In the Trenches: Too Much Client Appreciation

A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.

Too Much Client Appreciation

After a closing, I ordered an ottoman from Kohl’s and had it delivered to my client as a housewarming present. Several months later, I ordered a bra from the same store—a bigger size than I usually get because my old ones had been feeling tight. Kohl’s must have still had my client’s address on file with my name and mistakenly sent the bra to him. His wife was surprised that I would be sending her husband a woman’s undergarment, and I was horrified that they now knew my cup size. Since then, I’ve stuck with gift cards as closing gifts.—Lynn Holland, RE/MAX Realty Centre, Clarksburg, Md.

Lost in Translation

I was born into a Spanish-speaking family and didn’t learn English until I started school. Over the years, as I made English my primary language, my Spanish became rusty. But I’ve had many Spanish-speaking clients, and we’ve communicated well. One day, my office received a call from a Spanish-speaking man who was referred to me. The man was speaking so fast that I couldn’t understand the words he was saying. I asked him to repeat what he said, and this time he spoke faster and with more animation. I apologized and asked him to repeat himself a third time but more slowly. Finally, he spoke clearly and carefully, and I understood: This was an obscene phone call.—Carmen Multhauf, GRI, Training and Broker Services, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.


September/October 2017’s  In the Trenches piece, “Never Forget Who Referred You,” described a well-meaning agent discussing how he gave a referral fee to the widow of a broker who had given him a lead years before. While not all states prohibit nonlicensees from receiving this sort of compensation, it is not permitted in Montana where this agent works. Check your state’s law to see if this kind of “thank you” gesture would be legal.