Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan

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Can a Single Woman Expand Her Sphere of Influence Without Sending the Wrong Message?

I have a friend; let's call her Sarah. She is a new real estate agent and is committed to an SOI* strategy to build her business. So far, it's going well - she's already experiencing some success and is optimistic that she will survive her first year without ever cold-calling, door-knocking, farming or advertising.

Here's the problem. Sarah has a new boyfriend. When said boyfriend couplerealized that Sarah freely hands out her phone number (in the form of her business card) to anyone who asks (regardless of gender), he was horrified. Not that he doesn't understand she has a business to build, but he's convinced that when Sarah cheerfully offers her phone number/business card to those of the male gender, they are going to assume that she is interested in them romantically. "That's the way men think, honey."

Sarah dismissed his concerns, assuring him that she keeps her SOI efforts on a professional level and that there is no funny business going on - either real or imagined. She simply doesn't believe that the men she prospects to have any notion that she might be open to their advances.  The boyfriend disagrees. It's causing some strain in their relationship.

Sarah asked me for my thoughts. Initially I agreed with her - that the BF needs to accept that his honey is in a business that requires her to socialize with male creatures.

But then I ran across a paragraph in a book I'm reading about the differences in brain chemistry between men and women and it made me rethink my position. The book said that "...men are very easily aroused and easily misconstrue the slightest hint of friendship as a sexual invitation." So I asked my own BF for his thoughts, as well as a couple of other men I know. They all adamantly agreed with Sarah's boyfriend that if a woman shows friendly interest in a man, he's absolutely going to interpret that as romantic interest on her part. If she gives him her phone number? She might as well have invited him in for a late-night coffee...

Any thoughts? No gender-bashing or ridicule, please. I'd love to hear from the men in the crowd how you honestly feel about this, as well as from any women who have experienced the same thing with their men...

THANKS!

* SOI Strategy = Building your business based on the personal relationiships in your life - the people you know and people you meet.

  

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Comment balloon 110 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • September 21 2008 01:45PM

Comments

yes and no...when I am approached from a SOI type of contact, of course I realize what it is and so I don't really think like that.  HOWEVER, single on single interaction can be a little more tricky.  I'm married and have a child and just not on that wavelength anymore so in that respect it probably works fine.  However, if the two people interacting are single, it probably does put that message in there, even if only faintly.

Posted by Ron Tarvin, Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095 (Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction!) almost 12 years ago

To be successful in real estate, relationships with peers and clients are critical.  The new boyfriend need to trust her and chill until she gives him a reason not to.

Posted by Rebecca Schrader (Competitive Insurance of Dundee) almost 12 years ago

I agree with the BF on this one;  my DH does, as well.  It's a discussion we have had a couple of times.  The practical matter is, however, that while this may be very true, it doesn't mean either party is going to act on it in any untoward way.  It is important for women to remember how easily their actions or words can be misinterpreted and to make sure they don't send any mixed messages, because as we know, what is said by someone from Venus is often misinterpreted by someone from Mars.  ;-)

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 12 years ago

From a female perspective, that seems ridiculous!  She is handing out BUSINESS CARDS for heavens sake!  That would mean she is trying to build a BUSINESS.   If she let's people to whom she is giving her card know she is looking for business, not a date, I cannot see a problem.  Unless she needs to look at how she is giving the card out.  Do it in a professional, not flirtatious manner.

 Being in my mid 50's and married over 20 years, no one would bother with me!  But it irritates me that men could take it as anything other than what it is.

Posted by Carol Lee, Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes (Dilbeck Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I have a friend who is single and gorgeous (and also lonely).  She definitely has problems with this!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, I was at an Open House with a client the other day and the female agent was aggressive to say the least. She told us she was a widow and walked us to the car. When I got into the car she handed me her card and started rubbing my arm. My client was amazed at this and talked about the house from then on as the cougar house...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 12 years ago

That's the point Carol...men DO think differently and are wired differently than women. 

Why do you think that so many women drug reps call on male doctors...(having been close to this field I can tell you that it's a well thought out strategy by the drug companies)?  That is strictly business too, but the drug company is COUNTING on the tiny bit of "sexual interaction" to help sell their products. 

It's the same reason why sexy models are used to sell everything under the sun that a man could want to buy...cars, hammers, alchohol, food...you name it, it's under the name that "sex sells" and it's ALL based on the inherent wiring of the sexes!

Posted by Ron Tarvin, Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095 (Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction!) almost 12 years ago

Ron, I understand that, it is just that it pisses off the feminist in me.  My husband was a drug rep for years, I know about that industry!

I was a massage therapist- believe me, I know about men getting the wrong idea!  I just kept things so professional that no one went there with me.

Posted by Carol Lee, Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes (Dilbeck Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, I'm a happily married man, but in the days of single-hood, I would have been very interested in an attractive - intelligent woman that gave me her # (especially in the form of a business card- knowing she had a job).

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) almost 12 years ago

While there are men out there that would take being given a business card as an invitation for something more if it is given in the right manner there shouldn't be any hint of further interaction other than business. As for the BF he needs to become more secure in himself and his relationship if he wants to stay the BF . You both have to trust each other or you do not have a relationship.

Posted by Alan Brown, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) almost 12 years ago

While I would see a business woman giving me her card as her attempt to build clientelle, some would not.  There will always be guys who think they are "God's gift", and see it as an advance; the same holds true for some women.  Real estate agents (and others) have to be adept at recognizing and thwarting advances from the opposite sex when put in the position to have to do so. The problems start when this does not happen, as it gives the person making the advances permission to continue.  If that happens, you can't blame the card recipient for his/her opinion.

 

Posted by Scott Owens, REALTOR (Scott Owens Limited) almost 12 years ago

Shoot, I have that problem and I'm MARRIED.  It has not caused a big problem yet... though some men stop contacting me once they find out I am married with kids, but if that was their reason for contact, they probably weren't really looking for a house anyway. 

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) almost 12 years ago

Thanks for all the various insights - I do want to emphasize that I am not attempting to create a gender debate - but we need to deal with reality as it is, not as it "should" be. As an unmarried woman, it would not occur to me NOT to meet a man for coffee or lunch or even dinner if I viewed him as a potential client or referral source. However, I will admit that as often as not, the meeting has resulted in unwanted attention that I didn't understand - I truly didn't feel that I'd done anything to encourage the advance.

But men and woman are so very different. Men aren't simply stoic females and women aren't simply emotional males. We see the world through vastly different lenses.

