Archive for the ‘Random (Un)Common Sense’ Category

As my mother once said about my book “Well, Jennifer, it’s very well-written, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s all common sense!” Which, unfortunately, is not all that common in the real estate industry.

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It's not my monkey!

The other day I had a three-way conversation with two agents who are in the middle of career crises. Both are trying to decide whether to stay or go, interestingly, for opposite reasons. AgentFriend1 has too much business and is burning out and AgentFriend2, well, doesn’t. Have too much business, that is. And she’s burning out, too.

We talked about burnout and both agents confessed that they become deeply involved in their clients’ personal situations and get sucked into the emotional drama of it all. Which isn’t uncommon in our business; after all, we ARE deeply involved in the whole mess – if our seller doesn’t have enough equity to properly price; if our buyer’s loan changes and they have to come up with an additional 5% down; if our listing doesn’t appraise and the deal crashes… yes, these events DO affect us both financially and emotionally. And frankly, if they didn’t affect us, we probably wouldn’t be effective at our jobs.

But you can draw a line and preserve your sanity. Terry Watson calls it “the Monkey.” He describes how we wrongly let others put their monkeys on our backs – even though we have our own monkeys to deal with, thank you very much! We real estate agents are really good at accepting our clients’ monkeys as our own.

And you know what? Our clients are HAPPY to give us their monkeys and then blame us when things go wrong. Further, we accept that blame – which puts us in a position where we have to apologize for our inability to solve a problem that ISN’T OURS TO SOLVE.

Here’s an example. The seller owes $415,000 on his home. The market value is no more than $395,000 and that’s pushing it. In order to break even, the seller needs to sell at $430,000 at least. The seller “doesn’t want to do a short sale,” so he looks to his agent for another solution. What solution does the agent come up with?

1.       Price at $439,900 and hope for a miracle

2.       Reduce her commission to nothing and price at $420,000 (and hope for a miracle)

Of course, there are other solutions, but we monkey-acceptors want to please, so these are the ones we propose. (And then we’re miserable because we have an unsellable product, but that’s another story).

Here’s another example. You interview for a tenant-occupied listing. The seller doesn’t want to inconvenience the tenant, so he asks for a 24-hour showing requirement; for day-time showings only; that you attend all showings, and a 60-day possession. You want to please the seller, so you agree, knowing what he’s asking will make the properly unmarketable… and you miserable.

Do too many of these deals and I think burnout IS an inevitability.

Of course, it’s easy to advise “Well, just thank the %$SOB^# very much for the opportunity and walk away!” I hear that advice all the time, and sure, that’s an option. But there’s a better way… a way to respectfully decline the monkey and move forward without alienating someone who could be a wonderful client and future referral source.

Stay tuned…(actually, you might have to wait a week for the sequel – I’m heading out for my vacation tomorrow and have been duly informed that I will NOT spend my vacation on the computer. But maybe I can sneak it in!)

The Monkey Series
Part II Which Monkeys Are Yours? Which Aren’t?
Part III Declining the Monkey Part III
Part IV What to Say (or not say) to Decline the Monkey
Part V A real world example of a Monkey Unnecessarily Accepted

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I really wanna enjoy Facebook. I do enjoy the banter back and forth with friends, old & new. I like getting positive comments on my periodic postings of silly updates. I love posting pictures from high school and giving my old friends something to be nostalgic about. I love seeing real-world, non-profile pictures of my cyber-friends. I get a kick out of being tagged for quizzes, or in photos.

But that stuff is kind of hard to find among all the advertising disguised as updates. Just now I opened my Facebook page and found nothing but links to services, products and blogs I care nothing about. Links to real estate listings in cities I’ll probably never visit. Invitations to events I haven’t the faintest interest in.

Is Facebook spam taking the place of email spam? Used to be my Outlook Express inbox was a source of joy. I’d open it up and find a bunch of messages that actually related to my life. Then, slowly, the spam took over. Now, my email inbox overflows and I have to make quick judgments as to who I’m gonna open and read and who I’m going to delete unread.

I caution agents who communicate (read, advertise) via email to be VEDDY careful about overdoing their welcome in their friends’ email boxes. The last thing you want is to train the people you know to delete your messages automatically because they’ve learned there’s nothing of value there.

It seems the same would apply to Facebook. I’m getting up the nerve to delete the “friends” who fill up my front page with advertising, thus preventing me from enjoying the non-promotional postings of people I care about.

