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Rebuilding Trust

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Op-ed by Robb Heering

RISMEDIA, February 7, 2009-Most of us would agree that buyers and sellers are more apt to do business with and refer business to those they trust. Most of us would also agree that trust has largely evaporated from our industry. That’s a huge problem that we, as real estate professionals, must address.

We need to understand the phenomenon of trust before we go about attempting to rebuild it among consumers in the marketplace. In its simplest form, trust is a willingness to take action based on the opinions, words, actions, inactions or suggestions of another. In our world, trust is what’s needed in order for our buyers to sign the contract, and for our sellers to agree not only to list with us, but at the price we suggest.

Building trust is always easier than rebuilding it and, unfortunately, for our industry, we face the task of rebuilding.

Unlike damaged social relationships, forgiveness isn’t a viable option, given the dynamics of our industry. The foreclosed-upon homeowner who feels she overpaid for the home you sold her, who had a bad mortgage from a mortgage broker you referred her to, is probably not going to forgive you and come back for more of your great advice.

So now what? How can we best rebuild trust?

I can tell you from over two decades of very successful lawyering, real estate brokering and business building-you don’t build trust by saying, “Trust me,” and you will never re-build trust that way.

The answer is very simple to read but for some, not so easy to implement.

Trust is rebuilt by effective, open, honest and sincere communications with your customers, your proposed customers and with everyone you deal with in your business. Trust is rebuilt by demonstrating your knowledge and sharing that knowledge. Trust is rebuilt when you successfully communicate your ability, your integrity and your sincerity.

Do you want to be trusted? Follow the rules:

Be an open book. Surrender your ego. Communicate sincerely and effectively. Accept responsibility. Never compromise integrity and remain faithful to your values.

Remember, trust isn’t a commodity. It’s a precious resource. It’s the only precious resource that doesn’t get depleted with use.

Robb Heering is CEO of Casa Latino Franchise Corporation.

For more information, please visit www.casalatino.com.  

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