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

Both sides or viewpoints of this issue are well taken.  I think it has as much to do with her demeanor and if it is done in a business manner.  If the "Signals" are pure business then intent should be clear in the reason for the business card.   Being single my "Antenna" is always working but I don't have any problems recognizing the intent of contact.

Posted by Keith Webb, GRI (Guardant Investments, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I am single, but in my mid-forties and to tell the truth I never gave it much thought.  As a former academic I'm no glamour girl and hopefully this will remain a non-issue for me.  But there are differences between the genders.  I've been working on a deal with someone  a youn agent who happens to be a man.  He looks a bit older than he is and for him that is probably a good thing because the take-home message that people often get when they see a man in his twenties is "irresponsible, crazy, not reliable."  Beautiful women of that age are sought after for business - in part - for their looks.  So there are differences in perception between the sexes and that can cause misunderstandings.

Great topic.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

I'm new to blogging, and I new to your blog, but I wanted to give my impute on your post.  Since reading the book "Men are from venus and women are from mars", it is so true about how different men and women think. 

I guess I would have to say that her BF must trust her, and trust in what they have in their relationship, and not stress her out over the whole thing, and she will have to secure him as her man, so much so until he knows for himself that it doesn't matter how many men become interested in her, or how many phone number/cards she give out, that she loves him, and won't leave him for someone else.

Thank you for letting me share.

pam-NJ

Posted by Pamela Pierce (Exit Buyers Plus Realty) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

I believe trust is everything in a relationship. That being said and addressing the issue, the key is acting professional when handing out business cards. Yes, men to think differently then women, however, I don't believe every man wants to jump in bed with every women that hands him a business card in a business relationship. There are more female agents in our office then there male and their consensus is that of mine. Keep it on a professional level and there won't be any misunderstandings.

Posted by Harold "Hal" Place (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer.  I do think that some men will misconstrue the "advances" of your single friend but it is up to her to make sure that it is received in the way she means it.  If BF does not trust that she is true to him then there are other issues to deal with there.  We are in control of our own thoughts and actions and as such can turn it on or off depending on the circumstance.

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer, there will always be two sides / opinions on this, since men and women look at issues from different perspectives, and from the way our brains are constructed.  I feel that it really boils down to Sarah's relationship with her BF.  She needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with her BF, to help him understand why she needs to hand out her business cards.  Sarah can invite her BF to some of her networking sessions, open houses etc.,  If her BF knows what Sarah is doing, he may feel less threatened.  Of course, there's never knowing how some men may perceive Sarah's pro-activeness in handing out her number, if say, Sarah conducts herself professionally.  Even a professionally conducted meeting with smiles could be miscontrued by another gender. In short, misunderstandings may arise, but could be minimized when both parties in a relationship have that foundation of trust and understanding.

Posted by Sherry Peckhoon Sim, Broker/Owner, Covering the Beautiful Central Coast (Sims & Company) almost 12 years ago

She is handing out "business cards" ... and if she plans to succeed, then she has to grow her "business. Wonder if the concern of her boyfriend is more what "he" thinks when a woman gives him a business card, that being true for every guy. Just wondering. And likely she is not putting her "home phone" on the card -- just her "business numbers". Our 2 cents.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

Okay, how about this situation? A woman (real estate agent) meets a man at a social event and they chat - non-flirtatiously. The woman enthusiastically delivers her elevator speech and the man seems interested. He asks for her business card and she happily hands it over. He calls her the next day to ask her out and she's surprised.

When I ran this scenario by my panel of male advisors, they were all pretty much flabbergasted that the woman would be surprised -- that OF COURSE the man would interpret her willingness to give him her card as an invitation to pursue her.

Apparently, many women refuse to hand over their phone numbers when asked! I've been self-employed (and SOI'ing) for so long that unless someone is blatantly leering at me, it wouldn't occur to me to withhold my bcard...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

Women really cannot concern themselves all that much with how a man interprets being handed the business card.  Business is busines.  The guys are easy to handle when they do read things the wrong way -- It's their psycho wives and girlfriends that you have to keep an eye on.  I've encountered some real looney tunes over the last few years.

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) almost 12 years ago

Amanda is right.  It's business, not boyfriend shopping.  I'll do breakfast or lunch, but no dinner dates with prospective clients.  Everyone gets a business card that lists only business information.  It paints a professional picture in a non-threatening manner.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 12 years ago

This blog and the comments reminded me of my single days when I would be out at our favorite watering hole, hoping to meet unattached men, anyway, I never gave them my home number, or my business card.  So I think that because we all have agreed, that men are wired weird, then maybe our cards should only have the office number on those, since they just can't contain themselves. I can honestly say I never have had to deal with men coming on to me in business, I carried myself in a way that they always knew it was about business for me.  Maybe its just the way we sometimes come off especially the women who are so darn cute or they(men) are just jerks to think we might be interested in them.  I have been doing this for 25 years..Go figure.  AJ

Posted by A. J. Fischer, CDPE, CRS, ABR, GRI, ASP, CREA, SFR (Keller Williams Ft Myers & The Islands) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer: its quite normal for young man in an unmarried couples relationship to be a bit taken aback when his girl fiend gives out her cell number all over the place...it is up to her to underline the importance for her to promote her business...men can be thick headed...with time he will trust her more. If the situation was turned around and he was the one building a business I am sure she would be also a bit ticked off at receiving phone calls at home from women. Its all about trust..and that is something that is earned but she has to do what is right for her future. She has to handle her image professionally and all will go fine.Interesting problem you are underlining.

Posted by Anonymous almost 12 years ago

I must be from another planet, because I am single, yet when a women gives me a business card thats all it means to me.  Networking, perhaps some men wishfully think that its something else.  Same with interacting on social sites, its all about networking, but thats probably another can of worms.

Posted by Paul LeMay (Caretaker Property Services) almost 12 years ago

I think it depends on the manner in which the card is delivered (there is a difference between professional attire and seductive attire; professional body language and seductive body language) and it depends on the man.  Somebody said it earlier that some men feel they're "God's Gift" and think any woman looking at them must mean she wants them.  Others have little self confidence and feel a woman who flirts with him must be drunk or lonely.

Just a thought, and maybe a ridiculouse one.  Carry 2 cards...one with a cell phone that you hand out to "A" leads, one with only an office number that you hand out to men who may or may not know what she's looking for.

