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Ethics

Mouth Shut


Keep Your Mouth Shut

One of the first lessons I was told by the person showing me the ropes in real estate was, “Keep your Mouth Shut”. It’s a valuable lesson and I try to use it in all avenues of my life – I think it’s one of those that you are constantly trying to acheive but very few can attain the level of “I got it!”

Some people need a sensor button. A filter if you will. It’s important to be sensitive, you never know who you are talking to and what their story is. I’ve heard of this happening more than once… a conversation with someone who didn’t have any idea what was going on behind the scenes. The mouth opens and pours out words that can’t be taken back once uttered.

It’s Not Funny

There are some issues you might feel very strongly about being right or wrong in your book of ideals, but do you want to use them in a way to hurt someone? This applies to everyone – not only agent to client. Recently an agent insulted another, although they thought it was a hilarious joke.

Exaggerated examples…

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“Well, SallySue’s daughter had that baby- and she is 16!”
“I just can’t get over a Purple person marrying that Kryptonite!”
“I can’t believe she can be so retarded.”
“That guy I just got off the phone with sounded like he already had a six-pack too many.”
“JimmyBillBob can play the piano – you’d think he was autistic.”
“What do you mean you can’t read it? Are you dyslexic?”

It might even be that you are trying to express a point to a client using a story, “I sold a house once they swore was haunted. I was waiting for the UFO to fly overhead.” or “I’ve had a deal with that agent before, her contracts are a mess – I think she’s dyslexic.”

Just Hush

When it’s presented as over-the-top examples as above, I’m sure you think it’s way too ridiculous to be in real life, but guess what? It happens. What could be saying in a laughing joke – could be received very personally while they have a spouse suffering from alcoholism. Or a child with a disability. Get the drift ? shhhhh.

If you can’t say something nice…. don’t say it at all.

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Written By

Kim resides and works selling Real Estate in Chester County, PA. She is a blogger and also writes for her own blog, West of Philly Burbs and Mothers Fighting for Others. Kim is a Social Networking Junkie and you can connect with her in many places including Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Sarah Cooper

    March 12, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Ahhh, this is such an easy thing to do that it’s not even funny.

  2. Lisa Sanderson

    March 12, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Good advice, Kim, and thanks for the reminder. Don’t confuse insensitivity with edginess.

  3. Missy Caulk

    March 12, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I hate mauve carpet.

    Opps the buyers loved it. This said back my first year in the business. 1995

    I learned,”keep your mouth shut”.

  4. KimWood

    March 12, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Sarah… I would agree with you… it’s easy for most of us – and we probably don’t even have to ‘think ‘about it… however, after hearing about my friend’s experience, it showed me that it isn’t always the case.

    Lisa… Insensitivity vs. Edginess – true, but not excuse for blatant insensitivity when insulting another. I’m sure that isn’t what you meant though.

    Missy…. ahh yes… I’ve been guilty of that… Check out that black foil wallpaper!

  5. Jill Wente

    March 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Kim:
    I too learned the keep your mouth shut rule the hard way. I was in my first year in real estate and eager to show my knowledge of real estate. , I was showing a home to first time home buyers.

    I was showing a home to first time home buyers and quickly pointed out that the water storage tank the home backed up to would affect the home’s future resale value.

    The husband turned to me and said “I bet the home gets real good water pressure”. Lesson learned.

    I still point out the items that affect future resale value but I wait until my clients show an interest in the home.

  6. Dan Connolly

    March 13, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I sat at a closing once and the buyers were telling everyone what a great agent I was, not like their first agent (they named him) who was a totally incompetent mess, unprofessional….well, she went on and on.

    The agent was the closing attorney’s husband. The attorney was professional enough not to blink at the closing. She did, however write a letter to the buyer telling her that she would be charged with slander, and to expect to be summoned to court. She didn’t follow through, but the buyer had a few sleepless nights.

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