Did you know that empathetic people are more inclined to be generous, are in happier relationships, and greater overall health? It’s no surprise, then, that empathy also improves a person’s leadership and communication skills.
Empathy is the ability to understand and even sense another person’s feelings and emotions – putting yourself in their shoes. But research also shows that people differ in the level and types of empathy that they are able to master. So how empathetic and compassionate do you think you are? And, how much compassion is needed for the probate niche?
Empathy for probate in real estate
It’s no secret that many individuals and families who are going through probate are in a difficult situation – since it involves a family member or loved one who has recently died, they may be uneasy or nervous, aggravated, vulnerable, overwhelmed, or grieving the loss of a loved one. It may be one of the most stressful and emotional times of their life. It also may involve complicated family matters including disagreements about the estate from the beneficiaries.
Compassion, versus cognitive or emotional empathy alone, puts you in the position of not only understanding what a family in probate is going through (putting yourself in their shoes) but also moves you to want to help them.
Having compassion in probate real estate may require you to:
- Be comfortable working with people who are in distress
- Offer extra flexibility
- Go above and beyond the call of duty as an agent to help with miscellaneous chores
- Put out an effort to be genuinely interested and engaged with their unique situation
- Be a good listener while holding your boundaries
- Offer creative solutions that may not always benefit you as a real estate agent
How do you know how much empathy you have? [Quiz]
Do you feel sad when others feel sad? Do you try to put yourself in their shoes? Do you consider both sides of an argument before choosing? These are just a few of the signals that psychologists look for in identifying how empathetic a person is. But to know for sure, there are a variety of empathy questionnaires out there that will help you identify your Empathy Quotient (your empathy intelligence, so to speak). This Empathy Quiz is from Berkeley’s Greater Good publication and scores your empathy from 1-110 but also give you some suggestions on how to nurture it. (Here’s another quiz from Berkeley on emotional intelligence).
What if you don’t feel empathetic?
The good news is that empathy requires action – meaning that it doesn’t happen naturally for most people. It is something you have to choose, and the more you practice the more intuitive it will become. Here are some different ways you can practice empathy:
- Practice listening without judging or interrupting
- Express joy and enthusiasm when a friend or loved one shares good news
- Enjoy fiction novels and movies (we aren’t talking about Panic Room or Scream II)
- Take a risk and emotionally connect with someone you don’t usually connect with
- Acknowledge that you have biases and try to see things from someone else’s point of view
The probate empathy challenge
Long story short: yes, probate takes compassion, patience, social intelligence, and generosity with your time and energy. Now that you can think about it, it doesn’t seem too far off from the majority of real estate sales, does it? The difference is that you have an opportunity to make a real impact on peoples’ lives – more so than your average single-family home, first-time home buyer, or vacation rental seeker.
And unlike any other niche in the real estate market – probate is immune to the inventory challenges of our day. It gives you the opportunity to control your inventory while at the same time working with extremely grateful sellers.
Take a look a Probate Mastery and join our Facebook Community today. You will quickly realize that you aren’t the only one learning the ropes of compassion and empathy. Once you sign up, you will be a member for life. We hope to see you on the other side of the password.