Dealing with Parents or Other Influencers In a Real Estate Transaction

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Here is how to you deal with the “3rd Wheel Influencer” in Real Estate Transaction?

  1. Embrace the fact that they have an extra “advisor”
  2. The advisor’s motivation is to help/protect. Appreciate that.
  3. Awesome!
  4. Make them your ally…by acknowledging their “expertise.”
  5. ….and _____ (3rd party) …I’m sure you already know this… “as you know…”
  6. _____, you would agree with that, wouldn’t you?
  7. Find out what’s most important to the advisor.
  8. Ask the 3rd party, “What’s important to you…for us to help _________ get their house sold (or “get into a new home)?”
  9. Make it clear you are on the same team.
  10. “The key is that we all understand that we all are working together toward same goal for _________________, right?”



They were first-time home buyers, and so get who was helping them find the right house? You guessed it. It was the parents.

Hi there, it’s Kevin Ward, the founder of YESMasters Real Estate Success Training, helping you get more yeses and more successes in your business and in your life. Today, I want to talk about one of the first really big nightmares that I had as a real estate agent. That was, I was working with a young couple. They were first-time home buyers, and so guess who was helping them find the right house? You guessed it. It was the parents.

I discovered real quickly that whenever you’re trying to help some young first-time home buyers and their parents are trying to help their kids buy a house that, sometimes, their parents think they’re working against you, not with you. I thought about the, one, I got stuck in this dilemma. What happened in the story was that the whole time, everything I would tell the kids, the parents would be going like, “yeah, but,” “Well, you … ” and they would challenge everything. For the entire transaction, they just challenged me the whole way. They were what I now affectionately refer to as the dreaded third wheel in a transaction. It’s you, it’s your clients, and look, you can dance with your clients. Great. You’re there trying to help your buyers, trying to help your sellers, and then the parents come along.

In this video, I want to talk about the third wheel. I want to talk about the third wheel influencer. Maybe it’s their parents, a lot of times, especially if it’s first-time buyers. It can also be an expert advisor in the family. It may be an uncle, or it may be an accountant that they trust or somebody they know from church, or whatever it is. It’s somebody that they know and that they trust that is going to help them make a right decision when it comes to buying and/or selling their house. Then you come along, and you’re the real estate agent. A lot of times, if you’re not careful, what happens is the advisor looks at you as the enemy.

How do you deal with that? I get asked this question fairly regularly from agents, especially dealing with these younger buyers and sellers, and they say, “How do you deal with the dreaded third wheel?” I want to share with you a four-step strategy of how you deal with that parent, that well-meaning parent who constantly is undermining you and trying to destroy your credibility. How do you deal with it? Well, here’s how you deal with it, four steps, and this will make, everything go smooth. This will make everything go easy.

Number one, when you find out, the moment you realize that they have an advisor, you have to embrace the fact, you have to embrace the fact that they have an advisor. Just embrace it. “Your parents are going to be helping you. Awesome. It’s great. It’s fantastic.” If you go like, “Oh, your parents are going to help you? Well, uh, that can be a problem,” whether you say that or whether your body language communicates that, then they’re a little bit skeptical, like, “Well, why do you not want my parents to help me?”

Well, you know why, because the parents are, they’re going to come in, and they’re going to second-guess everything you say. They’re going to challenge everything you say. They’re going to try to talk the kids out of buying a house. That’s just the way it goes, but here’s what you have to do, is you have to understand where the parent or the advisor’s coming from, and that is they’re there to help their kid. Their goal is not to sabotage you. Their intention is not to blow up the deal. Their intention is to simply protect or help their child or the person that trust them, their friend, and so you gotta embrace their motivation, embrace why they’re there, and bring them in, so number one, you gotta embrace it.

“That’s awesome. Great. I tell you what? Why don’t you bring them along. When we meet, why don’t you bring them a long when we look at houses.” Get them involved in the whole conversation. Embrace the fact that they’re going to be a part of it, and you want them there the whole time. Now, I know that was for me, I was like, “Ah,” but here’s what I found out. If I got them there, embraced it, my clients felt comfortable that I was comfortable, so they felt comfortable with me.

Number two then, the second step is, once you do that is you got to make the advisor your ally. In other words, you gotta treat them not as your adversary, not as your opponent, but as your ally, that you’re, look, you’re on the same side, right? I mean, when you really think about it, what does the parent or the third-party influencer want? They want to help their child? What do you want? You want to help your client. You both want the same thing, and that is to help them get into a home that they’re going to love and in a way that’s going to help them and be in their best interest; however, the parent can sometimes be a little skeptical and think, “Ah, I know why you’re here Mr. Realtor. You just want money.”

See, as long as they believe that, they’re trying to protect their child, not only from making a mistake, they’re actually trying to protect their child from you. You have to get past that and embrace this fact that the parent is an ally or you’re going to be in that adversarial situation, so the second thing you do is you’re not only embracing to your clients and go, “Oh, it’s awesome. Great. Why don’t you bring them?” number two, make yourself an ally with the parents or the third-party influencer. The way you do that is when you first meet them, you say, “Awesome. You know what? I just want to thank you so much for really committing to your child or help this couple out because I know you really want them and so forth, so it’s going to be awesome having you along. I’m, just want you to know if you have any questions, you need anything, you’re free to reach out directly to me, though them, I don’t care. We’re here together.”