Is there an alternative to DELETE?

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Visit most real estate training sites and you’ll pretty quickly see references to being a Superstar or a Champion or a Hero or a Top Producer or some other high-falutin’ descriptive term for a tippy-top level of real estate production. You’ll see testimonials from agents who bought whatever system is being marketed claiming to have tripled their income or hit the half-million mark in commissions or sold 167 houses their first month on the program.

Wow. That’s something. I’ll admit to being intimidated by such marketing, both as an active real estate agent AND a real estate trainer myself. Gee, I never made $500,000 or sold 300 houses in a year. Neither has anyone I’ve ever coached or mentored or trained.

Do I believe the claims? Sure I do – no real reason to believe that such levels aren’t attainable just because I never did it or know anyone who did.

But I don’t believe that the majority of agents are going to see anywhere near those production levels, regardless of what system, program or philosophy they follow. No, not even in a good market.

And that’s okay! I have a loyal following of several thousand real estate agents who don’t want or need to set the world on fire – they just want to make a consistent, comfortable living, doing business in a manner they’re proud of, making more people happy than unhappy. They also want to have time for their families, their hobbies and their naps. They don’t want to be Power Prospectors who generate business 14 hours a day and then hand it off to their harem of assistants and specialists on their way out the door to drum up even more.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the Top Dog in your office, neighborhood, city, county or state. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too. There’s plenty of room (and commission checks) here in the middle for those with slightly less-grand aspirations.

So, don’t fret if you doubt you’ll ever be a Superstar. You’re in very good company.

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A few months ago I was approached by a state Realtor association – New York, maybe. Well, it wasn’t actually the association; it was the marketing firm for the association, trying to sell me ad space in their magazine.

The nice man with the heavy New Yawk accent threw out a bunch of numbers and statistics and options, trying to entice me to spend several thousand dollars advertising in the magazine. Readership, distribution and such. Oh, several thousand dollars is out of your budget? Okay, well, we also offer very effective classified ads for a fraction of the cost (but still several hundred for a 3-line ad or something like that).

Okay, well… I’ve spent a lot of money on advertising in my life and I can honestly say that NONE of it has worked for me. In fact, it’s rare that it even pays for itself, much less generates a profit. But, hey, I’m open to new venues for business, so I made this proposal to Mr. New Yawker:

“Sir (okay, I didn’t really call him sir), I’d be happy to give your magazine a try, but I don’t have that kind of budget to risk and in my experience, print advertising is a waste of money. But if you’re sure that an investment in your magazine will pay off for me, how about you run an ad for me for a few months and if it generates business for me, I’ll be delighted to pay for it. And, obviously, if it’s producing results, I’ll continue paying for it.”

Well, as you can imagine, that didn’t fly. Didn’t expect it to, but thought I’d give it a shot.

I guess when you work in an industry where you only get paid if you perform; you’re much less excited to pay upfront for something that might NOT perform. And, since so much advertising simply doesn’t work, I’d love to see the marketing/advertising industry adopt a policy of showing US the money before asking for ours…

Crazy? Maybe. But I’m from Missouri – the Show Me State!


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Many many moons ago, when I was still in Corporate America, I remember a young woman in my office boardroomcomplaining “it wasn’t fair” that in order to reach the boardroom (i.e. be the CEO or president of the company), you had to be willing to work ungawdly hours and pretty much abandon your family. “It’s too bad,” she said, “that our culture requires such a sacrifice to reach the top.”

Uh… HUH?

Even at my young age, with no notion of my future political leanings (I’m pretty conservative), I found this opinion bizarre. I mean, if there are people who ARE willing to work that hard and make the necessary sacrifices, then they will set the standard for what’s expected to be The Boss.

So here’s how this relates to my world today. It’s a holiday weekend. Being in real estate, I have real estate stuff going on. I needed a lender on Friday afternoon. Who did I call?

Well, I know a lot of lenders. But a lot of the lenders I know don’t work on the weekends, as far as I can tell. And a holiday weekend? Forgetaboutit. They’re on the slopes or otherwise not answering their phones.

I called the lender I know works 7 days a week. He answered his phone and he got my new buyer. Who, by the way, is slam-dunk perfect, approved up to $400,000 – and we know this because my new favorite lender met with him on Saturday afternoon, right before his big Valentine’s Day date.

