Trust Me! Two Words That Cut Both Ways in Client Relationships
We actually know Realtors who have this two-word motto printed on their business cards or displayed on a plaque in their office. But do they live it? How do these two little words impact their relationships with clients and colleagues?
It’s a double-edged sword: either you are building trust or you’re losing trust. You are hardly ever running in neutral.
Here are four ways to build trust and four ways you can lose trust. Some take time, some can happen in an instant.
How do you rate on these important factors?
- Say what you do, do what you say. Among other things, this means keeping your word. If you promise to deliver a client’s counter-offer in person at 8 o’clock at night in a driving rainstorm, you do it. (You don’t foolishly place yourself in danger, of course, but there are ways you can accomplish the goal or make alternative arrangements.) You always tell the truth, no matter how tough it might be. If you blew the counter-offer by not showing up, admit it and do what you can to make amends.
- Honor your intuition. Instinctively, you know the right thing to do in almost every situation. Do it, regardless of how uncomfortable or personally risky it might be. People will respect you when they know you’re consistently committed to doing the right thing. Mutual respect builds trust.
- Operate on shared goals. When you’re working with a client, make it a point to know their goals for the transaction up front. You have your goals (making the sale, closing the deal) but your ultimate goal should be a happy client. Essentially, that’s what your client wants too—a happy new home, or a happy bank account from a profitable sale. See yourself as part of the client’s team. Real team players trust each other.
- Follow through. In other words, see the transaction through to completion. Don’t drop the ball halfway through and expect a colleague or team member to pick up the pieces because you didn’t complete the paperwork or file the appropriate documents. One of the big problems we all have is over commitment. Before you promise to do something or show up somewhere, think about what you are saying and make sure you can deliver.
- Be inconsistent. If you’re Little Mary Sunshine one day and Cruella Deville the next, your clients will find it hard to communicate with you, let alone trust you. If you say one thing and do another, if you promise one thing today and something else tomorrow, trust
will disappear like snowflakes in July.
- Control information. Control over information gives people a feeling of power. Sharing information about the transaction in process—the good, the bad, and the ugly—may be momentarily uncomfortable but your client will respect your openness, and together you can develop a strategy to solve whatever problems may arise.
- Tell the whole truth. Withholding bad news may work in the short term, but ultimately it will come back to haunt you. Lay all the cards on the table. Of course as a Realtor, you are obligated to disclose things like material defects of a property. But there may be other “gray area” factors that could negatively affect the transaction. Be up front about it, because ultimately the client will find out anyway.
- Tell tales. Oh, we all love to tell stories, don’t we? It’s easy to brag about the deal of the century you just closed, or the terrible client you just dumped, but these tales have a way of showing up again in the most embarrassing way. Talking behind someone’s back is a relationship-killer. Even if you have had a bad experience, it’s best to keep it to yourself. Nothing positive can come from sharing this type of information.
So where do you fit on the trust factor scale?
Thinking back over your most recent transactions and client relationships, would you say you are building trust or destroying trust? If there are specific instances where you know you’ve destroyed trust with a client, develop a plan now to make it right. If there are actions you can take to build trust, start today.