Then the other way you make them an ally is, in the conversation, so let’s just say for example that one of the things that’ll happen is the kids see a house, they love it, and you know that if these kids don’t make a decision today and they don’t write an offer today, tomorrow, there’s going to be 13 other offers on this house. You know that it’s in their best interest to get them to move quickly. Well, if you start saying, “You know what? You guys like it, we need to write an offer today,” and then the parents over there going like, “Oh, wait a minute. Slow down,” and if you’re pushing to take action now, the parents over there going, “No, no, no. Slow down. They’re going to think about it. Do not rush my kids.”

How do you combat that? You make them an ally, so whenever you need to communicate something to the children, to the clients, you want to bring the third-party influencer in as an ally on doing that, and here’s the way you do that.

You say, for example, “Here’s something that’s very, very important for you guys to understand, and mom and dad, I’m sure you have experienced this, you know what I’m talking about, and that is I don’t want you guys to take so long thinking about it that you lose the house because another offer comes in and undercuts you. Mom, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen that happen, right,” or, “I’m sure, dad, you already knew about this,” is that you give the parents or the third-party influencer the benefit of the doubt. You give them credit for knowing stuff that they may or may not know, but you’re saying, “I’m sure you already were aware of this, Mr. Dad. I’m sure this was nothing new for you, Mr. Influencer.”

You give them credit and let them know you know what you’re talking about. The reason you’re confident in it because you know they know it too, because what happens, if you go, “I’m sure, Mr. Dad, you already know this, and this is the truth,” and then you say something that’s obviously gotta be true, if you’re bsing, you’re trying to do BS, and you’re trying to push them for your benefit? Look, the parents should be skeptical and suspicious of you because you’re in it for yourself, but if you’re talking the truth and you know what you’re talking about, and you say it, and you say, “Dad, I’m sure you’ve seen that happen,” or, “You’re aware of this,” he’s going like, “Oh, yeah, absolutely. That’s true.”

The inspector’s going to come in, and you let the kids know, is it, “Hey, look, when this inspector comes in, just so you know, his job is to nitpick every single thing he can find wrong with this house. Now, you guys know you’re not buying a brand new house, right? No house is perfect, right? When he comes in, and dad, I’m sure you know this already, that inspector’s going to find a whole lot of stuff. That inspection report is going to look ugly. Doesn’t mean the house is bad. That’s normal with any inspection report. Dad, you knew that, right? I’m sure you’ve been through that, right?”

The dad’s going to be going, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,” because if you don’t do that, if you don’t create that alliance, then what happens is, the kids see the inspection report. They get scared. They get terrified. They go to the dad, and they go like, “Dad, look at this,” and the dad looks at it and goes, “That’s a lot of pages of stuff. Oh my goodness. Maybe this isn’t the right house for you guys.”

You know how that well-meaning, well-intended third-party influencer is, boom, is now talking the kids out of buying the house, and now you gotta start over. The same thing is going to happen again, so why not short-cut that painful process by simply making the parent an ally and bringing them on and giving them credit for knowing stuff that they may or may not already know, but it will cause them to treat you as an ally.

Third step, and this is all happening at the same time. The third step is I want to find out what, what is important to the influencer. What’s important. There we go. What’s important to the influencer? What matters to them? You just ask them. “Mr. Dad. Dad, mom, what’s important, most thing, what’s the most important thing for you guys in helping your kids find the right house? What do you really think is best for them? What are you looking to help them do?” and so forth. Find out what matters to them. “What’s important to you in this process? What are the things that you want to make sure we do right, we don’t make, the mistakes we want avoid,” so forth. Find out what’s important to them and go like, “Ah, absolutely. Totally agree.”

If something’s important to them that you know will mess up the deal or is not in their best interest, then you can prepare for it and decide how to handle it in a way that lets the third-party influencer know that you see them as an ally, not as an adversary, that it’s not you working against them. Most important thing here is the moment that that parent or that influencer sees you as an adversary, you’re done because they’re going to be constantly, to protect their child or to protect the client, they’re going to be constantly undermining or challenging you the whole way.

I’ve had it happen to me. It was miserable. It was painful. When I discovered this process, it was absolutely like, it was all of a sudden, went from a nightmare to a dream team, and this is the fourth step, and that is once you’ve established all this and going, “Great, what’s important to you guys? That’s awesome, then we’re going to work well together because the most important thing is for us all to understand that what we want together is to make sure that Bobby and Tammy get the perfect home for them. Right, dad? Right, mom? We’re on the same team,” is you must make it clear to them. You must make it clear to the dreaded third wheel, to the third-party influencer that your highest interest is their child’s, your client’s best interest. When they feel that, when they believe that, all their resistance, all their skepticism, all the adversaries part is going to go away, or even better yet, it’s going to be prevented from ever happening.

Master this process. You gotta do this. If you’ll do this and go into this conversation with that open, inviting, embracing the fact that they’ve got the third-party advisor, everything will go smoothly, your clients are going to get the house that they love, parents are going to be happy, and you’re going to be happy as well.

I hope this video has been helpful. If it has, make sure you give it a thumbs up. Share, like, comment, and I’ll see you on the next video.

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