Just the Facts Please

August 4, 2020 12:49 pm Published by

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There has been a trend for some time in the news world, away from informing us about what happened, and towards telling us what we ought to think about it. An example of this can be witnessed anytime President Trump is scheduled to address the media. CNN has taken to not airing his speech, but rather televising a panel of experts deciphering what he is saying, often in real-time, fact-checking it, and pointing out the inaccuracies. And no doubt there are many. But one is left with the feeling that the network doubts the viewer possesses the intelligence to arrive at their own conclusion. Or at least the desired conclusion.

On the other end of the spectrum, FOX plays the same game. Canadian news is not immune to the trend. A recent CBC headline about 18 legislative changes contained in a provincial omnibus bill, contained limited information about exactly what those changes were, and a litany of opinions from political commentators on both sides about why we should be for or against the bill. In defense of the CBC, at least they quoted commentators both for and against. Lacking in both examples, however, is a journalistic commitment to bringing the reader or viewer the unvarnished facts, and allowing us to reach our own conclusion. The news business has become the opinion business. Perhaps this is the natural consequence of a digital universe in which we feel forced to deliver a message in 140 characters or less. If the facts cannot be condensed to a Tweet, an opinion can. It is a trend that permeates all walks of life and real estate is not immune.

In the Information age, organized real estate has pivoted to ensure that our value proposition contains more than simply being providers of information. And this is a good thing. A good realtor much like anyone in any service industry succeeds largely on how they made their clients feel. Our clients need to be not only informed, but also feel valued and heard. Moreover, if we are able to deliver those qualities in a manner and in the proportion that allows our clients to make beneficial decisions for their families, we are more likely to earn their repeat business and referrals. What we need to be cognizant of, is that we dont fall into the opinion trap the news world finds itself in. Everyone has an opinion. Our job shouldnt be to form yours, but rather provide you with the tools that allow you to reach the one that makes sense for you and your family.

I havent actively sold real estate in over 20 years, but some of the most vivid memories from my career in real estate come from that time. Upon entering a home with a prospective purchaser, I was struck by what I thought was the most hideous green walls I had ever seen, and the verbalization of that opinion was about to be expressed. Before I could speak, the purchaser commented: I love the paint! And to think I was about to dissuade them based upon an opinion that may or may not have been correct, and certainly didnt matter! Both my client and myself would be better served if I delivered the facts and expressed opinion only when asked.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Neumann