Coaching Corner: Too many words!

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Today I want to tell you a story directly from the innocence of children — yes, of course, my grandchildren, who consistently give me a tremendous amount of amusement as well as insight.

So, please indulge this grammy to share these words of wisdom.

Recently we had a sleep over with three of our grandchildren which involved Busken Halloween cookies (delicious!). When Sunday morning came around, there were several cookies left which I did not want to have staring back at me as the day progressed, knowing full well that my resistance is quite low when it comes to Busken Halloween cookies. So, as any good grammy would do, I packaged up the cookies to send home with each of our little people.

Later that day, one of them, Ed, had a soccer game which I would be attending with his cousin Sophia (Fi). I told him that I would bring the cookies with me to the game, which he found to be an outstanding idea. On the way I told Fi about the cookies, informing her that although she could make the request to Ed to share his cookies, he had the option to say no. She was fine with this and was excited to give Ed the cookies.

Immediately after his game Fi raced over to Ed to offer the delicious prize of the cookies and began with “Ed…I have a question for you…I don’t know how you feel about this…it may be yes…or it may be no…I am OK either way as I know how much you like your cookies…” This went on for quite some time without ever voicing a request for one of the cookies. Finally, Ed firmly said “Fi! You can have a cookie!!!! I was going to offer one to you!!!” And with that he held up his hand to her and stated “TOO MANY WORDS!!!”

I laughed out loud and yet immediately felt the power of what had just been spoken. How often do we speak from a place that is not clear — assuming the person we are talking to knows what we are trying to say? Or perhaps, in the midst of making a request, we surround our request with more words than necessary. Making your language as clear as possible will benefit everyone. Succinct communication will enhance your professionalism as well as improve your personal relationships.

This week, pay attention to your communication. Are you speaking as clearly and succinctly as possible? If not, just imagine a 6 year old hand in front of your face telling you “too many words!”


Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.

Marilou is a member of the OAR Executive Committee and immediate past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you:


Tags: Coaching Corner, training

The People Revolution: Change requires a blueprint

Real estate visionary Chris Smith tells Ohio’s REALTORS that to meet the challenges of an ever-changing marketplace the profession must embrace change, not hide from it. This clip — taken from Smith’s keynote at the OAR Annual Convention & EXPO — details why every REALTOR must develop their own unique blueprint for change, one that’s specific to their situation and needs. Click here to see other episodes of Smith’s “peoplework” principles.

Tags: People Revolution

Ohio Safety Series: Who, where & when

think safety

Over the past 10-plus years hundreds of real estate professionals throughout the country have been murdered, violently assaulted, raped, beaten and robbed in the workplace. In fact, tragedy hit close to home four years ago when two of our own — Vivian Martin and Andrew VonStein — were killed in separate incidents on back-to-back days when showing vacant homes. More recently, the industry was shocked by the tragic, unfortunate murder of an Arkansas REALTOR who was similarly killed doing what a real estate professional does — simply showing a home. These incidents illustrate the importance of taking safety precautions in your daily activities. Our Ohio Safety Series is an ongoing effort to provide you with insights to ensure the safety of you and your clients.

In your day-to-day business dealings it’s imperative that you tell someone:

  • Who you are with
  • Where you are going
  • When you will be back

Make sure you tell someone where you are going, who are are going with and when you will be back. Whenever possible, make sure the client knows you have shared this information with someone. You are less likely to be attacked if the criminal knows you will be missed and he/she can be identified.

Communicate your itinerary with your office peers. If your client is with you as you leave the office, make a show of sharing your plans with someone.

If something does happen to you, the itinerary you shared will assist police in finding you. Victims of crimes can be missing for days before co-workers being to worry, unless you tell them when to expect you back.

If you work alone, consider telling a friend, a family member and/or your office when to expect you back. Even leaving a note on your desk of your expected whereabouts could help the authorities find you in an emergency situation.

Tags: Ohio Safety Series, safety

OAR hits Ohio’s airwaves touting real estate and the role of REALTORS

The top leadership of the Ohio Association of REALTORS had the opportunity to discuss the benefits of home ownership, the role of the REALTOR and pressing public policy issues affecting real estate during a taping of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Town Hall Ohio radio program with Joe Cornely, senior director of corporate communications.

OAR President Chris Hall and Chief Executive Officer Bob Fletcher provided an overview of the current marketplace, the value home ownership brings individuals and communities, the importance of the mortgage interest deduction and much more during the Farm Bureau’s show that was heard on a variety of radio stations across the state this past weekend.

Listen to the show here:

Tags: Association news

Legally speaking: What tasks are personal assistants permitted to perform

By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves some commonly asked questions pertaining to the duties an assistant can or can’t perform on your behalf…

Q:  My assistant is a licensed real estate agent. Are there any limitations in the license law on what duties she can perform on my behalf?

A: No. A personal assistant who is licensed as a salesperson is legally permitted to do all of those things that any licensed agent does. This would include showing homes, going on listing presentations, preparing or explaining terms of an offer to purchase or lease, soliciting listings or buyers, attending closings, etc. These duties, however, may be limited by the brokerage or agent that hires the assistant.


Q: If I hire an assistant who isn’t licensed, what are the limitations on the contact she can have with my buyers and sellers?

A: Simply stated, unlicensed personal assistants may not perform any duties that would require a license. This includes anything that could be construed as assisting or directing in procuring prospects for the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate, or negotiating such a transaction. To avoid engaging in activity that falls in this category, an unlicensed assistant’s interactions with clients and customers should be limited to ones that are secretarial or administrative in nature. When interacting with a client or customer, an unlicensed assistant cannot answer questions about a property, a listing, lease, purchase contract or interpret or explain such documents.


Q: Can my unlicensed assistant show homes for me or staff an open house?

A: Showing property is considered by the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Licensing to be activity that requires a real estate license. Therefore, an unlicensed assistant cannot show property to a prospective purchaser.  The Division does, however,  permit an unlicensed person to staff an open house, as long as they are there only for security purposes and to greet persons. As an unlicensed person they are not permitted to answer any questions about the property.


Q: Can an unlicensed person solicit business for the brokerage by providing information on the brokerage’s services to potential clients and customers?

A: No, this is considered by the Division to be activity that requires a real estate license.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

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