Oversharing Is Not Caring

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Providence Group Realty TREC# 0608931

Professionals: BEWARE the OVERSHARE

Can we talk?

We intend to explain ourselves. In fact, we try to over-explain so that our listeners will understand that we aren't ignoring them or blowing them off. We think we are being professional, and working to positively manage expectations. We think we are earning credibility by being "honest" or "transparent". We think we are earning respect by showing how very busy we are or what kind of activities we give our time to. We think we are building relationships because we are sharing details about our personal lives.

Nope. What we are really doing is flat out sending our listener the one message they don't want to hear... that whatever the something else is in our lives, it is indeed more important than they are. And they will either have to wait in line for our attention or work harder to accommodate us somehow. And that's just not good business practice. Nor is it professional.

Imagine going through the drive-through window of your favorite fast food restaurant, and instead of hearing that your order will be out shortly, you hear, "Today isn't a good day for me. Can you come back tomorrow? The school just called and I need to leave to pick up my kid. She's throwing up."  :-/  (Bet they won't get a second chance with your business.)

Think about it. When a client, customer or colleague calls for service, they aren't calling to hear about how busy your personal life is. They aren't calling to listen to your life's challenges. They aren't interested in what you are doing right now. They don't care if you are driving, eating, cooking dinner or bathing your dog. They don't care if you plan to do those activities tomorrow either. All they know is that you answered the phone and that they want to talk about a problem you can help them solve. The last thing they want to hear is that they are going to have to wait. Even if their timeline isn't urgent, they still don't want to be told they will have to wait. No one ever wants to hear that. They just want to hear that you are on it!

Folks, your explanations --and your excuses -- do not matter. Moreover, they are unnecessary, time-consuming and distracting. If you want to be thought of as a professional in the real estate, mortgage & loan, title or insurance industry, start handling communications like one.  Get out of your own heads. Quit making the conversations about yourselves personally, and start making the discussion faithfully client-focused.

  • Professionals don't explain why they can't do something right now.
    Instead, professionals talk about when they can or will do something.

  • Professionals don't blather on about personal details. 
    Instead, they keep the conversation focused on business -- and the customer's needs.

  • Professionals know when to let voicemail take the call. No one wins points for trying to take a call in the movie theater, while on a romantic date, during a nap, or while they are undergoing brain surgery. Stop that. And when professionals do return calls, they do not stop to explain that they were in a movie theater, on a romantic date, taking a nap, or having brain surgery. None of that matters. What matters is fully engaging the topic the client wants to talk about.

  • Professionals know the benefit of using auto-text and auto-reply to handle a busy or out-of-office notice. Or they use an answering service to provide live answering when they are not available.

  • Professionals have healthy boundaries. They know the difference between TMI (oversharing) and managing expectations of both present and future engagement.

Bottom line, no matter how honorable an excuse or admirable the explanation might feel, "it" steals time away from the client's conversation and plants a seed in their minds of their needs being a lesser priority in your life.

Learn to respond instead with simple phrases like, "got it", "on it", and commitment statements leading to when, and then keep your promises. 



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lottie Kendall 02/02/2018 05:44 PM
Real Estate Industry
Texas Collin County Plano
Collin County, TX Real Estate Professionals
What's Got Your Goat?
Texas Independent Broker Network
business practices
personal life
working mothers
women in business
managing expectations
career success
phone protocol
positive communication

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Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

HI Amanda -- I liked this post of yours! TMI is blather, and doesn't belong in a professional setting. Setting boundaries is hugely important.  Your examples at the bottom are great ones for showing suitable responses. 

I hope this gets "FEATURED." I'll re-blog it so more eyes get on it in hopes that the feature fairy might spot it.

Feb 02, 2018 05:41 PM #1
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Amanda Thomas what a great post and I am so glad that I found it on Lottie Kendall 's reblog.

I hope that you can make our meet up Monday at The Gaylord in Grapevine, it would be nice to meet you!

Feb 02, 2018 07:18 PM #2
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Amanda and so nice to meet you. Lottie re-blogged this and I found her view absolutely on the money. You are thoughtful and focused and you listen. Bravo.

Feb 03, 2018 06:14 AM #3
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

This is so very true. Spot on, in fact. You're right, they don't care. They just want to know when we can do it...or get it, or...

Your examples are wonderful for others to emulate.  D

Feb 03, 2018 07:14 AM #4
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Stopping by after reading your post that Lottie Kendall reblogged. This is a great post and I hope to read more of your posts here in the Rain. Welcome.

Feb 03, 2018 08:06 AM #5
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Amanda, sorry I didn't see this yesterday but I was stripping a floor to get one of our commercial units ready to rent . . . .    ^_~

Thanks, what a great reminder as I do tend to do all of the above and this is something I need to do a better job of focusing on the immediate issue and not preface a conversation with excuses!

Hope all is well with you and your family in the LONE STAR STATE!

Feb 03, 2018 09:02 AM #6
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Amanda - agreed! It's not about you and please don't TMI me!!!

Feb 03, 2018 11:28 AM #7
Sharon Mistowski
Horizon Lending Services, LLC - Prosper, TX
Horizon Lending Services, LLC

Love this incredibly candid post about how being TOO personable will backfire. I'm sure that professionals have good intentions in trying to be more friendly with clients, but I agree with you that the focus of a conversation should be more client-driven and straight to the point. Without the fluff.


Mind if I re-share this on my social media?

Feb 15, 2018 03:14 PM #9
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Amanda

I'm so glad I found this post from Lottie Kendall's reblog.

I think most people don't really want to hear to much personal stuff - excuses, complaints, etc. - except perhaps close friends, and would rather hear the words that you ARE listening and WILL take care of the issue, follow-up with the response, etc. And of course it's pretty darn important that you do so or you will lose their trust and be viewed as unreliable.


Mar 05, 2018 06:21 PM #10
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

GUILTY! I have even thought to myself, during the occasional conversation, why am I prattling on about this? The person on the other end does not care. Let’s wrap this up and take care of the issue at hand.

Thanks for the lecture!

Apr 13, 2018 07:51 PM #11
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Amanda Thomas

​Broker, SRES®, BPOR, MCNE, ​Certified DRS Agent™
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