Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


If Only I Could Get My Client To Listen To Me...

Shut up and Listen!: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lender

~ Listen to Me! ~

"If only I could get my customer to listen to me..." 

The complaint is common with new agents.  Fresh from Real Estate School, and with the Examination under their belt and the framed license on the wall, they venture out into the world of commission-only sales.

(Oh, I know you're not a salesperson.  You partner.  You "come alongside to create a win-win."  You're a consultant.  Whatever...)

The Problem

The problem with anything that's a new skill is that we desperately want to prove our mastery of the subject, and the only way (it seems) to do that is to tell people.  But people just don't want to listen!

The Reality

Actually, they really are not interested in you, or in what you know.  They're interested in what YOU can do for THEM! Parents of teenagers have learned this lesson.  It's why the comic strip ZITS is so popular.  Jeremy, the 15 year old, has a much different outlook of problem solving than does his 43 year old mother Connie.  (But I digress...)

Your customer is not interested in what you know.  He (or she) is interested in how you can help solve a problem that they have.  They want to talk, and they want you to listen.  And therein lies the solution.

The Solution

The best Real Estate Agents, the most successful agents, have learned to LISTEN to the client from the very outset of the relationship.  They do that to learn just exactly what problem is driving the client's search for another home.

The Take-away

Learn to listen.  Suppress that urge to shut them up so you can talk some more. This strategy works in every relationship in life.  I'm not an agent; I'm a lender, and I find that the more I listen, the more money I make. 

This will work for you.  It might even work for that sparrow up there in the photo.  (That photo is not mine, by the way.  My brother emailed it to me with a short message: "for your blog.")


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices (AZ) Mesa, Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Nogales.

Comment balloon 52 commentsMike Jones • March 31 2011 10:07AM



But, brids aren't into sales!

The best way to get listened to is to listen to the client then offer the information they ask for very softly! Make them work to hear you.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 9 years ago

Good morning, Bill!

Thanks for being the first to comment.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

So true,

Listening is important but hearing what they are telling you is the key. Some can listen and not hear a word lol

Great picture from your brother.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 9 years ago

Great photography runs in the family.

Your point is well taken. Llistening (and hearing, as Don says) is key. Two ears, one mouth and all that.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago

Mike, enjoyed the post and the photograph...nice of your brother to remember you.  THe key is to always LISTEN!

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate over 9 years ago

One thing for sure is that nobody has ever listened their way out of a listing or sale.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Hi Mike.

Good reminder for everyone, especially agents...

Thanks for writing,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Listening is always the key...it's amazing that we tend to forget how to 'listen!'  GREAT blog Mike, and of course GREAT photo! :)


Posted by Michael and Cheron Lange, Associate Broker, GRI (Solutions Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Mike - AMEN!!!  BRAVO!!!  Very early in my career, my broker at the time told me something I have never forgotten (even though I'm no longer with that broker),

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care"

This is so true!  Even my own borrowers don't care how much I know about loans or how long I've been doing it or blah, blah, blah.  What they want to know is how much I care about helping them with whatever mortgage need they have.  Great post!

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 9 years ago

Mike, the photo fits the topic of this post perfectly.  Your post echos something I heard from a customer yesterday, I may write a post about that, too.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 9 years ago

Mike - Did you take that photo?  If so contgratulations on a great blog and a great capture.

I have to say that it takes a long time for clients to learn that you are there to help them. Too many salesy types out there that make it hard to establish trust.  People new to real estate aren't used to the fact that we have the "pushy salesman" plastered all over the industry and it takes time to realize that earning trust takes time.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 9 years ago

I like it - in order to be listed to, you must first learn how to listen yourself. Very zen! Some times the best way to be heard is to stop talking. 

Posted by Torgie Madison, Websites and Contact Management (Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC) over 9 years ago

I've known new agent who just love to hear themselves talk. 

Then I've known agent who were so reticent that buyer's complain and ask for another agent. 

Clearly, it takes quite some time for new agents to settle into what is a comfortable give and take with consumers. 

Some never do.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Mike - We pride ourselves on the fact that we are good listeners... Lessons learned... and so true

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

Thanks Mike!   I really needed to hear this and LISTEN to what you are saying.   I have had difficult clients in the past-and felt that I was REALLY listening to them.  Perhaps, it was not always the case. We Realtors are MORE than Agents....we are chief cook and bottle washer, with a bit of Psychology thrown in for good measure.  Enjoying your post!!

