Ask An Ambassador: Toning Out

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

No, that's not a typo in the title.

We've all heard the saying about the written word being a flat medium.

You can't see my face, sense my body language, hear the up or down inflections in my voice.

It's much harder to detect I'm just messing with you, seriously torqued, or just being frank (and FRANKly some folks just can't handle direct).


So as a reader, you have a choice with every post and every comment.

What was the writer's intent?

And here's where the reader has to be careful. 


What's next?


Provide the benefit of the doubt?

Or light the flamethrower and torch the earth?

Your amusing might be my SAAAAY WHAAAATTT???


Each of us here has a body of work, a perception created of how we behave in the Rain, on Facebook, etc..

There are some people that I'm always happy to see a comment from, and others I may have a negative bias...WHAT are they going to say THIS TIME??

And the comment might not be that bad, it might even be perfectly fine (coming from anyone else), but I'm toning out because the past with that person has not been perceived positively.

The net result is I'm choosy about my post topics.  Something that I might think is written as matter-of-fact may be seen by someone else as a full-on up on the soapbox Class 5 rant named Ethel. 

Some posts I write may never see the light of day, and it's all because of tone.  If I can't get it right, it doesn't come out.  I know I've got a post about agents being Shepherds or Sharks bouncing around in my head, but tone may just be a barrier to that post ever being published.

What does your post or comment do for your body of work?  In tune?  Or toning out?

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. KanDo Organization 02/16/2020 03:54 PM
ActiveRain Community
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


This is the first time, I have heard this word used in this fashion.  In our posts, I focus on staying neutral, not lecture (sometimes I do and then delete it on a second or third read), and I want my readers to learn something or be aware of something as it relates to branding or marketing.  Like Tammy Lankford, I prefer to talk directly, and I have witnessed the most innocuous comment or email cause someone to want to fight...A 

Feb 11, 2020 12:49 PM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz) - Clever title and it made me "look" twice.  Can it be delivered in bottle form too? You know many messages/comments are often not so easy to decipher.  

Feb 11, 2020 03:01 PM #3
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

yep... the printed word can lack the nuances that the spoken language has... to allow tone-of-voice to telegraph your 'meaning'.

Feb 11, 2020 05:28 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bill- Tone is an excellent word to use because in today's world of texting and non-verbal communication, we miss that extra layer that conveys much more information...the tone of the person. 

Feb 11, 2020 07:04 PM #5
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Great words, Liz and Bill Spear .  Be in tune with your audience and your honesty.  People can pick out a phoney.  Be passionate about what you write and always, always, be real.

Feb 11, 2020 09:37 PM #6
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

so easy to write something and mean one thing but have it seem to mean something else to who reads it

Text, email, posts can all be meant one way and taken the other way

Talking one on one is still the best way to communicate in my opinion. 

Feb 11, 2020 11:28 PM #7
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

So very true. What we put out and how we put it out there, may not be what another person takes in. It seems like in today's society, most people are so quick to take an offense or be so judgmental.  I was like to verify with the person when I get a text or message. Some people will take things sometimes based on how their day went.  I too, like the phone call conversations and face to face talks. I want to see their reaction and vice versa.  Have an awesome rest of the week.

Feb 12, 2020 05:36 AM #8
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Intended tone sometimes doesn't come across the way it was meant. This morning someone posted in joke in a Facebook group. I knew right away it was meant as a joke and I laughed. Then I read the comments. There were several people who were taken aback - they thought the poster was serious. And it wasn't even about politics! Anyway, what we write online can be mistrued, so it's up to us to write as clearly as we can.

Have a  great day!

Feb 12, 2020 05:59 AM #9
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I tend to write with a "tone." And like you, I need to be careful and so have many posts in Draft because I know they will be misperceived. 

Feb 12, 2020 08:23 AM #10
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Liz and Bill Spear ~ our tone, our delivery, is perceived much better in person. The eyes and body movement helps ensure the tone matches up to what's being said. We have to be much more careful when writing as opposed to being up close and present. I just hope that I haven't been one of those... because I know that  "ZG" -you and I see things from a different lens... I just want you to know that I appreciated being challenged by your different thoughts "and" your tone has always been perfect... (I just hope you feel somewhat the same)... I know I can be very open and forward with my thoughts especially when I am passionate about a topic.... Anyway, thanks for the great reminder; even in person, we need to be mindful of the tone of our words... I hope all is well   

Feb 12, 2020 10:25 AM #11
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 702-574-8102

Liz and Bill Spear Looking forward to your bouncing that agent Sharks and Shephards blog out into the bright of day.  Know it will be enlightening with scenarios we can relate to, and learn from too.

Feb 12, 2020 11:27 AM #12
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Evening to all here in the Rain. Yes, it can be hard to see much into a text and or email. Being descriptive can be a challenge as well within a text and or email. Understanding the client's needs as far as a text email or phone call. What matters to them. And then try and provide that aspect. 

Now when one is getting an article together this can be a challenge to type out what one wants to say and keep it to the point.  Have a blessed day to all. 

Feb 12, 2020 04:32 PM #13
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I, for one, am looking forward to that post with or without the tone...

"... about agents being Shepherds or Sharks."


Feb 12, 2020 07:41 PM #14
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

It's so true that it's often not what you say but how you say it.  Any subject, even controversial, can be covered with tact and the right tone.

Feb 13, 2020 09:36 AM #15
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Sgt. Friday indeed. I loved the picture. So apropos. When tone is consistently discordant, I understand the internal flinching. There are even some I won't respond to (!!!). Thanks for your insight!

Feb 13, 2020 07:23 PM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I wasn't quite sure where this was heading, and thought it might be about the phone, but you went to some pretty good places that everyone should be mindful of. While email, and comments, lack the voice tone of a phone call, the words and the phrasing can clearly communicate a positive, or negative, tone. Being mindful of that is pretty darn important lest we sound more negative than we intended. And who knows who is reading the tone with which we wrote that comment!?



Feb 13, 2020 08:41 PM #17
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Anything can be controversial if someone is looking for it Bill. Seems some enjoy picking conversations apart or finding offense, then blasting another for it while hiding behind the keyboard. They'd never dare do that to someone's face. I use manners as often as possible and will defend if necessary but pick my battle wisely on and off line. Fantastic post!

Feb 14, 2020 02:41 PM #18
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I find it amazing how some people online are just waiting for a chance to start an argument.  So tiring.

Feb 14, 2020 08:05 PM #19
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing!

I'm choosy about my post topics.  Something that I might think is written as matter-of-fact may be seen by someone else as a full-on up on the soapbox Class 5 rant named Ethel.

Feb 15, 2020 04:30 AM #20
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware

Great post. As a failsafe, when I write something and am not sure how it comes off, I'll have a neutral third party read it before I publish it. 

Feb 15, 2020 11:53 AM #21
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