Building a Strong Reputation
You might already be a star as the pillar in the community, or admittedly need a bit of work in the area of a stellar reputation, if it’s the latter, all it takes is a change in your thinking. Being empowered by how you treat others as well as creating such a personal quality that everyone wants to model their lives after you is no small task.
Here are my keys to building a strong reputation as a real estate agent, and on what you can do to look consistently fabulous to those around you
1. Be Authentic – Sales people typically work on commission. As a result, it’s no wonder that they can be stressed out from trying to pay their mortgages which could make it hard for some to put their clients first. However, the self-serving salesperson is generally one that is “caught” by their client in being unable to serve them well. Unfortunately, this could be who they really are while others truly care about their client’s well-being.
Being Authentic is not a small task. As salespeople, we can often feel like we are “on stage” while we work putting on that plastic smile, regardless of how we feel about the other person. Successful real estate salespeople should be always being focused on building relationships whether they are conducting an open house or are at a local school’s soccer game. Although it’s always important to be friendly, communicative, and charismatic, it’s never a good idea to be a phony baloney. Let people fit you, and it they don’t, refer them out to another agent. It’s all about being yourself and never compromising your integrity for a buck.
The thing about it is, when you are not authentic, people can see right through it.
2. Be Helpful to Other Agents – Helping other salespeople look good sounds ridiculous…right? It shouldn’t. Making others look good only makes you look even better in the eyes of those that are watching.
Part of your network is other salespeople in your line of work. You are bound to run into most of them at meetings, events, or even during transactions.
Here is a laundry list of things you should be doing to be helpful:
- Return their phone calls, emails, and text messages
- Suggest trainings you are going to that would benefit them.
- Be supportive when working in a transaction together.
- Be professional regardless of any tension in a negotiation.
- Don’t hold back information that you have that could help a colleague if it’s allowed to be revealed.
- Don’t ever trash another agent, ever, for any reason.
3. Be a Resource – Becoming a leader in your field results from being knowledgeable and a strong resource to others. There are some people that think that information shouldn’t be shared with colleagues or the consumer. I agree when it breaches an Agency relationship or establishes a relationship that you didn’t intend to create. However, information is out there already. Nothing you do is a big secret, it just may be the way your package is perceived. If you have a good reputation, everyone wants what you have. Being a resource by providing video, blog posts, and educational events is a great way to network as well as be a resource leader in the community.
By becoming a resource, you are making the people who are working with you confident in your abilities and that you know what you’re doing. You are also impressing potential recruits with your knowledge, and potentially getting even more new customers.
4. Be a Strong Participant in your Community — In sales, we often miss the point that we should be interacting in the bowling leagues, the community yard sales, and other worthwhile events in our community. We can get caught up in our own goals, dreams, and aspirations. We can become incredibly driven and focused, thinking that all of our leads come from the internet or past clients. You must not forget to pay attention to your family, friends, and community around you as they are the richest source of business for you. Not only will this build you as a person, but it will build you as a better real estate agent enhancing your network, your reputation, and ultimately your happiness.
5. Be an example — This may be the most important one. You are your word. Your consistency, accountability, integrity, and work ethic are all a part of this. Follow through on any promises you make, and make sure you don’t fail to deliver. When it comes to trying to build a positive reputation, pretty much the worst thing that you can do is fail to deliver what you’ve promised. Think carefully before you promise anything, even if it’s as simple as a lunch or coffee. Only plan what you can accomplish or deliver, and it’s always better to say no, or at least to ask for time to consider something, then to lead people on. Uncompleted promises will result in a lack of trust, and ultimately, the demise of your reputation. Things go poorly all the time, but when that happens, you’ll want your clients to assume that it wasn’t your fault, and not that it was just another rock in the landslide of your ineptness. By being a constant example, you will enable your clients to be able to refer their friends and family to you with confidence.
In addition to being consistent, you’ll also want to eliminate excuses. Excuses are the oozing warts of language, and they’re always the result of a ball being dropped. Excuses only describe the bad thing that happened, and not the preventative measure you didn’t take to insure the bad thing wouldn’t happen. For example, you never say “I was late because I left late and didn’t allow myself enough time to get here,” but you’ll usually say “I was late because of traffic.” Had you done the appropriate research, and taken the appropriate pre-emptive measures, you would not have been late at all. Excuses are tools of incompetence, and they’re just as bad as saying something negative about yourself or your work ethic to your client. Apologies can be given if necessary, “I am so sorry I was late, thank you so much for waiting for me,” but excuses should never enter your vocabulary.
To your reputation,
Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Continuing Education and Real Estate Agents building a strong reputation to the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.
Building a strong reputation as a real estate agent