A Special Side Benefit

When you have the privilege of helping people buy and sell houses…especially if those properties are for their own use…you have an opportunity to share a very personal time with the buyers and/or sellers. Some people say that you really get to know people when you come between them and their money – and that’s something real estate agents do on a daily basis.

In the over 20 years that I’ve been assisting in the exciting process of buying and selling homes in the Washington DC area, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many of these transactions result in not only a sale, but also a life-long friendship. To me, this makes perfect sense. It especially makes sense in a “slower” market when you have more time to spend with both buyers and sellers. Although there was something really fun (in a purely selfish sense!) about the market that we’ve recently left, where sellers could expect multiple offers after the first weekend on the market and buyers had to make quick decisions and give up home inspections, a more ‘normal” market allows for more time to get to know both buyers and sellers.

When I first started in the real estate business, the crazy market of the late 80s was ending and things were slowing. As a new agent, that was good for me because I had the “luxury” of learning my craft at an unhurried pace. During that time, I worked with one set of buyers that took three years to find their “perfect” Bethesda home. Some may be shaking their heads and thinking that I was absolutely crazy to hang on for that long, but I liked the clients…they made very few demands and their decision to wait for that “right” house made absolute sense. When you spend that much time with people, you get to know them…and if you stick with them that long it’s because you want to do so and they want to work with you. In the end, you have friendship

Then there’s the person who became not only a great friend, but also an amazing referral source. I first worked with her cousin, who referred me to her sister…and the sister referred me to her (I’ll call her LF, her initials, because I don’t know if she wants her name plastered across the net). I met LF and her husband in 1995, helped them sell their Silver Spring house and buy their Bethesda house. Since then, she has referred countless friends. I keep threatening to do a “relationship tree” that shows the number of people that came from her, but I haven’t done it yet. What I did do was to buy her a graduation gift when Kevin Koitz graduated from Stanford University, because her referrals paid for his four years of tuition!

On reflection, it’s not just a special side benefit…it’s an amazingly special side benefit!

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