Ask An Ambassador: Trying On The Clients' Shoes

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

No, I'm not literally taking my clients' shoes and trying them on!  I'm about comfortable footwear that are easy on/off when showing houses, and that's about the end of my interest in shoes!

But what we've been doing is spending a lot of time walking in our clients' shoes (figuratively) for the last year or so as we prepare to transition from our home in Ohio to our forever home (God willing) with the valley view in West Virginia.  The skills we've sharpened with almost 20 years in real estate is paying dividends for us now.  The advice we've been giving clients, well now the shoe is on the other feet (so to speak)!

The architectural process came with some challenges, and delays...and another delay or two, but we've got plans that are almost finalized.

Builder selection wasn't as easy as we expected initially, but we think we've got a really good one under contract to help us through the process.

We're visiting a lot of places trying to figure out finishes for our home. 

We've learned quite a bit about natural stone variations and how the slab suppliers work with the fabricators, and the wide range of differences between what one slab provider carries and another, and how much difference good pictures online make!  (and also how some stones REALLY need to be seen in person because a photo doesn't really do them justice).

We're seeing good customer service, and not so good, and when a company shows you they've got it down, you don't want to go to a competitor!

We're following some advice we've given to many of our past clients who were buying/building their forever homes:  If something you want is financially viable, it makes you happy, toss out the usual consideration of resale value and make the home yours!! 

We've also learned what bothers buyers about a home for sale, so between the contractor and my To Do list we'll be ready so when it's time to sell our current home, buyers won't have much reason to say no.

Our real estate shoes are well broken in, and this next chapter just reinforces why we do things the way we do, and why it's easy to take the same advice that we give our clients to use in our own lives.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,
Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - this "try on" approach works well in many forms beyond the confines of a dressing room.    

Sep 19, 2023 03:05 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's a good thing to have the occasional reminder of what our clients go through during buying & selling a home.

Sep 19, 2023 04:42 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I've always had my suspicions...

Sep 19, 2023 04:40 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

A few minutes tops, and my legs would need air casts!

Sep 19, 2023 04:42 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Me too Alan May ...gota love that lead photo!

Sep 19, 2023 05:12 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Dorie, lots of shoe pictures on Pixabay, so went for the best eye candy I could find :)

Sep 19, 2023 06:40 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Bill I've thought for years that is so important to 'walk in the sellers or buyers shoes per se' to really give them the best possible personal service for them and their wants and needs.  And your eye candy pic is priceless!!  I don't think I'd ever wear any shoes that high either but red......absolutely!  Love that sparkle!

Sep 19, 2023 09:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We've been in our current home for over 30 years.  I still remember some of the lessons we learned from our agents (two sets, one bad, one great!) when we bought our home and before we ever had any thoughts of being agents ourselves. 

My shoes tend to be rather plain, but what would you expect from an engineer? :)

Sep 20, 2023 08:19 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Featured in BananaTUDE


Sep 19, 2023 09:15 PM
Liz and Bill Spear


Sep 20, 2023 08:20 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Wow, those shoes!

As for listening to our own advice, I have learned something every time I personally moved that would help future clients. And I've learned something from my client's experiences that helped me when I moved this last time.  I think it is invaluable to have to go through the sale/purchase/build/move processes ourselves.


Sep 20, 2023 04:48 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

There is always something new to be picked up.  I personally dread the packing/moving part of our change.  There is a lot of our stuff (cats, dogs, bees), that can't be put on a moving van and delivered for us, so there will be a few round trips with a U-haul.

Sep 20, 2023 08:21 AM
Kat Palmiotti

The actual process of moving is hard for people without the cats, bees and dogs, Liz and Bill Spear - I can't imagine how it must be with all your furry and buzzy family members.

Sep 21, 2023 04:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Kat Palmiotti , I've been thinking through that process for the critters.  We'll definitely have to have our new house completely set up with our enclosures, dog yard, etc. before we bring any of them out.  The bees probably need a mini-forklift to move and set up :)   A full colony is pretty heavy, so we'll need some help with that part.  We'll get it figured out.

