It’s what you do with the “Tween Space” that creates your success

Seth Godin leads a recent blog post with:

Sometimes, we’re so eager to have an opinion that we skip the step of working to understand.

The title of the post?

The hard work of understanding

He does a good job of ‘splainin’ just how bad some of us are at effectively communicating.

20 years ago, I saw Stephen Covey speak in a fairly small crowd . . . I walked out of that room with 4 words top of mind:

Seek FIRST to Understand!

then to be understood!

Many folks enter negotiations ass backwards . . . CHARGING into the “conversation” with the grace of a bull in a china shop. These folks are HAMMERS in search of nails to POUND . . . The nails are any utterance that comes from the mouth of their opponent.
“It’s MY way or the highway”
“I’m right because I know EVERYTHING, and YOU. ARE, WRONG!”
“I’ve done my research and I am SMART, YOU are an IDIOT!”
“All I’ve gotta do to defeat you is to spew out MORE WORDS LOUDER than you!”
“If I suck all of the air out of the room with my pontification, you’ll  succumb”
I believe seeking first to understand is a secret and very deadly weapon that’s often relegated to the sidelines by ego and unrestrained internal competitive bravado within some folks.
There’s a deeper side to this:
“Yet from our vantage point, we can see that logic (Understanding) without Vision is hollow, while Vision without understanding is vapid.”
(From “SPIRIT – Transformation and Development in Organizations” by Harrison Owen)
All of this is relevant to all organizations. It’s that “tween space” between Vision and Understanding that’s all messy . . . If you can learn to ride the wave of the “Tween Space,” the right stuff happens.
In the world of Real Estate sales and consulting, all this manifests visibly (and sometimes LOUDLY) as 2 REALTOR Titans clash in a negotiation.
It’s fair to say that they both have the same goal: “Sell the House”
The “tween space” can be very messy and convoluted as Each of these REALTORS probably has a different Vision of what that looks like as each one knows the goals and vision of their unique client. Buyers want the best price and terms . . . as do sellers.
Price can be (and usually is) the most vehemently contested term.
The Logic (Understanding) comes in the form of raw data based on analysis of closed “Comparable Sales” . . . Some REALTORS charge into battle armed with all the numbers and argue logically based on what they would say is “Indisputable data that defines the value of the house” . . .
The “tween space” difficulty in a purely “Logic Oriented approach” is that it relies 100% on Historical data and forgets to acknowledge NOW . . .
What about the influence of:
  • Supply and demand fluctuations – As supply decreases, demand increases and prices trend UP
  • Community factors – Growth and development (or lack thereof) can significantly affect house values positively or negatively – Even news of future growth and development can influence Home Buyer and Seller behavior
  • Distressed sales or Investor Package Deals – can squirrel even the most meticulous market analysis
  • Personal wants and needs of the Buyers and Sellers. The REAL “Value” of ANY house is the price that any Buyer is willing to pay AND the seller is willing to accept – NOW! (Some folks will argue with me on this one because of the probable appraisal requirement, and I will answer that Appraisers don’t establish value . . . they give opinions of value – Buyers and Sellers establish value by consummating deals)
  • Economic factors – Local, State, regional, and National
  • Public policy – Community, City, County, State, National laws
  • Mortgage Lending trends and regulation – rates and lending guidelines

ALL of these (and probably more) are “contributing factors” in EVERY real estate negotiation, and it is up the REALTORS to successfully navigate this “Tween space” without anyone getting hurt so as to determine whether the Buyer is willing to pay a price (any price) with terms acceptable to Seller.

Seek FIRST to UNDERSTAND (IMHO) begins with the logic and then morphs (transforms)
  • Consider the listing History of the house and build a story
  • Dig into whatever Historical data is available (MLS and Tax records) and determine a “BallPark” Price Range within which the client (Buyer or Seller) will actually perform
  • Revisit the client’s VISION
    • For Buyers: Does the house meet your needs? Is the location right? Can you see yourself living here? Does this fit your vision for the next few (or several) years?
    • For Sellers:  Where are you going when this house sells? Are you excited about this move? What are your GOALS? What are you willing to do to prepare your house for the market to improve your odds of getting “there”?
Very few of us in ANY profession really create our success purely through our superior Logic OR Vision prowess . . . we succeed through what we do in that “Tween space”
So . . . If you feel like you’re always struggling and fighting with every negotiation, consider where you’re coming from (Logic or Vision) and force yourself to shift tween 🙂
January 15 @ 10 AM, I am facilitating the first Mastermind Session of the year, and we are going to be tackling “Working in the Tween Space” – we’ll develop negotiating skills and spin some pretty great ideas about how to bring home Buyers and Sellers together on price and terms more effectively. email me if you’d like to attend

Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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