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Is there an “L” on my forehead?

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Is there an L on my forehead?


I showed 3 properties yesterday to buyer customers who have been looking for some time, are in no rush to buy and know they have the upper hand in this market. These customers are professionals, they are educated, use all the tools available to them on the Internet and are waiting for that right house at the right price.

These customers also understand the inner workings of real estate and how important it is to work with a Realtor that knows the area, has an established relationship with other agents and will be honest with them about their choices. This is what happened at the last showing. Remember that most showings in Miami are “listing agent must accompany” and very seldom will a house be on lock box (unless it’s vacant, or it’s a non-local agent).

When we were done looking at the property, the listing agent handed me 5 property flyers with his contact information and decided to explain that those other properties may also fit my customers’ needs. Without being rude, I took the flyers and walked outside with my customers.

I did not even have to say a word, the customers looked at me with a puzzled look and went off without pause,

“Is this guy for real?

I bet his contact information is all over those flyers!

Does he honestly believe he understands our needs better than our own agent?

Does he think we don’t know how to look for properties on the web?

What kind of service is he doing to his seller if he’s handing out other listing information when we’re looking at this particular house?”.

Oh how I wish all my customers were this vocal, all I could do was laugh. So when you have one of those “Is there an “L” on my forehead?” moments, remember that today’s consumer DOES notice.

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Charleston real estate blog

    February 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Ines, I share your pain, I just wrote about an agent who had to meet us at a property to show his listing.

    “Not only did the agent not simply let us view the home but he was pushing his listing as a great investment, the best this, the greatest that, pointing out this, that and the other, etc. He didn’t know my clients, he didn’t know what they were looking for, it was just all about his listing. Maybe my clients would have liked the property more if he wasn’t so pushy, maybe not. But they remarked about his boorish behavior after we got into the car and drove off to see the next home on our list.”

    I don’t like “pushy” salespeople. We’re not selling used cars. My clients didn’t either.

  2. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Howard, I don’t criticize “pushy”, some people like that and it’s not up to me to say what style is right or wrong. You and I are obviously not pushy. There is a defined line of what to do and not to do with someone else’s customers – it’s not a fine line, it’s not questionable, it’s just RUDE.

    If you offend the buyer’s agent? what are the chances those people will buy that listing? What are the chances that agent will keep showing your listings? If you behave like that at a showing, I wonder how you will behave during the transaction…..I personally don’t want to find out.

  3. Charleston real estate blog

    February 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Ines, who really likes pushy? And no one that I know likes rude. There is too much desperation that leads to this kind of behavior. Think about this, did you get dozens of emails every day showcasing listings a couple of years ago. As if we can’t search the MLS for exactly what our clients might be looking for without a “reminder” about this or that listing.

    Pull don’t push might be far more effective.

  4. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Howard – I think we’re preaching to the choir here. I do think some people may not like pushy but assume pushy means more aggressive when it comes to negotiating. There are some agents in my local market that keep listings on the market after they have closed so that when you call their office to make an appointment they can say “that one is no longer available, but I can fax you 3 others that are similar”………it’s just WRONG!

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    February 8, 2008 at 5:35 am

    It’s the difference between aggressive and assertive. You don’t have to use a sledgehammer to negotiate. Oh well, they’ll always be out there in this and other fields.

  6. Missy Caulk

    February 8, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I think it is a backhanded way to say, “your Realtor may not be doing their job, so here are some more properties to consider”. Rude is a better word than pushy.

  7. monika

    February 8, 2008 at 6:17 am

    I know an agent who got fired by her seller for doing something similar. She stood in the kitchen of her listing and started promoting one of her other listings. Unbeknownst to her the seller was next door with a baby monitor and heard every word she said.

  8. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Missy – I totally agree, and my customers saw right through it.

    Monika – It is similar to those doctors that have to see patients in quantity now because of the insurance problems – it becomes a meat market and the personal touch is lost as well as business ethics.

  9. Greg Cremia

    February 8, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    This agent’s desperation is proof that this type of sales is not working anymore. I hope that he and his kind never figure it out.

  10. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I’m with you Greg!

  11. Chris Lengquist

    February 8, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “listing agent must accompany”

    I don’t think I’d survive long in your market. Mine would say “don’t bother me unless you have a question concerning the writing of a contract.”