Posted by Matt Thomson, Helping you find success through real estate (Fathom Realty Colorado) almost 12 years ago

Hey there,

My hubby and I have been married for 16 years and are very protective of our marriage.  So much so that we do not go out to breakfast, lunch or dinner w/ somebody of the opposite sex.  We just feel that as innocent as it could be w/ out realizing it, it could grow into something more.  (which I witnessed with somebody very close to me, not my hubby)  So we just feel like we shouldn't even crack that door open.  If we go to lunch it has to be w/ 3 people or more.  So, with that being said...

I don't think my hubby and I have even thought about this.  I hand out my card all the time.  I think because I would never go to anything outside of showing a home or taking a listing that it is very clear I am all business.  

Just my thoughts, but thank you for giving me something to think about!

Brooke

Posted by Brooke Shepherd, Speak With Honesty~Act with Integrity (Keller Williams Partners) almost 12 years ago

Interesting thread, at my age, LOL I've never considered it being a come on to men. But, I do know they are wired differently.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

You know, I've always wondered why women tend to refer to their boyfriends or husbands within the first ten minutes of conversation.  I think I understand it now.  They want to make sure that the guy they are talking to doesn't get the wrong impression. 

I'm a married guy myself and know that when a nice looking woman chats me up for business or just for conversation it's a bit ego enhancing.  It makes me wonder if I still "have it"  (whatever "it" is).

More to the point of the BF of Sarah, the guy should trust her.  if there is that sort of problem now, it'll only get worse and it'll kill her business.

Posted by Ken Montville, The MD Suburbs of DC (RE/MAX United Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

She and her BF must realize the only way to make $$ is by her spreading the word whether male or female.  Good luck to your friend

Posted by PJ Belle, ABR, GRI, SFR (Long and Foster) almost 12 years ago

Ken & Eric - LOL! Yep, when I go to the dog park, I immediately disclose my unavailable status to any man who talks to me - I also wear a mock wedding ring. Much easier to ward it off than to later have to graciously decline.

Missy - The more  I think about it, the more I can see how happily handing out a card could be considered encouragement, especially if it's in a social setting, which is the typical setting when one SOI's.

Livia - that's how I think it should be - what was it that basketball star said? Something like "If anyone is going to be uncomfortable with my actions, it WON'T be my wife?" There are different levels of jealousy, but I agree - it should be a priority to keep your mate happy before you worry about hurting a stranger's feelings. I'm sure your husband hasn't ever worried about you because you have this mutual respect!

Matt - I guess the question lies in the difference, in a man's mind, between friendly and flirtatious. I'm usually friendly, which I don't perceive as flirtatious. But I very well see how it could be construed as friendly flirtation!

Paul - maybe you're being flirted with more than you know!

David - Night club - no. But how about the dog park? Or a street fair?

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

BTW - I do think it's important for us women-types to realize that we might be a bit jealous (especially in the early days of a relationship) if our husbands/SO's were out there "networking" and handing out their business cards in a friendly way... Especially if, when asked about it, they were to get defensive...

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer

Well, thats me dumb or ignorant!  I've been out of the game so long, I wouldn't know it if it hit me in the face.

Posted by Paul LeMay (Caretaker Property Services) almost 12 years ago

Man are pigs , woman are from venus, and this is real estate. There will always be the inappropriate people in your search for a SOI, as there will be at a wedding, a bar, a cruise etc. Be professional, deal with it and get agressive if necessary. Woman realtors are no different than their male counterparts and should be treated with equal respect and professionalism.

Posted by James Engel, KW Beverly Hills (Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills) almost 12 years ago

I'm a man and I think it is absolutely fine to hand out business cards.  Maybe I'm slow but, I would have never assumed that someone who handed me a business card had romantic interests, that's why it's called a BUSINESS card.  A personal card would be different.  I also think it is very difficult for someone to be in this business and not be allowed to market themselves to 50% of the population.

 

Posted by Andy Raffle, Team Leader - NMLS#156564 (Emery Federal Credit Union) almost 12 years ago

I didn't read the other comments here, so I apologize if I repeat what others have said.  I think the new GB needs to give it time and trust that she is building relationships in order to build business.  I say building relationships because that is what it takes to gain the trust of those you meet in order to be the one they turn to when the need for representation comes up!  

Posted by Anna Little (Greater Atlantic Shores Properties at Atlantic Shores Cooperative) almost 12 years ago

I have never considered a business card as a proposition from a female. But many males think with testosterone and not logic. If she keeps the conversation based solely on RE, and is aware of her body language/sales pitch then it may reduce the wrong impression being given. But idiots are idiots! 

It is a shame anyone has to worry about being viewed as a sexual object instead of the professional they are. IF she does encounter anyone who mistakes her SOI efforts as something different, she needs to strongly and immediately address this as strongly as possible. If she doesn't have the backbone to do so, she is in the wrong business.

 

Posted by Mark Brian, Anderson SC Realtor (Silver Star Real Estate LLC) almost 12 years ago

Some people will interpet it that way, others will not. Such is life. She will just have to nicely set straight those who feel they had an invitation. I am sure this happens with many of the most attractive female agents out there, married or not.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Her BF needs to wake up and deal with the reality of our world.   I have several agents that are extremely attractive and married and they are here to make a business of themselves.  They are not idiots.  They know that a given percentage of males that they contact want their number for one reason only.  As a male, I can not empathize with this....but I do know that these women can spot the good from the bad.....some so bad that they have lost listings because of not having a relationship.  This is the world we live in and it is a bit more challenging for women to deal with this.

The BF needs to have faith or there is no relationship and her business will suffer as she is worried about what he thinks....thus she will fall short of her dreams.

I on the other hand, being a male that has become very successful in this business, am in a business dominated by women....wanting to have lunch....wanting my business...etc.  It is so much different as a male as women do not approach a married man with bad intentions as happens in the opposite scenario.  My wife understands that....most of the time.  She sees things from women that I don't think as inappropriate, but it does not matter as we both have faith in each other.

So bottom line BF, there will be guys that will come on to your girlfriend.  Deal with it.... this is a compliment to him.  Geeeeez......so possessive.........

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) almost 12 years ago

Good post and question!  I have been doing this type of prospecting for over 20 years and I can tell you first hand that yes, many guys will interpret it that way and may call you for coffee, a date etc.   It did not really seem to matter whether I was married, single, divorced the results were the same. 

Did I get business, absolutely!  You just have to realize, as with any form of prospecting that some contacts will pay off and others will not.  It comes down to Sarah and how she handles it.....when this happened to me I would always say, thanks, I'm flattered but starting a personal/dating relationship is not what I'm interested in.

