I recently was invited to be a guest on “Real Estate Know How with Lynnae.” We had neither agenda nor notes, yet the conversation flowed. I was amazed at the parallels between her business as a residential real estate broker, and mine as a mediator. It always boils down to relationships. Please listen:
Good morning, and welcome to Real Estate Know How with Lynnae. Just a recap of last week, we did Feng Shui with Magdalena’s Harmonious Fung Shui. What we wanted to make sure everybody knew is that she’s not a Feng Shui Master, however, she is certified in doing the Feng Shui in people’s homes, and I had a lot of positive feedback on that, and I’m already starting to make the changes in my own home. We’re decluttering and having movers coming on Wednesday and getting rid of some of the furniture that we just don’t use. So I think in real life we need to remember this. Sometimes decluttering is not a bad idea. We’ve also talked about in the past shows, the grant money available for people who were purchasing and we’re getting ready to do a Facebook advertisement where we’re going to start requesting and sending out ads and exposing that program so that people can utilize those funds that are available and keep money in their bank for when they purchase that house so that they can buy the upgraded blinds and do the whole improvements.
Today I’d like to welcome our guest, Nancy Gabriel with Mediation Around The Table. I’d like you to give us a little background on how you got into being a mediator because I think it’s really important that people know that you have some legal background, and that you’ve also studied how to get people to talk to each other.
Yes, absolutely. My background as Lynnae said, is as a paralegal and a certified legal administrator, both in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas. I got started as a mediator because, after my husband died seven and a half years ago, my stepdaughter sued me in probate court for my share of the family business. And that lawsuit, besides costing me tens of thousands of dollars, cost me the relationship with my stepdaughter and her family. And after it was settled out of court, I thought there has to be another way of resolving conflict without destroying relationships. So I searched around the internet and I found mediation and started studying. In my legal background, I thought mediation was only for landlord-tenant disputes, and I discovered that mediation is a tool for resolving conflict in any dispute.
Well, interesting that you mentioned landlord and tenant disputes because real estate is where my business runs, and sometimes we do run into disputes in real estate. Have you had to deal with people who have had to deal with the loss of somebody and there’s family conflict?
Absolutely. What I’d like to explain, Lynnae, is what mediation is.
As a mediator, I am a neutral third party. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t tell the people in conflict how to resolve the conflict. What I’m trying to do is help them have a conversation with each other and possibly brainstorm resolutions. But most importantly, I don’t judge anybody. Mediation is way less expensive than litigation. It is way more efficient – both cost efficient and time efficient – and it’s confidential. When you file a lawsuit in court, it becomes a matter of public record. So if somebody’s involved in litigation, whether it’s a failed escrow or landlord-tenant, and then let’s say subsequently they go to look for a job, a prospective employer can search and find court records and say, ‘oh well, you know you were sued for not paying your rent,’ and that doesn’t look good. So mediation, being a confidential process, it doesn’t become a matter of public record.
And, we all know – and I think it’s just, you know, attorneys get paid only by the time they put into something, so do you think that they’re going after resolution, or sometimes do you think that they stir the pot?
Well, I don’t like to badmouth attorneys. Most of my family are attorneys and judges and paralegals, but having worked for attorneys for several decades, that they charge a retainer fee and then they use it up. And when they use it up, sometimes your case gets put on the back burner because they don’t have any money in their account from you until you replenish the retainer. So yeah, that’s a really good question, and again, I don’t want to badmouth attorneys. There are times in my practice when people ask me a legal question and I’m not a lawyer. I cannot give legal advice. So then I will suggest that they need an attorney and I will refer them to several attorneys for them to choose. So it’s important as a mediator to know what you don’t know as well.
And I like the fact that you’re the third party disinterested. We deal with an escrow for our transactions, and the point of the third party disinterested is that you’re not taking sides.
And you use words, so if two people can be in the same room, you feel you can help them come to a resolution?
That’s exactly what I say. If you can be in the same room with the person you’re in conflict with, I can help. And even sometimes not in the same room. I have done what we call “shuttle mediation,” where I’ve got one party in one conference room and another party in another conference room and the mediator shuttles back and forth. And sometimes with high conflict cases, that’s the most peaceful, I’d say, way to accomplish that.
You’ve got everybody yelling over each other, saying, “Oh, that’s a lie,” doing that kind of thing?
And that happens.
And then that’s kept in that room so that the other party doesn’t see it?
Right. And there are times when mediators do what we call “caucus,” which is a private meeting with one party and then a private meeting with the other party, and at that time, the private meeting might encourage a party to share more. And as a mediator, I cannot divulge what that person shared in private to the other party unless they have specifically given me permission to share that information. And you’d be surprised what comes out in those private caucuses.
There’s always hidden agendas. There’s always underlying issues. And that’s a good way to get to them because once we get to them, as mediators, we’re trained to help people get off of their positions, essentially.
Well, you know, I’ve heard you say something about not everything’s equal and it’s about being fair. Would you talk a little about that?
Oh, I know you like that, Lynnae.
Not everything is equal but sometimes it’s fair.
What I say is, fair and equal are two different things.
There you go.
Equal is a mathematical equation. You can divide something by two or four or five or eight. But fair is a perception, and everybody has a different perception of what fair is. So, it’s important as a mediator to try and understand what people think is fair and try and help the parties communicate that. And sometimes they don’t have the words. So I’ll just start tossing out words like I’m on a game show until I hit the right word that says, ‘yeah, okay, that’s what I’m feeling.’ ‘I’m feeling betrayed or disrespected’ or however, and once they feel that the mediator has understood how they feel, and has expressed it to the other party, they’re more ready to move forward.
It’s like the difference, if someone’s being honest, like sometimes the other party, all they want to hear is you’re sorry and yes, you did that.
Exactly. Why do people have such a hard time apologizing?
I think it’s probably ego. Being seen as lesser than rather than greater than.
Or, people just want to be right.
And sometimes it’s not about being right. It’s about being right for the right reason.
Or in the moment.
Exactly. I know you have some really great stories because I remember you telling me about a family that had stuff in storage for a number of years, and one of the things you did get through was the difference between fair and equal.
I love that story, Lynnae, thanks for reminding me. Shall I tell it?
I’d love to hear it.
Okay, so this was a family of four adult siblings. Their mother had died, I think it was two or three years prior, and they had put all of their mother’s things in storage because they couldn’t agree on who got what. In particular, they were fighting over a piano, and they finally came to me two years later, and I sat them down in my conference room and, through the process of mediation, that didn’t even take an hour, they finally came to an agreement. They decided who was going to get the piano, decided who was going to empty out the storage container, and walked out hugging each other. It was brilliant.
So what was the reason, though? Why were they in dispute over that piano? Because, I mean, that’s a big one item for four siblings.
How did they come to a resolution, and what was the feeling, or who’s entitled?
That’s a good question. The resolution was that one of the brothers who had the most room took the piano. One of the sisters had a child who wanted to take piano lessons, so part of the agreement was that the daughter was going to have lessons at her uncle’s house. But the reason that they were fighting for so long stems back to their childhood. ‘I’m the oldest, so I’m entitled.’ ‘Mom loved me the best.’ ‘I took care of her.’ ‘I drove her to the hairdresser.’ I mean, there were so many underlying issues that stemmed back to childhood and birth order, and we just let them get through it and talk about it. And they realized that nothing had anything to do with the items in storage, and they essentially loved each other.
Isn’t that amazing? I bet the best thing walking away from something like that would be that you helped four siblings get back together, and actually created a bond that their children could see that they grew up and came back together.
Exactly. And I like to say that mediation preserves relationships.
You say that a lot.
Yeah, because litigation doesn’t. Litigation is about winning and losing. And litigation, I know personally because I was involved in a litigation and it ended a relationship for me. And I said, after that, “never again.” And I love helping people preserve their relationships even in a divorce situation because when there are kids involved, they’re going to be parents forever. So, if they can walk out of my office with some dignity, and both feeling like they won instead of a winner and a loser, then I’ve helped them and I’ve done my job.
Isn’t that funny? My quote on my website is, “Finding a winning solution for your real estate needs.” It’s not necessarily that everybody has to win, but maybe make it a win-win situation instead of win-lose?
So, I wanted to give you guys our call in number, so that when we come back, if you have questions or you want to comment with Nancy and I today, our call in number is 702-483-4444. That’s 702-483-4444. It’s Real Estate Know How with Lynnae, and my guest is Nancy Gabriel with Mediation Around The Table, and we’ll be right back.
