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Opinion Editorials

Realtors in the field – dealing with narcissistic clients and agents



Narcissism no longer considered a mental disorder

A recent Washington University study reveals new information that debunks traditional theory on narcissism, how narcissists see themselves and how others see narcissists. Recently, narcissism has been completely removed from the medical profession’s classification as a mental disorder.

Because you’re in sales and a closing can rely on your ability to negotiate with different personality types be they clients or agents on the other side of the table, we have outlined below four tendencies to look out for in spotting and communicating with a narcissist.

Traditionally, it has been thought that narcissists are shallow and focus on themselves in a way that makes them totally unaware that they are narcissists, but the new studies reveal that not only are narcissists completely self aware, they are genuinely proud of their narcissistic behavior.

The new bleeding edge study confirms traditionally held beliefs that narcissists believe themselves to be superior in intelligence, humor, likability and so forth, but the element of the study that confirms self awareness of narcissism (the new finding in medical circles) is that narcissists scored highly when questioned about their having negative aspects of narcissism like arrogance, impulsive behavior and exaggeration of abilities.

Additionally, when the study interviewed people that know the narcissists, of course the score for the positive attributes dropped and the narcissist could predict with relative accuracy how others would rate their abilities (even when low).

“Am I a narcissist?”

Given these findings, if you have to ask yourself if you’re a narcissist, you aren’t one. Narcissists are completely self aware and proud to be narcissists, they choose to remain narcissists. A funny test is the following: (1) think about yourself for a moment, then (2) if you get to step two, you’re not a narcissist.

But how does that impact your business in dealing with these types? Because the definition has changed in the last year alone, below are four steps to better understanding and dealing with narcissists. I am not a therapist and don’t claim any expertise in narcissism, the below tips are based on my own experience and are simply suggestions, we look forward to hearing your own in the comments after the tips.

Step one: understand that you’re just a hater

You would think that a narcissist knowing that they are not perceived as highly as they perceive themselves would give them a reality check, but the study suggests the individuals assume people around them are not smart enough to see how amazing they are or assume that people around them are just jealous haters.

Reaction tip: in dealing with a narcissist, you should know that when you don’t understand or acknowledge their brilliance, they will automatically assume you are a hater. So if you’re dealing with a narcissist agent in negotiations, maybe start conversations with “I have really admired how creatively you have handled these contracts, I’m really impressed! Although we’re not on the exact same page with the offer numbers, I think [insert price] would give you a win with your clients and help the deal close.” None of that was about you or your clients, it was about them and reassuring them that they are brilliant.

Step two: allowing bragging

Okay, so now you know you’ll probably just be seen as a hater if you’re not complimentary. You should know that narcissistic arrogance is real and not some hidden insecurity as previously thought. This is HUGE- to me, this is the biggest dividing factor between narcissists and insecure egotistical personalities. The study shows that bragging may be a narcissist’s way of demanding the recognition they deeply believe they deserve as a way to bridge the gap between their self perceptions and how people around them perceive them.

Reaction tip: you’re at coffee with a new client, the buyer’s rep agreement has been signed and now you’re talking about preferences. Your client says that he’s bought eleven homes in his lifetime and he knows what he’s doing and really he just needs you there to process paperwork. Consider, “What a relief! I’m so glad to have someone like you as a part of this process, it is always helpful when a client is so well educated.”

Step three: don’t laugh at Sheen’s machete act

Results of the study (and other studies) reveal that narcissists maintain their self respect by misconstruing the meaning of narcissism from a negative (someone who is overly confident despite merit) and in their mind turn it into a positive (deservedly confident). Duh, winning! Research reveals that narcissists care less about being liked and more about being admired, so narcissism has been construed in their minds as a positive.

Reaction tip: Imagine you’re the listing agent on the phone with buyer’s agent and the agent goes on and on about how cocky he is and how he wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence, the last thing you want to do is poke the bear- don’t chuckle or condescend, let the narcissist believe their hype because you can’t change their mind and it is not your job. Keep a level head even when they insult you in their haze of not caring about being liked and remember that they want respect/admiration instead.

Step four: you’re not going to be BFFs

Researchers show that narcissistic personalities were viewed more positively by new acquaintances (of which they are fully aware), as their relationships tend to deteriorate over time because narcissists constantly search for “better” relationships. Also, creating a first impression is more “rewarding” for narcissists as it is less work than bridging the gap between their image of themselves and the image of them that people around them have. In other words, it’s hard work to keep up the bragging over time, so it’s more fun to brag to new people.

Reaction tip: you are at a closing with your narcissist client and you now know that she’s already impressed you with her amazing ability to buy real estate (ooh, fancy). To keep her in your network, continue garnering referrals and hopefully be her agent on the next transaction, you’ll have to passively remain part of her world. Trying to invite her to the weekly neighborhood barbeque or asking her to go shopping with you and be besties will ensure she’ll move on from you before any referral or future transaction. Keep her in your email or mailer list and at closing tell her, “I’m so impressed with how you kept your cool and were so savvy about such a complex transaction, I can’t wait for your friends to know about your success and I look forward to working with them as well, I can only hope they were as great to work with as you.” Then don’t Facebook poke her every Thursday, just let it rest.

