We loved working with Keith to buy our home in Sacramento. He asked us really good questions that we didn’t even know to think about to help select homes that would be a good fit. Everything about the process felt low-stress and positive. He even helped us write a letter to a seller that got us our home! He has a lot of knowledge and is just a kind, friendly, fun person – we highly recommend him as a realtor. Also, he has a truck, so he can totally help you move. Tell your friends!
Agents, listen up… Hot tip… people like to be listened to. We all know this, but it’s easy to get caught up in the, let-me-tell-you-how-much-I-know role. You learn so much by listening. And, studies show that people think you are smarter when you listen attentively. You will help your clients by doing more listening that talking. Be careful not to assert you opinions when unsolicited. Believe me, I’ve learn through my own failings. You are representing them and their desires after all, not yours.
Me: Can you believe the color they painted this house!?! Isn’t it horrid!
Buyer: Well… Um… pink is our favorite color.
Better approach: What do you think of the color of the house?
Buyer: Oh man, it’s horrid – that’s the first change we will make!
Me: Well, I guess there’s a color for everyone.
This is an easy one, but there many more examples of how I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth with assumptions and just blurting out opinions and said dumb when NOT listening.
Beyond colors and preferences, like my clients, the Fischers and most all others, don’t do this every day and need someone to foresee the potential pitfalls , or point out blind spots. For instance, “I noticed this house doesn’t have a dining area and I know you love to entertain… does that bother you or affect your opinion of this house?” Client: Oh wow, we didn’t even see that, we were too busy staring at the shiny counter tops and the period light fixtures.”
Since I have a pretty high view of my family, one secret I employ is to view my clients like family. I ask myself questions along the way too, for instance, “Would I want my mom living in this neighborhood?” Or, I remember a young, investor client of mine wanted to purchase a duplex across from a very dangerous apartment complex, known for gang violence. I had to ask him, “Are you okay with your tenants calling to complain about gun shots in the middle of the night and constant drug dealing in front of this property? As your advocate, I don’t feel comfortable with you buying this property.” This in particular client said, “Thanks for your concern… I really appreciate it, but I don’t care about that stuff – It’s a great deal!” Good reminder – you are your client’s advocate and have a fiduciary duty to them, but what you’d do, isn’t always what your client wants. So don’t assume! It might be a good thing to review the definition of “fiduciary duty” from time to time to put things into perspective. It’s simply, “The highest standard of care,” putting their wants and desire ahead of your own.
By the way, I have found my wife loves it when I listen and so do my kids! We cannot go wrong by growing and improving in this area of our lives.
Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900
Specializing in Residential Real Estate Sales & Property Management
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