If Only I Could Get My Client To Listen To Me...

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Shut up and Listen!: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lender

~ Listen to Me! ~

"If only I could get my customer to listen to me..." 

The complaint is common with new agents.  Fresh from Real Estate School, and with the Examination under their belt and the framed license on the wall, they venture out into the world of commission-only sales.

(Oh, I know you're not a salesperson.  You partner.  You "come alongside to create a win-win."  You're a consultant.  Whatever...)

The Problem

The problem with anything that's a new skill is that we desperately want to prove our mastery of the subject, and the only way (it seems) to do that is to tell people.  But people just don't want to listen!

The Reality

Actually, they really are not interested in you, or in what you know.  They're interested in what YOU can do for THEM! Parents of teenagers have learned this lesson.  It's why the comic strip ZITS is so popular.  Jeremy, the 15 year old, has a much different outlook of problem solving than does his 43 year old mother Connie.  (But I digress...)

Your customer is not interested in what you know.  He (or she) is interested in how you can help solve a problem that they have.  They want to talk, and they want you to listen.  And therein lies the solution.

The Solution

The best Real Estate Agents, the most successful agents, have learned to LISTEN to the client from the very outset of the relationship.  They do that to learn just exactly what problem is driving the client's search for another home.

The Take-away

Learn to listen.  Suppress that urge to shut them up so you can talk some more. This strategy works in every relationship in life.  I'm not an agent; I'm a lender, and I find that the more I listen, the more money I make. 

This will work for you.  It might even work for that sparrow up there in the photo.  (That photo is not mine, by the way.  My brother emailed it to me with a short message: "for your blog.")


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices (AZ) Mesa, Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Nogales.


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Comments 52 New Comment

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Markita Woods NMLS#190699
Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA
WestStar Mortgage Inc NLMS#2925

Congrats on the feature. And thanks for reminding that listening is a must have skill!

March 31, 2011 11:38 PM
Dustin Oldfather
Delaware Ocean & Water Front Homes
Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty

You make a nice point, and as consultants expected to provide expert advice we often have trouble just being quiet. I would also add that it is important to leasrn the personality profile of the client, by asking those questions during the rapport building. Not trying to bump his work, but The Platinum Rule if Tony Allesandra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrjpwXIwUuc makes it easy to know how much you should be talking. Socializer...talk it up its a party. Relater, better be very attentive and do not interupt. Analytical buyer, give them all the data, facts and information they can handle. Directors, shut up and listen...they'll tell you what they want and what you will do for them.

April 01, 2011 12:11 AM
Beth Larsen
Sedona Arizona
RE/MAX Sedona

Mike, I just don't know who I'm more impressed with: your brother for taking such a fantastic photo, or you for taking that photo to new heights of meaning with your blog. Bravo, point well made-and well illustrated!

April 01, 2011 01:32 AM
Raiza Schwartz
West USA Realty

Awesome photo!  I have been in sales since high school (first job was doorknocking to raise money for my trip to Florida at 14).  Of course, then it was telemarketing, selling cars and now homes, you learn to shut up and listen if you want to make it in sales.

April 01, 2011 02:34 AM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001

I bet those two birds are married. . . great photo!

April 01, 2011 06:13 AM
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon

Hi Mike - Happy Friday! Thanks for starting my day off with a smile at that photo (and to your brother as well). Your message is one we need to keep in the forefront. "Active Listening" should be a series of college courses for all business professionals, in my mind - especially sales professionals.

April 01, 2011 07:50 AM
Anonymous #39

Thanks for giving us the bird, Mike!  And good counsel to boot.

April 01, 2011 09:49 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty

You are sooo correct on this one Mike! Listening is the most important skill you need to work on for all things in life!

April 01, 2011 10:12 AM
Paul McFadden
Janitorial. Kent, WA.
Environment Control

Mike: Those are good thoughts. I would imagine the top LO's, etc. are great listeners. Thanks for the post!

April 01, 2011 10:19 AM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Lake Oconee Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country

Great post and even better GREAT photo up top! That handed me quite a laugh!

April 01, 2011 10:37 AM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ

Awesome post, perfect photo.  Your brother was a great inspiration. :)

April 01, 2011 11:22 AM
Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

TinEye: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lenderAll,

Brother Morgan didn't take the photo.  He found it on the internet and sent it to me.  A quick search using TinEye came up with 122 blogs on the internet with this photo.  If you've never used TinEye to search for people using your photos, give it a try.  It's free!

Mike in Tucson

April 01, 2011 12:35 PM
Harry F. D'Elia
Investor , Mentor, CSSN, Radio Coach, REOs, ABR
Precision Real Estate Inc.

I love that picture. Yes, many clients have their own think sos. However, they are the final decision makers.

April 01, 2011 03:22 PM
Gloria Todor and Doug Durren - Delaware County PA Real Estate
Hard Working Professionals (484) 431-3686
Century 21 Absolute Realty

Mike, What a great photo and post! Did the photo inspire the post?  In our line of work we need to listen to our clients, read between the lines, listen to body language.  We also need to listen to our limitations when dealing with clients.  Listening is so important.

This photo shows how aggressive house sparrows can be.  I was a blue bird monitor for a many years and in all my readings and hearing of stories from other monitors about house sparrows, it was all the same that they would stop at nothing to get a nest for their own: even kill an adult bird sitting on a nest and kill its young.  Sparrows do what they need to to survive, we need to listen to survive.



April 01, 2011 04:42 PM
Brett Reichel
MLO 210215
Pacific Residential Mtg., LLC - NMLS 1477 / WA CL-1477

Great warning on "feature dumping" a problem many in "partnering" "consulting" and....ughhh...."sales" have.....loved it.  Thanks for the tip on tineye!

April 01, 2011 07:15 PM
Anonymous #48
Cathy Baumbusch

Once, while working in my "office" at Panera, I overheard a "conversation" between a franchise manager and a couple who was interested in buying a franchise of a business. The manager talked non-stop about himself for at least 30 minutes. I heard nothing save for a few yesses or nos from the buyers. It was so frustrating listening to him yammer on in the backgroud and they couldn't get a word in edgewise. I'm pretty sure they left with the same questions they came with. (I don't eavesdrop, I'm one of those people who can hear conversations going on around me and I literally find it difficult to tune them out.) :-)

April 02, 2011 09:25 AM
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Mike - Did your brother take the photo himself?  It's quite a photo.

As to listening . . . isn't that why they tell us we have two ears and only one mouth?

April 02, 2011 10:24 PM
Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Please see comment #44

Mike in Tucson

April 03, 2011 10:52 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof
The Little REALTORĀ® That Could
Keller Williams Realty


Excellent post!

Excellent photo!

Excellent words to live by!!!

Overall excellence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 03, 2011 01:44 PM
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent

Hello Mike and I could have sworn I left a comment to your post and this photo! I love it and thanks for the view!

VB ;o)

April 12, 2011 10:00 AM
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Mike Jones

Mike Jones NMLS 223495
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