Imagine this: You’re wrapping up a listing presentation and your would-be seller says she has a few concerns. You sit down to hear her out, but somehow at the end of the conversation, you still don’t understand what the big problem is. You try to reassure her but she says, “You’re just not listening to me.” And that is the precise moment where the listing presentation comes to a screeching halt.
Driving back to the office, you start thinking back on the conversation, trying to figure out what happened. It’s reassuring to tell yourself that she’s just one of those indecisive sellers with a communication problem. But in the end, you have to admit you really weren’t listening.
Instead, were you:
- …stepping on the ends of her sentences with assurances that you’re so great that you can handle any challenge that her situation might present, without really hearing what the challenge might be?
- …just trying to capture the factual information and data, while avoiding an emotional or subjective topic that the seller wanted to address?
- …listening only for the problems you were confident you could easily solve, while ignoring other important issues and opportunities?
- …too busy agreeing or disagreeing with the seller to listen objectively?
- …so focused on your next listing appointment to that you couldn’t see the opportunity in front of you?
These common listening styles are identified in Robert L. Finder, Jr.’s forthcoming book, The Financial Professional’s Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones (FT Press, 2013). While such tendencies can lead to some really frustrating conversations, recognizing them can be the first step to better communication. Continue reading »
Finally, real estate brokers get their own E-Myth.
No, I’m not talking about some sort of internet rumor or online fairy tale. I mean that business writer Michael Gerber has made real estate brokerages the eighth stop on his planned 310-industry tour to “transform the state of small business.”
Gerber has a potent idea to sell. The “E” refers to entrepreneur; his first book was aimed at small business owners. He then branched out to offer advice to industries that tend to operate like small businesses. As one might imagine with such a commoditized approach, Gerber tends to paint with something of a broad brush in promotional materials. For example, in describing his E-Myth books here, he repeats seven out of the eight times that the industries highlighted in his books are each “a juggling act.”
It’s clear he needs a little help from his friends. Thankfully, he knows that. Each of his books features writing from an established industry leader. And thankfully for brokers, he chose Rich Rector to co-author The E-Myth Real Estate Brokerage: Why Most Real Estate Brokerage Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It (Prodigy Business Books, 2012).
Rector has served as chairman, president and CEO of Realty Executives International since 1984. After purchasing Realty Executives Phoenix from his father in 1980, Rector led an aggressive international franchise expansion, growing the company to 800 franchises in 10 countries.
Rector composes every other chapter in the book, giving a real-life, down-to-earth feeling to what might have otherwise been a dry business tome. For example, Gerber’s chapter titled, “On the Subject of Pricing” is followed by Rector’s much more vernacular “What to Charge?” chapter. The every-other chapter concept gives the work a more conversational tone, as if you’re sitting down to coffee with these two entrepreneurial heavyweights. Continue reading »