Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

Can you hear me now?



This week I have been working with a wonderful family that found me on the Internet over a year ago, as they started their search for a new home in Arizona.  They are relocating from Vermont.  As I was showing them homes today, I remember one of the first emails that I received from them- “the reason we want to work with you, is that you listened to what we wanted in our new home”   Wow what a simple concept.  Showing home buyers homes they can afford, in the area they want to live with the amenities that they want.  I often wondered, what others were telling them?

About 2 months ago, I received an email from a young man that would like to sell his home in Queen Creek.  Knowing that due to market conditions, he would not be in a favorable position to sell, I discussed some of his options with him.  But again what struck me the most was “thank you for calling me back, I have called 3 agents and no one returned my call”   He called me again today- I still, most likely will not be able to help him, but I listened, and suggested he speak with an attorney and discuss his options.

Realtors have been compared to used car salesmen, I think we rank under them.  I am sure that there are some wonderful used car salesmen, but none the less, they are not held in high regard, and Realtors are a close second.

It did not cost me a dime, just some time to chat with the young man in Queen Creek, and I did not have a perfect solution for him, but hopefully, I gave him some ideas.   I just listened and I was honest- pretty simple.

Buyers are saavy, they have choices, and good, qualified buyers are becoming harder to come by- so if you don’t listen- they will find an agent who will-they have choices.

Continue Reading


  1. Jayson

    August 5, 2008 at 1:40 am

    You’d be surprised how many agents didn’t call me back when I was buying a home a few years back.

    I was surprised that I actually had to email and call a few of them before actually speaking with one …I always just imagined they were all on vacation.

    Needless to say, it wasn’t hard for an agent to impress me after being ignored for a few days.

  2. first time home buyers loan

    August 5, 2008 at 2:12 am

    to Jayson

    not actually on vacation but they might get more business or they may be overloaded with work thats why they not call back.

  3. Ginger Wilcox

    August 5, 2008 at 2:43 am

    The other key is just because someone isn’t qualified today doesn’t mean they should be ignored.
    a) they might be future buyers (I plan to be in the business for a while)
    b) they probably know other potential buyers (some of my best referrals sources are from people who I have never helped purchase a home)

  4. Mike Taylor

    August 5, 2008 at 4:01 am

    I am always shocked when I hear these stories especially in the current the market conditions. I just had a very similar experience with a lady from out of town. We talked on the phone about what she was looking for and then I emailed her some homes she might be interested in. She wrote me back the next day in awe that I actually listened to her. While I was appreciative, this is actually quite sad that she was shocked that I listened to her and did my job.

    • mskathywoods

      January 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      Kathleen Woods- I have had a few clients inform me that they had been ignored prior to meeting me. They mentioned having a difficult time getting agents to show them homes and return calls and emails. Being a great agent requires listening skills, patience, and clear communication. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like if you didn’t follow through from the start.

  5. Holli Boyd

    August 5, 2008 at 5:06 am

    this is how i met my husband-to-be – last summer he was looking for a home – i was the 4th agent he spoke with. he had similar comments … never followed up, went on vacation and never called after, laughed in his face when he said how much he wanted to spend and what he wanted (seriously). i never did any of those things and found him a great multi-family where we both live. so i got a commission and the man of my dreams 🙂

    but i have to admit there have been a few i have let slip through the cracks – this week my goal is setting up systems for all leads. i am now referring out, and keeping track of, anyone i dont have the inclination to work with (whether location or needs is not a right fit for me). i figure it’s a win-win as long as the other agent works as hard as i do 🙂

  6. Matthew Rathbun

    August 5, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Ah, the simply act of answering the phone and listening. I am amazed in our market place which is very challenging (500 listings in our county and only 7 sold last month and 8 the month before) about the number of consumers who I hear complain that no agents are calling them back or returning e-mails. Very sad for the industry, but great for those few agents who still consider it a career and know how important it is to communicate.

  7. Glenn fm Naples

    August 5, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Two things come to mind reading this article

  8. Glenn fm Naples

    August 5, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Darn it! My finger slipped. 🙁 (Wish there was an edit function – idea)

    1) We have two ears and one mouth – listening is more important than talking.
    2) Some do not follow the Golden Rule – which is found in the Preamble to the Code of Ethics. “In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.” ”

    Is there any wonder why we are either one step above or below a used car salesperson?

  9. Jeremy Hart

    August 5, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I found myself failing to do this yesterday. I was talking a customer who had a need that sounded similar to hundreds I’d heard before. I just couldn’t wait for him to as the question because I KNEW THE ANSWER! When he asked, I was ready …

    Then I got it wrong. I thought I knew the question, but his situation was a little bit different, and I wasn’t listening. Glenn, you’re right – two ears, one mouth, use them proportionately.

    Listening Fail.

  10. Mack in Atlanta

    August 5, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Listening is an art form. I have found it very useful to set down with prospective clients and actually take notes during our conversation. Not only am I listening but I am able to then focus more on their wants and desires.

  11. Vicki Moore

    August 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Woo hoo Holli. I’ll keep that in mind. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.



Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

The one easy job interview question that often trips up applicants

(EDITORIAL) The easiest interview questions can be the hardest to answer, don’t let this one trip you up – come prepared!



Women sitting nervously representing waiting for a remote job interview.

A job interview is tough, and preparing for them can seem impossible. There are some questions you can expect: what is your experience in this position? How would you handle this situation? And so on.

But what about this question: what makes you happy? Though it may seem straightforward, getting to the right answer is not such an easy path.

Work engagement

According to research, less and less employees feel like they are truly engaged at work. Some blame the work environment but truth be told, it is not a company’s responsibility to make you happy.

Without a passion for what you are doing, you will never enjoy the job.

It is the best case for everyone. More engaged workers are more productive in addition to feeling like they serve a purpose.

Do your due diligence

So before finding yourself in an interview where you have to take an awkward pause before answering this question, the best thing is to do some research. It all starts with the job search.

When looking for a job it is easy to get caught up in high profile company names and perks.

For instance, although “Social Media Coordinator” may not be your thing, the position is open at the cool advertising agency downtown. Or perhaps the company offers flexible hours and free lunch Fridays. The problem is that these perks aren’t worth it in the long run. Working for a cool company can be exciting at first, but it is not sustainable without passion for the position.

It’s important to pay attention to is the position you are applying for.

Is this work that you are passionate about? Take a look at the job responsibilities and functions. Besides figuring out if those are things that you can do, ask yourself if they are things that you want to do. Is this an opportunity that will match your strengths and give you purpose?

Let your passion protrude

With all things considered, when asked “what makes you happy” at the next interview, you will be able to answer honestly. Your passion will be apparent without having to put on an act.

Even if they don’t ask that question, there is no downside to knowing what makes you happy.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!