As long as there are lenders who are willing to provide last-minute/holiday/weekend service, they will set the standard for what I expect from a lender.  It’s fine and dandy to set regular office hours and such, but then don’t fuss when an impatient buyer (and his REALTOR) choose to work with someone more flexible. IT’S A CHOICE.

Is it wrong to take weekends off or spend Sundays with your family? Of course not! But it’s a choice that not everyone chooses to make. And in this microwave world of instant gratification, I’m gonna choose the person I can reach… even on a holiday weekend.



posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I sell stuff on the Internet from my bookstore. A lot of it is digital – that is – you buy it and you immediately get a link to download the product to your computer. Usually it works pretty well, but occasionally someone has trouble getting the dowload to work.$#

Since I’m not a technie, and since I can’t see what’s happening on my customer’s computer screen, I don’t embarrass myself by attempting to do a lot of trouble-shooting. I send the issue over to my web-guy to figure out, and implement one of my back-up methods for immediately delivering the product. Hopefully, if you’ve ever had an issue with one of my digital dealios, you’ve found me to be satisfactorily responsive!

Most people who notify me of a problem are totally cool about it. Like the note Sandra sent me this morning, “Can you help me with the download of the book?  I’m probably doing something wrong.” Was she doing anything wrong? I dunno, probably not; it was an .exe file that her computer probably just didn’t like. But her sweet way of asking for help definitely inspired me to jump right on it and fix it for her, AND left me feeling good about myself AND Sandra. So, Sandra, if you’re reading this – I’m sending you lots of warm, fuzzy vibes that your first-ever listing appt goes well today!

But every once in awhile I’ll get a nasti-gram from someone who is outraged about a glitch, demanding their money back – one guy even said he was glad he didn’t waste any more of his money on SWS products if I can’t even manage to deliver his one product without a hitch.

Yipes! That upset me and kinda ruined my day (or at least an hour of it). I’m not terribly thick-skinned, so someone blasting me, even via email, makes me blue.

But, being the self-analytical introvert I am, I asked myself how often I do the same thing – jump all over someone behind the protection of a telephone line or Internet connection for no good reason.

Ummmmmm, a lot. More than I should, anyway. I can think of five times in just the last week when I was a b*tch on the phone with a customer service dude or dudette. And afterwards, not only am I a little less chipper & cheerful than I was 15 minutes earlier, but someone else on the planet is also a bit less so. And, whether they mean to or not, they’re probably sending nasty vibes my way, WHICH I DO NOT NEED!

So, thanks Sandra, for your nice note this morning. I’m now inspired to try harder to inspire the same warm fuzzies in other people and get some of those nice vibes heading my way!

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My friends are mostly self-employed. Realtors, yes, but also lenders, insurance agents, dog-trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists and home stagers, all of whom, like me, would greatly appreciate the good will (i.e. business and referrals) of their friends, i.e. their Spheres of Influence.flaky

But I tell ya… some of the self-employed folks in my social circle are… well… socially flaky. They don’t return phone calls quickly, if at all. They cancel our lunch date at the last minute, or show up 30 minutes late (without a phone call). They promise to look into something for me and never do. They throw around four-letter words like a drunken college kid. They borrow a book and never return it. They RSVP to my dinner party and don’t show up.

And then… they beg me for referrals.

Sorry, but I just can’t do it. I may love my friends, but if they aren’t reliable in my personal interactions with them, I can’t take the chance that they’ll treat my precious referral business any better.

Oh, I’ll admit, I’m not perfect in my social life, either. If I’m crazy busy, my clients come first and I will cancel on a friend. I’ve also been known to let my introversion get the best of me and not show up to a wedding, funeral or housewarming party I’m expected to be at. But I realize when I do that I may very well be damaging a potentially lucrative professional relationship, so I really really really try to hold up my end of the social bargain.

In our business, you can never truly separate business from pleasure, unless you truly don’t want business and referrals from your social network. And that would be kinda crazy, wouldn’t it?

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Several weeks ago I had a closing on a listing of mine. As the buyer’s agent was reviewing the settlement statement, she noticed that the commissionable sales price had been reduced about $1300. She was quite distraught about this and pulled the closing agent out into the hallway to discuss her displeasure (never mind that her buyers were actually paying LESS for the house than they originally thought; therefore the reduction was good for her client). The closing was held up for 15 minutes while she called her broker to find out what to do.math

Ummmm…. Do the Math – The difference in her commission check was $36.40 (even less after her split).

