As a broker owner, I serve as CEO, coach, therapist, and cheerleader, speaking with a few hundred professionals.
I celebrate closings, successes, and goals achieved, but also being present when deals break down, agents are threatened with litigation or fired by their clients, and when their exclusivity agreements are flagrantly violated. Not all rainbows, unicorns, and glowing certificates are in this business, as we all know.
Whether you’re in the midst of a conflict, working through brutal negotiations, or trying to crawl out of a dry spell, here’s my advice – be careful what you say!
Never say, “I’m sorry”
My dad taught me this while I was learning to drive, and while I certainly didn’t understand the life-long impact of this lesson when I was 15 and learning the rules of the road behind the wheel of a XL Chevy Suburban towing a four-horse trailer, it served me well.
You do not have the right to apologize for circumstances beyond your control.
when you say “I am sorry” You do several things:
- Admitting a mistake.
- accept responsibility.
- Offer to take on a burden that you can’t actually offload or even lighten.
Think about the times you hear or say I’m sorry:
- “I’m sorry for your loss.” (when someone dies)
- “I’m sorry it rained / snowed / snowed / it was so hot.” (During the party, event, etc.)
- “I’m sorry (×) it happened to you.” (Countless occasions and reasons)
Stop. The next time you go to say (or write) the words “I’m sorry,” take a rhythm and think about what you’re really feeling or trying to express. Instead of these words, use these instead:
- “Love and light, your grandmother lived a long and wonderful life!”
- “the problem! I would like to help when rescheduling your event. I’m sure the weather will be nice next time! “
- “Oh shoot! Let me know if you need a ride while waiting for insurance to replace your stolen car!”
I hear agents say, “I’m sorry” during the property purchase process and every time, I retract, because not only do they weigh down their self-awareness; They may also put themselves in a difficult legal situation.
- “I’m sorry, you didn’t get the house we wrote the show on.”
- “I’m sorry it was hailed while your home was under contract and the buyer didn’t want to deal with the roof.”
- “I am sorry interest rates You changed right before you were finally ready to start looking for a home.”
- “I’m sorry that your house didn’t show any offers and no offers.”
Whether buyers opposed your advice and wrote a low bid, sellers didn’t mention when you recommended a hot market and missed it, or your customers had some bad luck, it’s not on you. Stop preaching.
Here’s how to turn the scenario around in real estate
It takes some hard work and mental discipline to reverse this scenario, but doing so is essential to emotional and legal survival. Here are some examples:
- “We didn’t get this, unfortunately, but in this seller’s market, we’ll need to be bold and realistic Make a deal together. Let’s consider broadening your search and think about the incentives we might offer in the next decade to make sure you’re on top! “
- “Wow, that cold was the timing of the show. Let’s work with your insurance company to make sure we can replace the roof and get back to market — and at least we won’t have to worry about the roof showing up on inspection!”
- “Yes, an increase in interest rates has lowered your affordability a bit, but now you’ll be dealing with a lot less competition, have more inventory to choose from, and be able to include some contingencies that sellers haven’t thought about before. Plus, You can always refinance.”
- “Even with a full marketing push, maximum market exposure, and a full weekend of open houses, we didn’t have any bids or offers. Let’s regroup and work together to improve the price and/or condition to make sure we get an offer next weekend!”
It’s up to you As an agent to control your transactions to the best of your ability, manage difficult situations, and help your clients through everything from natural disasters to personal problems, but it is not a good idea to accept responsibility for all things.
Here are some phrases you can try:
“I hate hearing that”
“Oh no, how can I help?”
“Awwww shoot, that must have been disappointing”
“Hmmm, what now?”
My challenge for you: Next time you start saying “I’m sorry,” think about what you’re actually trying to convey/say, come up with some new words, and protect yourself emotionally and legally in every situation.
Stacie Staub is a broker-owner of West + Main Realtors in Colorado.