The BF definately needs to trust her otherwise their relationship is doomed anyway.

 

Posted by Ana Connell, Burbank Real Estate Agent (G & C Properties) almost 12 years ago

It's all been said...good thread. BF has made her aware of his feelings, which is important and healthy, but he also needed to reaffirm their relationship and his trust by just telling her to be careful. I like the idea of instilling the BF or husband in the conversation early. Fake band is a good idea, too, but I've been married 27 years and wouldn't even notice it.

But if friend gets flirtacious...she better watch out.

Make sure to keep it business.

BTW Jen. Started your book last night...Enjoying it!

Dave Culbertson, Broker/Owner, Real Living Home Team, Mount Vernon, OH

 

Posted by Dave Culbertson (Real Living Home Team) almost 12 years ago

Being of a professional personna, I believe it is possible to hand out a card, grow the SOI and keep it above-board and professional.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I don't really know what to say about this.  Surely there must be some way to balance business and the current relationship.

Posted by Robert Worthington (Worthington Realty) almost 12 years ago


Being single, I am careful to be completely professional upfront.   I have come up with a great answer when my clients ask me out "To represent you best, I have a policy to keep my clients stictly business, once you mix personal in with business it can get weird and I don't want to compromise your transaction."   

pippa

Posted by Pippa Mac, The Woodlands TX Real Estate (Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) almost 12 years ago

I agree that a lot of it has to do with body language. Hopefully most guys can tell a business conversation from a come on, as long as the woman controlls her urge to flirt. If not, and if we do get a phone call, we just have to be completely up front about our intentions (or lack thereof!).

I also agree that the biggest issue in "Sarah's" bf's case is trust...

Posted by Kristen Wahl, CBR (Re/Max Plus) almost 12 years ago

I've always found that good amount of "misunderstanding" can be handled by presenting the right demeanor.  Flirty looks, cute little laughs and giggles send the wrong message.  A calm, business like tone and demeanor go a long way to keep the boys in line. ~ Evelyn

Posted by Evelyn Panning (Property Connections Realty Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I think it is just how you have to do it - hand out cards and keep it on a business level!  Not a problem!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

Its business and if treated like a business it should create no problems. I do know that some agents really push it on this subject. It can be over the top in a hurry. Its all in what the agent does and they generally know what they are doing.

Posted by Eric Bouler, Listening to your Needs ( Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.) almost 12 years ago

I'd suggest she get a new boyfriend.  The current one has too many issues...

Posted by Debbie Durkee, ALC, CRS -- Land & Country Estates near Tulsa (RE/MAX T-town) almost 12 years ago

I think the ladies should definitely dress professionally and then maybe a business card will not be misinterpreted.  Super short skirts and spiked shoes and low cut blouses are not an appropriate way to dress.  I see it a lot and I can see why men would think the lady was shopping or "inviting." 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Honestly, she needs to have someone in her life that is supportive and trusting. And if he's having issues with that so early in the relationship, it will only get worse.  I say Kick him to the curb.

Posted by Connie Betz, Top Omaha Realtor - Omaha Homes for Sale (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Honestly, she needs to have someone in her life that is supportive and trusting. And if he's having issues with that so early in the relationship, it will only get worse.  I say Kick him to the curb.

Posted by Connie Betz, Top Omaha Realtor - Omaha Homes for Sale (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I wasn't going to respond but I think I might just have to :)  I have to say this, if the BF is just worried about her safety then that is warranted, but if it is out of jealousy, no it is not warranted, my husband and I talked about this BEFORE I made the commitment to become an agent, we have been married for 15 years, he knows I am trying to build a business and yes I am going to have to socialize and build a relationship and trust  with men, as a business partner, nothing more nothing less, but it is business and the trust has to be there from the beginning, I don't know maybe I am naive, I know when I cross the line and give that something extra that shouldn't be there, and I don't do it, I am married you can see the ring on my finger, the soccer mom stickers on my car, let me do my business without it being misconstrued as a dating service....lol  To each his/her own!

Posted by Sharon Fleming, Realtor, Port St Lucie-Florida (Real Living Realty Unlimited) almost 12 years ago

It's all based on trust and that's something both sexes have trouble with at times, not just men.  

Posted by Everard Korthals, Mountain Realty (---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors---) almost 12 years ago

I've had a few people call me from my business card and it really had nothing to do with business.            

Posted by Lindsay Pendleton, Marketing Agent - Property Management in Baton Rou (Relocating To Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer - when I read this post - the first thing that came to my mind was "trust."  Does the BF trust his girlfriend to conduct herself in a professional manner?  If she is pursued by a gent she gave her card to - then she would set the gent straight about her intentions in giving him the card and sell herself as a professional real estate agent and not a woman seeking affection from men.  I am also single and if my boyfriend questioned me on such issues I would be left feeling he does not trust me. That is another issue.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 12 years ago

I'm starting to get a complex here... not one person has ever misconstrued my handing them a biz card as anything other than biz-related. Bummer ;-)

Seriously, someone earlier mentioned how some women bring up their DH or BF early in a conversation, and I have to say I typically do this. Apparently it works very well.

Posted by Jenn Beilmann, St. Louis MO Realtor (Coldwell Banker Gundaker) almost 12 years ago

Making things clear up front regarding business works most of the time.  There are times when people take things the wrong way.  I guess we sometimes pay a price for being nice.

Posted by Cedric (Ced) Reynolds, (909) 263-4569 almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

I had to go back and re-read your post. And I'm not so sure this is entitely about business cards, trust, or boyfriends. I don't see how or why anyone would get the wrong impression just from a woman handing him a business card.

But... as you put it, "if a woman shows friendly interest in a man" I have to agree, that could be misconstrued. And if she showed "friendly interest" over dinner ...absolutely it could be taken wrong.

Just my 2¢

: )

Posted by Michael Cole (CPG Tours) almost 12 years ago

As a man I think it all depends on the guy she gives that card too.  I wouldn't probably think it as flirting, or an invitation for more, or whatever.  BUT many guys out there don't do their thinking with their brain.  To the few that do I'd agree with your girlfriend.  But the vast majority would think she is hitting.  My .02. 

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) almost 12 years ago

I am not a man, so I don't know how men look at this issue.  However, as a single woman and a Realtor, I will give out my card to those who seem to need a home or help with selling theirs.

