Why Does Real Estate Require Relationships?

There seems to exist the premis that the business of real estate requires an agent to build “long-term relationships” with buyers/sellers.  I can’t help but wonder why.  From my side of the fence, the home buying/selling process is a transaction, which doesn’t necessarily require a relationship.

In my mind, the relationship with a first-time client develops throughout the transaction process, eventually becoming some sort of ongoing relationship.

Question: Is sending a monthly newsletter, holiday (or other) card, adding to your FB, etc. considered a relationship?  Doesn’t a relationship require some real life interaction on a somewhat regular basis.

The exception being repeat clients, friends and family, in which case the relationship did in fact did precede the transaction.

It’s not an enterprise sale, it’s a transaction

Typically around a solution as opposed to a transaction, enterprise sales are a lengthy, complex process that includes multiple stakeholders on both sides that contribute to the ultimate decision.  Once the sale is “closed” the vendor or service provider remains actively involved in the deployment and ongoing execution of the product or service – thus the “relationship”.

An example would be the need for a company to purchase a customer relationship management system.  Not only does this require lengthy system integration, but internal and perhaps external training.

Is real estate like car sales?

Let’s draw a parallel.  Like real estate, cars are a significant, infrequent purchase often based on emotion.  At a high level, the process looks something like this:  The car salesperson determines your needs, recommends best fit, and shows several models, the choice is made, financial paperwork is completed and approved, and then the keys are handed over to the new owner.

At a very high level is it so different from selling real estate?  (The reference may have you fuming.  That’s not my intent.  I have great respect for the amount of effort that goes into your profession.)

We’ve all purchased cars.  Have you formed a relationship with your car salesperson?  Personally I have not.  This is not to say I would be opposed to referring folks or providing testimonial as to my experience, provided the service was good and I’m satisfied that my needs were met.  However, I don’t consider being a referral or testimonial source a relationship.

The trust argument

Perhaps it could be argued that since the transaction is complex and fraught with paperwork, more trust in the competency of an agent is required.  I imagine in light of recent events that is truer now more than in the salad days.

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One response to “Why Does Real Estate Require Relationships?

  1. Pingback: Why Does Real Estate Require Relationships? « BrandieYoung's Weblog | Bitter And Sweet Blog

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