Listen to the Story – Even if You’ve Heard it Already
Many sellers are contacting their Real Estate agent because they’ve accepted the fact they will lose their home if they don’t make something happen – and fast. Maybe they are planners and realize that they are not going to be able to stretch the dollars quite as far as they thought. Maybe they’ve already missed some payments. Or … the letters and knocks at the door have begun….
We are hearing a lot of different stories, many of them very sad and depressing. It’s important to listen. Listen to the details even when you know how their story is going to end. It’s hard for me not to go as far as even feeling their pain. These appointments take longer, but sometimes you just have to accept that. Many times the seller(s) are opening up a very personal part of their life with The Real Estate Agent they just met when they opened the door – go ahead and just listen.
Regardless of the painful realization that often occurs with homeowner’s facing tough times and having to sell their home, it’s important that you remain the professional. That’s a hard lesson for some of us – me especially – holding back even the tear forming when I’m told that Mrs died after a painful ending, Mr’s company downsized, Brother committed suicide, and Daughter was mugged – all in the last six months.
Sometimes I Worry
I remember the day just last September when I went to pick up LittleOne5 from her first day at Kindergarten. I couldn’t wait to see her. I waited and waited in the pick up line. “She’ll be down soon, I’m sure,” Ms. Staff said. I started seeing kids that looked familiar, but it was only the first day, I couldn’t be sure they were from her classroom. “Kindergarten takes a little more time,” Ms. Staff said as she saw me start pacing. I overheard her call the office and others on the walkie-talkie. All was calm. I was fine, I could tell the situation was under control and being handled.
In an instant – the ambiance changed. Like a flip-flop turn. “Well then where could she be?!” I looked over puzzled as I could tell the mood had changed – she wasn’t calm on her radio anymore. “We have to find her! Her mother is here! She isn’t anywhere?” The professionals I had depended on for stability were no longer in control – I freaked. I began checking the other dismissal points and saw staff on their radios trying to find her.
Had the staff continued to assure me that they were taking care of the situation and had it under control – I would have remained calm.
Stay Calm, Cool, and Collected
As Real Estate Agents it is often the same way. There are many situations that fall in our laps with issues we have to deal with. Leave your emotions. Keep the professional hat on. Stay calm. Address the problem at hand using the facts while following the process and procedure you have set in place. Be the rock. Let your clients know that they are in good hands. Don’t panic. When presenting information that could cause distress – remain even keeled. When the professional breaks – the scaffolding falls.
If you worry, like I tend to – do it behind their back. It’s ok to be compassionate.
Yes, I found LittleOne5, just before they put her on a bus to who-knows-where. “But Mommy, I wanted to ride the bus!”