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) almost 12 years ago

My initial reaction is that Sarah's BF is jealous and she should kick him to the curb. Who needs that kind of control-crap! And I don't think all men can be lumped into one category. I understand the psychology of the majority thinking, but there are signals in body language that Sarah can be avoid, to minimize any misconceptions by the recipient of her business card.

Both my dad and my husband are BOTH (imagine this *rolls eyes*) two of the most laid back, non-jealous, and even clueless to flirtation, men on the planet! So I'm used to the type of man who wouldn't have a clue if a woman was interested in them unless the woman flat-out told them, in the exact words... yes, I'm that type of woman ;P

Now I'm about to share TMI! I am the kind of woman who can't stand the whole gossipy, backstabbing, non-trustworthy "friends" that most women are. (See? That's my perception of most woman, and I'm one of them.) Add to that, the fact that I'm not fond of small children, and I absolutely love to talk business, and you have a woman who prefers the company of men, as friends. Now I do have both male and female friends, but I do not want to hear about runny noses, dirty diapers, or pretty much anything about most children. (I fake it for clients) BUT, I also don't like sports *sigh*. So I hang out with whoever wants to talk business (not children or sports) and miscellaneous cultural stuff... But my best friend, aside from my daughter, is a man who is older than my father. He's married and knows there is nothing more to our relationship than just frienship. If John calls and my husband picks up the phone, then they talk for a while. (Remember? Laid back and non-jealous?) And if John's wife picks up the phone when I call him, I talk to her as well.

I do want to add this though. Because of my personality, I have been accused of flirting when I'm not. I just treat both sexes the same. If I find you interesting I will talk to you and joke around with you. (Also remember that when I was single, I'd just tell a man if I was interested. I can't stand the prissy, eye-batting, touchy-feely, ditzy, flirty types of women. *Ugh*)

So with AAALLLL that being said (:P) I guess I don't really care how someone else perceives my intentions. BUT, if I was actively prospecting for new business by handing out my business card, I would set aside all my usual playfulness and be in a strictly business frame of mind. I know that there will always be insecure significant-others of the people who receive my card, who will misjudge my intentions. But that's their problem, not mine. I would assume I that I wouldn't receive their business, but I'd just move on to the next possibility.

So Sarah will have to decide what works for her, and if this BF is worth the trouble. (In my experience, the jealous types only get worse) But I think she can still expand her SOI in the manner that's already working for her. But she might need to thicken her skin, and she should probably read up  on "body language" so she can avoid any subtle movements that might cause others to misinterpet her intentions.

And I'm stopping now, because I've already share WAY TMI!

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) almost 12 years ago

HI SARAH!

A man must be confident within himself.  If he is, he will not be insecure about what his girlfriend/wife does with her phone number!

Great post & I'm curious to read the rest of the mens' thoughts!

Posted by Yvette Smith, Realtor In Williamsburg VA, Homes for Sale (LONG & FOSTER) almost 12 years ago

Great topic Jennifer, if you handed me a card I would probably stutter and stammer like a fool ;) but I think most men know the difference between business and pleasure.  At least I do.

Posted by Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs, Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics (Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186) almost 12 years ago

Sorry, but I just don't have time to read 70 comments...so here's my viewpoint.

Men on the prowl look for any reason to prowl.  She could pass one of those scumbags her business card, make it very, very, very clear that it is for business purposes only and that she has a boyfriend, and still, one of those scumbags will think he is the guy who can sweet talk her into a drink, (until the alcohol affects her judgment) and then take her home for some jollie good fun.  That is just the way some men think.  I know, I've known a few men like that. 

If they are going to let a few scumbags keep her away from her career, then she needs a new career anyway.  If he is the jealous type, she either needs a new boyfriend, or she needs to find a new career.  A jealous boyfriend/spouse just won't cut it in Real Estate.

Posted by Gregory Lohr almost 12 years ago

With all the research about the number of times a day men think about sex, etc...I'd say it's pretty much a given that if a man is given a phone number in any form, by an attractive woman, that he of course is going to at least fantasize about sexual possibility.  I think women are forced, for this reason, to come across as overly blunt, harsh and even masculine when they want to be taken seriously by men in the business world.  No bashing involved...the two sexes are just undeniably wired differently.

Posted by Christine Wade - Real Estate Virtual Assistant, Proud to Serve Your Real Estate Support Needs (Christine Wade) almost 12 years ago

Wow. A lot of great opinions on this thread. And I have to agree that I will usually disclose my marital status very early in a conversation. I am friendly and smile A LOT - which can probably be interpreted flirty in the right settings, but I usually only shake a hand when meeting someone new (not a ahugger unless we are close friends). I never dress unappropriately.

The comments about the BF are correct about being jealous vs. being concerned for her safety. There are plenty of the RIGHT kind of guys out there (they are the nice ones that you keep brushing off). And they'd do ANYthing for you. Not a bad kind of guy to have....

Anyway enjoyed all the comments on this post.

Posted by Alison Hunter (Bradford Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

Sex appeal is one way people give you business, so is a need for your experience, knowlege, and skills.

Posted by Stephanie Jacques almost 12 years ago

Wow. A lot of great opinions on this thread. And I have to agree that I will usually disclose my marital status very early in a conversation. I am friendly and smile A LOT - which can probably be interpreted flirty in the right settings, but I usually only shake a hand when meeting someone new (not a hugger unless we are close friends). I never dress unappropriately.

The comments about the BF are correct about being jealous vs. being concerned for her safety. There are plenty of the RIGHT kind of guys out there (they are the nice ones that you keep brushing off). And they'd do ANYthing for you. Not a bad kind of guy to have....

Anyway enjoyed all the comments on this post.

Posted by Alison Hunter (Bradford Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer,

   I started in this business at 27 in Virginia Beach. My primary client base was military and mostly male.  Yes, there is always going to be some overly hormonal Tarzan looking for Jane at the drop of a hat or a business card, just keep the message clear.  If I'd bypassed the business opportunites out there because of gender I'd have failed in my first year.  My approach must have woked as I landed a Navy housing contract in No. Virginia and managed a HUD contract for awhile too. I don't think playing with the boys is an issue as long as you don't make it one.

Posted by Cat Zwicker, CRS, Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results! (Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC) almost 12 years ago

I could see that being possible in a lot of other professions, but Real Estate???

... I don't think the men in the younger generation would look at it that way.  I can't speak for the older ones though.  I'm assuming "Sarah" is fairly young.

