Making Assumptions

Real Estate Agent with Platinum Properties TN Broker: 208698

Things Learned in Mediation Training


QuestionsFriday was a full day of class doing role plays and learning about the different methods of conducting mediation with REALTORS®. I have been an ombudsman for 6 years with my board and wanted to learn how to do that job better and be available if there was a situation where mediation may help resolve an conflict.

The instructor was very good and has been a national mediation trainer for 20 years. Mediation is a tool used to get the parties to come together with their resolution to the problem. The mediator purely facilitates the process and moves the discussion toward compromise.

He told a story and it struck home with me that it not only applies to negotiation/mediation but in our daily lives and real estate dealings.

There were two children in the kitchen fighting over the last orange. The mom comes in to see what all the racket is all about. They both are crying out "I want the orange". The mom quickly reaches in a drawer, retrieves a knife and cuts the orange in half and hands a half to each child. 

The children are clearly not happy and start crying out even louder. The mom asks why they are not happy as they each got half of the orange. One child says he wanted the whole orange to squeeze and make juice. The other child said she wanted to bake a cake and it called for 2 tablespoons of orange rind.

The mom realized if she had not made assumptions and had asked more questions, she could have resolved the situation giving each child exactly what they wanted.

How many times do we make assumptions, fail to ask thorough questions and proceed to think for our clients? Next time, stop and ask questions and get to the heart of the matter.  Then take action.


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 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

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Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Questions. Questions. And more questions.  What is it that you want? How can this be resolved in a way that feels like neither party loses?  Assumptions usually end in results we do not want. 

Apr 14, 2018 05:51 PM #7
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Debbie assumptions usually end with bad results.  Always better to wait enough time to make informed decisions.

Apr 14, 2018 06:40 PM #8
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Every now and then we all do this. I will remember the story about the orange.

Apr 14, 2018 08:04 PM #9
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Interesting analogy Debbie and indeed it is always best to ask questions and the more questions we ask the easier it is to solve the challenges we face, Endre

Apr 14, 2018 09:33 PM #10
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I have learned from experience that we should not make assumptions. It I should important to ask questions and listen. I love the story.

Apr 15, 2018 03:15 AM #11
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I think I could have learned a lot from this trainer, Debbie.  I need to read up on this.

Apr 15, 2018 04:50 AM #12
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"

Great story, Debbie.  Both parties could have gotten all they wanted from that one orange!  And so it is with life and business.  

Apr 15, 2018 07:45 AM #13
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"

You've been Featured in The BananaTude Group:

Apr 15, 2018 07:47 AM #14
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debbie Reynolds - Thank you for serving as Ombudsman. What an awesome responsibility and enlightening too. You are forever learning about people.

When it comes to assumptions, I learned long ago, never assume anything. A wise teacher taught me that years ago. You are like a teacher here on ActiveRain. Thank you.

Apr 15, 2018 09:06 AM #15
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I love the analogy, Debbie! Asking questions and listening is definitely the way I do business as well. Doing so makes everyone's lives easier - including our own!

Have a fantastic week ahead!

Apr 15, 2018 03:36 PM #16
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I forgot to mention, this is a wonderful post for Carol Williams' Second Chance Saturday features! 

Apr 15, 2018 03:37 PM #17
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thank you very much, Debbie, for sharing this story and your classroom experience.

Apr 16, 2018 04:02 AM #18
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Debbie Reynolds, I've learned a long time ago not to assume, always ask, especially if unsure. Great analogy.

Apr 17, 2018 10:09 AM #19
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

THis is a wonderful post and underscores the importance of finding out what is really going on before you jump right in to solve the problem without knowing what the problem is!  Like a parent we are just focused on problem solving but we need to know what the problem is

Apr 21, 2018 03:58 AM #20
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Debbie - I will remember that example.  That is a great example of here both sides to resolve.

Apr 21, 2018 04:03 AM #21
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Debbie Reynolds,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured your post her her Second Chance Series..I missed it! You are so right..ask more questions..don't assume. As Myrl Jeffcoat commented "Listening is an important component to our profession."

Apr 21, 2018 05:22 AM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Debbie

That’s a  good example to illustrate your point. Assumptions can be risky in our business, whether we make them or our clients do. It’s much better to be proactive and ask rather than assume.


Apr 21, 2018 08:32 PM #23
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Sometimes it's hard to realize our interpretation IS an assumption and may be (ok, likely is) incorrect. And then asking the right questions can be difficult, too.

Keeping this story of the orange in mind should certainly give pause enough to realize there may be a different result in another's mind.

Thanks for sharing, Debbie Reynolds and good luck with your mediations.



Apr 22, 2018 10:49 AM #24
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Never assume Debbie Reynolds it can get you into trouble .So glad Carol Williams put this in SCS as I missed this one

Apr 22, 2018 12:09 PM #25
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Debbie, what a tremendous point you make.

I fear that far too often we look at things from our own mindset and fail to be in touch with the needs of others.

I agree: Don't Assume.


Apr 24, 2018 09:43 AM #26
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