So Your Best Friend Chose Another Realtor/Lender
That bridge up there? That's to help you get over it.
Recently, in a few online forums I've seen some outright nastiness as a reaction to an agent's friend/family member/coworker/former middle school classmate choosing a different agent to represent them on a purchase or listing. Like, to the point where the relationship is over because the person chose another professional to help them.
I get it. As a lender, I'm a commissioned worker too. I try to do my very best for my clients. I try to walk the fine line of letting everyone know what I do for a living without being a walking, obnoxious billboard. So when family, friends, or people I might otherwise expect to call me when the time comes go elsewhere with their business, it sure does suck. Briefly. And then I'm over it.
Recently, I talked with a friend buying a home in San Diego county. They went under contract and started the process before I even knew they were looking for a home. I would have loved to refer them to one of the wonderful agents I know down there. I'd have loved to get them the best mortgage possible. I did ask what made them choose their lender, and they took the hint- they didn't care who they used, but they very explicitly didn't want to work with me. Why? They're friends. We take trips together. They're a couple of my best friends in CA, and that's the why. They weren't comfortable with a friend seeing their credit, their debts, their income, etc. "Hmmm", I thought. Makes sense.
That's the reaction you should have, too. And if it doesn't make sense to you, you should at least think that it must make sense to them. Perhaps they forgot what you do for a living. Perhaps there's a personal situation involved they'd rather you not know about. Maybe there's another professional that's done an outstanding job for them in the past that is now being rewarded with repeat business (what we all strive for, right?). Hell, maybe they just don't think you're as good at what you do as you believe.
If you've worked in this business for any amount of time, chances are you've helped sell someone a home that had a friend/brother/sister/coworker that was also a Realtor. You've probably helped a buyer with a parent/child/classmate with a real estate license. While you may have asked when you met, "are you currently working with another agent?", odds are you didn't say "before we get started, I want you to make sure there's no one you know that may have hurt feelings if you choose me as your agent".
It happens to all of us at one point or another. People buying and selling are in a rare place - one of excitement coupled with some of the highest levels of stress they'll ever experience. What they don't need is to worry about whose feelings they're hurting by trying to make the best decision for them. Because when someone's buying or selling, we do our best to make them know it's all about them and not about us. We can let our circle know that if/when they need help in our field, we'd love to help, but if they don't take us up on it, we also can't jeopardize our relationship because of it. In fact, if an agent is willing to go that far, I wonder if they have anything more than a superficial "hope you can help me someday" relationship to begin with.
So agents, lenders, and every other commissioned worker on the planet, stop stressing over this, and get out there and sell to someone who has a family member doing exactly the same thing you do : )