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Do You Have "Realtor Ears"?

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty 8431215

This has happened to me countless times, so I am certain you have also experienced this, too.

You are in public, perhaps in a restaurant,  and somehow, along with the clanging of the silverwear and multiple other conversations, you hear from many tables away, one of these words, or similar are spoken, and you stop eating:

Realtor.  Real estate agent.  Houses.  Appreciation.  Time to sell.   Multiple offers.  Relocating.  Downsize.  Mortgage rates.   Neighbor sold for...

What do you do?  Do you ignore them, or do you listen more intently?  Do you chime in, interjecting yourself into their conversation?  Do you sheepishly admit that you overheard them, and hand them a business card?

Or do you do nothing?


Posted by

Michael Elliott



Burlington, New Jersey Real Estate 

Broker / Salesperson

Fathom Realty


cell (609) 864-8164   office (888) 455-6040


Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Michael - clues of many kinds are "out there".   As you said in your post things are heard/overheard at times - An intuition is felt by some - of, course "seen" - while I am unaware of anyone tasting a possible lead (nearly nothing surprises me).  Opportunity definitely "knocks".  What makes sense to you?  Yes, "it depends" and it varies.  

Apr 18, 2024 04:27 AM
Michael Elliott

Agreed, it depends on their body language for me / if they appear to be approachable. 

Apr 18, 2024 04:49 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

That is not my style, as I would not like to be on the other end.  I agree with Nina, Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Apr 18, 2024 05:09 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Yes, I hear real estate conversations being had all of the time, but I rarely chime in unless I am invited into the conversation.

Apr 18, 2024 05:12 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Michael. I likely would not approach or offer my services if I overheard a conversation. I think it would border on invasion of privacy even in  public location. Enjoy your day.

Apr 18, 2024 05:14 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I do hear these conversations and usually don't say anything, especially if sitting in a restaurant having dinner. But if, for example, someone was behind me on a grocery line, I might turn around and make a suggestion about something specific if it seems appropriate (oh, I happened to overhear what you just said about the subdivision process - the best person to help you with that is such-and-such). Often the next question is, Oh, are you in real estate?


Apr 18, 2024 05:26 AM
Michael Elliott

Kat Palmiotti perfect!

Apr 18, 2024 06:14 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I feel like everyone who has owned (or lives in) a home thinks they are a real estate expert. I LOVE listening. On occasion I give opinion, especially when at Starbucks.

Apr 18, 2024 06:12 AM
Michael Elliott

Yes, Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty !  Awesome.  

Apr 18, 2024 06:15 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

As others have volunteered, I do not chime in unless invited. What I have noticed by wearing a name tag in the grocery store or having decals on my truck, I have been invited into conversations. Great post.

Apr 18, 2024 07:47 AM
Leanne Smith

As do I because I forget.

Apr 18, 2024 08:10 AM
Michael Elliott

Leanne Smith great ideas / reminders!   I need to wear my name badge(s)!!!

Apr 18, 2024 07:51 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Many like to talk about real estate so those conversations are not unusual.

Apr 18, 2024 10:39 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

I sold a listing of mine in the car wash of all places, Michael! A couple was sitting a few chairs away from me, inside, waiting for their name to be called after the detailers finished wiping down their car.

The husband explained to the wife that their offer was not accepted. I engaged them, about their wants and needs and then asked that their agent call me to discuss. after handing them a card. It worked!

I'd rather have Realtor Ears than Cauliflower Ears!

Apr 18, 2024 06:19 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Michael- as Michael Jacobs likes to say...it depends.' If it's a private conversation in a restaurant for example, I'd move on.  Kat Palmiotti has a good thought. If someone is in line and talking on the phone to someone, the expectation of privacy becomes a bit grey. 

Apr 18, 2024 07:08 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I was having dinner a few years ago with a few friends, it was one of those birthday parties in a restaurant and another agent overheard the birthday and started out giving her business card out and wishing the person a Happy Birthday after she finished her intrusive garbage, I gave her my card:) now with that said no I do not push my business on to strangers, Endre

Apr 18, 2024 09:40 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 20, 2024 06:29 PM
Michael Elliott

Thank you!

Apr 21, 2024 04:35 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That is an interesting question.   It's not something I would do but if the flow of the conversation offered an opportunity such as I need to check this out, that could offer the entry with an apology.

Apr 21, 2024 07:47 AM
Michael Elliott

Agreed , Ed Silva, 203-206-0754 .  It would also likely depend on their body language for me.   

Apr 21, 2024 07:49 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I am dangerous in a Checkout Line , where I have a captive audience ! …………………..

Apr 21, 2024 01:06 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

I like Michael Jacobs reply....it does "depend" if out to dinner and they are having a private dinner conversation I definitely would not intrude. There are other places like Kat Palmiotti would have a better flow as well as Michael J. Perry comment! Checkout lines are fair game ! LOL!

Apr 21, 2024 02:49 PM
Michael Elliott


Apr 21, 2024 03:37 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Michael.

This post is featured in today's This Week's Favorites on ActiveRain. Thank you for writing it!

Apr 21, 2024 06:23 PM
Michael Elliott

Thank you!

Apr 22, 2024 07:39 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Well, it depends how far away they are, on the table next to you maybe, further away than that most likely not for the reasons already mentioned by others.

Apr 22, 2024 07:32 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I would likely tune in more closely to the conversation but I would not intrude.


Apr 22, 2024 01:42 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

My ears have been known to perk up in a restaurant when I've overheard a real estate conversation.

Apr 22, 2024 02:58 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

I wear polo shirts with my company name and logo and my name on them.  That is the only work shirt. 

My jacket and winter coat has the same info. It makes me money...it makes it easy to know what to wear...and if they ask   or talk to me...I will chat with them.  

Other wise...at my wife's request...I stay out of the way. 

Apr 23, 2024 07:54 PM