Purchasing or Selling one of your biggest assets is a very serious matter. Contract negotiations can become intense, viewing homes can get very stressful for buyers, just as days on market can for Sellers. In any and all of these situations, our job as professional realtors is to work in the best interest of our clients to make the real estate process and transaction as comfortable and seamless as possible.
Let me frank with you. Yes, this is serious business. And yes, professionalism, duty of care and trust are key to helping our clients. But who said it can’t also be enjoyable and fun?! Follow along with me as I show you how to use pleasantries and comic relief as a tool to achieve the end goal of servicing our clients with professional and deliverable results.
In my previous blog on Etiquette, I touched upon how the foundation of the real estate profession centered around building relationships between clients and their realtors as well as among the realtors themselves. Building relationships in everyday life involves getting to know the person you are dealing by learning their tendencies, likes and dislikes. Humor and pleasantries can help with building this foundation.
Before I start being Frank with you, I would like to make some disclaimers and lay the groundwork as to when you should NOT use humour.
1) Know your audience! Some people are extremely serious and do not take to humor well. Some do not understand certain humour and may not find it appropriate.
2) If you yourself are generally a serious individual then you shouldn’t stray from your character. Using humor should occur naturally as the situation arises. To put it frankly, if you’re the only one who thinks you’re funny, you are probably not building rapport!
3) There is the old saying “There is a time and a place for everything”. Situational humor is impromptu and can be extremely entertaining but please be careful and respectful of the situation before you make an ill advised judgement error. Timing is everything.
4) Treat the real estate transaction (contracts and negotiations) with diligence and integrity. This is not the place for humor.
Now that we have the groundwork laid, let’s look a little deeper into some situations that do warrant some comic relief!
The House Hunting Process
The ideal situation where humour can be used as an icebreaker is during the house hunting process. In my opinion, purchasing a home should be an exciting and enjoyable process for buyers. It is our job as realtors to make our clients as comfortable as possible when making that selection for their dream home. The buying process is where we really get to know our clients and where we spend the most time with them. Situations arise during this process that can provide comic relief to a stressful situation and break the monotony of a long day of showings.
1) Shoddy workmanship can almost always be occasion for comic relief. The popularity of all the DIY shows on television these days is testimony that the general public is interested in home improvements. I recently showed a property where a basement bathroom reno had a shower stall that was six feet high but the shower head was only at the four foot height. The home was vacant so my clients and I took turns taking photos in the stall. It was a perfect bonding and social media opportunity. I stressed to my clients that they should look at the bright side of things; that if they purchased this home they would have the cleanest lower bodies in all of Vaughan.
2) Peculiar situations – I have encountered many in my years in the business. One situation that stands out most occurred in a vacant home. There was no furniture in the entire home except for one bedroom that had a wall of shelves with 30 plus mannequin heads and wigs. Imagine walking into this room and turning on the lights to witness 30 faces staring at you. I jumped, closed the door, turned to my clients and gave them a quick “heads up” before you enter. That one line broke the ice and set the tone for our relationship which is on going almost 7 years to this very day. Later that week I sent them an article pertaining to the myth of the headless horseman and I titled the email “I think we found him”
3) Irony – In my first year in real estate, I was working with a lovely couple (first time buyers) who were extremely concerned with living in a safe area to raise their young family. We found the perfect home from top to bottom but upon looking into the backyard from the patio door, we witnessed 4 police officers arresting 2 men in the neighbour’s yard. I commented on the great view, yelled out “Waiter Cheque Please” and immediately suggested we move onto the next home.
These are just a few of my Frank situations and I am sure every realtor has some comical story or situation that has happened to them. Rolling with these types of situations and making light of certain matters can work to your advantage in helping build relationships.
Do you have any humorous stories to share? I would love to hear them. Comment below.
Contributor: Frank Bosco , Realtor
Interested in hearing more of my “Let me be Frank with you” thoughts? Leave a comment below.