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Scott’s Thoughts: On Acceptance

August 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Cultivate the power to accept what you cannot change.

“Of course there is not formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”
–Arthur Rubinstein, pianist (1887 — 1982)

Road beneath blue skies. There are limits to how much you can control in your life. We run into some of our greatest stress, however, when we fail to recognize what we can control and what is simply beyond our grasp.

It’s a grim future for the person who believes through sheer force of will they can change all situations. At times, acceptance is our only course of action. Acceptance is, in fact, a skill worth developing. It is not defeat or weakness to understand when a situation is out of our control. It is wisdom.

When you have the ability to accurately perceive what you can and cannot influence, you have options. You may conserve your energy, change your focus, and work to extinguish feelings of fear, helplessness, or despair.

The practice of acceptance is useful not only when it comes to the external world, but it can also be a valuable tool for finding contentment in your own life. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits touches on this concept in his article “You’re Already Perfect.” If you’ve been dealing with negative talk and an unhealthy sense of dissatisfaction, spend a few minutes to read his article here:

Finally, don’t confuse these thoughts on acceptance with the notion that one should give up hope or resign themselves to a bleak outlook. The art of knowing what we can and cannot change is a powerful tool for helping us dedicate our energies to those things we can impact. With that knowledge comes empowerment and a sense that things can (and will) get better.

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8 Tips for Successful Real Estate Negotiations

July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Find middle ground skillfully and respectfully.

A successful negotiation is not where your side has pulverized the other. You don’t “win” a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry — you never know when you might have to negotiate with these same people again. Below are 8 tips to help foster successful negotiations:

1. Set the Stage: choose a location that’s quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion. Ask everyone to turn off phones, pagers, and devices, and do not accept any calls or texts during negotiations.

2. Be Prepared: Be sure that all the facts are verified before the negotiation begins. Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down.

3. Present a united front: You represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. You may not agree with their position, but never share that with the other side during a negotiation. In private, you can certainly try to get your clients to change their mind, but always in private.

4. Leave your attitude at the door: Treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of your personal opinions. If you disagree, disagree with an idea, not the person.

5. Remember to watch — subtly — non-verbal cues and body language.

6. Hold something in reserve: Beforehand, plan what concessions your clients are willing to make and then offer these concessions when you need to concede something.

7. Don’t harp about things that don’t matter to the client: Don’t let a negotiation bog down over a minor point. Worry about getting agreement on major points such as price and terms, but put lesser items aside and return to them later.

8. Don’t volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation, so telling the other side any information may weaken your own position. On the other hand, learn as much about the other side as you can.

[Negotiation depends upon great client communication. Click here to learn about a system to help you communicate with clients and prospects.]

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How to Turn Concessions Into Painkillers

July 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Keep the deal moving by smoothing out seller concessions.

From time to time you’ll be involved in a negotiation with a buyer who wants your seller to cover an unanticipated cost. This might be a specific repair, a home warranty, or some other concession. If your seller already feels like they’re taking a beating on their listing price, these little concessions can be the straw that breaks their back. Often an “almost done” deal can quickly turn into a stalemate between entrenched seller and nickel-and-diming buyer.

One strategy that may make these concessions palatable to your seller (assuming you feel they are reasonable requests) is to remind your seller of the reasons they’re motivated to sell in the first place. If they’re carrying two mortgages, need to get relocated before school starts, or has recently taken a new job at the other end of a three hour drive, now is the time to remind them why they want to sell their home.

1. Be empathetic. Acknowledge that their reaction to the concession is valid, and offer your sympathy.

2. Don’t bad-mouth the buyer. Even if you think it’s a raw deal, speaking ill of the buyer might be the little extra comment that convinces your seller not to budge.

3. Remind them of their pain. “Judy, I know you’re anxious about being settled before school starts, and you had anticipated being in your new home by now. It’s up to you whether not making this concession is worth delaying a clean start to the year.” Or, if math works on your side: “Tom, while I recognize it’s irritating to be expected to replace the stove, you might consider the cost of carrying the house an additional month or more if the buyer is unwilling to let this concession go.”

People lose perspective during transactions. A professional coolly reminds them of their “big picture” goals and helps guide them back on the path.

[Check out a great communication & marketing system for working with your clients.]

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Shifting Real Estate Clients to a Neighborhood State of Mind

July 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Help clients see the big (local) picture.

Buy the neighborhood. If you find yourself with a client who seems unduly focused on the size and amenities of homes on the market, you might want to spend a little time helping them see the big picture in terms of neighborhood benefits.

Often first-time buyers suffer from this tunnel vision that focuses almost exclusively on the home. If you run into this “biggest house with the best features on the biggest lot I can buy” mentality, you have an excellent opportunity to start a neighborhood conversation which can, in the long run, make your client happier with the home they eventually own.

Here are four excellent questions to ask your client in order to get a “neighborhood conversation” going:

1. Tell me, if you had to choose between a smaller home and a longer commute, which would you choose?

2. How important is it to you to be able to walk to grocery stores, restaurants, and other local businesses?

3. Are you concerned about having access to sidewalks and parks?

4. What about your current neighborhood bothers you? What do you like about it?

While buying the neighborhood may seem obvious to you, many clients haven’t taken a step back to consider the big picture of home ownership.

Here’s a great article from HGTV you can also share with them to get neighborhood conversations going:

[Click here to learn about a system agents use to follow-up with first-time buyers!]

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How to Manage “Bad Clients”

May 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This 46 second video explains exactly what you’ll get with this free eBook:

Download this eBook.

Dear Real Estate Professional,

Are you plagued by bad clients from time to time? Well, now is the time to read this definitive guide to breaking up with the bad and building the good! Do so, and you WILL reclaim your real estate business from the draining clients that are holding it hostage.

You don’t have to let bad clients cost you time and money.

An ideal client-realtor relationship provides you with the opportunity to use all of your knowledge and experience to help a client sell and/or locate a home, in exchange for your well-earned commission. This guide shows you how.

Remember that old saying, “time is money”? It was never truer than in today’s real estate market. This book will highlight the types of clients who can drain your time and patience yet offer little or no compensation in return, and will teach you ways to handle them and reclaim your time. That way, you’ll have the time to concentrate on those clients with the best potential for a sale.

This book will…

  • Define the ideal client/agent relationship
  • Define what a not-so-ideal client/agent relationship looks like
  • Offer suggestions for creating healthy, functional, and lucrative relationships from the start with new clients
  • Offer seven effective self-assertiveness and self-confidence tools to help you ensure those healthy, lucrative relationships
  • Provide real world examples of “bad clients”
  • Teach you the benefits of saving a challenging client, as well as the benefits of transferring the relationship (or firing them!)
  • Offer suggestions on how not to go about firing someone, and instead offer recommendations on methods for ending the relationship well, respectfully and helpfully

So what do you say?  Ready to return to sanity? Get your free copy instantly.  Just fill out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.

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