Etiquette Questions, Answered: Tricky Conversations
My Friend Used Another Real Estate Agent While I Was Away. How Should I Handle It?
Q. I’m a real estate agent, and I have a good friend (or so I thought) who purchased a property through another agent while
I was out of town for four days. I am very hurt that she would go through a stranger for this transaction. She knows I’m upset
but has said nothing. How should I handle it?
Name withheld by request
A. As much as you may be seeking permission to rip into your friend, venting your anger will keep you from achieving what you want: to get information, salvage the friendship, and possibly land future business. Swallow your pride and remember that there are many reasons your friend could have chosen to work with another real estate agent. She may not have wanted to mix friendship with money, or she may have feared losing the property while you were gone, or she might have had a specific incentive to use the other agent. Whatever the case, I’m guessing she’s afraid of the wrath she’ll incur by bringing up the incident with you. But the longer you harbor resentment, the less likely the two of you are to maintain any sort of relationship.
So you have a choice: Let it go, or bring it up delicately (and in a cheery tone of voice) the next time you’re out together.
If you go with the latter, congratulate her on the exciting property she bought and say, “I’m just curious. Was there a reason you used Marcy instead of me?” And then try to hear and accept her answer, whatever it is. If you can keep an open mind, your friendship will probably survive and might even become stronger.
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