An informative article from the Forbes Real Estate Council
The success of any real estate business depends primarily on the trust and relationships it can build with its customers. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, as too many people generally have a negative opinion of real estate agents. It is estimated that roughly 67.5% of Americans don’t trust real estate agents, with the highest levels of distrust reported among people under the age of 44, according to a Choice Home Warranty survey. The results are backed by the findings of a Gallup poll regarding the honesty and ethical standards of different professions, where only 20% of respondents rated real estate agents’ honesty as high and very high.
Below, eight members of Forbes Real Estate Council offer their advice on how to build trust with your clients as a real estate professional, from making sure you provide the best customer service possible to being genuine, communicating openly and always having your clients' interests in mind.
1. Provide expertise and excellent customer service.
One of the most important factors for building trust in the real estate industry is providing expertise backed with excellent customer service. Clients will make their own best decisions but need to feel they have an experienced professional who really cares. Beyond those qualities is mostly administration and acumen. Knowledge and heart will set you apart. - Tracy Royce, Royce of Real Estate
2. Be yourself, be genuine, be respectful.
Trust is a very sensitive issue and many times is overlooked by a lot of agents simply because they feel they have to be different or conform. Don't! Be yourself and be respectful. Being yourself and being genuine is the biggest factor in trust. Tell clients how you really feel about certain properties and the looks of them. I know it goes against the normal mold of most agents, but you do not want to be like everyone else. - Kevin Taylor, Sand to City Real Estate Team
3. Have a great track record.
A track record is a supreme differentiator. Real estate is a profession that relies heavily on the ability of a developer, service provider or technology platform to have repeatable and high-quality success. This industry has a long history, so regardless of how impressive the technology is, you can only gain trust with experience and proven results. - Nav Athwal, RealtyShares
4. Communicate openly with your clients.
Do what you say you're going to do, communicate openly about what you're doing for your client and anticipate their needs before they ask. That will get you top reviews on Yelp and Rate-My-Agent.com, which will build your credibility and trust even further. - Dave Zirnhelt, Snap Up Real Estate
5. Do everything with your best intentions at heart.
Trust is fundamentally built with intention. If you intend to build great products, intend to serve your customers and intend to value your employees, everything will fall into place over time. If you lack those intentions, even just a little bit, you'll eventually be caught. You'll be a ticking time bomb of your own making. - Jason Freedman, 42Floors Inc.
6. Create quality marketing content.
High-quality marketing content is key in developing trust. Many of the best sponsors don't hide behind well-crafted marketing content. They share their thoughts freely on blogs, forums and other social media platforms. Most of the people operating real estate crowdfunding sites are intermediaries (venture capitals, bankers, technologists, etc.) and are not real estate sponsors with expansive industry experience. - Bryan Hancock, RealStarter
7. Make the most of available data and AI.
Today's consumers expect more than subjective local knowledge and experience from real estate professionals. Armed with data and artificial intelligence, agents earn a new level of trust by providing more accurate advice on pricing and negotiations, dramatically more targeted marketing of homes and more rapid, accurate assistance to buyers. - Lynley Sides, REX - Real Estate Exchange
8. Always honor your commitments.
Don't overpromise and make sure you fulfill all your commitments by doing what you say you're going to do. Offer something of value for free, such as a free home valuation. - DC Fawcett, Virtual Real Estate Investing Club