The Good Life in Austin Texas

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WHY I OUGHTA!!! (Commenting on blogs)

Talking trash

As a relative newcomer to Active Rain, I am learning at a fast clip that there are many wide and varied opinions and that a lot of people can get very upset and speak out rather vociferously at times. Sometimes it's to express anger or hurt and at other times it's intended to insult or intimidate. I think this is odd but then again it's not surprising. It's easy to comment from the safety of your computer without being nose to nose with others and often I think that folks would never make some of the remarks they do in person. I have a little different perspective and it's probably from my previous career.

Fight!I spent sixteen years working in different areas of the construction industry and as many of you may surmise, the communication styles are vastly different. Sometimes they are very *#%@!...different I have seen many times when arguments on the job site escalated to physical contact and outright fighting! When I first entered real estate, I was fortunate to work for a small upscale firm here in Austin that specialized in the luxury home market and though I had so many years in construction, I still came from a good family, was relatively educated and had been taught manners and tact. The broker at the company (did I mention that I was their first "token male"?) and my mentor taught me so much about the style and quality of doing business although she used to say "Russell is the easiest person with whom another agent can do transaction or the hardest, it all depends on their attitude!" Yes I was rather combative and aggressive in my negotiating style but over time she and my mentor polished my sharp edges and taught me when to be tough and when to be conciliatory and to always look at the big picture with an eye toward being REALISTIC!

I always welcome intense and passionate dialogue between folks but I do not respond well to insults or intimidation and I do not think anyone else does either.

In construction when you have an argument you might get socked in the nose. In real estate, people just talk behind your back or crab at you from the safety of their computer terminal and I can live with that!

I have often spoken out too quickly but I try to remember that words once spoken (or posted) are like rocks thrown and you can't take them back!

Have a great week and let's all try and remember to use a little tact!

Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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28 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • July 28 2008 09:16AM

Comments

Russell Thank You!  My mother also taught me manners.  I think you can express you opinion or view on something with out being on the attack.  What ever happened to "If you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything"?  I am not talking about not saying what needs to be said just say it with some manners.

Posted by Karen over 2 years ago

Russell,

I as well came out of the construction field, now some 20 years ago. I would suspect that we had very similar attitudes and adjustments to make in our earlier years of our new careers.

Posted by Downtown Portland Real Estate Broker~Herb Hamilton (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) over 2 years ago

Russell - I enjoy good civil debates much more than repetitious posts of the same content.  Fortunately, there are many such posts here.  Unfortunately, as you mentioned, not every one knows where to draw the line in keeping the debate civil.  Hopefully, you will find more of the former and less of the latter. 

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, --Louisville-Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) over 2 years ago

Herb!!!

Are you talking to me? Take your hat off when you say that!!!

I am just kidding band i am laughing out loud here bucause you truly understand the many weird and difficult personalities that exist in the wild world of construction! Thanks again and have great week!

Thanks,

Russell

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hi Dad,

I just read your blog and I am so glad you are not in construction any more. You could still use some polishing and I am glad we don't have to ues the "swear jar" anymore. Oops! That is funny and I am sure you will have fun explaing it! Ok, you better get back to work now!

Have a good day -Mattie

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) over 2 years ago

Well that's really funny and thanks for the gentle reminder, I hgope you are doing the same!

Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Russell,

Very well put. I agree it is much easier to be civil than throw a big fit! People really respond to you if you treat them like you want to be treated. What is the old saying - it is easier to attracts flies with honey than vinegar - or whatever. Anyway, thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Russell,

One problem computers have always faced is the lack of personality, when trying to explain your view point.  The one of the ways we as Realtors are successful is to be positive and up beat about the day or week or the moment.  I for one did not want my post to be a finger pointing one or you have more then me type of thing, i just simple wanted to point out that it's competition and no matter what at some point the competition is always going to get one up on you until you find something else to one up him or her.

So i do aplogize for my brash way of getting to my point, in your last blog.

Posted by Jeff Abram (Magic Valley Realty) over 2 years ago

Jeff,

Thanks for the great comment and don't worry about any previous comments. i like your attitude and want to add you as an associate as soon as I figure out how!

 

Thanks!!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Thanks Russell,

I have the same problem if i figure it out first i'll let you know.

Posted by Jeff Abram (Magic Valley Realty) over 2 years ago

I think it is always a good idea to mind our mind our manners at home and in the business world. Thanks for the somewhat funny reminder!

Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Karen, Herb, Erik, Jeff and Anne

Thanks for your comments. It's funny but I am probably the last person that you would consider in the "Miss manners" category but after all the years AWAY from construction, most of my rough edges have been (hopefully) polished off!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

It is obviously a wholly different world (safer that is) in real estate than in construction but peole can be rude and abrasive in any profession. Thanks for the funny and compelling post!

Posted by Anonymous over 2 years ago

It's easy to comment from the safety of your computer without being nose to nose with others and often I think that folks would never make some of the remarks they do in person.

Hey Russell,

I agree completely!  Here's one important thing to remember about this type of communication.  We don't get to see the other person's body language or facial expression.  So sometimes there are misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion.  Never let anyone intimidate or insult you.  I have not experienced that on Active Rain so I hope you are speaking in general terms and not about AR specifically.  If something happened here at AR that upsets you, usually the best thing to do is unplug your computer and wait 24 hours to respond.  This is something I learned about ten years ago.  There are a few crazy people who wander the internet.  It's best to ignore them. 

Posted by Not Yet Licensed over 2 years ago

Not Yet Licensed

Thank you for your insightful comments. To tell the truth, my years in construction taught me to never be intimidated by anyone (unless they are carrying a big stick or worse) and I have not been the recipient of any abusive behavior here at Active rain. I have noticed some other comments to blogs that were though. On the whole Active rain is undoubtedly the best site I have seen for meaningful, interesting and thought provoking discussion and dialogue in real estate!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I think that Active Rainers actually keep their cool alot better than other forums that I have visited.  Its difficult to express yourself and remember that you could come across as offensive via the web.  

Posted by Brittany Stewart (Elite Realty Group of Jacksonville) over 2 years ago

When people are face to face then there is less likelihood that they will be as abrasive. I think that the members here at activerain are more civil and though ther are disagreements, it is healthy in the long run. I appreciate you reminding us to treat each other with respect!

Posted by Anonymous over 2 years ago

Brittany and ... (I am not sure who posted at 4:43)

But I appreciate your remarks and agree that we have a pretty good community here that is on the whole very professional.

Thanks for your comments!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Good points. I think ,ore people would act in a civil manner when thay are face to face but even on a computer some people are more extreme than normal. I like your point of view!

Posted by Anonymous over 2 years ago

Russell- sounds like you can handle your own and won't be fooled long by some of the antics here in the Rain.  I am also amazed at some of the people on here and the way they bring out all the claws when things don't go their way.

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) over 2 years ago

Kathy

Thank you for your comment. It's funny how hostile some folks can be and what I maen is that in comparison to construction, they are funny (and usually harmless)...

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

A little tact and courtesy goes a long way !!  Most of the dialogues I have seen are very constructive and productive... the other ones are a rarity.

Philadelphia Real Estate

Posted by Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate (Owner - RE/MAX Access) over 2 years ago

Christopher & Stephanie

I agree completely and frankly, the level of discourse on activerain is much higher than most of the other sites and even in my day to day work here in Austin. Thanks for your comment and have a great evening!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hello, I am just looking over your articles and thought this one was very appropriate. I know that we have to be very determined in our negotiating and sometimes agents are not on their best behavior. We can still be committed and have manners. Thank you!

Posted by Anonymous over 2 years ago

On the whole Active rain is undoubtedly the best site I have seen for meaningful, interesting and thought provoking discussion and dialogue in real estate!

Hi again Russell,

That's good to hear.  I agree with your assessment.  Active Rain has an amazing collection of highly talented, and very helpful, agents and brokers.  It's much better than what I was expecting to find.

Posted by Not Yet Licensed over 2 years ago

Hi there Not Yet Licensed and the unnamed commenter,

Thank you for your comments, I think we are all fortunate that this really is s great site that can help us all generate more ideas, connections and business!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Well I hope that when I disagreed with you I did it respectfully but I can't recall a time!  You present everything in such a fun or beautiful manner!

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas Real Estate (702-580-1783) www.ShackDiva.com (The Force Realty -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

Renee, WOW you are really digging down deep in my blog LOL and I think that we would disagree on very few things! And even if we did, i am on to the politely disagreeing way of life these days (and do not miss the craziness of the construction world all that much!)

Thanks to for the compliments!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

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