A similar situation arose earlier in the year on another of my listings. The buyers offered $7500 above the asking price, with a $7500 closing cost credit, thus putting the net sales price to the seller back at the original list price. I asked the buyer’s agent if he minded being paid on the net sales price and he was furious. He said he felt blindsided and that he was counting on that extra commission to buy his clients an extra special closing gift.

Ummmm… Do the Math – The difference in his commission check was $210.00 on a total commission of nearly $7,000.

Once I worked with a brand new agent who threatened to terminate her buyer’s contract because my seller refused to do a rent-back for a 3-day delayed possession that the AGENT negotiated for her buyers. She asked for the rent-back after the fact (I guess once she realized she blew it) and said her buyers would “walk” if my seller wouldn’t pay. I told her that she was welcome to pay it herself since she’s the one who made the mistake and she refused, saying that she couldn’t afford to.

Ummmm… Do the Math – It was a $900 monthly mortgage payment, so a 3-day rent-back would have been $90. Hardly a deal-breaker.

My all-time favorite is how real estate agents screamed when gas prices went up to $4/gallon. “We” couldn’t afford to work with buyers, couldn’t afford to preview houses, couldn’t afford to waste our time driving across town to service our listings.

Ummmm… Do the Math – If you drive 300 miles a week selling real estate and gas prices are $1 higher than they used to be, that’s around $15 extra a week you’re spending. If you’re doing enough business for gas prices to be a significant factor in your profitability, you’re doing enough business to absorb it!

Of course, the reverse is also true and I’ve gotten myself into a pickle more than once by not Doing the Math and ending up paying far more than I should have!!

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Most relationships, whether they be business or personal, end.  Your favorite inspector misses a Big Problem and gets you embroiled into a lawsuit. Your go-to mortgage guy blows a Big Deal for you and doesn’t even apologize. Your business partner has a mid-life crisis and vanishes to the Caribbean without warning. Your romantic partner has a mid-life crisis and vanishes to the Caribbean without warning. Your $1M buyer dumps you for his sister-in-law who just got her license yesterday, after you’ve shuttled him around town for three months.break up

It happens. Relationships come, relationships go. Hopefully you learned something that you can take to the next one. Blah blah blah.

But when a relationship ends, it doesn’t have to be nasty. In fact, a wise person might even strive to end his or her relationships with dignity, even on a positive note. After all, you have an investment in this relationship – your time, your money, your energy, your creativity, sometimes even your heart. Why blow that investment by being snippy, vindictive, confrontational or just plain mean? Ever heard the phrase “Don’t Burn Bridges?”

I’m amazed how many people would rather burn bridges than find a way to part ways amicably. When I “break up” with someone I have a business relationship with, I really like to find a way to preserve a mutual respect between us, rather than just pissing on each other.  After all, I have time and money invested in the relationship and I hate to see that time and money gone to waste because someone got their feelings hurt. Our business is based on creating mutually beneficial relationships, and he with the most relationships at the end of the game wins!

If a buyer dumps you, be gracious about it. You never know when your replacement will blow it and leave the buyer wishing he’d stayed with you. If you make it easy for him to come crawling back, he just might. If a seller chooses another agent to sell her home, wish her well and offer your assistance if she ever needs you.  If your biggest client replaces you as his property manager, generously offer to assist him during the transition process.

Why? Well, it’s just smart business. Never give anyone ammunition to blast your name!

Now, when romantic relationships end, you’ll have to ask someone else for advice. I don’t have a flippin’ clue!

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What is so difficult about this concept? Why on earth would any real estate agent or mortgage broker EVER use their office email server (e.g. or – misspellings intentional) to communicate with their clients, prospects and sphere of influence?

Last year I collected almost 1000 business cards from agents at the NAR convention and when I was emailinputting them into my system I was stunned at how many of them (like 90%) used the office server.

Do you REALLY think you’ll be at this office forever and ever? Or even more than a year or two? Chances are you won’t, but even if you think you will, WHY TAKE CHANCES?

The reason for this simplistic rant this morning is I’m trying to reach a mortgage broker friend of mine who recently changed companies. But, oops, the only email address in my address book for him is the old one, which is no longer valid. Did he notify me of his move? Yes. Did he send me his new email address? Probably. But guess what? It apparently wasn’t a priority that day to make a note of it in my address book and his announcement is long gone.

