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How To Be The Real Deal In Real Estate
Reputation is everything in the real estate world.
Okay, maybe not everything, but I needed a dramatic way to open up this article. Now that we’re rolling, though, let’s talk about it.
Real estate is a very personal industry. For most people, the biggest investment of their life is not going to be a house, it’s going to be a home – the place where families are started, where growing children’s heights are marked in pencil every year in the kitchen, where 90th birthday parties are celebrated with all of their out-of-town family, where small home-businesses begin.
According to a 2018 survey from J.D. Power, 39% of first-time buyers, and 44% of first-time sellers cited that a real estate firm’s reputation was their primary reason for choosing said company – more so than personal recommendations.
People want to get it right the first time, and you can’t blame them.
“Please Don’t Mess This Up For Us!!”
When it comes to such a personal transaction, trust is key. It takes a lot of time and work to build up that kind of trust. You might be the best, but if clients don’t know you’re the best, well… then, no deal.
Be patient, though. Part of being a good real estate agent is understanding that you’re in it for the long-run. Your success won’t necessarily depend on any one deal.
I mean, a lot of different skills come together to make a real estate agent successful. No two agents are ever perfectly alike, but more often than not you just kind of know who’s good. Whether it’s by the obnoxious number of awards that they keep in their office, their practiced smile, or the way they light up when someone asks “so how’s the market doing?” you can just kind of tell who’s measuring the market’s pulse.
It’s hard to say exactly why they’re so good in one sentence – but you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re not the only person who knows it.
That’s because they’ve built a solid reputation.
This isn’t a matter of “what came first? The chicken, or the egg?” Success doesn’t come before a solid reputation, nor vice versa. Your reputation as a real estate agent will grow proportionally to the quality of your work, and it will take time.
So why not start today? Here are 7 ways to build up your reputation as a solid real estate agent:
- Don’t Alienate Other Agents.
- Be Picky.
- Be Honest.
- Dress Professionally.
- Maintain High-Quality Contacts.
- Be Punctual.
- Never Forget That A Reputation Is Easier To Break Than To Make.
“You Are, Without Doubt, The Worst Real Estate Agent I’ve Ever Heard Of!”
1- Don’t Alienate Other Agents
Being a real estate agent doesn’t mean you deal exclusively with clients. You’re going to have to share the market with other real estate agents, too. You’re not the only kid on the playground, and you definitely don’t want to throw sand in anybody’s eyes.
You’d be surprised how much business can come your way from other agents. Maybe they’re on vacation, or they know you’re a specialist when it comes to a certain neighbourhood or demographic. Maybe they’re grateful for the business you sent along their way, and they’ve been talking you up with people they know.
Sure, other real estate agents shouldn’t be seen only as rivals. Let’s be real: nobody’s going to make it in a people business like real estate all by themselves.
2- Be Picky! Don’t Say Yes To Every Listing.
Every property you take on is a potential risk, of course. As tempting as it is to envision yourself as the best freaking agent in the world that can sell anything, you are a human being, and you work with human beings. You might have all your stuff together, but sometimes the client just might not be on the same plane as you. If you’re a new real estate agent, highlight this: clients can be wrong, clients can be unreasonable. Don’t say you can do anything if you can’t. Assess the risk, and don’t be afraid to turn some opportunities down.
3- Be Honest, Even If It Costs You The Sale.
Remember what we just said about how other real estate agents shouldn’t be seen just as rivals?
Forget about that. They are your rivals, and they want your clients! The second your competition thinks you’re up to any kind of funny business, assume that they and all their real estate friends will turn their backs on you.
I admit that that’s a bit on the dramatic side, but it’s never a bad idea to assume the worst, and prepare for it.
If you’re in real estate, and you’re aiming to build up a reputation as a serious stand-up agent, then you might want to take this tip to heart: pretend that you’re on a conference call with every client and future client out there. Assume that everything you do and say will be seen and heard.
Sneaky behaviour like exaggerating a property’s value, underquoting a contractor’s work, downplaying repair costs, smearing other agents’ reputations to inflate your own – all these things have a way of reaching people’s ears.
So be honest, even if it costs you the sale. You’ll boost your own credibility, regardless of whether you get a transaction out of it, and hey, months later when your client is discouraged by other agents’ skewed quotes, they’ll remember your honesty.