Good morning. Real Estate Know How with Lynnae. Our call-in number is 702-483-4444, and today we are speaking about mediation. And one of the things that I find with real estate agents sometimes is that conflicts can happen because of emotions. In most – when we’re dealing with residential real estate – the difference between commercial real estate and residential is the emotional factor in the real estate. So it could be the person who’s selling the property – why are they having to sell? Is it due to divorce? Is it due to the loss of a family member? Is it due to that they have to move? If we, as real estate agents, can get down to the nitty gritty of why they have to sell, it helps us facilitate them moving forward in their purchase. And then on the other side of that, is buyers. You know, they get attached to a home once they write the property up because they start moving their stuff in. And that’s why it’s really cool. I like to show vacant houses or homes that have very little furniture in it because then it allows the buyer to start taking possession in their mind. So the thing that today we’re talking about is mediation and how we can, instead of being a win-lose situation, how can we create a win-win situation? And what’s the difference between equal and fair? So I remember when speaking with Nancy not too long ago, I had a situation with a buying agent and one of the things that they kept asking for was five days. They needed an additional five days to close. Well, that five days cost my client $1,800 because of the type of mortgage they had on their home. And yet these people kept coming back and saying “No, we’re not going to do any of this other stuff.” And I’m like going ‘okay it’s not equal, and definitely not fair.’ So I let it set. The offer set. And they came back and said “Why are you not responding?” And I remember hearing Nancy say this, so I said to the guy, “Because your client is not playing fair.” And within four hours, we had a signed offer and everybody closed and everything went fine. But I just thought it was amazing, you know, I’ve been with you, Nancy, in several meetings, and heard your presentations. I was just impressed, and I think, you know, being as a real estate agent, I’d rather be the person who’s coming with the solution.
Well, exactly, and you touched upon a couple of things I’d like to expound upon.
The first one is emotions. And it’s really, really key for other people to understand our emotions. Because once we feel that we’ve been heard, then we can go on to the next thing. But if we’re trying to convince people that we’re right, or being heard, we’re going to be stuck there. So, addressing emotions is a really, really critical thing. And another thing I wanted to share, and this is a tip – I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you before – but when you brought up your situation about the five extra days to close, I thought about how I’ve learned to make requests instead of demands. And it’s a really simple thing to train your brain to do, and that is instead of saying ‘I need you to’ or ‘My client needs you to’ – to change it to ‘Would you be willing’ or ‘Would your client be willing?’ And then, fill in the blank. Then it’s making a request instead of a demand and if you’re making a specific request that’s one thing. But otherwise, you can ask for some options. ‘Would your client be willing to come up with a couple of solutions, a couple of scenarios that would be acceptable to him or her that I can present to my client?’
Isn’t that funny, because that’s exactly what I did when he did come to me. He said, “I need” and I said “Would you.” You know, I read the book, “Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus,” and I will never, ever forget this very thing. When a man asks a woman to marry him, what does he say? He says, “Would you please marry me?” He doesn’t ask you if he could, can, or whatever. It’s would. And the other word is willing. Willing, okay? So then we’re sitting there later in our marriage and we’re wondering why we can’t get our husband to take out the trash, because what do we say? “Honey, can you take out the trash?” Now you’ve questioned his ability, but if you ask it “Will you please take out the trash,” now you’ve not put him in a situation where he’s questioning, you’re just saying is he going to? Yes, of course. So I think it is about words.
It is absolutely about words. And you don’t want to say “I need you to take out the trash.” Right? Or, “do me a favor and take out the trash” because that makes it seem like you’re going to owe him something in return, when it’s really an obligation that two people sharing a residence have for each other, for the residence. So, ‘would you be willing’ is sort of a kinder, gentler way and honestly, nobody says no when you make a request like that.
And you know, when I do emails, I do the same thing. I never ask, ‘could, can, ‘ that kind of thing. I always ask ‘would’ or ‘will.’ And because of what you’ve said, I believe that words are very important.
They’re impactful and sometimes when I have people in conflict in my office, I don’t necessarily know what they’re feeling. I can assume, but it’s not my job to assume what they’re feeling. My job is to help them express what they’re feeling to the other party so that they understand each other. And that’s where words come into play.
And when we talk about words, you also talk about how people talk. So you can say that the person who’s a listener, they’re going to say “well, I don’t hear you,” or “you’re not hearing me.” Now you know that you need to use words that they hear, that you’re hearing them, but someone else will say, “but you’re not understanding my feelings.” How do you address that? Do you actually listen for awhile so that you know how to talk to those people?
