Stimulating Discussion

Most contributions in a group are made in relation to something said by another member. The role of the moderator in a meeting involves a great deal more than merely sitting at the head of the table and having the participants present, including:

  • Stimulate Discussions
  • Guide the Discussion
  • Encourage All to Participate
  • Control or Form the Discussion
  • Use Blackboard, Charts, or Other Visual Aids When Possible
  • Make Transitions and Summaries Throughout the Discussion and at the End

In any group meeting productivity is dependent upon maximum involvement of members. Individuals should participate in the discussion when they have a contribution to make or are interested in the topic.

Moderation – moderating tasks should be shared by group members and moderators should accept members’ contributions. The members should feel that the moderator accepts and understands their contributions; they should all have a common good or purpose that is clearly understood. They have to solve a problem: What are the limits of the problem and what power does the group possess? Before being able to arrive at conclusions, questions must be answered. Effective questioning can improve group participation. Some members may be reluctant to participate because they are shy or afraid of criticism, or do not understand what is being said. The proper use of questions can make such members feel at ease and provide a supportive climate for the contributors. One illustration would be, “John, what is your opinion of the client’s problem, or does anyone who has not spoken care to comment on the problem?” The moderator must prevent a few members from monopolizing the scene by directly addressing others with questions and stressing the fact that you must move on.

To call attention to points that have not been considered, he or she could inquire if anyone has any further information or ideas on that particular point and question every approach that has been explored. Effective participation in a group discussion calls for proper use of questioning. Whether you are a moderator or a member you need to be skilled in questioning. Asking the right question at the right time assists the group in arriving at a solution and in sharing information and ideas.


1. Is your client a don’t wanter?

2. Is he a wanter (buyer)?

3. What do you see him going into? (What will he “take”?)

4. What is your client’s immediate objective?

5. Will he create wealth to obtain his objective?

6. Is appreciation important?

7. Is money important? (Monthly income or by refinance?)

8. Is depreciation important? (Now or in the future?)

9. Can the property be de-financed?

10. Will your client manage? Go into a business?

11. Has the property been listed before? Sale or exchange? How long?

12. Why hasn’t the client made a deal by now?

13. What are your client’s geographical limitations? Why?

14. Will he go in lieu of?

15. Can he add cash? How much?

16. What is his basis in the property?

17. Do we have a third party influence?

18. Will he split the property? The fee?

19. Will he go into a partnership?

20. Has a joint venture been discussed?

21. Has he turned down any offers?

22. Has he made any offers?

23. Will he assume on land?

24. Could your client be a user?

25. What has your client verbally accepted in your counseling session?

26. Can we put a thief in the middle?

27. Will he buy his way out? To what degree?

28. Is client hung up on price or is he aware of benefits?

29. Why would I want to own this property?

30. Will he close on a property he doesn’t want in order to move his equity geographically?

31. Will your client “share the wealth”?

32. Will he give “offsets”?

33. Have you had any offers?

34. What is client’s degree of cooperation?

35. Will he solve a problem – i.e. geographic, ethnic, management, financial, structural?

36. What is your opinion of client’s problems?

37. Is client aware of his problem or position?

38. What do you see as a solution?

39. What price range do you see your client going into?

40. What leverage position will he be comfortable with?

41. What is better for your client – to make a move to solve part of the problem or not to move at all?

42. What can he add other than cash?

43. Can he add services or personal property, business credits?

44. Can your client afford you?

45. Does he have a line of credit with the bank?

46. Has your client committed something available in the market?

47. Have you made offers? (broker)

48. Has your client ever signed a counter offer?

49. Can you as a broker afford the client and do you really have one? (client)

50. What type of client do you have? Does he have to exchange? Is he willing to exchange? Will he exchange?

Editor’s Note: Yvonne Nasch, S.E.C., was one of the most treasured members of the Society of Exchange Counselors. She was the 1979 Counselor of the Year. An award was created in her honor to recognize the S.E.C. member who completes the most transactions with other S.E.C. members; it is awarded annually. Yvonne had the distinct honor of being the first woman in the United States to hold the S.E.C. and CCIM designations; she also held the RECI and GRI designations. Yvonne served in many capacities as a volunteer for the various organizations she belonged to, as well as excelling in her private practice as a developer, exchangor, investor, and speaker.

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