No if's or but's - but maybe an and...

"The hardest conversations are often the most necessary." - Unknown

Note: As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been at AREC for the past couple of days - and today, I’ve had a bit of a chance to reflect on the content. The two days were incredibly inspirational and motivational. But what was missing… more on what’s coming with AI, what’s needed in terms of AQ and how to deal with what comes next. And you know change is coming fast …. because you follow this blog!

So - an event that will deal with that stuff: Elite Retreat. If you’re on the fence about coming, we have about 20 places left and we’re about to launch a special for $5k (AU) that includes flights ex Aussie capital cities. Hit reply and hit me up. The learning will be invaluable.

One of my favourite speakers of the past couple of days at AREC was Susan Scott founder of Fierce Inc and author of the book Fierce Conversations.

I’m assuming in this market at this time, there are plenty of real estate conversations right now which could be described as ‘fierce’.

A couple of my takeaways:

  1. Be careful about emailing any of your customers - especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with them - because it is likely they will misread the tone. (I believe you need to be even more careful if you are sending them a toneless email that has been written by the robot!!)

  2. Successes and failures in communication don’t happen overnight, they have shaped one conversation at a time, so we need to get radically transparent, present and have the courage to address difficult situations well - rather than avoid them.

We all know in a market like this there are agents out there who will go high on appraisal and low on fees just to get the listing.

This generally never ends well - for anyone - especially when you look at point 2 above.

So this has in part inspired today’s prompt of the day.

Today’s Prompt of the Day

Susan had some suggestions for better dialogue - not just in the crucial conversations - but in every conversation through replacing the word ‘but’ with the word ‘and’.

Her reasons for this are that the word ‘but’ can be incredibly dismissive as the word ‘and’ is less combative and more collaborative.

So, “I know you want more than a million dollars for your property, but this market is tough and it’s unlikely…”

Could instead become, “I know you want more than a million dollars for your property, and I would love nothing more than to get it for you, so let’s work out what steps we may need to take to see how close we could get…”

What are some ideas for turning the word 'but' into the word 'and' to have better conversations?

Here is the answer:

Transforming "but" into "and" is a common strategy used in communication to create more inclusive, open-ended conversations. When we use the word "but," it often negates or dismisses what was said before it, while "and" allows for the acknowledgement of different perspectives without rejecting either. Here are a few examples:

  1. Acknowledge and Add: Instead of saying "I understand your point, but we also need to consider…", you could say, "I understand your point, and we also need to consider…". This way, you're not dismissing the other person's point, but adding to it.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Instead of saying "You did a great job, but you could improve on…", try "You did a great job, and you could enhance your skills further by…". This reinforces the positive while also providing constructive feedback.

  3. Problem-Solving: If someone presents a problem or issue, instead of saying "Yes, but what if we…", say "Yes, and we could also try…". This fosters a more collaborative approach to problem-solving.

  4. Expressing Different Opinions: Instead of saying "I see your point, but I believe…", you can say "I see your point and from my perspective…". This communicates that you respect their opinion while expressing your own.

  5. Discussing Constraints: If you are dealing with limitations or constraints, instead of saying "We would like to do this, but we can't because…", try "We would like to do this, and we are exploring ways to overcome the challenge of…". This conveys a more proactive approach.

Remember, the goal here is not to remove "but" from your vocabulary entirely, but rather to use it less in situations where you might be inadvertently creating an adversarial or negative tone. This technique can be especially helpful in collaborative settings where building trust, mutual respect, and open communication are important.

So a second prompt gave me more of what I wanted from a real estate agent’s perspective…

Can you think of some examples of a dialog between a real estate agent and their seller?

Certainly, here are a few examples of how a real estate agent might communicate with their seller using "and" instead of "but":

Scenario 1: Discussing Listing Price

Before Agent: "I understand that you want to list your property for $500,000, but based on the current market conditions, I would suggest listing it at $450,000."

After Agent: "I understand that you want to list your property for $500,000, and considering the current market conditions, we might attract more potential buyers if we list it at $450,000."

Scenario 2: Discussing Home Staging

Before Agent: "Your home is very beautiful, but we need to depersonalise it for showings."

After Agent: "Your home is very beautiful, and to help potential buyers visualise themselves living here, we could consider staging it for showings."

Scenario 3: Discussing Timing of Sale

Before Agent: "I know you want to sell quickly, but we should wait for the spring market when demand is higher."

After Agent: "I know you want to sell quickly, and to maximise the number of potential buyers, we might want to consider waiting for the spring market when demand is typically higher."

Scenario 4: Discussing Necessary Repairs

Before Agent: "The house is in good condition, but we need to repair the roof before listing."

After Agent: "The house is in good condition, and to ensure we attract the best offers, we should consider repairing the roof before listing."

By using "and" instead of "but," the agent acknowledges the seller's feelings and thoughts, while also presenting their professional advice in a constructive manner. This approach tends to foster a more cooperative relationship.

You could interchange ‘seller’ for buyer, tenant, investor and exchange real estate agent for property manager, mortgage broker (or any other role, really).

Happy Hunting 🚀

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