Oh, absolutely. I listen way more. My dad used to say, “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak.” And I take that to heart. And sometimes – I’m going to answer your question in a second – but sometimes my silence is more powerful than my words, because I’ll just let them talk and if they run out of words, I might just sit there. And then somebody will keep going or start anew. But typically, if I feel that the parties aren’t hearing each other, I’ll ask one to repeat what he or she just heard the other say. And I’ve even gone so far as to have them switch seats and speak in the other person’s narrative. And sometimes just that physical getting up and changing chairs helps people get off their positions and really hear what the other person’s saying.
Now that brings me back to the mockingbird. There’s the movie, the book –
To Kill A Mockingbird? Harper Lee?
Yes, and one of the things they talk about is walking around in someone else’s shoes. And that’s what you just did when you made them switch seats.
Yes. Absolutely. And it’s so effective because they’re thinking not about their own agenda but thinking possibly about what the other person’s agenda might be.
I wrote something when I posted all this on Facebook, and it was about communication. Communication is about people sometimes ready to reply rather than ready to –
Oh, absolutely, because people sometimes don’t listen. They’re so busy thinking about what they’re going to say next. I had an experience not too long ago in my personal life where that just irritated me to no end because he just wasn’t listening. And he wasn’t even letting me finish my sentence. And longer story over lunch or a glass of wine, I will share that with you.
But in any event, yeah, you know, you really need to listen to what the other person’s saying and make sure you hear it, and not spend time thinking about how you’re going to reply during your listening time.
I know sometimes my most effective conversations are when someone will say something to me and then I’ll repeat back to them what I think that they said. And they’ll go, ‘no, no, no, no, no.’ And it’s so funny to me because I did a text the other day on my phone and someone left a comma out. And I understood it differently than if they had put the comma in, which is a breath, which is you know, I’m starting something anew or whatever. And I’m just amazed that sometimes what you think you said – so I always use the analogy, the visual, because I – the visual, the emotional and the hearing. Because the visual is that fly that keeps hitting the window. We keep saying it the same way and that person’s not getting it. Well, we’ve got to quit acting like the fly.
We’ve got to figure out how to get around the window.
And so what I say is, “say it another way.”
I agree. Say it another way. And that’s where mediation comes in. I think that having that skill — that’s a skill set. How did you get to that skill? Because that’s difficult to take one person who can do all three of those and be able to use it. But to be a good mediator, you must be able to do that.
Well, thank you. It’s a combination of life experience, a lot of training, a lot of reading, my legal background, and also being a word person. I’ve always been a word person. And I was an undefeated champion on $100,000 Pyramid.
So, I’ve always had access to words, and words can help, they can heal, they can hurt, they can confuse. So it’s a matter of choosing the right words and helping my clients choose the right words.
You know, that’s funny that you say that. I’m going to step back here for a minute. I just had a story written about me in the Las Vegas Real Estate Magazine, and one of the things that was brought up in there was that you know immediately my own biological family couldn’t handle it, I went into foster care, and so forth and so on. What amazes me as an individual is that I don’t remember the physical abuse. I remember the mental. When someone told me, and you’re going to just laugh at this, that I had a big nose.
Words can hurt. They’re powerful.
And that stayed with me for the longest time. So I read a book called “Cyber Cybernetics,” and I made the decision to go and have that surgery done. And really what it was about was all the abuse had caused a build-up of scar tissue. So yeah, my nose was a little bit wide, but the unfortunate thing about that was the person who told me that. That hurt the most.
So, if you could go back to your younger self, what would you have done differently? What would you have told yourself differently?
I was so lost at that time, I couldn’t tell you that. I’ll be honest with you. It really did take physically going and making that change, and just saying, “I’m not going to live with this any more.” And from that day, I really truly felt that I became the swan. Because one of the things I did when I went and did the research for the surgeon, I went to the surgeon who didn’t give me the choice of what my nose should look like. He told me how my nose should look like. And that to me spoke volumes, because he made it fit me. And that to me was important. So it’s like the words – they’re so powerful.
They’re so powerful.
And even to this day, someone can say something and it’ll just like boomerang me back to the past.
