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 »
By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
It’s everything you’d ever want in a business: a high quality work environment that attracts and retains talented employees while delivering top-of-the-line customer service and a great product. But how is it accomplished?
Author Ann Rhoades, president of People Ink, has worked with corporations such as Southwest Airlines and Doubletree Hotels to develop their values-based mantra and culture. She reveals what it takes to create such an enterprise in her book, Built on Values: Creating an Enviable Culture that Outperforms the Competition (Jossey-Bass, January 2011).
Her strategy begins with the creation of a “values blueprint” – a summary document that clearly outlines the essential values and behaviors of a business or organization. “Just as you would not build a house working off only an image in your head, you cannot build a lasting culture without a written blueprint,” she says.
Rhoades explains how to create a “values blueprint” in her book, and how to get employees on board. For a real estate broker, it might mean finding sales agents for your team who display the same company values. “Just because someone is skilled and experienced does not mean they are right for your organization,” she writes. Rhoades suggests assembling an interview team, which can also help reduce turnover.
Broker-owners should keep in mind their role in company culture. It’s essential to reward employees and provide effective and valuable leadership communication. Rhoades emphasizes the importance of mirroring the values of your company and finding new ways to connect with people to build trust. Also remember, trust develops through communication of both the positives and the negatives – with your team and your clients.