Its all about the Trust
If you’re going to be successful as a real estate professional you need to build trust with your clients. Though it may seem like an obvious point, with so many other things to consider in building your business, from logo to listings, blog posts to social media, there are so many pieces that combined build a reputation and a brand that we sometimes forget the most critical component, the foundation, the centerpiece of any good and profitable relationship, trust. Trust will get you new business and referrals.
A Professional profile
Your professional profile is more than just your credentials, certifications and years of experience. Though those things are important, professionalism is manifest in a number of ways. Your speech, your clothes, the way you carry yourself in public, all contribute to the impression you make.
Whether it’s a first meeting with a potential client, or touching base with a colleague in search of a referral, building rapport is the key to earning trust. A professional demeanor, a relaxed but business focused approach, and a willingness to listen, show that you’re approachable and identify you as someone others want to work with.
People who show respect are shown respect in return. But respect is more than please and thank you. It’s being on-time, following up and following through. If time is money, don’t waste others and they won’t waste yours.
Whatever type of meeting or encounter you’re having, be sure to come prepared. If it’s a first face-to-face meeting with a new client, bring your knowledge and expertise to the table but don’t overwhelm. If it’s a first showing, step back and let the customer look around. Focus on providing facts and stay away from opinion. If you don’t know or can’t answer a question, follow up as soon as you can.
An observant person can tell whether you’re listening or just planning what you’re going to say next. Listening closely is key to earning trust. You may have a property in mind for a client that, had you listened, you’d know they would never be interested in. Understanding a buyer or seller’s requirements goes a long way to saving time, keeping a transaction on track and building trust.
Open honest communication builds trust because it illustrates both what you know and what you don’t. When something goes wrong don’t shy away from admitting it or by making excuses. Taking responsibility and following up, even when things aren’t going well, proves you can be trusted. Note: Never make promises you can’t keep.
Recommend Reliable Resources
Client’s often look to their real estate agent for recommendations for everything from lenders to home inspectors. When you direct someone to a reliable resource the benefits are twofold. You have a happy client and you’re referral is much more likely to refer you.
Showing what you know goes much further than simply listing your qualifications. Look to others to sing your praises when you feel the need to brag. Client testimonials and references from other colleagues say so much more about you. They also leave you room to be humble – a quality people are more likely to trust in any kind of salesperson.
Lastly, to build trust you must earn it through everything you do. The quality and consistency of your marketing materials, your knowledge and expertise about the home buying processes, and your ability to listen all combine to illustrate your trustworthiness. The bottom line: People do business with people they trust.