4- Dress Professionally
As a homebuyer, I remember showing up to a viewing after a long day of work thinking “man, whoever shows up had better look better than me!”
I was not disappointed. Never have I ever been more impressed by a crisp white shirt collar than I was that day. Not only did my real estate agent turn out to be an excellent – and I mean excellent guy – but he looked the part.
Before he even got a chance to say a word, his appearance impressed me; it told me that he respects his clients. He probably had a longer day than I did, but he looked like he had just walked out of a magazine.
“Maaaybe I’ll Find a Different Agent…”
This should go without saying, but a little bit of effort in the dress and personal grooming department can go a long way in impressing your clients. Just remember, first impressions are hard to shake.
5- Maintain High-Quality Contacts
You might know your stuff, but what if your clients want a quote from a carpenter or a roofer? What if some first-time homebuyers want a thorough home inspection done?
I’ve never met you, so I can’t be 100% sure… but I’m like 99.9% sure that you’re not going to volunteer your connections to a carpenter, roofer, and home inspector on the spot. If you want to impress your clients, make sure you’ve not only got people you can refer them to, but good people.
“Twenty-four Hours A Day, Seven Days A Week, No Job Is Too Big, No Fee Is Too Big!”
You’re trying to build your reputation, right? Real estate isn’t the only place where that matters. Just like a buyer wants someone with solid credentials and recommendations, you’ll want to find contractors of the same calibre.
When contractors do good work for your clients, whoever referred them will benefit from it – in this case, you. Take responsibility for the people you work with, and only recommend someone to your clients if you can vouch for them yourself.
6- Be Punctual.
I think real estate agents know better than anyone that free time is a luxury. When you’re not meeting with clients, taking phone calls, or responding to emails, you’re probably on the road between viewings. Wouldn’t it be nice if not a millisecond of your time was ever wasted, and you could somehow scoop it all up into quality chunks so that you could watch a movie with the kids, go on a date, or read a book?
Yeah, it would be nice…
Life as a real estate agent doesn’t usually work like that. You’ll have clients bail on you – sometimes without notice. It’s a drag. You might have bent over backwards to make it to an appointment on time only to have them be an hour late.
At least they showed!
But isn’t it great when your clients are on time? It means they respect you, and it’s so much easier to show respect when it’s given.
If you say you’ll be there at 9:00am, make sure you’re ready to begin this meeting at 9:00am. That might mean arriving at 8:55am and putting a few papers in order. Whatever it means, remember that with enough consistency, your word can carry weight.
7- Never Forget That A Reputation Is Easier To Break Than To Make.
This last point is something that applies to the six previous points – and it’s super unfair.
Have you ever been to a wedding? Maybe it’s a beautiful ceremony, the sun was out, birds started to sing a song that hadn’t been sung for thousands of years – that kind of thing. Everything’s going swimmingly…
…until that guy.
Between 30% and 60% of weddings will have a minimum of one incident involving that guy, and despite the beautiful occasion, the months and months – maybe even years of planning the fairytale wedding. Never underestimate the power of that guy when it comes to ruining everything. Besides, it’s just so much fun to talk about that guy…
The day wasn’t actually ruined (I hope), but my point is that negative things tend to leave long and lasting impressions upon people’s minds. It’s not fair, so why should all that hard work be tarnished by one misplaced high-kick on the dancefloor, courtesy of that guy? But that’s life.
As a real estate agent, guard your reputation closely. Never assume that it’s infallible. You’re not a real estate agent surrounded by perfectly reasonable and benevolent buyers, sellers, and other agents – you’re in a mad world, and there will be ample opportunities for someone to say something bad about you, warranted or not.
I mean, check out this screenshot. All I did was look up “real estate reputation” and we get this…
Geez, get it together, real estate agents! According to a list of the most admired professionals by Forbes Magazine, real estate agents rank 23rd… below actors, stockbrokers, and politicians. Ouch!
This can be an opportunity, though.
Use this reality to stand out. If you’ve got it within yourself to be a trustworthy, steadfast real estate agent whose worth is their word, then people are going to notice. Always, always, always be polishing that reputation of yours. Make it shine enough, and you’ll be attracting business and praise from people you never thought you’d cross paths with.
Was There An 8th Way To Stand Out As An Amazing Real Estate Agent That We Didn’t Mention? A 9th?