- If you don't agree with your clients' political views, avoid an argument by shifting the focus of the conversation back to real estate.
- Political endorsement signs in the front yard, or inside the home, might offend buyers that support the opposing candidate.
- Real estate professionals should embrace clients from all political parties with a bipartisan approach to sales.
As the presidential political race heats up, millions of passionate supporters rally across the country behind their preferred candidate. Some place signs in their front yard, posters in their windows and bumper stickers on their cars. I applaud passion, support individuality and never judge someone’s politics.
That said, some clients might be turned off if their real estate agent endorses an opposing candidate. Brokers and agents might consider keeping their political beliefs private to avoid the risk of losing a potential client.
In the event that an existing client brings up politics and you don’t happen to agree with his or her position, avoid an argument at all costs. I do this by shifting the focus of the conversation back to real estate.
Political endorsements and showings
I’ll never forget a showing I had during the 2008 elections. I arrived early and found the front yard of my clients’ home littered with political endorsement signs.
I decided to make an executive decision and remove the signs and hide them in my trunk. I conducted a quick walkthrough to make sure there weren’t any lingering endorsements inside the home.
Five minutes later the prospective buyer pulled up in a car covered in bumper stickers endorsing the opposing candidate. As we proceeded with the showing, the buyer could not stop talking about his political views. He even said that he wouldn’t buy a home from someone that supported the other party.
In the end, the buyer made an offer, and the seller accepted. However, if what the buyer said was true, we might have lost the sale if I didn’t remove those signs from the front yard.
Let me be clear: I don’t think there is anything wrong with being an avid political supporter. I have friends who are real estate brokers by day and political campaign volunteers by night — but successful brokers and agents embrace all clients, regardless of their political beliefs.
Chris Leavitt is the director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter.