I smiled, said hello, and talked with probably 500 people this past weekend at a business expo.  For an introvert like me, it was overwhelming and exhausting, but… also interesting and eye-opening.

Texting, emailing, and facebook messaging are efficient and focused ways of communicating. For someone like me who needs a quick second to gather thoughts as well as a good response, communication through writing is comfortable. Being placed out in the public with question asking strangers is not.

But what I realized this weekend was that being placed in these uncomfortable situations allowed for growth and reflection. Questions came up that never would have been asked online. Insight given from the older generation has the potential to change up our marketing plan. And I reaped the benefits of offering a warm smile to people who are accustomed to blank stares or down turned heads. Names were exchanged, leads were gathered, walls were torn down, and relationships were built.

The clients who have made my job enjoyable are the clients I have been able to have actual conversations with. These are the people that I don’t mind spending an hour meeting for lunch, or talking with on the phone for 15 minutes, or attending a summer bbq in their backyard.

They are the clients that I get the most joy from through listening to their stories and hearing about their life. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about local history, farming practices, shop life, race car driving, health care, hospice care, furniture restoration, vacation destinations, entrepreneurial adventures– you name it– just by simply listening to my clients talk.

Real estate coach Mike Ferry often talks about how we get so preoccupied with learning new ways to communicate that we actually forget to communicate. Gone are the days of taking time each day to have lunch with friends or clients, or meeting up for drinks after work, or watching a ball game with buddies.

Face to face time has been replaced by catching up through texting or emailing, facebook voyeurism, or waving hello while hustling off the sidelines to make way for the next game. 

And as Ferry points out, real estate is a relationship business, so using social media (or electronic communication) is not the best way to build these relationships.

Talking and Listening is.

You can’t build relationships through texting and emailing. It took a business expo to remind me of that. Next time you are at a listing appointment, showing houses or are just simply out in the community, allow for a few more minutes, put down your phone, and talk to the people you see. Ask them a question about themselves, and see how the conversation unfolds.

You might share a laugh or two, be able to answer some otherwise unasked questions, have your mind enriched a little, and maybe learn something new. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn a little about yourself, too.

Amy Gilpin RealtorAmy Gilpin Associate Broker, Manager, ABR.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com