Posted by Garren Grup, REALTOR, ABR, CNE,CDPE, GRI, Naples & Bonita Springs, FL (John R. Wood REALTORS) almost 12 years ago

I have an attractive, young, single Mom who is is one of my agents and she works men on a regular basis who cannot seperate their overactive hormones from a business transaction.  She has been obnoxiously harrased from day one in the business, but tries to maintain her professional status and gently rebuff unwanted advances.  Ther was one situation where I had to complete a transaction for her - it took that for this guy to get the message that she was not interested!  It's a shame and somedays she wants to go do something else, but she is passionate about her career, although sometimes her SOI & clients can make it difficult.

Posted by Michelle DeRepentigny, Broker Athens, GA (Success Realty) almost 12 years ago

Oooh boy...great post! Really getting some attention too. For my two cents, it depends more on the way she gives them the card/info...Make it real clear that it is about real estate...I usually make some crack about there is a law some where that says I have to hand out my cards, make a joke of it and then follow it up with some hard statistics on the current market. Tends to flip that little switch back into business mode instead of romance. And if that doesn't work she can make clear that she is wildly in love with her BF...thats what the real problem is here isn't it...BF doesn't want her advertising herself, he's afraid some one might come along and just snatch her up? Well thats a little condescending isn't it? Most likely your little Sarah is quite capable of turning aside any undo attention all by her little old self...it's not like she didn't have to do that before BF came along... I will always remember what my first Broker (Kelly Moran) told me, "you can't be a undercover agent"... She has to get her name and hence her number out there, it doesn't work any other way (of course she can still be safe about it). And you know, all of this great advice on this post also applies to the guys..

Posted by Trevella Williams, Realtor, Salesperson, ABR SFR (Aloha Coast Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Fact: A large percentage of guys getting those digits will at the very least be thinking about much more than business.  Some may act on it, some may not.  As long as friend knows when and how to draw the line, she should take advantage of the opportunity. (for business, that is.) 

Posted by Anonymous almost 12 years ago

I have been frustrated by a friend in real life - he is married, I am married, and he and I have a fun friendship going - so I thought.  Then he started making odd, inappropriate remarks, and I was really annoyed that I couldn't be friendly with him without him thinking I wanted to have an affair.  Now whenever we chat I make sure that I bring up his wife, and my husband, FREQUENTLY!

When dealing with customers that are men, I make sure that I somehow bring up the fact that I'm happily married with three kids...without it seeming obvious that I'm doing that.

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) almost 12 years ago

In all sales jobs, it is a numbers game. It is imperative to give out cards whenever we can regardless of gender. Most people I know order cards in quantity of 1000.  Yes, many of the cards we hand out may end up in the dumpster, but I'd rather take that chance instead of letting them sit rotting in my desk! If the boyfrind is smart, he would realize that your friend is working on carving out a career that can pay great money, make peoples dreams come true and provide mnay other fantastic life experiences. If they end up getting married, he has a partner that can contribute financially to the relationship. The boyfriend needs to grow up or he should get the boot.

Posted by Jeffrey Markell | California Broker almost 12 years ago

I feel green eyed jealousy has reared its ugly head. If the man realizes this is what a real estate agent does, and still has a problem with it... I would be very leary. Jealousy is a dangerous thing in a relationship.  I would much rather have someone who was supportive and may warn me of dangers, but supportive.  I personally would be leary of taking that relationsip any further. Men who are that kind of jealous, don't change as something has given them reason to be that way.

Posted by Sherry Scales, Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 12 years ago

If she gives her card to anyone who asks I'm assuming the people are asking because she has recently said "I'm a real estate agent." So if the card is given in a business context, men would be foolish to interpret it any differently. On the other hand, if she were to volunteer her card and say something like "Call me sometime", all bets are off.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 12 years ago

Holy Gramolies! Take an afternoon away from a computer and get a gold star! And lotsa comments!

So, it appears that the vast majority of y'all disagree with the BF. I did too, initially, but once I gave it some more thought I realized that there's probably a fair amount of truth in what the BF says. All men? No. But we've probably all heard how high the divorce rate is for those in the real estate industry and it could certainly be partially due to the high level of temptation that we can find ourselves faced with on a regular basis. So, instead of beating up the jealous boyfriends out there (who aren't monsters - they're just a bit more possessive than other men might be), it's probably better to respect their concern and do one's best to accommodate it without turning away good business.

Anyway, "Sarah" has been out of town this weekend, so she probably hasn't seen this post. I'll be interested to hear what she has to say!

Erica DH = Darling Husband/Dear Husband!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

Great topic, I am a firm believer that your cards need to be handed out and I hand mine out all the time. So I feel and always try to live by the Michael Jackson theory. Don't put yourself in a a position that people including memebrs of the opposite sex think there may be an opening or wrong perception. When you hand your card out set the upfront contract at that time. Something like.

Please take my card and if you or anyone you know may be interested in buying or selling real estate give me a call or have them give me a call.

Clear and to the point. Don't hand out your card and say give me a call sometime.

Be careful as not everyone out there has good intentions.

Posted by Ken Nimmo (National Real Estate of Prescott ) almost 12 years ago

I worked with a new agent who seemed to have a lot of appointments (mostly with men) but sales never seemed to follow.  I asked her about her last appointment.   She replied that they looked at two homes and then stopped at a local bar for a glass of wine.  I asked a simple question.  When the check came who paid?  Well, she replied, he did.  Guess what I said that wasn't an appointment---that was a date with a little house looking thrown in. In this business you have to conduct business first.  If you blur the lines you will lose business guaranteed.

Posted by John Tuck (Tellico Realty & Auction Co. Inc) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, we all need to walk the fine line between being friendly and interested in our clients and remaining professional.  Keeping flirtation in check is an important element to mainintaining a professional relationship.  Now suppose your friend did not have a boyfriend, was single, trying to build a business from her sphere of influence and truly was interested in a single acquaintance to whom she gave her card.  Same rules.  If she wants to approach this person as a prospect, professionalism needs to be upheld, in my opinion.

Posted by Dianne Deming (RE/MAX Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

TRUST IS THE FOUNDATION IN ANY RELATIONSHIP, With Boyfriends/Girlfriends, Husbands/Wives, and Yes EVEN WITH CLIENTS!  If you don't have TRUST, you don't have anything.  I interact with a ton of lets call them VERY ATTRACTIVE members of the opposite sex often in this business, but just because I talk with someone or get their card from them or even sit down and have a lunch or a drink with them it doesn't mean that they want any kind of romantic relationship with me, IT'S JUST BUSINESS!  If your friend and her hubby just started dating, it is probably just that jealousy thing in the beginning.  If it never goes away then she needs to end it and find someone else who can trust her!

