December 31, 2008

Newby Tuesday Tip – Who You Lookin’ At?

by Irene Nash

One of my favorite inspectors does something when he’s explaining inspection items to my real estate clients who are couples that makes my toes curl up into little fists of despair:

He makes eye contact with the man about 70% of the time, with me about 20% of the time, and with the wife only about 10% of the time.

I don’t care how much he looks at me, but wouldn’t you be seriously annoyed if you were the wife and only got spoken to directly a small part of the time?

(I I did finally say something to him about it.  He had no idea, of course. :))

So while this might seem like a no-brainer to some people, it’s still worth a reminder:

  • Be aware of how much eye contact and interaction you have with each person in a group.

This includes older people in a family who might not come across as a primary decision-maker.  (My mother was appalled when at the age of 75 she was looking at condos with my sister, and the agent, after pretty much ignoring her and  then seeing a rabbit on the lawn, asked her if she liked bunnies.)

  • Never assume that one person or another is the primary decision maker.

Just because one person is more reserved doesn’t mean the mental wheels aren’t churning.  Disregard that person at your own risk.

This isn’t a strategy, or a women’s empowerment thing.  (After all, a female real estate agent who connects more with the wife might have to make an effort to ensure that the husband doesn’t feel left on the sidelines.)

It boils down to common courtesy and smart business practice.  So yes, it’s normal to sometimes ‘connect’ more with one person or the other.  Just remember to occasionally ask yourself, “Who you lookin’ at?”

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