Real Estate Success: Zen and the Art of Mediation

By Kathryn Bovard

As real estate agents, successfully learning the art of negotiation and mediation will determine a great deal of your success in your career. I like to think of mediation and meditation as having many similarities.

Much like meditation, one of the most important techniques is knowing that the calmer you are, the more successful you will be in your endeavor. Realizing that usually the impasse arises from resistance, being flexible will bring about quicker results. As a Certified Mediator with many years of experience, I have found the following tips to help find resolution.

1. Separate the larger issues from the smaller ones

2. If at an impasse, go on to other issues and then come back later after finding resolution on a smaller matter

3. Make sure you know everyone’s issue and priorities

4. Look for creative trade-offs

5. Make sure everyone has had an opportunity to express their point of view

6. Ask those involved for their ideas of how to resolve the conflict

7. Find out what difference it would make to reach a solution

8. Acknowledge each party for listening and participating in good faith and then encourage them to move forward to end the dispute

9. Be aware of all of the emotions, hidden agendas, possible solutions, and feelings by asking more questions

Good mediation skills can be used in all walks of life, family, personal relationships, workplace and clients. Just remember to maintain neutrality (okay here’s where the Zen part comes in) and an attitude of non-judgment.

Kathryn Bovard is a corporate broker with Realty One.

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