It’s a Sunday afternoon and everyone gathers around the barbecue for an afternoon of good food and big laughs. Somewhere in between snacks and dinner, the conversation inevitably turns to real estate – who is selling when, who is renovating what and who is the first to complain about an experience they’ve had with a real estate agent.
Roy Morgan Research conducts a study each year called the Image of Trusted Professions in which they ask Australians who they trust and why. What they found last year was that real estate agents were ranked 28 out of 30 – slightly better than used car salesmen but two steps lower than our federal politicians.
While some agents claim to be ethical – and many are – they are tarred with the same brush whether they like it or not. Sure, they may have clients who are raving fans, but they are guilty by association in the eyes of the public majority, so trust matters. Trust matters a lot.
It’s time to lose the transactional mindset
My wife and I bought our home two years ago. The last time we saw or spoke to the agent was at the building and pest inspection two weeks prior to settlement. The agent was nowhere to be seen when we picked up the keys at settlement and we haven’t heard peep from them since. In no other industry that I can think of can you make a six-figure annual income behaving like this.
Take a look at the top ranking in Roy Morgan’s research – your life depends on these people following up and they are paid not nearly close to what a real estate agent can earn.
At the end of every sale, or more importantly at the end of your career, it will only come down to one thing – how you want to be remembered, if at all.
Stop trying to be a doer-of-all but master-of-none
As a real estate professional, your job is to facilitate the sale of someone’s most valuable asset and help them comfortably transition on to the next stage of their life. You are not a graphic designer, web developer, social media marketer or blogger. Invest in the best people you can afford to do all of this for you so you can focus on building relationships, not websites. Do what you do best and forget the rest.
Accept the new normal
Social media has given your consumers a megaphone and they aren’t afraid to use it. The public perception of your brand can be made or broken online for everyone to see. As my good friend Jay Baer says:
Customer Service is now a spectator sport. Everyone is watching to see who makes the first move. All the trust and awareness you build with your Internet marketing can be undone by one bad review.
Social media has fundamentally changed the game for every business. You can no longer market AT people anymore, you must market WITH people. Only then will your clients be with you for the long haul and the public perception of people in real estate can improve. Perception is reality – it’s what the winners use to keep playing this game while the losers inevitably pick up their ball and go home.
Your turn. How do you add value to the lives of the people in your community? What are you doing right now to build trust capital with your clients and prospects?
Leave your comment below.