Demands on Your Part
Do Not Create Obligations on My Part.
By Norma Wall, Broker
Many years ago, when I was a low-level assistant in a huge oil company, I was shocked to find the self-entitlement from those who held a higher position than me (which was everyone!). They would frequently drop a “due tomorrow morning” task on my desk at 4:45. I hated it. But I had a family to feed. So, I begrudgingly did their last-minute bidding.
My frustration was summed up by a simple quote, that I kept hidden in my desk drawer:
“Failure to plan on your part does not
constitute an emergency on mine”
But it did. More chocolate, please.
Back in the day, the pecking order was worn like a shield. I still get a little flutter in the pit of my stomach when I think about those formative years.
This was also my unofficial introduction into the art of negotiations and how the outcome is affected by your attitude.
Maybe I need more chocolate.
Now, decades later, I find the same backward logic in real estate communication between agents. From time lines, to threats, to intimidation, some agents have the misconception that they are somehow the “boss” of the transaction.
Intimidation in daily communication has the exact opposite result on me. And I really love the agent who does a complete personality change once the contract is executed, sort of “now I’ve got you, you son-of-a-bitch!”
Another well-worn tactic is to push fellow agents up to the deadline, to try and force decisions favorable to them / their client. Remember how that logic backfired when your kids pulled the same trick? “If you need a decision now, the answer is no.”
A word to my fellow agents:
Since this has become a somewhat hostile environment, I’ve modified my disclaimer to include:
“Demands on your part do not create obligations on my part.”
Good, solid negotiations are the backbone of the real estate transactions. Protect your client with contract knowledge and skillful problem-solving. Period. Leave the intimidation to the corporate pros, who have clearly defined structures to back them up.