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Relationships First

Episode 6: Which is Best? To Be Personal or Professional?

November 8, 2018

In episode 6, Bill and Molly discuss how agents balance personal and professional relationships with their clients. Opposing view points lead to lively discussion.

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Bill Risser: This is Bill Risser.

Molly McKinley: And Molly McKinley, and we're talking relationships.

Bill Risser: All kinds of relationships, from starting new ones to nurturing existing ones over time.

Molly McKinley: And each week, we'll highlight something that inspires ...

Bill Risser: Or triggers us ...

Molly McKinley: To help get to the root of why relationships are key to our happiness and success.

Bill Risser: Hi everybody and welcome to episode six of Relationship Matters. Today, we're going to talk about personal relationships and professional relationships in the world of real estate. They are something that comes up a lot. I know Molly gets these questions in her role. I hear about it a lot. Do you want to work with somebody who's a close friend, a very personal relationship? Or do you want to work with a professional and have that business relationship? Molly, what do you think?

Molly McKinley: I hate to be neutral on this, but I think it depends. I really do, and this is one of those things that I could argue both sides of the coin, but because I just recently went through a transaction with a friendly professional, that to me was the perfect balance, because there was very clear delineation of expectation and it was a delightful experience, and having worked with friends in the past, it can be tricky. I think sometimes real estate agents forget that, and so they strive to be too friendly with people but then you're in someone's business and your finances and mortgage and all these kinds of conversations, which I don't know if I want my friends necessarily that intimately connected with our finances, really. I mean, I think it comes down to finances more than anything, but I don't know. What do you think?

Bill Risser: Once again, I would be that ... I hate listening to any kind of interview where they say, "Is it this or that?" and they go, "Well, it's a combination of both." That's such a cop out answer, right?

Molly McKinley: Yeah, I know. It is, I hear you.

Bill Risser: But, but I would be right there saying, "It's a combination of both." I want somebody that I'm friends with, I have a relationship with, who can handle the transaction and knows what they're doing, so if I had that perfect mix, that'd be great. It sounds like that's what you had on the purchase of the omstead, did I get-

Molly McKinley: Yes. Yes, you did. The omstead.

Bill Risser: Yeah, so yeah, omstead, and so I-

Molly McKinley: I kind of feel like you want to om with me, Bill. I kind of-

Bill Risser: One day.

Molly McKinley: I am sensing ...

Bill Risser: One day it will happen, and it will be recorded. It'll be all over the internet. It'll be awesome.

Molly McKinley: And then we'll do like a whole meditation series together.

Bill Risser: Oh, my gosh.

Molly McKinley: [crosstalk 00:03:08] fun.

Bill Risser: If you could see my face right now. I can't wait. But so getting back to it, though, I guess for me, if you told me that both the professional and the friend had the exact same skill set, because that's a big part of it, having a friend who's been a realtor for six months is just a recipe for disaster, right?

Molly McKinley: Yeah.

Bill Risser: Your closest friend just got their license. You don't want to use them. I think we all agree with that. Even though I've seen it happen over and over and over, and it never really ends well. But if they both had the same exact skill set, I'm going to go with the person I have a relationship on the personal level with. I am going to do that, and I think as you mentioned, Molly, there are things you can do to kind of keep a separation of certain pieces of information away from the realtor. It's not ... It can be done.

Bill Risser: But then you get into that same question, look, I have lots of friends who are loan officers, and do you go with that loan officer that you're a close friend with? Or do you go with a loan officer that you don't really know, but you've got great reviews on or you've had a great referral to? In that case, I'll tell you what, I'll probably go with the realtor that's a friend and the lender who's a professional that I don't really know, right, that comes highly recommended, because that allows me to keep that stuff separate.

Molly McKinley: That makes all kinds of sense, yeah. Yeah, I agree with you.

Bill Risser: And I've seen that over and over and over, as I ran a branch for Chicago Title back in Phoenix. We had that happen routinely, where people that knew lenders didn't use them for the deal, and the reason was, "Look, we've got a friendship. I want to keep this business stuff outside of that. It's the way I'd like to work."

Molly McKinley: Well, I mean, I hear all the time, and we actually at First, they have an ad running that says, "The feeling you get when your neighbor lists a home," and this ad invokes all kinds of crazy engagement, because people are sort of sharing their tales of woe where their friend, their neighbor, their someone doesn't think of using them, and they're like, "But we're friends. This person is no longer my friend." I feel very mixed about this topic, actually, because I fundamentally believe that the separation of your business and your personal life is a myth, because you do business with a person, right? I think back in the day, people had work personas and personal persona, and the truth of the matter is, because of basically the breadcrumb trail on digital, just you don't have that ... you just can't do that anymore. It doesn't exist. That's a myth.

