A client crush makes one reflect on the complexity of working relationships
‘I’m not sure whether said client knows the effect they have but I think – which is even more beguiling – perhaps not,’
I’ve developed a dangerous thing – a client crush. I read somewhere that 60 per cent of romances are office-related, which is unsurprising given the amount of time we spend at work.
In my case, we’re a small team totalling four and for various reasons (not least that two are married and the third firmly attached) romance is not on the cards. It’s a relief not having the possibility of sexual tension hanging in the air over mid-morning cappuccinos as we analyse the state of the market (property, not marriage).
It means that possibility of crushes or romances unfolding is left to our relationship with clients or other agents. It’s an intense process looking for a property and we get to know our clients relatively well – or as well as they’d like, as some are more revealing than others. We try and understand how they wish to live and therefore gain a certain insight into their psyche.
I have one client who positively shares – from the university choices of their son to plans for Christmas and which relations will be attending and the state of her relationship with those relations. We’ve become proper pals and sit down for coffee or lunch after we’ve viewed a property.
It’s an interesting dynamic because there’s no need for it to be anything other than one-sided – rather like the therapist asking questions from the leather chair, I should know as much as will possibly help me find the right place for our clients while there’s no need for them to know a jot about me.
Of course, in the order of social interaction – the tennis game of chitchat where we lob questions back and forth – they generally tend to, though another client who I’ve been working with for two years reveals so very little that I’m still slightly unsure as to what precisely he’s looking for.
‘Interesting,’ he often says after leaving a property – but interesting is such an ambiguous word that it’s never very helpful. He has that aura too, which some are skillful at deploying, of suggesting boundaries – almost as if an invisible force field surrounds him and I know instinctively not to attempt any intrusion.
The client to whom I’ve grown particularly attached is, without question, terribly attractive. Radiantly so. There’s that rare combination of magnetism and warmth – unusual as that kind of intense magnetism normally has a standoffish quality making it all the more alluring.
The client is also terribly witty, self-deprecating and bright. And I’m not sure whether said client knows the effect they have but I think – which is even more beguiling – perhaps not.
My lyrical waxing most stop there before it turns into an elegiac tribute to love that can never be – for manifold reasons. And with the passing of time the crush will turn to a soft-spot that will morph, I hope, to a friendship.