Managing Expectations


In our industry, and in life, I have found that we are constantly dealing with the most challenging variable of all, people’s expectations. These expectations, as complex and simplistic as they may be, are tough to anticipate, or evaluate, unless you attempt to manage them. Managing expectations helps to keep all parties involved in a transaction feeling as though they have a bit of control, while also allowing people to trust one another. Here are a few tips I have found that help manage my clients, and other REALTORS®, expectations:

1. Communicate:

Try and ensure that you are talking to each party involved in the transaction so that they are not left wondering, or assuming, what is happening on the other end. Even if you know nothing, send the other person a quick note, text, call, courier pigeon etc, informing them that you haven’t forgotten about them, or are ignoring them, and are keeping them up to speed with the information you have.

2.  Preconceptions

To complicate things even further, people come into a relationship with preconceptions based on their own experiences. They may have been burned in a previous transaction, or left wondering how their listing was doing, and therefore they may be upset before anything has even happened. Once again it goes back to communication. By sitting down, or having a quick phone call, and listening to each others point of view you may be able to put some fears to rest and help them see the brighter side of the experience.

3. Respect Time Frames

Irrevocables are one thing but manage when the other person can expect an answer. If they think they will hear something right away but you know you are busy for the next few hours, be realistic and let them know when they can anticipate an answer so they are not sitting by their phone cursing you for not getting back to them by the time they expected. Did I mention to….. COMMUNICATE?!

4. Don’t Assume Anything

I remember what a high school teacher told me about assuming… “It Makes An ASS out of U and Me” and sadly it is one of the life lessons that always stuck with me. You don’t know what kind of day the other person has had, what type of heated debate they may have had with their sellers or their REALTOR ® so try and keep emotions at bay and a level head about what is right in front of you and not what may or may not be happening on the other side.

5. Don’t Over Manage Expectations

After all I’ve said you might think this is a huge contradiction, but sometimes trying to mange someone’s expectations might make you extremely frustrated. We have to remember that we’re dealing with people, the most complex beings and who all come with their own “baggage” and needs. So we must remember that needs change. Markets change. Someone might wake up one morning and feel completely different than they did when you last spoke. Roll with it. If you only take one thing away from this I hope it’s to… COMMUNICATE!!

Jennifer Aunger, OREA YPN Committee member & Guest Blogger

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