You know how many real estate agents or mortgage brokers are competing with you in your market? Like, a WHOLE BUNCH? Do you really want to risk losing the Perfect Buyer or Seller because you changed offices two years ago? Sending out a new business card or even an email announcement WILL NOT DO THE TRICK. Once your email address is recorded in someone’s address book, it’s there forever.

Take a look at your card. Is your email address YOURS or your company’s? If it’s not yours, relegate these cards to your car to use during showings and order yourself new cards TODAY!

Rant Over.


posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Do you ever do this… apologize, or even make excuses for something you SHOULD have done right… but it was kind of inconvenient, so you came up with an explanation? For example… you run out of toner in your printer while creating a CMA for a seller prospect… so you apologize for not bringing the CMA with you to sorryyour listing appointment? Or you’re feeling fat, so you wear your overalls to a coffee date and apologize for how you look? Or you don’t feel like washing your car… so you apologize to your new buyer for the condition of your automobile?

I’ve done all three of these in the last week alone. In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting at my computer in my overalls (okay, so they’re designer overalls, but still) trying to work up the energy to change* before a dinner date with my friend Lezlie.

There are all kinds of opportunities in this world to mess up or otherwise demonstrate to the people you know and the people you meet that you aren’t on top of your game. These opportunities present themselves on a pretty regular basis, often without warning, so I’m thinking that anytime I can actually control a potentially credibility-killing situation, I should take advantage of it. When I run out of toner… I should buck up and go pay $35 for a replacement cartridge at Office Max (as opposed to $3.84 at my favorite online toner store Similarly, if I run out of nice paper in the middle of preparing said CMA, I really should take that 20 minutes and go buy some more. And how long does it take to run your car through a car wash and vacuum out the inside?

We’ve all heard how You Only One Chance to Make a First Impression. Don’t let a little laziness (or feeling fatness) damage your next opportunity to make a great one…






* Nope, I didn’t change. My laziness got the better of me…

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I got a lead today off the Internet. Not sure where she came from; just one of those inquiries that shows up every once in awhile. We chatted back and forth… and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a sure thing, this was probably about a 2. No worries. I’m happy to cyber-chat. Well, after 5 or 6 exchanges, I realized that the prospect was interested in a part of town I don’t “do.” I suppose I could find it if I had to, but I’d really rather not.

So I, rather abashedly, contacted a Stefan Geyer, a fellow local agent who, as I recall, lives/works in that part of town. I warned him upfront that it was a high-maintenance/low-probability prospect, but could I send her his way? He responded immediately “YES and THANKS!”

I sent him the prospect’s contact information and she’s now all his. He thanked me again.

Here’s the thing. I promised to find this prospect someone who could pick up where I left off. Stefan did that for me, cheerfully. Made me look good. And hopefully, he’ll see a few dollars in his pocket as a result, but probably not.

But I tell ya’… just his cheerfulness and willingness to help meant the world to me. And who do you think I’ll call next time I have a buyer or seller on the “other side of town?” And what are the chances of that happening? Uh, pretty darn good!

So, thanks Stefan… and know that your good cheer was truly noted and appreciated!



Tricky Realtors


posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Yep, the world loves us.

Got my nails done yesterday. The nail lady, who barely spoke English, asked me what I did for a living. I told her I write about real estate (she asked because I always have my nails cut way down for typing-purposes). She then laughed and said "Oh, you teach real estate agents how to trick buyers into paying too much for houses!"


posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Email can be veddy, veddy efficient. Yet… email can also be veddy, veddy inefficient.

I’ve been trying to get together with a old friend for two weeks now. We have a very close, loving email relationship – but we’ve rarely talked on the phone ‘cause neither of us seems to be much good at it. We’re both introverts and are much more comfy chatting thru our fingertips.

Problem is… we’re trying to be oh-so-considerate with each other’s time and schedule that we can’t seem to get anything down on the calendar! You know what I mean…

Me: “So, are you busy next week? Wanna go get a drink? I’m free Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.”

My friend: “I’d love to see you – let me check my calendar and get back to you.” (a few days go by)

My friend: ” Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Tuesday or Friday work for me – how about you?”

Me: “Oops – my Tuesday and Friday are booked. How’s your schedule the next week? I’m wide open.”

My friend (two days later): “Me, too, just pick a day.”

Me: “How about Thursday?”

My friend: “Thursday is good, what time?”

Me: “How about 5:30? Or later – around 6:30?”