Posted by Mike Klijanowicz, Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors (Cummings & Co. Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, If a woman is the least bit friendly to a man, he seems to think she is hitting on him.  aaargh   Less so when you are married and are wearing a wedding ring.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) almost 12 years ago

You mention Single woman, I dont think it matters I have to agree with the boyfriend and most of the men that have commented. If a woman gives her number to a man he will precieve it as "interest" in him. Does that mean she shouldn't ..... No she should just be prepared to handle any problems that might arise and to use it to her advantage, as a RE Agent myself I would!!

Joseph Coretti
Milford CT Real Estate
203.795.2411

Posted by Joseph Coretti (Weichert Realtors Regional Properties) almost 12 years ago

I think she needs to hand out her card to men but be clear that its purely business. Women, particulary young women are often misinterpreted at flirting. The women is often clueless that the man is thinking he has chance with her.

Posted by Mary Bowen, Real Estate At Its Finest!!! (Coldwell Banker United, Realtor) almost 12 years ago

I chalk it up as the cost of doing business.  It's going to happen.  It's how you react to it that determines the outcome. 

Posted by LS Rogers Realty (LS Rogers Realty) almost 12 years ago

I'm single and am very social with a wide network of people across the metropolitan area...in our area, a woman would have to be VERY forward for a man to think that....most women who are out are throwing themselves at men...especially attractive men with money...so I don't think if you are talking business around here that it would mean a "romantic" gesture at all...now if you lived in the country...maybe, but not close in to DC.

Posted by Sonja Adams (Samson Proprties) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer,

     I believe being in the business with my wife I wouldn't mind at all if she handed out her card 100 times a day and was cheerful about it.  However, I can see where he is coming from I guess.  Men do tend to take the slightest bit of politeness as a come on.  So therefore they may be inclined to give her a call on things other than Real Estate.  She just has to be prepared to let them know the relationship is strictly business.  Also, safety at that point becomes a concern with me and I would be very leary of letting my wife work with someone who had called wanting more than Real Estate but I have the option of helping them so that she doesn't have to deal with things like that.  Your friend however doesn't.  We are always very careful on who we work with and I would NEVER let my wife show homes to someone that I haven't met or someone that I didn't already know.  You just can't trust people these days.  Back to the original post, would I be jealous, no, will he, yes, should he be, that is up to her. 

Posted by Joshua & Kathy Schmidt (ERA Henley Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

This post generated a lot of interest---I think that if your friend presents herself as the ultimate professional at all times, she should be fine.

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer,

All I can say is I'm married 18 yrs and we both have jobs where we have to deal with the opposite sex...but I guess it is working out fine.

I guess your friends situation would be different because it's a boyfriend /girlfriend thing but not a husband/wife. I would have to agree it could be a problem.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

I would think the younger and more attractive a woman is, the more likely that is to happen.  Doesn't matter how she presents the card there are some men who will read more into it than there ever was.  Ignore them and continue doing business as you always have.  I've been there at a younger age and do know that it happens and that some men (and women) will try to sexualize everything.  Don't let it affect you and chances are they will get the message.  Your honey should understand and not be so insecure.

Posted by Sheila Reeves almost 12 years ago

Wow, the resposes here are eye opening. When I read the initial post I was thinking the BF needed to grow up. But, it seems like there is a fair amount of support here for his position....at least more than I would have ever expected. I am a single female agent. I will think twice about how I present my business card to others from now on.

Posted by Suzanne Gallegos, Realtor - Salt Lake City, Utah Homes (Equity Real Estate - Advantage) almost 12 years ago

It is so annoying that giving a card, with a nice picture on it, and a cell phone number can be so misunderstood when coming from a woman.  I'm happily married and don't hide the fact yet I will still have men think that meeting for lunch to talk about the market could mean something else.  Keep business business and people can follow or get out of your way.

Posted by Laura Sargent (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Of all the interesting comments presented here, I'm gonna vote for the overall concept that in a people business, which ours clearly is, sometimes you're just gonna have to deal with uncomfortable situations. Because... NEWSFLASH... People are imperfect creatures! I certainly won't fault a man for pursuing something he wants (after all, if I were single, I'd hate it if he didn't!) and yes, it's up to the woman to tactfully handle the situation on a case by case basis. Sometimes it will go better than others; sometimes she'll end up with a client; sometimes she won't.

But I'll make it clear that I do not fault Sarah's boyfriend - if he's never been in sales or been self-employed, I can totally see how the concept of socializing for dollars might seem a bit threatening... and frankly... it CAN BE. I mean, we real estate agents are in a business where we meet interesting people on a regular basis - kinda like rock stars (tee hee!)

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) almost 12 years ago

Reminds me of the dialogue between Harry and Sally in "When Harry Met Sally" and he talks about how men and women can't be friends because the man wants to get physical with the woman.  Even the ugly ones.  "You pretty much wanna do them too"

Love that movie

 

 

Posted by DEREK CHAPMAN (RE/MAX Realty Professionals) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, I can sell soulfully, but what about solefully? Haha

Posted by Jamie almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer!

This topic goes both ways.  I have invited potential referral sources to coffee or a drink in the past and had it taken the wrong way with the other party showing up thinking it was a date rather than a business appointment. Flattering for me, but not exactly productive from a business standpoint!

I can see both sides of the argument... Men and women can pick up or misread signals, so we need to hand out our cards with some sort of a disclaimer, "I'm not looking for a date, but I wanted to remind you that I am in the Real Estate Business"

I think most of us in this business have a flirtatious side, and we may not even realize that it is turned on in a conversation... We are social people and I guess not every one understands that... In any business enviornment a friendly smile can be taken the wrong way but when we are in a relationship business I guess it happens more often

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 12 years ago

All good agents know that "Everyone is a potential client." So it makes sense for Sara to give out her card freely. It impresses people when someone cheerfully and boldly asks for business. It shows drive and iniative-two things most want in a REALTOR. When one starts out, business doesn't just show up, you have to create it. The way she is doing this makes alot of sense.

As for the boyfriend, this could be the root of other issues in the blossoming relationship. If she wants to have a successful career and successful relationship, he needs to understand or she needs to look for someone who is outgoing and shares her views and beliefs. He seems not very secure while she is secure and ready to succeed.

