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A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article titled, “Family First” that questioned how many people in the real estate industry truly place the needs of their family ahead of their professional ambitions. When I posted this article on my facebook page, my buddy and fellow speaker, Matthew Ferrara, posted the comment that you see above now as the headline for this piece.

Since then I have received numerous emails, facebook messages and tweets from so many of you with questions asking how to deal with specific situations. In fact, while speaking at the Ohio Association of Realtors Convention last week, a woman in the audience asked me how to handle a situation where a client got upset with her because she posted pictures of her kids and updates when she is out with her friends or family on her facebook profile. Her client felt that if she had all of this time for “extracurricular activities,” she wasn’t working hard enough for him.

Another woman I spoke with last week at an event in Maine, told me about a buyer she was working with who would only look at homes after dinner on the weekdays and first thing in the morning on Saturdays because it was “inconvenient” for him to have to look at houses before he has had a full meal during the week; and because he always mows his lawn at noon on Saturdays.

It is amazing how focused some people become on making sure they are not inconvenienced, while others are left to experience nothing but inconvenience.

I told both of these agents from Ohio and Maine the exact same thing – every buyer is not a client and every seller is not a listing. Just because someone happens to be buying or selling a house doesn’t mean that they are a client for you. Rather than trying to figure out how to make it work with everyone you come in contact with, start to think about your lifestyle and what you really want—just as much as your income.

It has been said that 20% of the people in your life will cause you 80% of the stress you experience. The only adjustment that I would make to this is that I believe that it is not the 20% that cause our stress… rather it is us. Only we can make the decision to work with these life suckers, and therefore, we can only blame ourselves when they do the only thing that they know how to do.

Take responsibility and remember that every buyer’s not a client and every seller’s not a listing.

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer. James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate,Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit and or visit his website at