Four Types of Characters
In this journey of real estate agency, I’m finding myself in one of two boats. Either you’re in the buyers / sellers hip pocket or you’re far from it. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a class which discussed the 4 personality types, what’s important to them and how they like to be communicated with. Low and behold, I find myself in the least desirable category…more on that later but, it’s very interesting how this all plays together.
I’m sure there are numerous personality tests out there and many of you have taken them. The reason I liked this one was because it was fast and to the point. I don’t enjoy long walks on the beach when it comes to business matters. I’m a straight to the point, let’s get this business done and move on kind of person. That being said, of course, there are those who enjoy the opposite type of handling. They want to discuss the particulars of their day and ask you about yours before one word of business is spoken. They are usually super friendly and amiable when it comes to doing business and they want all parties involved to just get along and be happy. It is their preference that everyone gives in just a little bit in negotiations and then we can all walk away contented with the outcome. Sadly, my test score results revealed just the opposite. Now, before you go too far out there with this, I’d like to mention that most of my scores were only a few points apart so, that means I can reach into that part of my character and pull out whatever is necessary when needed. However, my “go-to” character nature is the one called Driver. I’m short on fluff and quick to decide how something should or should not be handled. I’m also not particularly emotional about how things turn out and I like to negotiate in the best interest of my client. It’s kind of a long story but, recently I negotiated an offer for my client which worked out on their behalf but, in the end the sale fell through due to inspection findings. That stuff happens. People don’t like to hear that but, I will be the first to admit that there is no time for celebration until the closing is finished. That may sound harsh but, it’s the truth. I once had three contracts fall through for three different reasons in two days time through no fault of my own.
Let’s examine that for a moment, shall we? Here I am hustling my bustle so to speak and out of no where, I have one, two, three contracts crash and burn. What in the world is going on? Well, for lack of better terms, I was having some performance anxiety after that. You begin to question every action, conversation and negotiation that took place but, one thing stood true. I know that I know that I did my very best to advance each of these transactions. When I really reflected on it, I thought to myself, geez, I sure hope Mr. Seller and Mrs. Buyer sees all of the skill, effort and negotiating that went into this. And, I certainly hope that they are not so overcome with disappointment that they can’t see past it and move on to the next one because each of these transactions is a valuable gem through which to see yourself and how well or poorly you manage your own thoughts, deeds, actions and gestures.
Allow me to explain, I had a seller who wanted things her way. She has a house which she inherited. It’s old and I mean really old… like from the 1930’s. It had some repairs done to it but, as you can imagine, it was in desperate need of much. I negotiated three contracts on her behalf and none of them went through. Why? Perhaps it was my communication style vs. hers. I mean, I wanted that house to sell and so did she but, when it came down to negotiations, it was her way or the highway. Needless to say, at the end of the contract she let me go my way and she went her own. I was disappointed to say the least but, hey, on to the next one right? Nope, again I had to take a long hard look at how I handled each of these moments of conversation and negotiation. In retrospect, the sellers communication was filled with emotion and anguish at every little decision but, I wasn’t as in tune to that as perhaps I should have been. Lesson learned the hard way. Strike One.
Next up, I’m representing the seller on a beautiful house that sits on a big lake where you can swim, fish, paddle board or just about anything. It’s a tidal fed lake so there are birds, plenty of large fish and crabs living there as well. We find a very interested buyer who initially makes a seriously low offer. By that I mean it was $74,000. less than asking price. I really had to come to terms with this and face the sellers not only with the offer but, with a strategic plan to counter. Where do you begin? Well, as most of my plans do, I began in prayer. Thankfully, we came to terms and the sellers were pleased with my counter offer strategy. This time however, my seller was very analytical. He needed to see things in writing and think things over before making any decisions. His communication style was slow and deliberate. I tried to match that by explaining things in lengthy emails and by giving him step by step instructions when communicating with him but alas, the contract fell through after the inspection revealed some significant foundational shifting. My communication style was a closer match to his in this example and when the contract ended he decided to take the house off of the market and make it a rental property to offset some of his expenses as they were living out-of-state already. Still Strike two… but, this time I didn’t take it quite as personally.
This last example involves a buyer that I’ve been working with. She is from out-of-state and has invested quite a bit of time and energy in finding the right condominium for her retirement in the Lowcountry. I am grateful for her resilience because it has not been an easy road for her. It seems that every time we put in an offer on a property it is in a multiple offer situation and she gets beat out by a cash buyer. This time however, it’s a little different. We had to sneak in through the back door to get her a choice condo in the neighborhood that she desired. I put out a letter to all of the owners that were not on the market to see if they were interested in selling adding to that a promise that I had an interested buyer waiting for a unit. Well, low and behold, we found one. Now we had our chance. This is what we call an “off market” property. It’s like a best kept secret in Charleston, South Carolina. When you have the opportunity to buy a property without competing against hundreds of other potential buyers that’s a real leg up. Anyway, in my dealings with this buyer I noticed that she talked a lot and I do mean constantly. It was very hard to get a word in edgewise as they say. In this set of circumstances, I found myself questioning whether or not I was truly communicating enough because I could not get her to listen even for a minute. Now, I’m not here to bash her but, I want to convey that I was very deliberate with my statements. If I had a second to speak, it had to be direct and to the point because it was a fleeting second. In this set of circumstances, I’ve had the best opportunity to deliver communications in my own style. They were short, sweet and to the point because they had to be. Emailing became a go-to for me because it allowed me to convey things that I was unable to say during our often one way conversations. In this example, before we had the opportunity to write a contract on the off market property, we were in contract with a different seller. We made a great offer and it was accepted. Unfortunately, the seller was premature in listing her unit and quickly decided that she no longer wanted to sell. Bummer right? You can’t imagine how many times my buyer has ridden this roller coaster. We actually put in three offers before getting the off market property under contract. I’m hopeful that this one is it. So, while I, as an agent, experienced my third Strike Out, it would appear that I’m fortunate enough to have yet another chance at bat.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about people’s communication styles. It has helped me to acknowledge the needs of others on a far greater scope than I’ve ever been able to before. If you ever get the chance to take the Merrill and Reid, Social Styles personality quiz, it’s worth taking the time to do. Then you will be able to determine if you are an Analytical, Driver, Amiable or Expressive communicator yourself and how best to deal with others in conversation.
Meanwhile, if I can help you find a property in Charleston, South Carolina or in the surrounding areas, let’s chat. Check out my website.
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