I Don’t Need No Stinking “Database”

The Christmas Season is here, and I have had a chat or two with some of my colleagues around the Country regarding why we in the Real Estate Industry should strike the word LEAD from our vocablulary. Wrap the word “LEAD” up in a box with the word “DEAL” and set the box on fire before the New Decade begins.

I had a very startling conversation with an agent who not only had no friends who were past clients, but referred ALL family and friends OUT, and refused to work with family and friends. That is such an opposite experience to mine. I still get calls from past clients and family around the Country, who will not buy or sell a house without consulting with me first.

Seriously. If you are not “good enough” for your own friends and family, if you are not the “go to person” for your friends and family with real estate needs, why should anyone else hire you to help them and their friends and family? Why would you have on your business card “Call Me For ALL Of Your Real Estate Needs” and then tell friends and family to call someone else??? Maybe I just don’t “get it”.

client friends
Twenty years ago when I started in this business, someone said to me “make a friend, and then help your friend buy/sell a house”. I have always tried to apply that, and clearly never forgot it. A real estate broker should apply the top level of care when assisting a friend or relative in the purchase or sale of a house, and then apply that same level of care to all clients. It’s what keeps you “on top of your game”.

Many articles have been written on “How To Choose a Real Estate Agent”. Truth is your real estate agent will likely know (and need to know) MUCH more about you to assist you well, than your family and friends know about you.

If you can’t envision your agent as someone you might call over the years AFTER you buy a house to ask about most anything home related, you likely should not have chosen that agent in the first place.

What causes “a client” to move to the right of the Venn Diagram, vs someone bounced back to the left, to only be spoken with if and when they need to buy or sell a house again? What would cause a Past Client, or even a Vendor, to not pass through to the “friend” side of the diagram, and become merely a name and address in a DATABASE to “drip” on?

Back to Christmas. Each morning I wake up to new emails from past clients, wishing Kim and I the best in the New Year. Emails asking how we are doing, and sending warm holiday greetings. Yesterday a gift box arrived from a “past client” who bought a house in 2009, thanking me for helping them with something home related in 2010. Something I did as his friend and “real estate agent for life”, vs something that ended up in a commission for me.

So no…I Don’t Need No Stinking Database”…unless you want to call my Christmas Card List “a database”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Decade to you and yours!

This entry was posted in Agent Advice, Industry Talk by ARDELL. Bookmark the permalink.


ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

22 thoughts on “I Don’t Need No Stinking “Database”

  1. Noticed that “LEAD” and “DEAL” are from the same SCRABBLE vocab, anagrams, I think. Merry Christmas Ardell: my trusted friend, agent and consultant as I buy a house next year….across the country. 🙂

  2. Jerry, I would think the need to understand how your clients may live in the home would be even more important in your field than mine. Right now I’m happy with an email from my daughter about how much better I made their “living experience” by giving them a washer and dryer for Christmas 🙂 Sometimes it’s the everyday things vs the luxury items that make all the difference in one’s life…for the better.

  3. Hi Ardell,

    I worked with a client that had a friend in real estate that told her the same thing. All I can figure is that one fears something could go wrong with the real estate transaction and harm the relationship.

    I guess I feel that if you disclose everything and truly represent your client to the best of your ability, that would be highly unlikely. Most of my business is from friends, and the ones that don’t start out as friends, usually are in the end.

    • Thanks for the comment Todd. RE Agent to client relationships are usually best built on trust. I can’t imagine why someone would “trust” a stranger more than family and friends. Maybe that’s where the saying “with friends like THAT…who needs enemies?” comes from. 🙂

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