The Discipline To Listen

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Bain

What I find to be one of the most annoying aspects of working with fellow real estate professionals is hearing arguments to my feedback.  What I find to be one of the most difficult aspects of working with fellow real estate professionals is maintaining the discipline to hold back arguments to their feedback.

Is the purpose of feedback to start a discussion, or is it to offer or glean insight from a different perspective?  If 5 agents tell us the front door at our new listing is a terrible color and makes the whole house look ugly, are we better off trying to convince them all that our client is an artist and we should all see the beauty of their work?  Or are we better off thanking them all and making them all feel like any additional comments they might have would also be appreciated?  The answer is obvious, but why is the discipline so difficult sometimes?

There really isn't any bad feedback.  That doesn't mean we should act on all feedback, because that would be impossible.  Much feedback is contradictory, because tastes and opinions and knowledge and perspectives and experience vary greatly among people.  Absorbing it all, though, instead of denying any of it, tends to steer us intuitively in the direction of acting on what we should act on, and not on what we shouldn't.  Our clients need our good intuition about what others in the market think, more than they need our opinion based solely on our taste.

Instead of acting on an urge to defend, how about pursuing further suggestions instead?  How about "Thank you, what do you think the best color would be for this door on this house?"



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Sandy Wagner
RE/MAX Professionals 253.225.8322 - Gig Harbor, WA
Short Sale Specialist Tacoma, WA, and Gig Harbor,

For me feedback is information to take back to my seller. I preface it by saying this can be a personal opinion, but one that we might want to think about. 

Mar 27, 2010 01:23 PM #1
Jen Olson
First Weber Group Realtors - Marshfield, WI

David-  I think that is so true!  It's kind of along the same lines of the old saying that I can complain about my family, but don't you ever talk unkindly about them!  Thank you for sharing:) 

Mar 27, 2010 01:23 PM #2
Dan Benefield
Benefield Realty - Decatur, GA

Good points David. The best business is transacted when we remove emotions from the picture. Why ask for feedback if you are simply going to argue about what you hear.

Mar 27, 2010 01:30 PM #3
Wayne and Lynda Gomillion
Real Living Hagan Realtors | Pinehurst ~ Southern Pines, NC - Pinehurst, NC

David, your comments are spot-on. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason... and anything but truth is a waste.

Mar 27, 2010 01:32 PM #4
Charlie Gantz
Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay - Saint Petersburg, FL
J.D., M.B.A.

It seems that everyone is an expert at everything in life.  But you offer wise counsel to take the high road in dealing with the extra comments.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Commercial Real Estate, LLC

Mar 27, 2010 01:33 PM #5
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH


I really like to receive feedback, positive or negative.  My problem is that, in this economy, it can be hard to obtain feedback despite a number of requests.

Mar 27, 2010 04:52 PM #6
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David North

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