What Lens Are You Looking Through?

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

What Lens Are You Looking Through?


We all have different perspectives – different lenses we gaze through which color our interpretation and impact how we behave.


Eyeglasses - What do YOU see through them?I worked for a Sr. VP in one of my corporate roles years ago and he always encouraged us to consider the lenses that others are looking through when a certain situation arises. (photo courtesy of bgottsab on Flickr)


It’s certainly an apt analogy in our business.


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For example…


Sellers often fail to look at their home the way a buyer would. Their lens is that of homeowner selling a home. They would be better off looking at their home through the lens of the buyer:


How does the home look when you first approach?

How does it appear on-line?

Is there clutter or ugly carpet or gaudy paint?

Are there noticeable defects or deferred maintenance the buyers will need to deal with?


Agents sometimes only consider their perspective when working with buyers or sellers. It may not be intentional to do so given our role, but looking through the lens of the buyer or seller, while it may be more difficult, will enable you to be more empathetic and understanding of their viewpoints. The real estate professional’s lens is NOT the only one, but we often forget that.


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No doubt there are multiple perspectives, or lenses, for each situation we encounter which involve other people in our real estate transactions.


And doing our job effectively will come from not only looking at the transaction from the lens of the knowledgeable real estate professional, but from the individual perspectives of our clients and others in the process  (the mortgage officer, the inspector, the appraiser, the agent on the other side, the buyer, the seller) so that we can better address their needs, concerns and questions. Just becuase their persepctive is different doesn't mean it's wrong.


And looking through others' lenses conveys that we DO understand and empathize, even in the midst of problems and delivering tough messages, even if we don't agree.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Kathy Schowe 11/16/2011 04:52 PM
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Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Jeff,

Loved your analogy...and especially  "The real estate professional’s lens is NOT the only one, but we often forget that"

So true isn't it...and as REALTORS  ourselves, a listing agent might have a different vision than the selling agent, we see it all the time!

Nov 16, 2011 03:22 PM #11
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

I didn't even read to the end before I hit the suggest button.  My husband and I were just talking about this-- it is all about perspective and seeing things from both sides.  Great post Jeff... you nailed it.  K

Nov 16, 2011 04:48 PM #12
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I think that the perspective of the other person is so important to get a clear vision. We don't have to change completely, but at least get an understanding of the other side. By doing this we can probably better get what we want Jeff.

Nov 16, 2011 04:55 PM #13
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

All great points for sure. I read a book some time ago for graduate school that has to do with analyzing via different frames of reference. This blog reminds me of that in that we need to look through multiple view points. What a seller thinks verses a buyer verses an inspector are different for sure.

Nov 16, 2011 06:00 PM #14
Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

I believe to be a great counselor or negotiator you need to look through the other persons eyes.

Nov 16, 2011 06:09 PM #15
Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate
We are typically asking a seller or a buyer, or both sides in some cases to hire us as their advocate. We have certain moral, ethical and legal obligations to carrying out our responsibilities for our clients. Attorneys have to learn to look at both sides of a case and be able to represent all variety of opinions. Why? So they may be able to anticipate and understand the opposition and thereby do the best job possible for their client. While I wouldn't equivocate our representation with that of an attorney, there is a similarity to the way we must be prepared to understand the opposition and all variety of opinions, as has been suggested the inpsector, the mortgage broker, etc.
Nov 16, 2011 06:22 PM #16
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA


Your post is the foundation for creating win-win transactions. There is far less conflict when parties believe they are "heard and understood."


Nov 16, 2011 11:55 PM #17
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Jeff - we all need to walk a mile in the other mans shoes or as you put it look through the other mans lens ..... especially when acting on their behalf ..... great analogy

Nov 17, 2011 03:58 AM #18
Ben Blonder
Broker/Owner, Keller Williams - Fort Collins, CO
Buyers, Sellers, Investors!

Different lenses is what makes it so hard for buyers and sellers to be objective. You never know their past experiences and what they are idealizing about the home. Its important to draw this out of them.

Nov 17, 2011 07:05 AM #19
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

So many perspectives.  Some realistic and some outright delusional.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Nov 17, 2011 08:40 AM #20
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jeff, wouldn't it be nice if we all were looking through the same lenses? My husband and I ever look at things the same way. I guess that's what makes life interesting.

Nov 17, 2011 09:21 AM #21
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Jeff, perspective is every thing.  Great analogy.  I went into one of my own listings one day as if I was a first time looker.  I wanted to see why it hadn't sold.  I saw a good half dozen issues right away.  Perspective is definitely different from person to person. 

Nov 17, 2011 11:21 AM #22
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Well said, Jeff.  It is difficult to walk in someone else's shoes, but it is necessary for a transaction to proceed smoothly when we understand where the other side is coming from.

Nov 17, 2011 12:36 PM #23
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jeff well written and well deserved feature.  How we see things is always colored by our perspective and whether you're in sales of any kind or just trying to deal with relationships it's always helpful to "walk in someone else's shoes.'

Nov 17, 2011 01:06 PM #24
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

What great advice for all of us to keep in mind, not only in real estate, but in life. Consider things from others' perspectives.


Nov 17, 2011 02:39 PM #25
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff, you are absolutely right, the perspective of others is mostly different than our own.  Transactions would go a lot smother if we learned to recognize and understand those differences.

Nov 17, 2011 02:59 PM #26
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Jeff...I believe that many sellers have dual lenses.  One they used prior to putting their house on the market.  Chances are their perspective was often pretty realistic at that time.  They were aware of many delayed projects that they were going to get around to fixing, rooms that required paint, yards that needed landscaping, and a host of other things.  When they decide to sell these often suddenly become invisible.  They are now using their rose colored lenses and up goes the price they want.


Nov 17, 2011 03:05 PM #27
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Great analogy. You are right that a seller is biased when it comes to their home. They need to see what buyers are seeing in comparison. It helps!

Nov 17, 2011 03:27 PM #28
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Hi Jeff, it's always a good thing to remember the other person's perspective to make a transaction successful. Sellers need to look at competing homes and buyers need to remember they will be sellers some day.


Nov 18, 2011 12:24 AM #29
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Martha - no doubt it has served you well. How fortunate!

Eric - I like that...yours, mine and the real story. Great tag line!

Melissa - indeed. And some we probably cannot even understand or guess at.

William - it's a discussion I always have with sellers, especially with today's market and buyer behavior.

Joan - I think it is an important thing for sellers to think about and keep in mind. And we can help them do so, I believe

Kathleen - well I would agree with that. It can be hard to do.

Lynda - oh yes, SOO true. There are often vastly different perspectives. And that of the listing agent sometimes comes across and THE lens when in fact it should not be.

Thanks, Kathy - What a nice compliment!

Tom - I agree, it's important and will help us be better at our job at helping our clients.

Cathy - so true. And there are other perspectives as well when you cosnider everyone in the transaction.


Nov 24, 2011 09:42 AM #30
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
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