There’s a Realtor® in my neck of the woods who never fails to make me smile when I talk with him. He wanted information on one of my listings to see if it was a fit for one of his buyers, so we covered that information up front in case one of us got a phone call of greater importance. With no such call breaking into the conversation, we were graced with a few minutes to catch up. I complimented him on his ability to always make me laugh and on his intelligence, and he responded in surprise at the compliment, giving me the title for this blog. (Thanks, Will.) But, what we discussed dispelled that statement quickly.
He threw a quote that resonated within me. “A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved. ~Charles Kettering
How often do we encounter problems in our business?
And how do we handle them?
Sometimes we rush in on them, heavily armed with all the tools we’ve been taught. We throw Agreements at them, follow with a flurry of addendums, circulate the paperwork, rush in with comparables, but how often do we stop, ask a question, and listen?
Have you ever heard someone in the media conducting an interview who’s more focused on the questions they want to ask instead of on the answers given? They ask a question and then run headlong into the next one, often making fools of themselves in the process because the person they are interviewing has given them something incredibly worthwhile, amazingly on point, and they’ve just rushed right past it. Are they too focused on their path of questions or do they just like to hear themselves talk? Are they trying to make themselves appear smarter?
Do we ever do that? On a listing appointment when the Seller has just given us a crucial piece of information about their motivation or goal, do we stop to let it register? When the Seller specifies an absolute, do we have a means of noting that, making sure it’s covered or protected in the course of the transaction? When the Buyer tells us about the importance of the safety of their children, do we remember it when we show them a house that has bedrooms divided up on various levels of the house?
One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I’ve been given in this business is to ask a question and then be quiet and listen. Think of the person with whom you communicate the best, such as your spouse or your child or a team that you coach. How do you get your point across the best with that person or persons? Use that tone of voice to ask your question or state your case but then, once you do, be still and truly listen.
There might be days when not much sticks and it does feel like the c-drive is full. When that happens, delete a few files, and make room to gather more information. Define the problem. And then, remember to listen.