Absolutely. Well, it’s a message to not take things personally, and another thing that I find very important is to think about the person’s intention when they’re saying those words to you. If their intent is to hurt you, that’s one thing. But if their intent is that they just didn’t really think it clearly before they said it, they didn’t engage their brain before they opened their mouth, that’s another story. So I try and look for peoples’ intention. Like you and I were talking the other day about wishing somebody Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays, and the political correctness of it all, I like to look at intent. These people were not intending to lump me into one category or another, but they were intending to wish me well. So, I’m not going to take offense at any Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, Happy Chinese New Year, whatever, because people are just well-wishing and it’s about the intent.
Yeah, you know, I’m all about the intention, because I’ve always said that offense is a double-edged sword. You can only be offended if you’re looking for it.
If you allow yourself. Sure, sure.
I truly believe that. So, anyway, I just want to go to our next break. Our call-in number is 702-483-4444. 702-483-4444. Real Estate Know How with Lynnae, and we’ll be back in a few moments.
Good morning. Welcome back to Real Estate Know How with Lynnae. And our call-in number is 702-483-4444. 702-483-4444. If anybody’s listening, we would love to have some call-ins, particularly about divorce and what do we do about the house? Since this is real estate, and we’re talking about Real Estate Know How, and I’m sure that you, Nancy, have run into this.
I have several clients currently, divorce clients, who are debating what to do with their house, because typically both spouses’ names are on the loan and even if they showed the lender the Decree of Divorce, the lender is not necessarily willing to remove one of the parties from the loan. So, I get questions about, ‘well, how can I qualify on my own?’ ‘should we short sell the house?’ ‘what should we do?’ and I don’t really know how to advise.
Well one of the first things that we do is we set them up with a lender, if the spouses have that question, because right now with all the grant money out there, and if they have a credit score of 640 or more. Let’s just say that they – once separated from the spouse – and they make $95,000 or less, they are actually qualified up to 5% help in doing a closing on their own.
Would that mean they would have to sell the house they’re in and buy a new one? Is that what you’re saying?
And then the spouse that wants to keep it, we would need to find out if they would qualify for refinancing the house. Now in a short sale situation, there’s no way of getting them off of the loan. Okay, so you’d have to sell if you’re going to get rid of that upside down burden. But the next thing that I’d do is have them talk to a bankruptcy attorney, and the reason for that is if they’re getting divorced, and they have quite a bit of debt, one of the things that may give them the fresh start for both parties is a bankruptcy. And the biggest reason for that is that when we go to do the short sale, because you want to have the property in the bankruptcy, and sometimes that would be the difference of putting in in a 7 versus a 13, now they’ve got what I call the golden ticket.
So, most of my clients when they come in, if it’s a divorce situation, and Nevada’s a no-fault state, I don’t ask, “why are you getting a divorce?” But during the process of mediation, it generally comes up. Not always. And, a lot of times, it’s financial. And a lot of times, it’s debt and credit scores, and upside down on the house. And I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a realtor, I’m not a broker, I’m not a lender. So all I can do is direct them to whose brains they can pick. And when I say “bankruptcy,” everybody clenches their fists.
Well, I don’t go there until I’ve had them talk to both financial people, and then we’ve done is looked at the property, and then we do a presentation. And you know, it’s kind of like when you have food on your plate, you can either lump it all together and it just looks like a big mess, or you can set it up perfectly and all of a sudden things click into place. And now that’s not such a back thing, because a fresh start – they’re getting a divorce – would be better for everybody.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I understand that. But communicating that and staying neutral is a different story.
And I understand that. And that sometimes, you know, and I find myself, and that’s why I love having you as a person in my life as support because I can actually go to you and say something, and you’d go, ‘well, look at it this way,’ or ‘look at it that way.’ I like the fact that as a third party disinterested, you have a different lens.
I do, and my lens is filtered through questions, because I ask a million questions. Because, not only do I want to understand so I can help them possibly brainstorm, but I want them to understand each other.
You know one of the best counseling sessions I ever had was not only about being questioned, but the questions actually caused me to give the answer, and both parties resolved the issues because of the questions asked.
Exactly. And it’s amazing when that light bulb goes on. As a mediator, I feel so happy that I’ve helped.
Kind of. I try and keep my personal feelings in check, but I end up hugging my clients, or they hug me. Some of them send me Facebook friend requests afterwards, and it’s a unique position to be that neutral third party.
