- There’s always an element of risk in real estate —that’s why personal integrity and relationships are so important in our industry.
- Experts contend that service, transparency and consistency are essential for building trust.
- We’ll explore some CRE-specific practices we can adopt to strengthen our performance in these areas.
For many clients, real estate transactions are the most significant financial adventures they will ever experience. People invest their hard-earned money to buy a home, house a business, or generate income, and there is always an element of risk.
That’s why personal integrity and relationships are so important in our industry. Successful transactions are built on trust, and each and every experience with a client will either build or erode that trust to some degree. Professionalism and the highest possible level of customer service are keys to building that trust with individual clients, and to establish a positive professional reputation.
Experts contend that service, transparency, and consistency are essential for building trust. What are some specific practices that we can adopt in CRE to strengthen our performance in these areas?
#1. Share testimonials and work samples
This falls under transparency. Let your past performance speak for itself by providing new clients with details on previous deals and projects. This helps establish your credibility and assures the client that you will operate in an open and above-board manner.
#2. Communicate professionally
Nothing makes a quicker negative impression than sloppy communication. Particularly in the early phases, keep your communication brief, relevant, and to the point. Skip buzzwords and jargon. Follow up on phone calls with an email that recaps important points covered in the call.
In email, take the time to double-check spelling and grammar. Details matter! Grammarly offers a free writing checker as a browser add-on, and software like Litmus goes further, automatically checking imbedded links, subject lines, and addresses as well as spelling and grammar.
#3. Be scrupulous with deadlines
Obviously, your client will begin to lose trust if you fail to meet deadlines. Missing one can throw of the entire timeline for a deal or project, and have a negative impact on a lot of people. Be sure to set realistic deadlines, so that you’re not set up to fail, and your client’s trust in you will grow over time.
Meeting deadlines and keeping appointments are part of the idea of consistency. Make it your practice, time after time, to be there when you say you’ll be. That’s a powerful way to build trust –with clients, colleagues, and partners.
#4. Ask for feedback
In working with any client, it’s important to consider their viewpoint. Make it a practice to ask for feedback over the course of a transaction or project.
Use the information to make adjustments that will make the process more convenient and less stressful for the client. Address their concerns wherever possible, and suggest solutions. This sort of exchange helps to establish a spirit of teamwork and is a great way to build trust with a client.
#5. Do unto others
Not exactly a business term, but there’s no substitute for putting yourself in your client’s shoes and treating them as you would like to be treated. Understand that different people have different experiences and situations. One client may need more frequent updates to feel comfortable, while another prefers to hear from you less often.
As soon as the client understands that you see them as an individual and are tailoring your work to their unique needs, the seed of trust will be planted.
Start Speaking Up —Clearly
There are two lessons that really stick out for me in my career. First, I’ve learned that being clear when you communicate with your clients is a must. Unfortunately, sometimes we think we are being clear, but we’re just not getting our point across. There’s an art to this, and it takes practice.
Secondly, I’ve learned that being able to say “no” —and having the courage to do so— will often gain you more respect than saying “yes”. People are often afraid to say no because they think they’re going to lose something, yet it can establish boundaries and makes it clear why and how you can be successful for them.
If you liked this blog, you may also like my recent articles: Accessibility and Connection: Being a Rockstar in CRE and ‘Business is Business’ is Bulls#*!.