Hearing vs. Listening

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

How often have you been talking to someone and realized they aren't listening to you? When I got my instructors license for real estate 5 years ago I came to realize that a lot of people hear you talking, but don't listen to what you are saying.  As an instructor I had to overcome people hearing, but not listening and retaining.   The numbers below shows the % of retention.

In order to do this I created class room techniques that have my students participate and write down what they just learned.  They had much better retention rates for things they say and write. 

This in turn got me to thinking about do buyers and sellers retain what what we say?  How can we communicate to get them to remember it. So recently when I listed a property that I felt was a little over priced and I got the seller to agree to a price reduction I got them to take out their phone and add a date to call me when we would be reducing if we weren't getting offers. The act of them adding this to their calendar and initialing the price change date in the listing agreement together was something they wouldn't forget. 

I've learned it also helps to get buyers to find a nickname for houses that make it to the maybe list and to take notes while seeing them about their favorite things and pros and cons of ones that are making the "list".  So tips that I've learned to teach are certainly helping me and my agents to help our clients better. Don't let them be listening without hearing what you are saying. 


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 01/06/2018 05:07 PM
  2. Ron Barnes 01/07/2018 06:35 AM
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Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Listening is a skill that is long forgotten someone once said. 

Jan 06, 2018 08:35 PM #8
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Tammy Lankford, 
So important - listening so the other person feels heard! Thanks for the paying attention ideas and for the "knicknames" idea also. All the best  - Lynn

Jan 06, 2018 08:39 PM #9
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Ron and Alexandra Seigel absolutely that's true.  Once in my life I sat in on a therapy session with a patient and doctor.  From my point of view as an observer that doctor did not earn his fee. 

Myrl Jeffcoat Can't say I've never done it. (Biology in college comes to mind), but one on one I try very hard to be a good listener and get it.

Mary Jo Quay engagement and active learning is key to the process I feel, both as a teacher and a broker/agent.



Jan 06, 2018 09:09 PM #10
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Tim Maitski I admire those of you who are comfortable with video... I like being behind the camera.

William Feela ah yes, my husband has that disease from time to time too.

Marte Cliff several studies out there and some disagree on the numbers.  But knowing how much I retain when I handwrite (not type) something I think it's certainly true to me.  However I feel with my younger students when I do an "on line" quiz in which they get out and get to use and engage in answers on their smart phone or ipad they retain the most.  I think it's because they are not distracted with their side texting in those moments.

Jan 06, 2018 09:13 PM #11
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Amanda Christiansen it's certainly my easiest way to learn.  I used to rewrite text books in my own words in high school and college to retain the information.

Joyce Kelley I think it's certainly under utilized, but not forgotten.

Lynn B. Friedman I'll have to write a post about nick names one of these days. The ones I have given to clients over the years and some of the houses.  A few years ago we had a house we all fondly called the Gilligan's Island house.

Jan 06, 2018 09:17 PM #12
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

And active imagination and innovative rain can really go far in every industry there is to go!

Jan 06, 2018 11:21 PM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I really don’t want to text message in cases like that and I’d rather have face-to-face contact.

Jan 06, 2018 11:22 PM #14
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

That's an interesting chart and tip. I can also tell when people are not actually listening. I like the idea of having them do something specific (write it down, add to calendar) to get info embedded in their brain(s)

Jan 07, 2018 02:47 AM #15
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

I also like your idea of getting clients to write important things down in your presence.  I have not done that before.

Jan 07, 2018 04:05 AM #16
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Tammy Lankford, 

What an excellent post! So glad to see it featured! There is a difference between hearing and listening and you nailed it in this post!

Jan 07, 2018 05:33 AM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I remember the day when after I explained something so clearly and distinctly and someone didn't get it...I realized the answer must lie elsewhere. This is a worthy subject to explore as it will travel with one all the days of their life

Jan 07, 2018 06:04 AM #18
Ron Barnes
Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties - Jasper, GA
"Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1!

Excellent point and great suggestion!

Jan 07, 2018 06:34 AM #19
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Tammy,
Oh... an age old problem, isn't it?  Sometimes I find myself hearing but not listening.  That's bad!!!  We have to hold their attention somehow.  I think asking questions is a great way to keep people engaged so they NEED to listen.   Retention is a whole 'nother issue we have to deal with.   Winston Churchill's pholosophy about retention is:
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack.”

Happy Sunday, Tammy!

Jan 07, 2018 06:50 AM #20
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tammy, I would imagine you see it all teaching!  When I attend a class, I write down the important tips that I want to remember, and it does work.

Jan 07, 2018 07:08 AM #21
Linda Piper
Planatek Financial, Inc. - Ventura, CA


What a timely topic!  I was just talking about this concept last week with a couple of people - my observation is that most people are listening to respond, not listening to understand.  There is a world of difference, and effort, between the two.  Thanks for an excellent reminder!

Jan 07, 2018 08:27 AM #22
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What a great blog, Tammy. I encounter this all the time. I tend overload sellers with information to the point it's almost impossible to retain all of it. You know that when you point out something you've already told them and they don't remember it. For that reason, I find it's easier to tell them what I'm about to tell them, then explain it, and then reiterate what I just said.

Jan 07, 2018 11:11 AM #23
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Tammy, I'm a note taker. Even when I'm handed a nice book or handout with the material, I still take notes because I can remember the material much better that way. 

Jan 07, 2018 11:28 AM #24
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Tammy: Great post about something that I knew on some level. It sure helps to have it pointed out that people are not Not listening on purpose. Most people have lost their ability to focus, I find. It is a sad commentary on our society that we can't focus on much for very long!! Your recommnedations are great and I will use them, If I may!

Jan 07, 2018 05:04 PM #25
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

So true Tammy Lankford, there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth!

Jan 07, 2018 07:47 PM #26
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This is so true.  If someone calls me, I am trying to find a place to write it down so that I don't forget.  I definitely remember better that way.

Jan 09, 2018 06:58 PM #27
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