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How To Vibe-Right in Real Life and in Real Estate

Real Life Is About People and Relationships.

A single guy spies a single girl standing over there – inspecting exotic horderves.  Sensing his gaze, Tammy turns his way.  Smiles.  Then touches her red hair.

Bill smiles back, takes a drink of his drink, glides across the room and introduces himself.  Nice. Whee.

Things are vibing nicely. They’re both funny and smart.  She laughs and touches his forearm. He leans in, “So, are you seeing anyone?

Her twinkling blue eyes dim and her smile slumps.  She’s single, but she does date a guy named Johnny.  They aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend and both are free to see others, but because Bill asked a clumsy question, Tammy’s attention shifts from Bill to thoughts of Johnny.

If she answers “no“, is she being honest with Bill or disrespectful to Johnny, or both?

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If she answers “yes” or “sort-of” , will Bill blow her off, get the wrong impression or cool his jets?

Who knows what will happen next?  What we do know is that Bill has dorked it up, making their hook-up and happily-ever-after harder.

The Real Estate Business Is Also About People and Relationships.

Tammy is looking good; prepared, savvy and motivated.  Today she’s holding an Open House Event from 2pm to 4pm.  It’s a bright afternoon, birds chirp-chirp, house hunters are out and about and Tammy’s excited.

As prospects and suspects flow through the home, Tammy chats and charms, asks smart questions, listens and shares appreciated answers.  Things are vibing nicely – yea!  Then she springs the question, “So, are you working with a REALTOR®?”

Thud! Sniffle. Boo hoo.

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They all say “Yes“, which means no-go and bye-bye-opportunity for Tammy.

Tammy resets the thermostat, checks to make sure the back and side doors are locked, turns off the lights and leaves; wondering why everyone she meets is working with another agent.

How-Not-To Vibe-Right.

Bill and Tammy both have the same problem.  The real world and the real estate world are the same, both are about people and relationships, and these two are killing their good vibe and their own success by asking a question that does nothing to fan the fire of attraction or forward connection.  Bill and Tammy are asking blunt, clumsy and thoughtlessly worded questions.

Bill:  Are you seeing anyone?

Tammy:  Are you working with a REALTOR®?

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Questions like these will usually cause undesired answers and actions.  It will cause the other person to feel guilty and uncertain about pursuing new adventures and relationships.

Or, as is common in the real estate business, it will give them a chance to conveniently Blow-You-Off, smothering any chance for you to get to know each other.  Civillians know that telling a real estate agent that they are working with another agent is like pressing the Holy Cross into the forehead of a Vampire or busting a silver cap in the ass of a Werewolf. They know saying “Yes” will kill the inquisition and agent follow-up; murdering your opportunity to nurture a relationship, serve or solve in the process.

In real life and in the real estate business, asking a “are you seeing anyone” direct-question is the kiss of death.  Don’t do it.  Instead, consider this…

How-To Vibe-Right.

The best and first option is to simply not ask the direct question.  There are plenty of other interesting and engaging indirect-questions a clever person could ask to uncover and discover if another person is in a committed relationship.  I’m not going to bore you with a laundry list of those types of questions because I know you’re clever.

The second option comes into play when you feel you have to ask.  The key to success in these cases is to ask the question, but use better words.

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This is how I’d ask if I was Bill:  “Are you in a committed relationship?”

This is how I’d ask if I was Tammy:  “Are you currently committed to working with one REALTOR®?”

The reason I would ask this way is because my version of the question is hyper-focused on the word “commitment“, not fuzzy-focused on words like “are you seeing anyone” or “have you talked with or interacted with another agent“.  Because “commitment” is something most everyone takes seriously, unless they really are “committed“, they’ll answer honestly and say “no”.  Also, because (imho) my version is asked correct and clumsy free, the “no” answer is truthful and does no disrespect.  Because of this, they won’t have guilt feeling about others they have a uncommitted casual relationship with and nurturing a new and meaningful relationship is possible.

So, what do you think about my point of view?  I’ll confess, I may be wrong about this, but I’m not in doubt and I KNOW this; if you’re asking this question, “Are you working with a REALTOR®”, their fib answer is almost always “Yes”, when the reality isNo“.  Which means no hook-up, no relationship, no one to serve, no paycheck.

So if you want to vibe-right, nurture new relationships and succeed, focus on them, ask engaging and interesting questions, listen for clues, and most of all, don’t kill your success by asking klutzy and fuzzy questions.

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Cheers, Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit

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Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Fred Romano

    January 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Great post Ken, but why ask this question? Why not ask “if you are not interested in this home, can I assist you in finding others?”… Let them answer then determine your course of questioning.

    • Ken Brand

      January 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      True Fred, there are many conversationally correct and indirect questions that can be asked. Like your’s for example. Happy New Year Fred, hope it’s a great one for you.

  2. Jordan Gilbreath

    January 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Agreed! Being asked if you’re working with an agent gets a similar knee-jerk response as a shoe salesman asking if I need help finding anything. I say “no” just to get them to leave me alone! Thanks for this.

    • Ken Brand

      January 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Thanks for the comment. I’m with you. I like how they do it at Saks and Neimans, they tell you what’s on sale, then they ask you to call on them if you need them, then they excuse themselves. Much better.

  3. Bryan Thompson

    January 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Ken, you are right on. There is a definite vibe that Realtors set up with people, and those who get it will hang in there when the market is rough and those who don’t will continue to flounder. It’s really not just in real estate, but in anything we do. I struggled in sales for years. I didn’t think it was for me. For me, I never felt like my vibe came across natural. I spent 10 years as a pastor, where you do build up a vibe, but a VERY different kind. I felt funny when I felt like I was asking for a sale. But I have come to learn it’s always a vibe of some sort.

    I have known agents who know the vibe, and whether or not they’re trying to sell me a house, it’s invigorating to be around them. Whether they’re extroverts or introverts, you can always tell when they “Get” the vibe. Thanks for posting!

    • Ken Brand

      January 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks for your comment Bryan. All the best to you in the New Year:-)

  4. Real Estate Agent

    January 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Completely agree! It’s all about keeping doors open and relationships blossoming. In any service or sales industry (real estate being no exception!) customers want to be helped.

    • Ken Brand

      January 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks. If you’re a cool person in real life, you’re most likely going to be successful in the real estate business. Of course, the definition of “cool” is subjective, but you know what I mean. Cheers:-)

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