Bad Behaviour From the Other Agent

Bad Behaviour From the Other Agent

Suze Cumming | September 12, 2019

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In recent conversations with some MCNE grads, they talked to me about the difficulties they are having with agents on the other side of offer negotiations.  They are experiencing everything from ghosting to aggressive combatant behaviour.   Bad behaviour on the part of the other agent is, at best, a block to the sharing of information essential to create win/win transactions and at worst, a deal-breaker.

It feels to me like there is an increase in the frequency of bad behaviour from the agent on the other side of the transaction.  Why is this happening and what can we, as professional negotiators, do to protect our industry and to protect our clients when faced with these difficult agents?

The answer to why is likely tied to poor training, a modern culture of pretention, limited industry compliance on rules and ethics, Reality TV and international trends in culture.   What can we do about it is harder to understand.    As a trainer, it’s frustrating because the agents that need negotiation training the most, often don’t think they do. It’s a classic case of them not knowing what they don’t know.  We have put 5000 REALTORS in Canada through the CNE courses and this is less than 5%.  How do we affect the rest?

I think that modelling good behaviour and promoting professional best practices to your colleagues can help.  Let’s work together to get the word out there that for organized real estate to survive the technology disruption, we need to raise the bar of professionalism.

But in the meantime, how do we deal with this bad behaviour at the moment when it is having a negative effect on our client’s deal?

I think the first step is to understand the other agent.   Why are they ghosting or why are they being combative?  Ask simple questions from a place of curiosity and not from judgement.  If they feel that you are also being combative, the conflict will escalate.   We want them to change their behaviour and we all know how difficult that can be.   Be professional, complimentary, curious and open-minded.  Give them the space to save face.  If they feel that you are being critical of their behaviour, they will defend it with more bad behaviour.

Seek first to understand.  This approach should soften their defensiveness a bit and when you feel that they are a little more open, introduce the idea that while each party has unique objectives, all parties share the main objective of wanting to get the transaction done.  Propose that both agents work together to see if there is a common ground that meets the needs of both parties.   Don’t use too much Negotiation jargon as it may make them feel inferior.  You want to build collaboration and showing respect is important.  Set your emotions aside and be take the high road.

Your client is counting on you to do your very best.

Suze Cumming | September 12, 2019

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In recent conversations with some MCNE grads, they talked to me about the difficulties they are having with agents on the other side of offer negotiations.  They are experiencing everything from ghosting to aggressive combatant behaviour.   Bad behaviour on the part of the other agent is, at best, a block to the sharing of information essential to create win/win transactions and at worst, a deal-breaker.

It feels to me like there is an increase in the frequency of bad behaviour from the agent on the other side of the transaction.  Why is this happening and what can we, as professional negotiators, do to protect our industry and to protect our clients when faced with these difficult agents?

The answer to why is likely tied to poor training, a modern culture of pretention, limited industry compliance on rules and ethics, Reality TV and international trends in culture.   What can we do about it is harder to understand.    As a trainer, it’s frustrating because the agents that need negotiation training the most, often don’t think they do. It’s a classic case of them not knowing what they don’t know.  We have put 5000 REALTORS in Canada through the CNE courses and this is less than 5%.  How do we affect the rest?

I think that modelling good behaviour and promoting professional best practices to your colleagues can help.  Let’s work together to get the word out there that for organized real estate to survive the technology disruption, we need to raise the bar of professionalism.

But in the meantime, how do we deal with this bad behaviour at the moment when it is having a negative effect on our client’s deal?

I think the first step is to understand the other agent.   Why are they ghosting or why are they being combative?  Ask simple questions from a place of curiosity and not from judgement.  If they feel that you are also being combative, the conflict will escalate.   We want them to change their behaviour and we all know how difficult that can be.   Be professional, complimentary, curious and open-minded.  Give them the space to save face.  If they feel that you are being critical of their behaviour, they will defend it with more bad behaviour.

Seek first to understand.  This approach should soften their defensiveness a bit and when you feel that they are a little more open, introduce the idea that while each party has unique objectives, all parties share the main objective of wanting to get the transaction done.  Propose that both agents work together to see if there is a common ground that meets the needs of both parties.   Don’t use too much Negotiation jargon as it may make them feel inferior.  You want to build collaboration and showing respect is important.  Set your emotions aside and be take the high road.

Your client is counting on you to do your very best.

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Summertime Reflections on Change

Summertime Reflections on Change

Suze Cumming | September 5, 2019

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Four weeks on my boat Reepicheep sailing around Vancouver Island was good for my heart, my soul and my mindset about the work we do in Real Estate.