Your takeaway:

With narcissists, it’s better to go with the grain and be complimentary. You won’t reform a narcissist, they love being narcissistic and they crave admiration despite whether or not they are liked. Keep a level head and chuckle in your head but never aloud, even when they are insulting as a means of maintaining their self perception.

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  1. Chris Somers

    April 3, 2011 at 7:11 am


    This is a terrific and amazing article. Have come across this more with agents than with clients. I think the market humbled clients more so. But many agents defintely have this persona. I love your takeaway and that is what I try to do although it is very difficult sometimes, especially during the negotiation process : )


    • Lani Rosales

      April 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Chris, a true narcissist is not humbled by any market, only people with narcissistic tendencies can be humbled according to the study. That is one of the shocking parts to me- they’ve chosen to be narcissists and not because of hidden insecurity but their belief in their self perception.

      It’s hard to remember, but narcissists are narcissists, not bad people 🙂

  2. Jacksonville short sale

    April 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Well this was very timely!

    • Lani Rosales

      April 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Are you across the table from a narcissist or working with one as a client? I personally think it’s more difficult to deal with in Southern culture because we expect people to be humble. And when they’re not, it can be off-putting, no?

  3. Fred Glick

    April 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Am I narcissistic if I have my own name as my email and website?

    • Lani Rosales

      April 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Fred, silly, that’s marketing, not narcissism 🙂

      PS: you should use your Twitter avatar as your photo… just my opinion.

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Opinion Editorials

Women-owned businesses make up 42% of all businesses – heck yeah!

(EDITORIAL) Women-owned businesses make a huge impact on the U.S economy. They make up 42% of all businesses, outpace the national growth rate by 50%, and hire billions of workers.



women-owned business

Women entrepreneurs make history in the U.S as female-owned businesses represent 42% of all businesses, while continuing to increase at DOUBLE the national growth rate!

Women are running the world, and we are here for it! The 2019 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, states 13 million women are now self-employed entrepreneurs. From 2014 to 2019, women-owned businesses grew 21%. Think that’s impressive? Well, businesses owned by women of color grew 43% within the same timeframe, with a growth rate of 50%, and currently account for 50% of all women-owned businesses! Way to go! What this also means is that women employ over 2.4 million workers who together generate $422.5 billion in revenue.

What can we learn from these women that’ll help you achieve success in your businesses?

  1. Get informed: In a male-dominated business industry, women are often at a disadvantage and face multiple biases. So, know your stuff; study, research, and when you think you know it all…dig deeper!
  2. Stay hungry: Remember why you started this journey. Write down notes and reminders, goals, and inspirations, hang them up and keep them close.
  3. Ask for advice: Life is not meant to go through alone, so ask questions. Find a mentor and talk to people who have walked a similar path. Learning from them will only benefit your business.

Many of these women found ways to use their passion to drive their business. It may not be exactly what they thought it would be when they started out, but is it ever? Everyone has to start off small and rejection is part of the process. In fact, stories of rejection often serve as inspiration and encouragement to soon-to-be self starters.

Did you know J.K Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book was turned down TWELVE times? Seven books later with over 400 million copies sold, the Harry Potter brand is currently valued at over 15 billion. While you might not become a wizard-writing fantasy legend like J.K Rowling, you sure as heck can be successful. So go for it, and chase your dreams.

If you want to support women-owned businesses, start by scrolling through Facebook or doing some research to find women-owned businesses in your community. Then, support by buying or helping to promote their products. Small businesses, especially women-owned, black women-owned, and women of color-owned, are disproportionally affected by the current economic crisis ignited by a health pandemic. So if you can, shop small and support local. And remember, there’s a girl (or more) doing a happy dance when you checkout!

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Opinion Editorials

How to increase website engagement

(EDITORIAL) A website is vital to any business, but customer engagement guarantees success. Check out these powerful tips to boost engagement.



Having a website for your business isn’t enough. If you want to grow your company, you need to maximize this digital asset by increasing user engagement. The question is, where do you begin?

What does healthy website engagement look like?

Launching a website is one of the quintessential first steps in building a business. It’s a new company’s way of saying, “We’ve arrived! See, we’re legit!” But the problem is that very few entrepreneurs and business owners know anything about building websites. So they use a drag-and-drop web builder to throw a few elements together and develop a site in a few hours.

Simply having a website isn’t enough. If it’s only a placeholder for your brand, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach people and move them from awareness to purchase. You don’t need a website – you need an engaging website.

What is user engagement?