    I mean, I’m not trying to be rude, but what a Colossal waste of my time. Of any listing agent’s time.

    Sorry for my comments. I just didn’t think anyone did this anymore. 🙁

  12. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Chris – it’s a huge issue, but we get used to it here. A lot of agents are so irresponsible that home owners cannot trust their property to a lock box. We just had a vacant property on lock box and showed up to find the master bedroom ceiling light had been stolen.

    Then proper etiquette becomes what the “listing agent’s role” is in the showing – I personally open the door, tell the cooperating agent what the main features of the property are and get out of the way.

  13. Charleston real estate blog

    February 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Chris, if it were a very high end property, then, a listing agent who meets and opens the property for a buyers agent is very understandable and generally speaking, they are very professional and simply answer a question if asked. They are “protecting” the property rather than using a lockbox for showings.

    In the situation I was describing, the parents were looking at buying a condo for their child in college rather than on campus living or renting an apartment. The price range was certainly not luxury, the seller must be a nervous wreck to not allow a lockbox. The agent probably was the only one in town who would agree to those showing terms and what you get is what you get.

  14. ines

    February 8, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    You get the same nut jobs here for Luxury properties – the ones that have to point out “here’s the kitchen” – but I’m not complaining am I?

  15. Mary Shelsby

    February 13, 2008 at 8:56 am

    We had an agent that did this in Rochester. In fact, not only did he hand out literature on his listings but also all other property in the area, with his business card clipped on top. He’d hand it right to my clients! About a year ago he opened his own shop and has been doing a ton of recruiting but no one has joined his operation. I keep waiting for a “going out of business” sign to appear.

  16. Ines

    February 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Mary – I wonder what these people think when they do this or are they so socially inept that they don’t realize it’s rude? Imagine having that guy for a broker?

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Opinion Editorials

6 skills humans have that AI doesn’t… yet

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s not unreasonable to be concerned about the growing power and skill of AI, but here are a few skills where we have the upper hand.

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Man drawing on a roll of butcher paper, where AI cannot express themselves yet.

AI is taking over the workforce as we know it. Burgers are already being flipped by robotic arms (and being flipped better), and it’s only a matter of time before commercial trucks and cars will be driven by robots (and, probably, be driven better).

It may feel unnerving to think about the shrinking number of job possibilities for future humans – what jobs will be around for humans when AI can do almost everything better than we can?

To our relief (exhale!), there are a few select skills that humans will (hopefully) always be better at than AI. The strengths that we have over AI fall into 3 general categories: Ability to convey emotion, management over others, and creativity.

Let’s break it down: Here are 6 skills that we as humans should be focusing on right now.

Our ability to undertake non-verbal communication

What does this mean for humans? We need to develop our ability to understand and communicate body language, knowing looks, and other non-verbal cues. Additionally, we need to refine our ability to make others feel warm and heard – if you work in the hospitality industry, mastering these abilities will give you an edge over the AI technologies that might replace you.

Our ability to show deep empathy to customers

Unlike AI, we share experiences with other humans and can therefore show empathy to customers. Never underestimate how powerful your deep understanding of being human will be when you’re pitted against a robot for a job. It might just be the thing that gives you a cutting edge.

Our ability to undertake growth management

As of this moment, humans are superior to AI when it comes to managing others. We are able to support organization members in developing their skillsets and, due to our coaching ability, we are able to help others to grow professionally. Take that, AI!

Our ability to employ mind management

What this essentially means is that we can support others. Humans have counseling skills, which means we are able to help someone in distress, whether that stems from interpersonal relationships or professional problems. Can you imagine an AI therapist?

Our ability to perform collective intelligence management

Human creativity, especially as it relates to putting individual ideas together to form an innovative new one, gives us a leg up when competing against AI. Humans are able to foster group thought, to manage and channel it, to create something bigger and better than what existed before. Like, when we created AI in the first place.

Our ability to realize new ideas in an organization

Think: Elevator pitch. Humans are masters of marketing new ideas and are completely in-tune with how to propose new concepts to an organization because, you guessed it, we too are human. If the manager remains human in the future (fingers crossed!), then we know what to say to them to best sell our point of view.