Posted by JoAnn Borelli-Mardesich over 9 years ago

There needs to be a partnership of 'give and take' between clients and their agent that is built on trust and respect. The client is NOT always right, but they should be given the 'right of way' early on until they understand the place your guidance comes from - and sometimes that's from their failure.

Posted by Lisa Moroniak, SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified (Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388) over 9 years ago

Mike, this is very good advice. They really don't want to hear what we have to say. Sometimes they just need to vent.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Love it! How very true~ however some of us might want to use something a little more harsher than just our foot!

Posted by Charlene Hammontree, Meeting the needs of Buyers and Sellers in MICH (616 Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

LISTENING is an art that one has to learn to master. It take a humble attitude to be able to listen. Often times, we have an answer to everything that the other party say. It is a good skill to have.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 9 years ago

If you ask the right questions...all you have to do is sit back and listen and they'll tell you everything you need to hear.

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 over 9 years ago

Love the photo!  Listening is easier said than done and it takes work, even more challenging is learning to shut up and listen to what's not being said

Posted by Diane McDermott, Charlotte NC Real Estate Market (Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC) over 9 years ago


Thanks for your comments!  It's been a busy day, and at the end of it, I logged onto AR and found that this had been featured.  Yaay, and all that.

I'm surprised that no one commented about the sparrows' gender.  Figure that out, and comment again.  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Terrific bird photo -- very cute -- hope all is good with you and your darlin' down in Tuscon.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Wow Mike,

Another great posting.  Love those little birds.  As a coach I spend my whole day listening and trully love what my clients and I gain from the experience.  I also frequently think about what my dad used to say about negotiations and making deals.  I used this frequently as a head hunter..."He who speaks first and the most usually loses."  You can't really help someone until they know that you are really listening.



Posted by Mindy Kannon, Personal Chef and Nutrition Coach (Chew Your Rope, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hi Mike - worth the featurebecause of the photo...  although sometimes we can't hear properly as they speak in sign language and that is hard to hear over the phone.. G-d bless, Gay

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago


That is an incredible photo and couldn't be more perfect for your topic.  Listening is different from hearing.  A million years ago, I learned from a great salesperson in another industry to ask questions and then listen.  Even if the customer didn't respond right away...fight the urge to help them form their answer.  Even if the pause is uncomfortably long.  Usually, the next thing a customer or client says will help you ask another question and then repeat.  Helping people to their own conclusions is much better received than being dictated to...nobody needs more than one mother or father!!!

happy selling!

Posted by Annie Holdreith (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International/Manhasset, New York) over 9 years ago

Great advice!

I don't know if there's an app for that, but there are many great books for that.

Posted by Bukka Levy, REALTOR - San Francisco North Bay (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago


Thanks for sharing your insight and a great photo.

Good luck and success.

Lou Luwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 9 years ago

My friend....start and practice with kids and if you survive that, clients are a piece of cake....as to the gender, it is obvious my friend...the one doing the clamping is a male who had to use his feet as a last resort....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 9 years ago

I agree totally. I'm not a pushy agent. If they want to buy something from me, they will.  I had a listing appointment (or so I thought) this afternoon.  The last time I showed this property, the listing agent said she had to be there.  She did not Shut UP, the entire time I was there.  She talked so much that my customer said, "Let's go, she's getting on my nerves."  So, I tried this again.  When I called her, I said, XYZ, I'm not a pushy agent, I prefer to let my customers ask me  questions. I would appreciate it this time if you just let me show the property.  I'm not a forcing a sale as you try to do.  So, if you wouldn't mind, let me talk when I need to and please try to be quiter (er,er,er).

Well, so she decided that she didn't like the fact that I asked her not to talk so much, and she just decided not to show up.  No matter, found my customers much nicer properties to show than her listing.

Just sayin'. Have respect for the buyers agents.

Posted by Karen Monsour, REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert! (Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach) over 9 years ago

I love the pic!  It is the perfect compliment for your post!  It is true that you learn a lot of hard lessons along the way....especially if you try TOO hard to show your clients how you know.  You are right that they just want to know how you are going to solve their problem....like yesterday!  Great post.

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 9 years ago
You are correct. The hardest thing to learn in Real Estate and that they didn't teach you in school, is that you are no longer a salesman. Now you are a listener, a shrink and a rabbii
Posted by Robert Schmalz, Cal. Lic Broker (West Los Angeles Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

Congrats on the feature. And thanks for reminding that listening is a must have skill!

