Lesson Learned: Listen Before You Speak
In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Luxury broker Reid Heidenry has a passion for teamwork and for residential and commercial real estate in the desirable Miami market. That passion has allowed him to put his expertise to work for top-tier clients throughout the area.
What makes him so successful? Heidenry knows that sometimes it’s all about keeping your own counsel and letting the client take the lead before you offer your perspective.
How long have you been in the business?
I graduated from the University of Miami in 2006. At the time, I wanted to be a sports agent, so I worked for the Miami Dolphins and Next Models as an agent.
I quickly realized I could make more money finding homes for the models and athletes, so I quit both and started selling real estate full-time in 2007.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
There’s a lot to figure out in life for all of us. I realized at a pretty young age that Miami was my favorite city in the world and the place I wanted to call home. In five years, I definitely see myself still living here, but hopefully, I’ll spend more time traveling during the summer.
It’s important for me as an agent to explore other markets, see other cities and see what I can bring back to Miami. I plan to still be very active selling real estate but also selling a lot of my own personal real estate projects.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
One big lesson is that issues always come up in a transaction. It’s never perfect. There are always surprises, so don’t get flustered. Be patient, work with everyone involved, and you’ll solve the issue.
Another lesson that sticks with me is that everyone has their own style and thoughts regarding different spaces and designs, and it’s my job to give my clients the facts, not to tell them what they will like or dislike.
How did you learn it?
I had a deal for a very large condo that came furnished. The space was beautiful with great views, an excellent floor plan, and [it was] priced right. However, the furniture and finishings were awful.
I represented the buyer for the transaction, and as we left the property, we had a quick chat to discuss the unit. I [should’ve known] better than to give my own personal opinion on the place before I listened to my buyers’ thoughts. That being said, I thought it was obvious that the unit needed to be gutted and redesigned completely.
As I finished sharing my thoughts, the husband and wife looked at me funny and then told me they thought the furniture was beautiful, and they wouldn’t change a thing. That was the last time I answered first without listening to my client.
What advice would you give to new agents?
I tell every new agent on my team the same thing. It’s all about your network. It’s your job — your primary job — to grow your network, develop solid relationships and build trust.
A lot of my friends are my clients, and a lot of my clients are my friends. There’s a very fine line, and that’s something that you constantly need to work at.
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Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.