Sep 21, 2023 08:54 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
I love this advice! If something you want is financially viable, it makes you happy, toss out the usual consideration of resale value and make the home yours!!
Sep 20, 2023 04:49 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Why live and work our entire lives and then be worried about what the kids will (or won't) inherit after?  Get the countertops with the WOW rather than "that'll do" if you've got the $$$ to comfortably do it.

Sep 20, 2023 08:22 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Reminding ourselves what our clients go through every so often helps us be sympathetic and helpful when we speak directly to them!

Sep 20, 2023 05:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I know it can be stressful.  My intent every time is to remove as much of that stress as possible.

Sep 20, 2023 08:57 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

There have been many times I have put myself into my client's shoes and certainly didn't envy the position they were in, haha.

Sep 20, 2023 06:06 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

There can be some less than fun moments in every transaction.  How do I prevent drama to my clients?

Sep 20, 2023 08:58 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Best wishes to you as you transition. We are finally in our forever home that we built. It is a great reminder of what our clients go through.

Sep 20, 2023 06:07 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Looking forward to the change and being closer to family!

Sep 20, 2023 08:58 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

90% of people you meet are just looking no buying.  If I were in their shoe I will say that realtor is right when he said 2.5% was the lowest interest ....  Today, still looking kicking yourself not listened to that realtor.

Sep 20, 2023 07:37 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We learn a lot in our business, provide the best advice we can for the current circumstances, and hope that buyers & sellers are receptive to our experiences.

Sep 20, 2023 08:59 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Bill and Liz, very interesting post. I will be following your posts about your move, lots of insights from experience will be coming. I thought that it's me only who gets confused by the many choices with finishes, fabricators, slab suppliers.  

Sep 20, 2023 08:20 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been amazed by some of the offerings out there!  But the fact that a slab supplier can't even ballpark a price and we have to go through a fabricator to find out this stone is $3k a slab and this specialty stone is $20k a slab is a bit absurd.  Better to know up front before you have a chance to fall in love with something that is a budget buster.

Sep 20, 2023 09:01 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Those are such fancy shoes, meaning sometimes we are not able to try our clients shoes, we just can do our best to assist them in their housing goals. 

Sep 20, 2023 07:45 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There's a point at which I know I'm beyond my capabilities and another agent would be a better fit.

Sep 21, 2023 08:55 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D
I loved this post… over the years, professionals have forgotten how to view the perspective of the client!!
Sep 21, 2023 12:24 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I get reminded all the time that some companies have lost perspective on customer service.

Sep 21, 2023 08:55 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

That's an excellent analogy - and some great shoes to illustrate. No doubt you have learned a great deal in this moving/building a home process that will help others, as you also take what you have learned already and shared with your clients and applied it to your current situation. There's something very powerful about leaning from our own experiences!


Sep 21, 2023 09:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Each experience feeds the other.

Sep 22, 2023 08:19 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

I love those shoes Bill, though my days of high heels are long gone...oh, well.  I think this experience is giving you even more insight into what your clients go through making you better agents (is that even possible?!) and sensitive to their needs.

Sep 22, 2023 01:41 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Every extra experience (and in this case learning a lot about counters and the relationship between slab sellers and fabricators) gives us another opportunity to apply something in our client's behalf.  We know more about what's out there, and depending on what a client wants, maybe taking the standard builder offering (which are usually really limited) might not be best.  Take the bare minimum, then customize it after closing.

Sep 23, 2023 05:44 AM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

Liz and Bill Spear, I will take the shoes🙂 You do have a good point, being aware of what Sellers and Buyers go through makes us better agents.

Sep 23, 2023 06:59 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

If only they were mine to give :)

Sep 23, 2023 02:07 PM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Building for yourself is definitely a different story or in this case shoes. I did that many years ago and with our current home, we didn't go that way. Good luck.

Sep 25, 2023 07:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ed, this should be the one and only time we build, we're intending for this to be our last home.

Sep 26, 2023 09:39 AM