The following article is sponsored by Josh Lavik & Associates.
Have you noticed the impact that smartphones have had on our personal interactions lately? In many ways, our world is more connected than ever before. Friends that used to see each other at a high school reunion can now get a play-by-play life update with a click of a social media “like” or comment. Groups that used to rely on late-night phone calls or actual visits to gather, can now socialize through a group text or email. Our communication has changed dramatically and I’m sure you’ve noticed the impact. (Just sit in a room full of teenagers and you might notice their eyes glued to their phones.) Our lives have improved because we have more options for keeping in touch and staying connected to the people we care about. The downside is that if our lives are over-consumed by the endless scroll, then our personal relationships suffer during face-to-face encounters.
The subtle shift I’ve noticed in the real estate market is that communication has changed among brokers and agents as well. An agent today can obtain an electronic signature from a client and email off their offer on a new home purchase—all without changing out of their pajamas. Sounds pretty good, right? Maybe. I suppose the listing agent could even respond with a written counter offer and email it back. All of this could happen without having ANY verbal communication.
And yet, here’s the disclaimer. UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabian did a study that found that 7% of a message is based on the words used, 38% from the tone of voice, and 55% from the speaker’s body language and face. If all communications for negotiating a real estate transaction (or anything else) are limited only to text and email, then you’re missing out on the other 93% of what the other party could be communicating.
As a real estate agent that has negotiated hundreds of transactions over the past 14 years, I can tell you many times that I’ve been able to gain advantage for my clients by powerful verbal communication. I recently taught a class full of new real estate agents this exact thing. Our team listed a property for sale and we received nine offers. At nearly 20 pages each, that’s a lot of paperwork. It took some effort to narrow down the key terms and compare everything.
In the end we noticed two to three of the offers were very close, but we didn’t have a clear “winner”. After some discussion with the seller, I then called the other agents who submitted an offer. I didn’t text or email them—I called them. And I had a conversation. With spoken words. I could hear the tone and nuance of the agent. I could get a sense of what was really important to them. This led to a discussion about various scenarios that would be ideal for us and the other party and ultimately led to a much better outcome.
My suggestion is if you own a beautiful lakefront home make sure your agent is having actual conversations and not relying too much on text and email. It could save you thousands of dollars when negotiating on your next real estate deal.
Contact Josh Lavik today at (608) 440-9886 or JoshLavik.com
The Lakeshore Living publications are published by Nei-Turner Media Group, a full-service agency located in Lake Geneva, WI. Our four publications cover the picturesque lake communities of Lake Geneva, Madison, Lake Country and Northwoods.
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