My most important takeaway was my reflections on change. Like the Real Estate Industry, the wind and the weather changes constantly.  This is what makes sailing interesting.     What I want in terms of wind is not part of the equation.   If the wind is too light we travel slowly or choose to run the engine.  If the wind is on our nose, we beat into it working the boat and the crew hard and dealing with some crew members sea sickness. If the wind is strong and astern we fly like an eagle and our hearts sing, and if the wind is gale force we hunker down in a beautiful anchorage and wait out the storm.

The real estate industry is changing.  Of course it is.  Nothing stays the same and the only constant in the world is change.  So, what are you going to do about it?   Wishing for it not to change won’t work.  Denying that change is happening is sort of like belonging to the flat earth society.  Fighting change is interesting but as we’ve seen from the Toronto Real Estate Boards battle with the competition bureau, an expensive and losing battle.

What if we embrace the change and be a part of the exciting new environment that is emerging?  What if we allow our mindset to open up to the possibilities that are developing moment by moment in real estate? Change will lead to more change and our future success lies in our ability to see the truth, embrace the uncertainty, stop defending the old model, serve the consumer and be willing to change.    Change is hard.   Change is essential.

Someone I met along my travels this summer said to me, people can’t change.  BS.  People can change but it’s deep work.  Let’s work together to be a vibrant part of the industry that we know and love.

 

Suze Cumming | September 5, 2019

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Four weeks on my boat Reepicheep sailing around Vancouver Island was good for my heart, my soul and my mindset about the work we do in Real Estate.

My most important takeaway was my reflections on change. Like the Real Estate Industry, the wind and the weather changes constantly.  This is what makes sailing interesting.     What I want in terms of wind is not part of the equation.   If the wind is too light we travel slowly or choose to run the engine.  If the wind is on our nose, we beat into it working the boat and the crew hard and dealing with some crew members sea sickness. If the wind is strong and astern we fly like an eagle and our hearts sing, and if the wind is gale force we hunker down in a beautiful anchorage and wait out the storm.

The real estate industry is changing.  Of course it is.  Nothing stays the same and the only constant in the world is change.  So, what are you going to do about it?   Wishing for it not to change won’t work.  Denying that change is happening is sort of like belonging to the flat earth society.  Fighting change is interesting but as we’ve seen from the Toronto Real Estate Boards battle with the competition bureau, an expensive and losing battle.

What if we embrace the change and be a part of the exciting new environment that is emerging?  What if we allow our mindset to open up to the possibilities that are developing moment by moment in real estate? Change will lead to more change and our future success lies in our ability to see the truth, embrace the uncertainty, stop defending the old model, serve the consumer and be willing to change.    Change is hard.   Change is essential.

Someone I met along my travels this summer said to me, people can’t change.  BS.  People can change but it’s deep work.  Let’s work together to be a vibrant part of the industry that we know and love.

 

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The Full Process of Qualifying Clients

The Full Process of Qualifying Clients

Suze Cumming | August 29, 2019

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In the final weeks of summer, we’re thinking about that sudden surge of energy and business that comes to our community of Realtors each September. When you’re working on ramping up your business, it’s easy to say yes to any client. Over the years, however, we’ve seen that working with unqualified clients is one of the biggest drags on a thriving business.

A financial qualification alone is not enough to assure you of a good client. Just because they can buy or sell a home, it doesn’t mean that they will!

As entrepreneurs, our time is always valuable- time not spent with clients can be devoted to your creative methods of growing your business, so no matter how ‘busy’ you are, it’s a sacrifice to waste time with unqualified buyers.

Financial Qualifications are key- and something we (hopefully) do by default every time.

Beyond this basic tool, here are two other methods to qualify clients: Motivational, and Reasonableness.

A Motivational Qualification is looking at the situation of the potential client that is driving them to look at buying or selling. This is “I’d buy a house if all of the stars aligned at just the right moment” versus “My family is living in my friend’s 100 square foot basement after a transfer from another city.”

A Reasonableness Qualification is more elusive. This is the attempt to qualify whether your potential client is seeing the market, process, and relationship with you, their realtor, in a realistic or at least open-minded way. This can show up as anything from “I will sell my home if I get x” (when x is very far off base from the actual market value) to “I can only look at homes on Sunday nights at 6 PM.”

Reasonableness is the hardest to identify of these three qualifiers, luckily, it is also the easiest to shift with strong communication skills and empathy, giving your client the space to see the situation in a way that better aligns with their interests and the reality of the variables.

