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  • Writer's pictureSimon Deen

Being right

“To be effective you must not let your need to be right be more important than your need to find out what’s true. If you are too proud of what you know or of how good you are at something you will learn less, make inferior decisions, and fall short of your potential” - Ray Dalio

“What do you think”? “I think it’s great”. Feels good, doesn’t it, that hit of Dopamine. It doesn’t really matter what we’re talking about, people like to hear that they’ve done a good job or that their idea is fantastic, even if it’s not true.

On the other hand, honest feedback is hard to take, and in some instances, even harder to give. For Real Estate Agents, it can be downright terrifying. What if I tell the vendor what I really think, and I don’t win the business? What if I offend or upset them? Easier to nod along, agree and just do what I’m told. Except of course it isn’t, not in the long term anyway.

The two things every property owner really wants to know is 1. How much is it worth? and 2. How long will it take to sell? The problem is that no one really knows the answer to those questions, not the client, not the agent. Market economics decides. It’s fairly straightforward supply and demand.

What our potential customers are really looking for is someone that they trust to work out where on the sliding scale of price and timeframe their property sits. Someone to market their property in both tried and tested and innovative ways too, report the results of their efforts and then use those findings to inform strategy moving forward.

In my opinion (and I could be wrong) relationships based on truth and transparency make it easier for both parties to hold the other accountable. There will be fewer surprises down the line because my opinion isn’t news to you. I told you what I thought at the start.

Truth of course is different to honesty. Honesty is not lying. Telling the truth means saying what you think, even if it necessitates a difficult conversation.

As Real Estate Agents we are on a journey to find out what is true and what isn’t. If we do it well, finding out the truth about price, the effectiveness of our marketing strategies and whether that sofa really is too big for the room can be a shared learning experience, and one which hopefully leads to everyone achieving their desired outcomes.

P.s. Imagine this scenario;

Your boss is the founder of the worlds largest and most successful hedge fund.

You think he performed badly in your last client meeting.

So you email him and tell him.

He responds.

He agrees.

He apologises.

He copies the entire organisation (on purpose).


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