Oh, I think that’s great. You know, and I plan on, you know, taking advantage and keeping up with you on this. I love the fact that you do this. So, tell us, do you have any stories about anybody successfully dealing with a divorce, that had to sell a property?
Yes, I’ve had instances – this is kind of interesting – it wasn’t really a sale, it was that one of the parents got an apartment and the other parent stayed in the family home. And instead of moving the kids back and forth for visitation, the parents switched. So they had like a two week on, two week off schedule, and so they had one household in an apartment, and the other household was the family home. And the parents just moved. And it worked. They’re still doing it as far as I know.
That’s actually quite brilliant. No one’s ever – see to me that’s thinking outside the box.
And that’s what they did.
Why move the kids? Why do we have to always move the kids?
It’s the kids that need the most stability.
They stayed in their rooms, they played in their driveway, and they didn’t have to go to dad’s house or mom’s house. It was their house. The family home.
Wow, do you know what? I’m going to remember that for the future because that’s actually a smart idea. There’s even homes that have casitas. Why not put the parent out there in the casita so that there’s some separation?
That could work. But again, it depends on the families. And the people who come to me for mediation come in the spirit of cooperation to begin with. They don’t come necessarily as total adversaries. ‘Have your lawyer call my lawyer’ is nothing that comes up in my practice, unless they can’t get to a resolution through mediation. So they come in the spirit of cooperation and they’re willing to think outside the box. They look to me for suggestions and, of course, I can’t give them suggestions per se, but I can certainly help them brainstorm.
And that brainstorming is them talking among themselves, and then maybe you hearing or seeing something you can go, ‘let’s expound on that.’
Right. Right. And then there’s the impasse. I’m sure you end up with that often in negotiating a property, there’s an impasse. And so as a mediator, we’re trained to help people. And it doesn’t always work, but it works 95% of the time, to get past the impasse.
And what would be an impasse?
People wanting to be right. People refusing to get off their position. So, without revealing all my tricks, what I would do – I had a situation not too long ago where a couple owned a time-share together. And it wasn’t paid for, and they were splitting up. Neither one wanted the time-share, and they couldn’t sell it. They couldn’t give it back, and they were totally at an impasse. ‘You take it,’ ‘no, you take it.’ And I sent them home, and I said, “I want you to come back next time with two scenarios each of what you’d be willing to accept.” They came back and the husband presented scenario one, and the wife said okay, and they didn’t even need to present the other scenarios. I’m a note-taker, so I’m taking notes all over the place, and at the end of the day, I wrote up the agreement and they signed it, and once they sign an agreement, it’s a binding contract.
Wow. So you basically sent them home and said do some homework.
Yeah, think about what you’d be willing to do, and what would be acceptable to you, and encouraging them to think outside their own box as opposed to me saying why don’t you do this or why don’t you do that.
Ah, wow, that’s pretty good. I like that. Wow, that’s a good solution. So, you’ve got me stopped there today. That’s incredible.
Yeah, a couple alternatives. And like I said, because they’re with me in the spirit of cooperation to begin with, I’ve never had anybody say ‘no, I don’t want to do that.’
Now, what do you do with people who aren’t in the spirit of cooperation that wind up in your office? How do you disarm them? How do you get them to just –
That’s a good word. I like that.
There’s a lot of ways. The private meeting – the caucus that I told you about before, is a good one. And I’ve had people come in who couldn’t even sit in the same waiting room at my office, anywhere in proximity of one another, they were so angry with each other. And I separated them, and I said, “All right, what’s this really about?”
Do you feel like a counselor sometimes?
Oh, absolutely, even though I have no training. So I don’t give any suggestions. I ask the questions.
Well, that’s what a good counselor, from my point of view, is someone who asks a lot of questions. Because what questions, I think does, is it stirs the mind to think. Because remember what I wrote on the Facebook was communication. We’re so ready to reply rather than listen. You basically get people to stop that. I know one of the things that I like to do when I deal with buyers is to tell them I’ve never sold them a home. That stops them in their tracks. Why does it stop them? Because we’re saying something different.
Right. They’re going to hear it.
They’re going to hear it.
Yeah, and they’re going to listen. And if you don’t think they’re hearing it, ask them nicely, “what did you just hear me say?” “Would you mind repeating what you thought you heard me say?” “I want to make sure I communicated it correctly to you.”