Posted by Markita Woods NMLS#196099, Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA (American Financial Network) over 9 years ago

You make a nice point, and as consultants expected to provide expert advice we often have trouble just being quiet. I would also add that it is important to leasrn the personality profile of the client, by asking those questions during the rapport building. Not trying to bump his work, but The Platinum Rule if Tony Allesandra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrjpwXIwUuc makes it easy to know how much you should be talking. Socializer...talk it up its a party. Relater, better be very attentive and do not interupt. Analytical buyer, give them all the data, facts and information they can handle. Directors, shut up and listen...they'll tell you what they want and what you will do for them.

Posted by Dustin Oldfather, Delaware Ocean & Water Front Homes (Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Mike, I just don't know who I'm more impressed with: your brother for taking such a fantastic photo, or you for taking that photo to new heights of meaning with your blog. Bravo, point well made-and well illustrated!

Posted by Beth Larsen, Sedona Arizona (RE/MAX Sedona) over 9 years ago

Awesome photo!  I have been in sales since high school (first job was doorknocking to raise money for my trip to Florida at 14).  Of course, then it was telemarketing, selling cars and now homes, you learn to shut up and listen if you want to make it in sales.

Posted by Raiza Schwartz, CDPE (West USA Realty) over 9 years ago

I bet those two birds are married. . . great photo!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 9 years ago

Hi Mike - Happy Friday! Thanks for starting my day off with a smile at that photo (and to your brother as well). Your message is one we need to keep in the forefront. "Active Listening" should be a series of college courses for all business professionals, in my mind - especially sales professionals.

Posted by Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas) over 9 years ago

Thanks for giving us the bird, Mike!  And good counsel to boot.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 9 years ago

You are sooo correct on this one Mike! Listening is the most important skill you need to work on for all things in life!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

Mike: Those are good thoughts. I would imagine the top LO's, etc. are great listeners. Thanks for the post!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 9 years ago

Great post and even better GREAT photo up top! That handed me quite a laugh!

Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) over 9 years ago

Awesome post, perfect photo.  Your brother was a great inspiration. :)

Posted by Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY (Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ) over 9 years ago

TinEye: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lenderAll,

Brother Morgan didn't take the photo.  He found it on the internet and sent it to me.  A quick search using TinEye came up with 122 blogs on the internet with this photo.  If you've never used TinEye to search for people using your photos, give it a try.  It's free!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

I love that picture. Yes, many clients have their own think sos. However, they are the final decision makers.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 9 years ago

Mike, What a great photo and post! Did the photo inspire the post?  In our line of work we need to listen to our clients, read between the lines, listen to body language.  We also need to listen to our limitations when dealing with clients.  Listening is so important.

This photo shows how aggressive house sparrows can be.  I was a blue bird monitor for a many years and in all my readings and hearing of stories from other monitors about house sparrows, it was all the same that they would stop at nothing to get a nest for their own: even kill an adult bird sitting on a nest and kill its young.  Sparrows do what they need to to survive, we need to listen to survive.



Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) over 9 years ago

Great warning on "feature dumping" a problem many in "partnering" "consulting" and....ughhh...."sales" have.....loved it.  Thanks for the tip on tineye!

Posted by Brett Reichel, MLO 210215 (Homebridge Financial Services) over 9 years ago

Once, while working in my "office" at Panera, I overheard a "conversation" between a franchise manager and a couple who was interested in buying a franchise of a business. The manager talked non-stop about himself for at least 30 minutes. I heard nothing save for a few yesses or nos from the buyers. It was so frustrating listening to him yammer on in the backgroud and they couldn't get a word in edgewise. I'm pretty sure they left with the same questions they came with. (I don't eavesdrop, I'm one of those people who can hear conversations going on around me and I literally find it difficult to tune them out.) :-)

Posted by Cathy Baumbusch over 9 years ago

Mike - Did your brother take the photo himself?  It's quite a photo.

As to listening . . . isn't that why they tell us we have two ears and only one mouth?

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 9 years ago


Please see comment #44

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago


Excellent post!

Excellent photo!

Excellent words to live by!!!

Overall excellence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 9 years ago

Hello Mike and I could have sworn I left a comment to your post and this photo! I love it and thanks for the view!

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 9 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments