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RISMEDIA, April 7, 2010—Brand trust is becoming even more important to business survival today, especially as consumers’ use of the Internet continues to escalate. Another big driver is the media and how they pound us all day long with stories of banking scandals and retailers going out of business, to all manner of service industries not delivering on what they promised. Consumer scams are at an all-time high and product quality continues to decline.

As a real estate professional, you market yourself and sell all the time because you have to, but in the long-term, you know repeat business and referrals are golden and are really built on the successes you create with your clients and the trust they ultimately place in you. But what is trust broken down and how do you build more of it?

Trust equates to your credibility, reliability and relationship-building skills. A large part of your credibility is your industry experience and how you use it to the benefit of your clients, along with your core operating principles. Have you defined these principles? If not, you should and communicate them wherever and whenever possible.

Your reliability can be based on many events, big and small, in the course of working with your clients: from simple response time to consistency in delivering what they expect. Relationship-building skills are complicated, but if you always practice being present to the client’s expectations, and work for their benefit, you will succeed. This is not to say you throw away your goals or principles in the process, but they need to know you understand their priorities and are focused on them.

Share as much as you can and make the client a collaborative part of the process. Base your response to any type of news in your core principles and consistently highlight your experience in the field to build genuine credibility. Be consistent. Write down the toughest questions you get from clients and your answers to them based on your knowledge and core principles. Know these answers and only change them when you gain more expert knowledge which modifies your response based on the changing market or other forces.

Remember, your brand is your business, and building known trust in your brand—priceless!

Chris Kaucnik is marketing director for Home Warranty of America, Inc. For more information, please visit