My friend: “Either way. Where would you like to meet?”

Me: “Doesn’t matter – want me to come your direction?”

My friend: “I don’t mind driving your way – whatever works for you.”

Me: “Let’s meet in your neighborhood – I haven’t been there in a while. What’s a good place to get a drink?”

Blah blah blah blah blah… this can go on forever, can’t it?

So… what I’m learning (yeah, I’m a little slow) is to offer up a date, time and place REAL early in the “conversation.” 

Instead of all the back and forth, how ‘bout this?

Me: “Hey, are you busy next week? Wanna get a drink  Tuesday or Wednesday?”

My friend: “Sounds great! Where should we meet?”

Me: “How about Finnigan’s on Tuesday around 5:30?”



p.s. this also works REALLY well with clients. Instead of trying to figure out what’s convenient for both, just make a proposal. Chances are, it will work for your client and voila! You’ll be on the calendar!

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Reverse psychology works. I know it does.

I'm no expert (well, maybe I am, after all, I have a minor in Psychology from Southwest Missouri State University, are you impressed?), but as a student of life, I've seen it happen time and again. Specifically in two important arenas of my life… Love… and Real Estate.

This being a real estate forum, I guess I'll stick to the topic of The Power of Reverse Psychology in your real estate business. If you wanna chat about love, I'll meet you on a different forum with a glass of wine and a pint of ice cream.

Inquiring agents want to know… "What's the best way to convince a FSBO to hire an agent (preferably me)?" or "How do I persuade a prospect that I'm the best man/woman/child for the job?" Most of the advice provided involves beating clients and prospects over the head with a long list of "reasons" they "should" listen to you.

But think about it. When a sales-type comes at you with his practiced pitch full of "features & benefits", don't you tend to shift into defense mode, mentally arguing with him, point by point? After all, there's no way this salesperson is smarter or more informed than you are, so why is he standing right there telling you he is?

Brian Sullivan of Precise Selling calls this behavior "Contrarian." He defines "Contrarian" as "somebody disposed to taking an opposite position: somebody who is prone to opposing policies, opinions or accepted wisdom." The reason for contrarianism is that we (human-types) love our OWN opinions far more than we love anyone else's opinion. In order to connect with your contrarian customer or prospect, you need to let him make the statements of opinion (er, sorry, fact).

But enough pseudo-sales training from me; I KNOW I'm no expert there. Here are some examples of reverse psychology in action from the world of real estate:

When competing for a listing… You say:
"Frankly, any competent real estate agent can sell a home that's well priced and well presented, there's nothing all that special about me or my company. When choosing an agent, just go with your gut feeling – who you feel the most comfortable with and who seems to care the most getting your home sold.

When prospecting to a FSBO… You say:
"The market is strong right now, so I'm sure you'll be able to sell your home on your own. It's not rocket science, after all. But if you have any questions during the process, feel free to give me a call."

When working with a new buyer… You say:
"I have all the time in the world to help you to find the perfect home. I want you to be thrilled with the home you purchase and I'll be here for you no matter how long it takes."

When discussing market value with a seller… You say:
"If another agent thinks they can get you that price, I say, hire him! He may know something I don't about selling real estate in this market. I certainly don't want you to feel that you hired the wrong man for the job."


"I'll tell you what. If you need that price to make selling worthwhile, let's wait a few months. Maybe the market will improve. I'll be happy to keep you updated on the neighborhood activity and when it reaches that level, we'll hit the market right away!"

When you acknowledge the intelligence and competence of another human being, she will automatically think you're just a little bit smarter than she initially suspected. But lo and behold… she's still a Contrarian, so you may find that she begins to argue with you anyway! And that's what you want!

For example:"I have all the time in the world to help you find you a home…"
Your Buyer's Response: "Oh, no, I want to find a home as quickly as possible!" (She said it, you didn't. It now becomes HER goal)


"If you need that price to make selling worthwhile, let's wait a few months…"
Your seller prospect's response: "Oh, no, I need to sell right away! How can I do that?" (Now, suddenly, you're the expert. In HIS opinion.)

It might be different if we were doctors or attorneys or such – after all (lawyer jokes aside), the general public has a great deal of respect for these professions. But let's face it. We're real estate agents. We're perceived just slightly above car salespeople. We're paid on commission. We are not, as a general rule, the most believable group of people on the planet.

Go ahead, argue with me… after all, it's human nature!

copyright Jennifer Allan 2007