Why Clients Benefit from Counseling

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 1974 edition of the Real Estate News Observer.

Modern real estate is much more than just selling property. The client’s objectives, needs and limitations must be thoroughly understood by the client and his Realtor before the best transaction can be designed to meet those objectives and needs. The broker’s job is to bring these facts out through counseling before attempting to market or locate a property for the client.

Most professional real estate brok¬ers are aware of the necessity of thorough counseling of a client to determine whether they wish to work together and to evaluate the feasibility of attempting to solve the client’s problem and thereby earn a contingent fee.

Most clients, however, do not understand the necessity for more than one interview before listing their property, or in the case of buy¬ers, before beginning to look at what is available. Sometimes comparisons are helpful.

Attorneys spend substantial time understanding your problem and gathering background information so that in most cases they have more information about your situa¬tion than you do. It is only after ob¬taining this knowledge that they can adequately represent you in court or in other negotiations.

If you have a pain in your side, you set up an appointment with your doctor at his office. In the event you are a new patient, you must fill out a medical history before seeing the doctor. Established patients have a file on record, which is then reviewed by the doctor for indicators based on this medical record. After reviewing your file, the doctor asks you to describe the pain in your own words while he listens.

If, after listening only to your verbal complaints, he immediately prescribed medication, then his professional competence might be questioned.

Your pain could be symptomatic of anywhere from a dozen to over a hundred maladies, and additional procedures would be necessary to proper¬ly diagnose your case. Normally he asks you a number of questions about things you said and some things you didn’t say. Some¬times he must ask very personal questions, and you must answer them be¬cause it is for your own good and he is a professional who can be trusted. Examinations may be necessary, which can be simple or quite complexup to and including a complete biochemistry on you. Again you do not challenge him because he is the doctor, the expert, and he knows best.


Perhaps it is because the client thinks he knows what he wants just as some patients think they know what ails them. Just as the patient’s pain could be symptomatic of many diseases, a client’s wants may have no direct bearing on his problems or needs.

The modern broker will first de¬termine the client’s problem or ob¬jective through two or three Coun¬seling interviews. Many things must be discussed in order to arrive at a correct definition of the situation. Sometimes a family problem may actually be a real estate problem. The professional real estate broker is a Doctor of real estate problems and warrants the same trust and confidence as your physician or at¬torney. If you do not have that much faith in him (or her) then find some-one you do trust and work with them. Anything about your business and financial affairs that may have a bearing on your real estate situa¬tion IS their business if you expect them to do a professional job for you.

There are over one hundred solu¬tions to real estate problems. It re¬quires an expert to determine the real problem and then select one or more alternatives for your con¬sideration, just as a doctor may have a couple of alternative medications available once he has properly diag¬nosed your case.

Use care in selecting a broker, and once you have found someone you have confidence in, then coop¬erate with him in all respects.
Bill Broadbent, author of this article, has been a real estate investment broker and consultant in San Luis Obispo, California for 50 years. He started investing in real estate paper as a principal in 1974 and has bought notes for his own account in over fifteen states. Bill is coauthor of the book:

How to take back a note or mortgage without being taken
© 1993 Bill Broadbent, S.E.C. CCIM & George Rosenberg
“An insider’s guide to techniques that work nationwide”
To view the table of contents & first chapter go to;

One Comment »

  1. Bill has always been one of my favorite Counselors and this article’s concepts are worthwhile reviewing on a regular basis. He is the “Professor”!