Using what we know, it’s essential for almost all of us to retrain for an AI-driven economy that is most likely just a few years away. My advice for my fellow humans? Develop the parts of you that make you human. Practice eye contact and listening. Think about big pictures and the best way to manage others. Sharpen your mind with practicing creative processes. And do stay up to date with current trends in AI tech. Sooner or later, these babies are bound to be your co-workers.

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Opinion Editorials

Questions you wished recruiters would answer

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Job searching is anxiety inducing, and not getting feedback can be tough. What can job seekers, recruiters, and HR do to make it easier?

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Two men interviewing at a table, job searching.

Job searching can be frustrating and stressful – not to mention anxiety-driven – but also sometimes filled with hope and excitement for a new opportunity on the horizon. Most people aren’t huge fans of multiple interviews, constantly selling themselves, or the uncertainty of when an exciting offer will come their way. Here are some considerations to try to put it in to a healthy perspective.

Yes, you will feel stressed and anxious. If you can, allow yourself to accept these feelings as part of your journey in life. Take note of what can you do to move forward, and hopefully it will propel your energy into time and space that is well spent.

Just know that you are not alone on a myriad of questions that no one has really answered for you. That is mostly due to the other side of the table which usually includes Human Resources and a Hiring Manager.

Question: What is the status of my application?

Answer: It really depends. Did you apply online? Is it sitting in an ATS (Applicant Tracking System = software to track job applicants and open job requisitions)? Has anyone looked at it? Have you gone through a recruiter and are waiting to hear back? Have you sent it to a friend or former colleague who works at that institution? Do we know if this position is still open?

Ideas to move forward: If there is anyone you can get in touch with about your application, do it. Send a polite email to them asking if there’s any chance if the position is still open and/or if your application has been reviewed. If there is no one to get in touch with, keep moving forward in your job searching. ATS’s are GREAT for the employer. They help track applicants and scan for keywords. The challenge is they may not be great for the job seeker and might be sitting in a black hole. Consider that 300 job searching applications are sitting there with yours.

It’s not that you are not good enough. And it’s not that you don’t have what it takes. It’s that your resume is combined with a lot of other information and may not even have been reviewed. They may have also filled the position and didn’t take the posting down.

OR, clients change their minds all the time – maybe they are going in a new direction with this role. See if you can find out the status first. And if you can’t, move on. You can learn more about ATS here from Jobscan.

Question: May I have feedback from my interview(s)?

Answer: Most likely, no. They may give you some simple answer “You didn’t quite have the experience they were looking for” or “We’ve hired an internal applicant.” Without getting into too many details and legal guidelines (that I’m not even sure I’m aware of), company representatives often cannot give too much feedback to an interview for fear of being sued. They don’t want to be sued for ageism, sexism, etc. so it’s easier to not give any feedback.

Please excuse the gross oversimplification here, but also think about the company. They may be trying to recruit new employees for 100s of positions. If they interview even 3-5 people per position, they just don’t have the time to give detailed feedback to every interview. Try to think back to a time that maybe you had a crush on someone and or were dating and it just didn’t fit or feel right. Did you want to have to give a detailed explanation or did you just hope you (and they) could move on? Move on if it’s not a right fit. NEXT.

Question: If not a fit for this role, am I fit for other roles within the organization?

Answer: You can certainly ask this if you are given a rejection (and not ghosted). The truth is, the team (or people) you were interviewing with are most likely not concerned with too many other roles in the organization. They may not have been briefed on what others are looking for nor care – going back to the time thing, they just don’t have a lot of it.

However, it could be worth asking on the off-chance that Jim from another department did mention to them he was looking for someone like you. However, if you don’t hear back on that, definitely do not take it personally. They likely have no clue and it may take you applying to another position or another person in your network helping you to identify this other role during the job searching process.

Question: Why did the recruiter ghost me?

Answer: Honestly, I’m sorry that they did. It’s crappy and doesn’t feel good. It’s disrespectful and really doesn’t leave a good impression. I don’t have an excuse for them other than to say that they’re busy working to fill roles. It’s unlikely that they are on a 100% commission basis but if they are, think about how they need to move on to the next thing to keep food on their table. And even though most get paid a decent base salary, each role does lead to commission for them. It is part of their job responsibilities to find and hire the right talent. Recruiters have a lot of metrics they need to hit and they only have so much time in the day like everyone else. They may not have the luxury of time to follow up with every person that is not the right fit.

