I am very fortunate to be at a point in my career where almost all of my business comes from repeat clients or referrals from clients, friends, family, or other real estate agents. Not that I don’t love meeting and working with new people who aren’t referred, but I have discovered there are benefits to working with people who have been given my name by someone they know and trust.
I’m usually trusted sooner by default.
For example, if your best friend tells you that I am the best real estate agent in the world and you can count on me, you’ll probably have less concerns than if you picked my name out of a hat. Or if your neighbor raves about how smooth their home sale was with me as their listing agent, you’ll likely expect that I’ll give you the same results. I’m not saying that just because a friend or neighbor recommends me as the best Realtor that I should get a pass on answering your questions or addressing any concerns that prove my knowledge and expertise, but trust is definitely established sooner which helps us achieve goals sooner in my experience.
I’ve had buyers and sellers choose me by calling my number off a For Sale Sign, vibing with my online biography, or finding my information in a directory. Most of those people turned into happy and loyal clients who now refer their friends to me, but there was a period of establishing (mutual) confidence and trust that varied depending on personalities as well as past experiences.
Let’s talk about past experiences.
There are lots of people out there who have had bad experiences. I can go into this more later, but I’ve found that most of the time, the bad experiences were caused by lack of communication or explanation. Another issue that is almost sure to cause a negative outcome is when someone says they will do something (or not do something) and then they fail to follow through. This applies to real estate transactions and life in general. Basically, if someone has been let down, they automatically think the next person will let them down. While it’s understandable, it’s also unfortunate, because occasionally past experiences are so deeply ingrained in some people that they simply can’t believe that there are people who will communicate, advocate, and do what they say they will do.
Over the years, I’ve learned the best thing to do in those circumstances when I can tell someone has trust issues, is to ask them point blank what their concern is and then listen. Not talk badly or give my opinion on the past experience, but just listen. Then ask what they want to accomplish and what their expectations are. If I’m confident I’ll be able to help them achieve their goals, I tell them how I can help them accomplish their goals and what my expectations are. I ask them to give me a chance to prove that I will do what I say I’m going to do with the understanding that open communication is not just welcome but necessary.
I can’t explain how rewarding it is to convince someone with trust issues to give me a chance to restore their faith in humanity and real estate transactions and then do just that. The only thing more rewarding is when they refer me to their best friend who calls and says, “If you made ___________________ happy, you must be good.” This just happened and I won’t drop names in this blog, but I can’t wait for all three of us to have lunch and laugh about some of those early conversations that converted an untrusting potential homebuyer to a forever client and friend.
To those who have trusted me over the years to help with your real estate needs and for your continued support and friendship, I truly can’t thank you enough!