Have you ever had the sinking feeling that you were lost? Maybe as you kid you wandered off in a department store and soon found yourself among strangers in a strange land. What was your first instinct - to run, to start crying, to scream? As a homeowner facing a transaction crisis, these same emotions can crash over you and give you the unnerving sense that all hope is lost.
In a real estate transaction the pressure, emotion, and strain of making a life changing decision are fertile ground for big problems. But this doesn't have to be the case. Skilled negotiators are experts at dealing with a crisis. To model their strategies for success let's explore five ways to deal with a transaction crisis:
The natural tendency of most homeowners, when faced with transaction challenge, is to take the ostrich approach to problem solving - meaning they bury their heads in the sand and hope the crisis will pass. This is unwise as any crisis left to its own devices will often fester and become much worse with each hour that passes. Instead they should face the crisis head on by first listening to the problem and trying to understand exactly what the issues are so they can then begin to work on the problem.
Often when we try to deal with a crisis we end up solving the wrong problem. Why? We didn't really understand the root issue. To separate fact from fiction and to give everyone involved the best chance at moving towards a successful end result we need to develop our investigative skills. How? Simply learn to ask great questions. Many home buyers will feel a great sense of relief when they have been able to vent their feelings and express their concerns. For instance, rather than turning a deaf ear to their concerns, try encouraging them to tell you more, or if your unclear about their challenge, ask them to clarify what it is that is bothering them.
Take a deep breath and count to ten. Repeat after me - I must stay unemotional. This is easy to say and hard to do. As buyers become emotional during a crisis it's easy to become swept up into the hurricane of emotion. One reason for this is that occasionally people and problems get mixed up together. To separate the two you may ask the person who is upset this question: "Listen, it sounds like your upset, are you upset at me or the situation?"
A solution often implies that the person with the problem ended up getting exactly what they wanted, and, as we know from experience, this is rarely true. Instead of trying to find a solution, a professional crisis manager looks for ways to create a resolution - where both parties may have to give some ground to create an agreement both parties can live with.
Don't dawdle! Once you have an agreement, take action. Don't wait for a perfect solution that will never come. Often what home buyers want is to know that something (anything) is being done to move the closing process along. By focusing on the next step, everyone can begin to think proactively and positively.
Let me guess, eventually you were rescued from being lost, right? No doubt the first step was that someone else, even a stranger, stepped in to calm you down and get you talking. The same is true during a real estate transaction crisis. When we step back from the situation, calm down, and begin talking, almost every problem can be resolved to a successful conclusion.