Okay, so that’s one of the skills that you come in with, being not only to get people to communicate, to think, but to come back to you and you can then take that and push on it a little bit. Let’s say, “think on that more, because I think you’re on the right direction,” or “we need to examine this more.”
Right. And again, it goes back to the words you use, because there are people – when people are in conflict and they come to me, regardless of the nature of the conflict, there’s always one person driving the conflict bus and the other person is sort of, sometimes, the deer in the headlights. And what I like to say is, you’re driving the conflict bus at 50 miles an hour, and the other person is driving it at 25 miles an hour. So you’re both going to get to the destination, you’re just not going to get there at the same time. So allow yourselves that. You’re not in competition with each other. You’re basically in competition with yourself, to make sure that you’re being understood and you’re okay with the resolution.
Ah. Well, I really appreciate this. I want to give the call-in number again. I’d just love to hear from people today in our audience. 702-483-4444. 702-483-4444. We have Nancy Gabriel here with Mediation Around The Table. I think it’s a great service to have out there. You know, if you can even consider the situation. I like the conflict bus and the deer in the headlights. That’s actually a good analogy. Again, you know, we talk about visual, we talk about emotions, we talk about people who – our listeners who are different — and how we communicate. And it’s so important to understand and pick that up from people when we’re talking to them, and I think Nancy has the skill to take that next step. You know, so one person’s a visual person and the other’s emotional, she can take that visual person saying something and get them to say it emotionally, so that the other person can hear it.
Yes. Yes. And meet them in the middle.
Okay. We’re going to take a small break. Again, Real Estate Know How with Lynnae. Our call-in number is 702-483-4444. Look forward to hearing from you in our next segment.
Good morning and welcome back to Real Estate Know How with Lynnae, and I also wanted to touch base today – you know, we did open our office last week, Forbes Realty Group. I’m really proud to say that we’ve had a lot of action. We’ve already had agents calling in asking what it would take to come on board and be a real estate agent with our office. One of the things I did last week was that I had lunch with Nancy, and we talked about how utilizing her services in our office. Just recently, the Greater Las Vegas Realtors Association added a clause in our residential purchase agreements – we call them the R.P.A. And one of those things was mediation. Again, why we’re doing that is because we’re finding if somebody is not in it for a win-lose situation, if they want to find a resolution, find a solution that would make all parties happy, I think that this would be a great thing to do. And I think that Nancy, you would probably be an asset to any office that would consider having you on board as a mediator even initially before going into the GLVAR.
Thanks, thanks Lynnae. What I want to explain also to your listeners is the difference between mediation and arbitration. So in arbitration, there is an arbitrator. Generally, he or she is an attorney but not always. But in arbitration, the arbitrator decides the result. In mediation, the parties decide the result. So, I always like to think of mediation as the first stop. If you come to mediation and you have five issues to be resolved, and the mediator can help you resolve three, then you only need to litigate two. You’re going to save time, you’re going to save money, and hopefully, you’re going to save a relationship. And that’s one thing I was so impressed with the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors putting a mediation clause in their contracts, so that in the event of a dispute, mediation is the first stop. You don’t pick up the phone and call the lawyer first.
Right, and often I think that right now, my understanding is the people who are on that mediation is peers. So other real estate agents, preferably someone who has been in the industry for a long time. But I want to touch back on that arbitrator thing. Because that sounds like someone that is making a judgment, and using their personal know-how, feelings, etc., to make a decision on behalf of two people who are at an indecision, or at an impasse.
It is. It is. And a lot of people confuse mediation and arbitration which is why I wanted to explain what the distinction is.
And I want to talk about arbitration a little bit more, because I’ve heard a lot about arbitration, like when the unions go to arbitration.
Right. So, there is somebody who is making the decision. I actually have been appointed to sit on the State Bar of Nevada’s Fee Dispute Arbitration Panel, and I’m the only non-lawyer on the panel serving with two lawyers. And if you have a dispute about what your attorney’s charged you, and you file a grievance with the State Bar, you can opt for mediation or arbitration. And in an arbitration, the arbitration panel decides whether you should get a refund, or whether you still owe the lawyer, or whether the lawyer was accurate in what he or she charged. So the arbitrator is the decision maker.
Ok, so then if somebody is missing information or doesn’t get clarification to the arbitrator, that could actually go against them.
