Did you ever see The Music Man? If you did, than you probably remember the lyrics that go “Ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City.” Now, if I remember correctly, the trouble in River City referred to the fact that folks were actually playing pool (gambling) and gambling, so the story goes, leads you down a slippery slope.
Well, there are some people out there who always make trouble, whether it is in River City or elsewhere. They are always combative and want to get their way. They argue until they are blue in the face. You know who they are, perhaps you are even one of them.
Since I started negotiating short sales for a living, I have spoken to more folks than ever before. I have spoken to thousands of real estate agents across the nation. I have also spoken with hundreds (maybe thousands) of bank short sale processors and customer service representatives, managers, and presidents. Each and every individual has a unique personality. When having these conversations with mortgage lenders and even with real estate agents, I always have a goal that I want to achieve. Usually I want to get my way in short sale negotiation, but sometimes I just want to convey a point.
I realized the other day that in order to be successful in dealings with others, you need to be a prepositional phrase and not a verb. (Caveat: Remember that I am a former English teacher. Please do not start snoozing; keep reading and hear me out!)
If you vaguely remember high school, you may remember that teachers taught us that a prepositional phrase is “Anything a rabbit can do to a hill” or “Anything an airplane can do to a cloud.” So, words such as above, around, below, over, under, and through are prepositional phrases. Thus, in my dealings with the lien holders on these short sales, sometimes I need to figure out how to be like a prepositional phrase—how to strategize to make it over that hill or around that cloud.
Now, if you vaguely remember elementary school, you probably know that a verb is an action word: bark, yell, scream, rant, annoy. When working on short sales and negotiating with lien holders, you can also behave like a verb. You can bark, yell, scream, rant and annoy. But, I can tell you right now that if you behave in this manner you will be significantly less successful in your negotiations, and you may burn a few bridges along the way.
So, when negotiating short sales, try not to make trouble in River City. Instead, work to meet your goals more like a prepositional phrase than like a verb.
One side note: Do not ever take anything personally. Be objective and professional. This is a business transaction for you, for your sellers, for your buyers, and for the bank. The bank does not care about everyone’s drama. Leave that with your verbs at the door!