“Put most simply, user engagement is when visitors to your site appreciate your content enough to stick around, absorb, and convert,” web design and UX optimizer Rob Wells writes. “Most importantly, when user engagement is high, you’ll find that your audience becomes more loyal. You’ll notice more return visits and higher conversions, because your website simply works.”

Signs of high user engagement include reading and absorbing content, organic comments on blog posts, social media shares, watching videos, above average time on site, high click-through rates, and low bounce rates. We’ll tell you more about how to achieve these “wins’ in the following section.

5 Tips for Boosting Engagement

Every website developer, marketing guru, and entrepreneur has their own formula for boosting engagement, but there are a few tactics that everyone can agree on. If you want to see immediate results, start by doing the following:

    1. Make it About Your Target Audience: Too many businesses make the mistake of shaping their marketing messages around themselves. They mistakenly assume that customers care about them, when the truth of the matter is that customers only care about themselves.If you want to boost engagement on your website, start by transforming your messaging. Make it about your audience. Make the customer the hero of their own story. You’re just there to guide them along and point to solutions (products and services) that may help them get from where they are now to where they want to be.
    2. Tell Stories: Cut out the sterile corporate lingo and breathe a little life into your copy. Mission statements are lame. Tell stories!The Ward & Barnes, P.A. website is a perfect example of how storytelling can cause engagement to soar. They actually include client stories, testimonials, and quotes on their homepage. This helps visitors connect with the brand and immediately establish a feeling of trust and goodwill.
    3. Eliminate Distractions: “According to research by Google, people judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second,” Website Magazine notes. “Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that visually complex websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than simpler sites.”Stop with the complex websites and sophisticated designs. You’re not a web design company – there’s no need for all of these bells and whistles! Eliminate distractions and simplify every page to one specific focal point. Anything more means you’re actually competing against yourself.
    4. Empower Your CTAs: Every page on your website should have a call-to-action (CTA). And when creating these CTAs, always ask yourself one simple question: “Why would anyone click this?”If you’re asking for an email address or sale without providing clear and direct value in return, you’re missing the point. You have to compel people to follow through.One of the best ways to empower your CTAs is to offer something in return – like a free eBook, a discount code, or a product sample. When there’s an enticing reward, people will be much more likely to follow through.
    5. Go Visual: The brain processes visuals much faster than text. Use this to your advantage by integrating visual content into your website. This means video, graphics, and original images. Skip the stock photos! However, don’t overdo it. Remember to keep it simple and avoid unnecessary distractions. Quality over quantity works every time.

Turn your website into a lead generating asset

Transform your website from a branded placeholder into a powerful, lead generating asset that procures leads, and converts them from curious visitors into profitable lifelong customers. This process can take time, but you have to begin somewhere. Start by leveraging the tips in this article and analyzing the data. Based on the numbers, you can optimize, iterate, and improve over time.

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Opinion Editorials

Idea: Color-coded face masks as the new social contract to combat COVID-19

(BUSINESS NEWS) Americans must come together on a new social contract if we have any hope of permanently reopening the economy and saving lives.



social contract: color coded wristbands covid-19

A church in Texas used a stoplight color-coded wristlet system to help churchgoers navigate the new social awkwardness of closeness. Those with green bands are comfortable with contact including high fives, yellow bands indicate someone who wants to talk but not touch, and red is for someone interested in keeping their distance altogether.

In pre-pandemic America, basic social cues were sufficient to communicate these feelings, and most violations of them were annoying but not harmful. We now live in a world where daily banalities like grocery shopping and shaking hands with a new acquaintance are now potentially dangerous – for you and those you care about.

So what is the way forward?

Humans are social beings, and much of our survival is reliant on our relationships to, and interactions with, other humans. A way forward is critical. But our brains are trained to find and read faces in an instant to assess emotion and whether that emotion indicates a presence of a threat.

Not only has this pandemic challenged our innate notions of community and safety, the scientifically healthy way forward is to cover most of our faces, which is staggeringly counter to our understanding of a threat. It is now impossible to tell whether a sunglassed-masked stranger walking into a restaurant is a robber or just a person who was walking in the sun.

But because we are humans with large brains, we are able to adapt. We are inherently compassionate and able to emotionally understand fear in others and ourselves. We are able to understand both science and social grace. In this case, the science is straightforward but the social grace is not.

Governor Abbott of Texas announced the second closure of bars and reduction of capacity in restaurants last Friday in response to the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases statewide. During the press conference he said: “Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can.”

It is this shared responsibility that we must first embrace before any meaningful reopening can proceed.

We must accept that for the indefinite future, we have a new normal. We have to adapt to these new social codes in order to protect ourselves and our neighbors. Color-coded bracelets, masks, hats, choose your accessory – this could be a way forward.

First, we must agree these measures are necessary. And we shouldn’t take them because a politician told us to or told us not to – many people feel that our government has failed to provide us with coherent guidance and leadership considering a broad social contract.

We should adapt them because if you are not free, I am not free. We can do this together.

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