Many years ago, when I first read “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” by Gary Keller, I was introduced to these terms, but I skimmed right over them. Now I know that it’s important to know the difference between them, because that difference is vast.
Functionary means you’re doing just enough to get your clients to the closing table and collect your commission check. Fiduciary, on the other hand, means putting all of your clients’ needs before your own. Being a fiduciary agent means you must care about your clients and make it your goal to help them achieve all of their real estate goals. That’s why we do what we do, and that’s what sets us apart from all the other real estate agents out there—we care about our clients.
Have you ever witnessed a real estate transaction where the agent is pushing, pushing, pushing to get things to move faster than they need to move, and all the while they’re creating unnecessary stress? Or, has that ever been you?
I know I’ve been there before. There have been times in my career where I was desperate for a closing to happen. Either because I needed to pay bills or there were other debts I had to pay off, I needed a commission check, and that created a sense of urgency. Pushing through the process because of a sense of urgency is not a good place to come from. It’s not an ethical place to come from, either. Our clients are trusting us with one of the biggest transactions of their lives, and our needs shouldn’t interfere with theirs.
So, what’s the best way to be a fiduciary agent? Generate leads. When you have a pipeline of future buyers and sellers you can look forward to helping, you won’t have to be anxious or stressed while doing business, and that stress won’t affect your clients. Lead generating enables you to step back and truly examine how you can help them through each transaction. You’ll also have happier, healthier relationships with other agents and vendors.
If you’d like to talk more about how you can be a fiduciary agent instead of a functionary one or you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.