. However, if we plan to proceed in working together I need you to know that I will not pay your sister under any circumstance, because business is business."

Thank you very much for reading. It means the world to me. 

"The Only Boss is the customer and they can fire whoever they want" - Sam Walton

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