I still believe they should let you know, but chalk it up as something out of control, do your best to move on.

Request to HR/Recruiters

If there is any way at all that you can make sure you keep in touch with your job searching candidates (even if it’s to say you don’t have new updates), you will really help their anxiety and help them balance timelines and possibly other interviews and offers.

As this article from Evil HR lady shares, if you are unable to give them feedback regarding their rejection for a position, consider offering a couple things you feel they could approve upon. Your advice may not even be job specific but here are some ideas to consider that may be helpful to the job seeker:

  • Make sure you answer the phone with enthusiasm and not sound like I interrupted you or you just woke up.
  • Be sure to do company and role research for every single interview.
  • Dress to impress – even if it’s a virtual interview (and don’t forget to test your camera and audio before).
  • Turn off your phone and IM notifications when interviewing to minimize distractions.
  • Thank you emails or snail mail are still more than welcome and a nice gesture.
  • Google yourself and do a quick look at what a recruiter might see if they Google you – are impressive and professional details coming up? If not, you may want to work on pushing out some thoughtful content.
  • Tread lightly with insincere LinkedIn connection requests.

You cannot control the process so you must hold onto your hope and continue to make efforts. Hopefully this help shares some insights and helps to normalize this process.

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Opinion Editorials

Woman fired for premarital sex, raises questions of company culture

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) This unfortunate circumstance for a former David Ramsey employee has raised the age-old conversation of how to enforce a company culture.

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Company culture being established around a meeting table with dark colored drinks and notebooks.

America, the land of the free, and the opinionated. And in company culture, this is no different.

Over the years the US has grown and changed. A nation that over the centuries formed from the amalgamation of beliefs and cultures. Now let us be frank, there is a majority in certain beliefs and practices. Those groups can also sometimes come with rather large mouth pieces as well, but that isn’t always a bad thing. People’s moral and cultural compasses influence the world around us. Ultimately, we can create cults or communities. We can be harmful or helpful with how we choose to influence those around us.

When you combine that with economics, though, that’s when things can get tricky. The difficulties of mixing the cooperate world with morals and beliefs can get expensive. There are numerous instances of companies being sued for wrongful termination. Currently, Dave Ramsey’s company has recently come into the spotlight due to a lawsuit being filed against them by a disgruntled employee. The company culture has strict rules against certain extracurricular activities. Now usually people would think they would mean recreational drugs, but not in this case. As of March 8th, Ramsey Solutions has reportedly fired 8 employees over the last 5 years for engaging in premarital sex.

Caitlin O’Connor is the latest employee to deal with this situation. Now, while some of us may have seen this company culture and decided to just keep life and work separate, there’s another difficulty here. Ms. O’Connor has recently become pregnant, which leaves no doubt about her outside of work activities. Now there is a number of different emotions that happen here. A woman who is now pregnant is losing her job. This may be a person who has no desire to get married and now she’s thrust into unemployment for doing nothing but enjoying a part of life. It is a frustrating situation to say the least on her side.

In that frustration on the part of Ms. O’Connor, however, there are also similar issues on the part of the company. While they have set up this company culture and laid down rules for all their employees, they now have to uphold and find a replacement for this resource completely unexpectedly. It was not only clearly laid out in their company guidelines that they do not condone this behavior, nor its implications, but Ms. O’Connor openly admitted that she was aware of the implications of her actions as well. This company has built a community with expectations and is willing to uphold them. That is their right.

I remember growing up there was a cake shop in Colorado that refused to create a cake for a gay couple based upon their religious beliefs. It was back in 2012. In 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that the shop had the right to refuse service based on their beliefs, which to be honest was my expectation. However, in the process of this that particular his business has not flourished. Ultimately one has to decide whether they want to follow their beliefs in the face of economic hardship. It’s a true show of faith of course but also, is it practical.

Living your life, your way, is the point of this country. We have to remember to share that space with those who believe differently. Bringing no harm to others is one thing, but can we truly be a common people if we refuse to go outside of our own beliefs and morals?

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