Posted by Todd Hillman,, Broker Associate, M.A. (HomeSmart) almost 12 years ago

I think two things here...first off she needs to get a new BF if he is the jealous type!! Second handing out a business card can be a business act or something else depending on how it is done and what "INTENTION" is behind it.... a card to a cute guy with a wink is one thing...handing out a card with just a smile and the comment I am here to help you with any of your "Real EState" needs is another.....

Yes most guys can be dogs! But there ARE some good dogs out there...and those...they can hunt!

Just a Guys opinion...

Regards,

 

Rick

Posted by Rick Goates almost 12 years ago

We really should move from the "jealous boyfriend" angle cause it's old and kind of boring and really irrelevant to what Jennifer was trying to approach in this post.

I had a boyfriend who chastised me for making eye contact and smiling at strangers in the store or mall, etc...he constantly told me I was going to get raped.  SO I got rid of him, he was a dork.

Fact is, though, some guys DO react to any attention from a female as a sign of interest in a more intimate relationship. 

This agent could dump her boyfriend and still have the same problem...will guys see her handing her business card out or friendly gestures as an invitation for a non-professional relationship...the boyfriend has ALERTED her to this reaction that may come from men.

What are WE as female agents going to do about it?  How can WE approach it in a way that it ALWAYS remains professional and business like, and effective at the same time?

Like it or not, some guys are definitely wired this way.  Not all, though...when I told my husband about this he shook his head in disbelief, it would never have occurred to him to think that a woman was interested in him by giving out her card (but then again, I had to pursue him for years, so...he may not be the best example  here.LOL)

 

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) almost 12 years ago

As a single woman myself I understand the issue. When I meet men on the social scene I hesitate telling them what I do for a living. I've had men assume that because I sell real estate and because I'm single all signs say "go." I've gotten to where I really protect myself and sometimes that means I unintentionally scare men off.

Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) almost 12 years ago

excellent post!  If I were her BF then I personally would be fine with it... even if I weren't in this business I would still be okay with it.  I know that in any business you have to build up your base and if guys are willing to buy or sell a house because they are attracted to her then more power to her...  As the BF I would just keep an eye on her just to make sure that the guys don't get crazy on her.

 

 

Posted by Nick Good, www.TheGoodHomeTeam.com (The Good Home Team with eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer, I'm new to your blogs and newsletter, but I feel like I've found a friend, or myself.  I read this blog last night and had to think about it for a while.

Basically, sex sells. It always has, always will. "Sarah" is probably not intentionally flirting with any guy, but maybe her boyfriend thinks guys will get that impression, because he does when a woman in business talks to him.

He will just have to get over it, because gone are the days when women stayed in the house, barefoot and pregnant. We're out there in the world, trying to make a living, just like guys. Most men know this.

Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer - I think it's part of being in real estate.  Especially the female agent is young and attractive I'm sure some of the men in her SOI are going to be attracted to her.  However, as agents we need to build a business and I think by only building relationships with woman your friend is going to limit her world (real estate wise).  So with that being said, I think BF needs to be supportive and not worry about possible male's in her SOI hitting on her.  Relationships are built on trust and regardless of whether your friend gets hit on or not shouldn't make or break her current relationship.  There's a difference in being asked out and politely declining than taking the male SOI buddy on his offer.  And yes, some men may think she's being overly friendly, but that possibility wouldn't stop me.  If it got too far, I would call them on it.

Sometimes I forget to wear my wedding band, and I have been asked on dates several times.  Now I'm married, so for me it's kind of flattering.  But I always decline and my husband trusts me to be faithful and I wouldn't dream of not.  I also am lucky to have a husband who is not jealous of who I'm talking to.  He understands that every contact I make (as you always say) is a potential $10,000 commission check and since I help pay the bills, he'd be a fool to get jealous.

If they were married, BF may think of this situation differently, since I'm sure he would be enjoying the lifestyle from every potential relationship that did lead to a $10,000 paycheck.

Posted by Jessica Bigger, Freelance Real Estate Business Writer (Bigger Communications) almost 12 years ago

This is an interesting subject to ponder and I have read all the comments and they pretty much cover the subject matter.  I have business and networking meetings with both men and woman on an on-going basis and the sexual part of the equation never enters into the equation for me, and my wife has no problem with me having lunch with another woman if the focus is business related and it advances my business and income.

That said, I'm reminded of Kosmo Kramer in numerous Seinfeld episodes when a woman even remotely acknowledges his existence.  He proudly turns around and quietly whispers (once in a while he shouts it), OH MOMMA! and there is definetly a sexual undertone to the comment.  I know many a guy that would make the same comment under his breath if a single woman handed him a business card with all of her contact information.

I guess it is the ethics and morality of the guy receiving the business card.  Is he thinking OH MOMMA?  Or is he thinking, Wow, she can definetly help me with my housing, mortgage, investment, etc. situation?  I suppose you never know.

Tim

Posted by Tim Rogers (Coaches Corner Radio...The Real Estate Guy) almost 12 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

I Just wrote a post about you.  Please take the time to check it out.  The link is:

ARCHIE LOGO

http://activerain.com/blogsview/714194/The-ARchie-Awards-have

Thanks,

Marlene

Posted by Marlene Pellegrini almost 12 years ago

Jennifer - I am sorry to say that there is no hard and fast rule here. I do think that men tend to read women terribly. One of the biggest dangers people face in the SOI world is that the I is misread.

I have a partner, who is oblivious to these dangers. She gets calls from cards passed that have little to do with any real estate other than the property inside her jeans.

I think the problem is easily dealt with. If a man reads your intentions incorrectly, let him know. Maybe the next interaction he has with a female will result in him thinking with his brain rather than another part of his anatomy.

Posted by John MacArthur, Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes (Century 21 Redwood) almost 12 years ago

I think if a man misunderstands Sarah's intentions she can easily correct the misimpression.  She can be nice but firm about it.  If her boyfriend has a problem with Sarah handing out her business card, then Sarah needs to tell her boyfriend that he needs to correct HIS problem or it will damage their relationship.  Under no circumstances should Sarah buy into HIS problem.  Does he really think she is so naive or incompetent that she can't handle this?

Now if Sarah's boyfiend continues to try and make HIS problem, Sarah's problem and responsibility, then she should follow Lisa Hill's advice above, and kick him to the curb.  This whole conversation feels like a throwback to the seventies.  Let's not go there.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) almost 12 years ago

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