Mike this is a great and timely post for me. It is usually your close relatives who believe that you should not be paid for your expertise and that you owe them. Once you have "helped" someone FOR FREE, they will always expect you to do that and offer your services to their friends for FREE as well. Additionally your services are always worth more before they are done and nothing after you have provided them. Protect yourself and don't give anyone the benefit of your education, hard work and time for FREE.
I was in my accountant's office a while back and I noticed cartoon on his bulletin board that showed an accountant on the phone. A friend had called and said, "You don't mind if I ask a few questions do you? It will only take a minute." In the second frame the accountant responded with, "No, not at all, if you don't mind if I send a little bill."
I had a friend call the other day and ask if I could help him get his house rented. He followed up the question with, "And, I'll be sure to give you something for your trouble."
For a moment, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. In my Twilight Zone head I had a monotone monologue running that sounded like, "I have a plenty of money. Real estate is only my hobby. I do it to make other people happy. It's fun. I am so glad I was able to spend all of that time in school, all of that money on licenses, insurance, continuing education, signs, business cards, software, computers, smart-phones, cars and fuel in order to freely meet the needs of my friends, family and colleagues." NOT!
Friends, you don't have to be arrogant or condescending when you get those types of calls, but you need to be clear and straight. My "not so Twilight Zone head" always says, "This is my job. When I work, I get paid for my job. Now, may I help you?"
If you give away your services freely people will freely demand them, and when you finally request payment they will be offended and mad. So, start out professionally and set the expectation of payment from the beginning. Make sure they know that this is how you make a living, and then do a great job. The truth is, "I do work for food!" And, so do you.
Helping buyers and sellers since 2004. A Venice/Englewood Florida resident for almost 40 years, put my local real estate knowledge to work for you today. My coverage areas include Southwest Florida include Venice, South Venice, North Venice, Nokomis, Osprey, Casey Key, Manasota Key, Englewood, Rotonda West, South Gulf Cove, Grove City, Placida, Cape Haze, Port Charlotte & North Port which are located in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties
I absolutely would love to discuss with you how I can assist you with your real estate needs. Remember I am never too busy for your referrals!