Suze Cumming | August 29, 2019

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In the final weeks of summer, we’re thinking about that sudden surge of energy and business that comes to our community of Realtors each September. When you’re working on ramping up your business, it’s easy to say yes to any client. Over the years, however, we’ve seen that working with unqualified clients is one of the biggest drags on a thriving business.

A financial qualification alone is not enough to assure you of a good client. Just because they can buy or sell a home, it doesn’t mean that they will!

As entrepreneurs, our time is always valuable- time not spent with clients can be devoted to your creative methods of growing your business, so no matter how ‘busy’ you are, it’s a sacrifice to waste time with unqualified buyers.

Financial Qualifications are key- and something we (hopefully) do by default every time.

Beyond this basic tool, here are two other methods to qualify clients: Motivational, and Reasonableness.

A Motivational Qualification is looking at the situation of the potential client that is driving them to look at buying or selling. This is “I’d buy a house if all of the stars aligned at just the right moment” versus “My family is living in my friend’s 100 square foot basement after a transfer from another city.”

A Reasonableness Qualification is more elusive. This is the attempt to qualify whether your potential client is seeing the market, process, and relationship with you, their realtor, in a realistic or at least open-minded way. This can show up as anything from “I will sell my home if I get x” (when x is very far off base from the actual market value) to “I can only look at homes on Sunday nights at 6 PM.”

Reasonableness is the hardest to identify of these three qualifiers, luckily, it is also the easiest to shift with strong communication skills and empathy, giving your client the space to see the situation in a way that better aligns with their interests and the reality of the variables.

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Getting Deeper with your Clients

Getting Deeper with your Clients

Suze Cumming | August 22, 2019

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Real Estate is an industry filled with vibrant intelligent people. From our work, we believe that one reason such people are attracted to work as realtors is that it’s a role that has such an intense level of engagement with other humans.

Realtors engage with their clients around a huge decision, at what is generally a stressful or tumultuous time, and need to mediate the emotions, needs and personalities of multiple people in essentially every interaction.

Even working with investor clients requires a pretty high level of people skills as you engage with someone around their values, risk tolerance, and livelihood.

This is why we’ve been working for over 10 years to support Realtors in learning high-level human skills to continue improving on their ability to serve diverse clients well. Today I want to explore the topic of getting in deeper with your clients to understand what’s really going on with them.

In our coach and leadership training program, we’ve developed the below framework as a way to understand what’s happening for people at a deeper level, and how that shows up on the surface.

The idea is that each level is motivated, explained, or based on the level below it.

Actions and Behaviours: this is what your clients, peers, team members, etc. are doing and saying. It is the easiest thing to see, and is a gateway into understanding what’s happening at lower levels. This is similar to the Stand in the SAM model from CNE courses. Actions and Behaviours are determined by:

Thoughts and Feelings: This is what’s going on in the person’s head – they might be aware of it and they might not be. Thoughts and feelings can change rapidly, or be deep ceded. They could be intentional strategies, plans, concerns, or unintentional fears, excitement, romanticizing. When you’re appealing to the right brain and left brain – this is all accessing the thoughts and feelings level. Area of concern and motivator in the SAM model can both be at the thoughts and feelings level. Thoughts and feelings are largely influenced by:

Mindsets and Attitudes: This includes values, beliefs, assumptions, identity, past experiences, deep habits, and styles of doing things. Mindset is the structure we create in our minds to support all of our decision making, it’s our world view. It takes a lot of skill to help people change their mindset (which should only be done when it’s in someone’s best interest) but being able to understand mindset, especially of your clients, can help you understand where they are basing their decisions, what their needs are, and how you can support them. Being able to have a favourable mindset is often determined by:

State of Being: This is inherently tied to someone’s wellness. It speaks to someone’s capacity as determined by their mental and physical health, their restedness, their self-care. When we see clients who are stressed and burnt out, it is often going to influence their state of being which will make it more challenging for them to have control over their mindset. Helping clients see this, stop fighting it, and make the decisions that can help them get back to a good state of being can make a huge difference in getting transactions done.

As real estate transactions become more complicated and balanced in power, and as clients make the decision about whether to work with a mass corporate tech company vs. an individual realtor, mastery of the human skills is becoming so important. We hope this framework is helpful in your work to understand your client’s needs. We should have a leadership and coach training program beginning this fall. Contact us if you’re curious about going really deep with this skills-building and mastering the human side of Real Estate.

Suze Cumming | August 22, 2019

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Real Estate is an industry filled with vibrant intelligent people. From our work, we believe that one reason such people are attracted to work as realtors is that it’s a role that has such an intense level of engagement with other humans.

