I was looking at the Visa bill the other say and mentioned to my kids, “Mommy says Daddy needs to sell another house.”
My wife overheard me and said, “Well even when there’s somebody at work you never know until after they buy the house.”
And I said, “You just summed up real estate marketing in a single sentence.”
That’s the whole crux of it. We. Never. Know. Who. Will. Need. Us. Next.
So much of my job as your Friendly Neighborhood Realtor is just trying to find you before you find someone else to buy or sell a home with. This blog, for example, is me trying to make a connection with you.
So what does this have to do with hiring a relative as your Realtor?
Well, if you already know your relative is a Realtor, you don’t have to search for them and they don’t have to search for you.
Negatives to Hiring a Relative
Let’s start with the negatives first, or the why not to hire a relative.
Because if they screw it up bad (and they may), it’s just going to ruin future Thanksgiving dinners.
Now, if you know ahead of time that your cousin Jerry is worthless, you have some delicate maneuvering to do.
Offer him the opportunity to make a referral to another Realtor, who you will interview first.
Tell cousin Jerry that, “you never mix business with pleasure,” and that it would create too much family stress.
Giving him the opportunity to make the referral and then work in an “advisory capacity” will pump his ego and keep peace in the family.
Positives to Hiring a Relative
If they are a good egg, they will work really hard for you, harder than anyone else. It will be stressful for them because their reputation in the family is on the line.
And you are still in charge.
How to Make it Work
Treat your Realative (is that a word?) just like you would any other person you would hire. Don’t assume that just because they are your kin they can read your mind. Pepper them with questions and don’t stop until you are satisfied with the answer. If you don’t understand something, keep working with them until you find out.
I would give the same advice to the Realtor…don’t assume your kin can read your mind. Communicate what you are doing and why, constantly.
Don’t assume they think everything is peachy just because it’s “in your hands.”
Another Reason Why to Hire Your Relative
The real reason you want to hire your relative? Because they are going to find out!
You can’t exactly pretend you didn’t know they were in the business.
Even if they aren’t in your home market they might be able to refer you to someone really good. Your Realtor-relative will sincerely appreciate that you asked, even if they can’t help.
Getting back to the marketing angle, Realtors spend so much time trying to find new customers, finding out a relative or friend went and bought a house with someone else…it’s a kick in the stomach you simply can’t describe.
And that will ruin Thanksgiving dinner as well. Depending on the personality they are either going to yell and scream at you for hiring someone else, or they are going to be polite and cold.
As a disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight. My local relatives are sparse. But over the years I’ve seen it just kill other Realtors.
The Reason I Wrote this Post
In the conversation with my wife that started this post, she mentioned that the last guy at work that bought a house had a sister that was a Realtor and she was really, really upset that he used someone else. The brother bought a house in Jacksonville, the sister worked out of Palm Coast, and the brother didn’t think she could help so he didn’t call her.
She probably couldn’t help but she was upset that she wasn’t at least given the opportunity to refer it.
I didn’t find out if anyone threw a turkey leg or mash potatoes over the incident!
Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell…but you know, if your cousin Louie is a local Realtor maybe call him first. Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.
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