Absolutely. And the arbitrator, in certain circumstances, will apply the law whereas, as a mediator, I can’t apply the law because I’m not a lawyer.
Oh, okay. I find that interesting because arbitration would seem to be – we’re going back to that conflict of win-lose.
Exactly. And sometimes arbitration is binding, and sometimes it’s not binding. So if it’s binding, that’s the end of the road. But if it’s not binding, it’s just sort of a way of seeing what your stance will be when you ultimately go to court. And it can be a waste of time for everybody.
Oh. Whereas, mediation now we can, like you said, come in with five issues but we can leave with three of them resolved.
Exactly. Exactly. And personally, I’m just starting my fifth year as a mediator, and my success rate is over 95%.
So what if we could start with mediation and do the – resolve those three issues – maybe because we resolved three of them, we could come back and address the other two. Maybe everybody was just too hot under the collar at that point.
Exactly. Timing is really essential in that as well, because as we’ve been talking for this whole hour, emotions are such a huge factor in conflict.
Okay. Well, I find that interesting because we hear a lot in the news about arbitration, and I’m actually quite glad that you brought that up today because I feel like that’s going before the judge. You put all your cards on the table. Is there certain things disallowed or allowed in arbitration?
In arbitration, you’re allowed to present evidence. Arbitration is costly because you’re paying, other than the State Bar Committee, which is volunteer, but if you hire a private arbitrator, sometimes they’re retired judges, and it can be quite costly. Their hourly rates can be more than an attorney, but you’ll save time perhaps in the long run if it’s binding arbitration for sure, and you get to the resolution.
So, if it’s not binding, what’s the point of doing it?
Well, that’s a matter of opinion, but I kind of agree with you.
Oh, I’m so glad. That to me is like, I’m going to scratch my head a little and I’m going to go, then why would I even do arbitration if it wasn’t binding, what’s the point? Because then I might as well just go to court.
Exactly. The point is, you’ll save time, and you might save money. Court trial dates are sometimes four or five years out, and if you hire a private arbitrator or retired judge, you can get it heard and decided a lot sooner.
And both parties would need to agree upon that?
Absolutely. And some contracts say arbitration first. That’s why I like the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors’ contract that says mediation first.
So, we’re looking to resolve and create an atmosphere of finding a resolution, finding a solution.
Before we, you know, start beating each other up.
Exactly. Exactly. But we’re a litigious society and our initial response is always to call the lawyer. So, part of why I’m here today, and why I appreciate you inviting me, is to educate people that there’s an alternative.
Okay. Great. Well, I like to know that we do have those alternatives in place and, again, please give us a call. We have about three minutes left, at 702-483-4444. We’re going to wrap up here real quick. Can you tell a story that left you like thinking every day maybe the thing you love about what you do?
Well, I love what I do. And I’m probably going to decline the story. I’ve told you a few, but one of the most important parts to me about mediation is that it’s confidential. So, if I told you a story that made my jaw drop, and my clients were listening, they might hear that I was talking about them.
And yes, we want to protect the innocent. As a matter of fact, that’s what my ad says. So, you know, the guilty and the innocent when they do that promo for my thing – my husband did that – it was really actually quite cute. So, he did it in one take, and Ryan was very impressed. He walked in and had the voice for it, and we were just like wow. So maybe I need to have him on the show more often. Who knows? But again, Nancy Gabriel with Mediation Around The Table. Remember is Around The Table.
My website is www.mediationaroundthetable.com. Take a look at it, get some questions answered.
What’s the phone number?
It’s 702-561-8754. I do a free initial 30 minute consultation. 702-561-8754.
Great. And I’m Lynnae Forbes, broker-owner of Forbes Realty Group, and we can be reached at 702-743-7797. And I have my office located in Downtown Summerlin and would welcome you to come in and talk to me as well. And I don’t get paid until we close. So it’s that way in a commission world. So it’s always a free consultation and I never got that with real estate agents. Oh, they have a free – you know, see our ad – they have a free this, and you’re just like it was free anyway til I close. So, anyway, our job is here to make your real estate transaction go smoothly and one of my taglines is “Finding a Winning Solution for your Real Estate Needs the First Time.” And what’s so important about that? Because I want you to have a great experience. I want to hear when I hand you the keys , where’s the drama? We don’t need drama in real estate. So, again, Real Estate Know How with Lynnae. Thank you so much for joining us.