Realtors engage with their clients around a huge decision, at what is generally a stressful or tumultuous time, and need to mediate the emotions, needs and personalities of multiple people in essentially every interaction.

Even working with investor clients requires a pretty high level of people skills as you engage with someone around their values, risk tolerance, and livelihood.

This is why we’ve been working for over 10 years to support Realtors in learning high-level human skills to continue improving on their ability to serve diverse clients well. Today I want to explore the topic of getting in deeper with your clients to understand what’s really going on with them.

In our coach and leadership training program, we’ve developed the below framework as a way to understand what’s happening for people at a deeper level, and how that shows up on the surface.

The idea is that each level is motivated, explained, or based on the level below it.

Actions and Behaviours: this is what your clients, peers, team members, etc. are doing and saying. It is the easiest thing to see, and is a gateway into understanding what’s happening at lower levels. This is similar to the Stand in the SAM model from CNE courses. Actions and Behaviours are determined by:

Thoughts and Feelings: This is what’s going on in the person’s head – they might be aware of it and they might not be. Thoughts and feelings can change rapidly, or be deep ceded. They could be intentional strategies, plans, concerns, or unintentional fears, excitement, romanticizing. When you’re appealing to the right brain and left brain – this is all accessing the thoughts and feelings level. Area of concern and motivator in the SAM model can both be at the thoughts and feelings level. Thoughts and feelings are largely influenced by:

Mindsets and Attitudes: This includes values, beliefs, assumptions, identity, past experiences, deep habits, and styles of doing things. Mindset is the structure we create in our minds to support all of our decision making, it’s our world view. It takes a lot of skill to help people change their mindset (which should only be done when it’s in someone’s best interest) but being able to understand mindset, especially of your clients, can help you understand where they are basing their decisions, what their needs are, and how you can support them. Being able to have a favourable mindset is often determined by:

State of Being: This is inherently tied to someone’s wellness. It speaks to someone’s capacity as determined by their mental and physical health, their restedness, their self-care. When we see clients who are stressed and burnt out, it is often going to influence their state of being which will make it more challenging for them to have control over their mindset. Helping clients see this, stop fighting it, and make the decisions that can help them get back to a good state of being can make a huge difference in getting transactions done.

As real estate transactions become more complicated and balanced in power, and as clients make the decision about whether to work with a mass corporate tech company vs. an individual realtor, mastery of the human skills is becoming so important. We hope this framework is helpful in your work to understand your client’s needs. We should have a leadership and coach training program beginning this fall. Contact us if you’re curious about going really deep with this skills-building and mastering the human side of Real Estate.

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Geographic Farming: Below the Surface

Geographic Farming: Below the Surface

Suze Cumming | August 15, 2019

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REALTORS® can spend huge amounts of money on flyers, billboards, and bus shelters in their farm area to try and become established in a community. We see it in almost every neighbourhood and from almost every successful REALTOR®. But before setting off to pour huge amounts of resources into these things, it’s crucial to ask, does Geographic Farming work?

 

Our answer: absolutely. But Geographic Farming is about a lot more than meets the eye.

 

An important realization is that Geographic Farming isn’t about advertising in a neighbourhood, but about building community. This means caring about the people, understanding the issues, and contributing to the evolution of that community. This is fostered by being generous, by caring about the people around you, by being curious about what’s happening for the individuals – who they are, what they are experiencing.

 

Fliers and billboards alone do not accomplish much. They don’t win elections for politicians, sell concerts for musicians, or get clients for REALTORS®. They do build recognition, smoothing the path to community building, connection, and actual presence.

 

Find a way to build recognition that aligns with how you build community, that’s what’s at the heart of a good geographic farm.

Suze Cumming | August 15, 2019

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REALTORS® can spend huge amounts of money on flyers, billboards, and bus shelters in their farm area to try and become established in a community. We see it in almost every neighbourhood and from almost every successful REALTOR®. But before setting off to pour huge amounts of resources into these things, it’s crucial to ask, does Geographic Farming work?

 

Our answer: absolutely. But Geographic Farming is about a lot more than meets the eye.

 

An important realization is that Geographic Farming isn’t about advertising in a neighbourhood, but about building community. This means caring about the people, understanding the issues, and contributing to the evolution of that community. This is fostered by being generous, by caring about the people around you, by being curious about what’s happening for the individuals – who they are, what they are experiencing.

 

Fliers and billboards alone do not accomplish much. They don’t win elections for politicians, sell concerts for musicians, or get clients for REALTORS®. They do build recognition, smoothing the path to community building, connection, and actual presence.

 

Find a way to build recognition that aligns with how you build community, that’s what’s at the heart of a good geographic farm.

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