Molly McKinley: So doing business with a person is real, and I think in the past, business relationships have given each other ... given permission to be bad to each other, right, in the sake of closing a deal or all of these tiny lies for the sake of the business. That just, that's done, because it all comes back, and I feel like that is something, that that line of business and personal is gone. However, when it comes to a very, very intimate, tricky transaction about someone's home, which I would argue may be the most emotional purchase ever of anything, right, this is your home, your nest, where you'll raise your kids, and-

Bill Risser: Your chickens.

Molly McKinley: My chickens and goats and ... Yes.

Bill Risser: Very emotional. Go ahead.

Molly McKinley: Again, back to the omstead. It's like, this is my dream.

Bill Risser: Right. Right.

Molly McKinley: This isn't a house for me. This is my dream manifest, and so that is emotional. It's not just a home, and I think a lot of people feel like that about their actual, like where they live. I don't know, I'm going on a tangent, but if all things were exactly the same, local knowledge, expertise, skills, negotiation skills, trust, competency, confidence, all of those things that a realtor needs to be, I would likely go with the friend. But if any of those other factors, I would tip to the professional.

Bill Risser: Everyone who is working the lead generation game, right, in the world of real estate, they're trying to get people to use them based on the things you've detailed out, the competencies, right, the things that they're good at, the knowledge that they have. Do you need to become buddy-buddy, right? Is that what that person wants? And I think that once again, as a realtor or a lender, you'd really have to look at that and figure out and be able to read people quickly, because you might have somebody who wants that touchy-feely experience and that buddy-buddy, we're going to get coffee and we're going to talk, and you better be able to handle that as a realtor.

Bill Risser: Or, if you're going to get that other person who's strictly business, right? I instantly go to the ... Sorry engineers out there. There's probably some at First, really sorry to the engineers at First, but you know who you are and you know what you do. You want the numbers. You want just to know everything's going to happen in this particular order at this particular time. You really don't care about the friendship. And if you don't read that as a realtor, you're setting yourself up for a little bit of ... I won't call it disaster, but definitely for disappointment down the road. Right? You've got to really figure that part out.

Molly McKinley: That is. I mean, it's so incredible, because you're making instant micro decisions based on someone's body language and tiny, a little-

Bill Risser: Tone.

Molly McKinley:You know, that's it. Right? But I am a believer in being in conversation with those people. Right? And being in flow with those people. I think that's the very fine line of being a friend with someone or being in flow with someone, and there is a difference. For me, the difference is that you're still a part of someone's life and that you're still able to be present, but not necessarily the person that you're hanging out with or your first person to call when you have extra moments to spare. And that to me is the opportunity, actually for the real estate world isn't the bull's-eye, because you have those people locked down, right? Those are the people that are your inner circle that you're doing life with. It's people in the outer rings of the bull's-eye that actually, that's where the business actually happens, because you're connected and you have shared interest, but you're not necessarily friends. Does that make sense?

Bill Risser: Oh, totally. Absolutely. Yeah, and so how do you maximize those conversations? Oh my gosh, you know, I've told you many times this year, that's my word for 2018, those conversations, and every realtor I talk to, I say the same thing to them, "Your goal is to talk to people, no matter whether it's someone you never met and it's a Zillow lead or it's somebody in your sphere that you haven't talk to in six months. Your goal is to talk to people and have conversations, and it will invariably, naturally lead to where you need it to go." Right?

Molly McKinley: I believe that, as well. So I think this is the ... again, I could ask this question all the time, well, how do you find that line? And I think some people are really natural at it and because they have a lot of emotional intelligence and they're able to read a situation clearly and read body language, like tone, as you just mentioned. And then I think other people struggle with that, but I do think that's the differentiating factor in terms of being able to decide quickly where the lines are, is this going to be someone who needs you to link arms with and help them feel like this is fun and you're having a good time and we're going to look at homes? Or is this somebody who you're going to really have to be that advisor and be underneath the house looking at the foundation? Or can you do both? I just don't know. I think that's the brilliance of real estate, is that you have to be making those decisions based on the individual and serving them where they're at.

Bill Risser: I think you hit the nail on the head, Molly. You've got to understand where you are on that spectrum, right, how well you can understand people. Some people, as you mentioned, are excellent, some not so good. So understand where you're at and maybe err on the side of caution as you're moving forward with the relationship building in your next transaction.

Molly McKinley: All right Bill, episode seven, we're going to be tackling a topic that I'm sure you're going to be very excited about.

Bill Risser: Great!

Molly McKinley:We're talking about relationships with ourselves.

Bill Risser: Oh, no. You're serious?

Molly McKinley: So ... Yeah, totally serious.

Bill Risser: Okay. All right.

Molly McKinley: So contact [inaudible 00:12:08] Google if you choose, but it's important to understand our relationships with ourselves so that we can better understand the relationships with others.

Bill Risser: Awesome. Real quick request, anyone got any ideas for me out there? @billrisser on Twitter, Bill Risser on Facebook, shoot them my way. I'll take all the help I can get. But Molly, I can't wait. It's going to be great.

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