Real estate is a contact sport

This is a story about the emotional roller coaster I went through recently when my neighbors listed their home with another local agent. We're not extremely close with this family, but we have lived next door for about a year. A week or so ago my wife had been over at their house to do a few haircuts, and when she came home she gave me the news that they were thinking of listing.

The neighbor went on to say that they felt an obligation to list with Agent X (the innocent shall remain nameless) because she sold them the home when they moved into the neighborhood, and had stayed in touch since. Upon hearing this, although disappointed in the news, I wasn't overly upset. About a week later I was on the roof installing our Christmas lights when I saw the other agent and realized she was there setting up the listing. She and the man of the house were talking out front and were clearly avoiding any eye contact with me.

At this point my brain started to spin like a washing machine. I was fired up at the fact that the neighbor knew I was an agent, that my wife had been kind to them, and that they knew I had a family to support! Why didn't they at least give me the opportunity to meet with them? The man of the house could have at least said something to me in person about their choice to list. I wouldn't accuse them of going out of their way to be neighborly, that's for sure!

So as I installed the Christmas lights my holiday cheer was definitely out the window and I continued to brew. These feelings carried on for about an hour, and as I rationalized, I was hearing my own words as a manager ringing in my ears. I have been the shoulder to cry on for many agents over the years, and I always dispensed some tough love: In this business you need thick skin and a short memory.

Any successful agent can give you a laundry list of heartbreaking stories. Inevitably there will be friends, family, and colleagues who make the decision to take their business elsewhere, Sometimes it's even worse, such as a fellow agent taking a client away from you. I would also go on to say to agents in my company, "Real estate is a contact sport, and unless there has been something unethical or illegal, may the best agent win".

Many of you reading this have probably already said to yourself, "Well, he should have done a better job staying in touch." I was giving myself the same speech, and ultimately calmed down and laughed at myself a little.

The real point of this story is that even when you know the reality of being in real estate, it still hurts to lose a client. It stings and it gives you a pit in your stomach, but for many agents -- including me -- it also provides some fuel for the competitive fire to get out and get more business.

You can contact Nathan at nathan@breakthroughbroker.com.