How Can People Trust You As Their Agent When They’ve Never Met You?

“Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, your track record. And both are vital.”

Being able to build trust with clients has always been an important skill-set for agents because we normally start on the back foot due to the perception that we are only one step above used cars salespeople.

Every time an agent meets or speaks with a new client they generally have to focus a certain amount of their efforts on building rapport quickly and doing what they can to build likeability and trustworthiness to help overcome those pre-conceived ideas people have about real estate agents.

Over the internet, real estate agents don’t have the benefit of seeing non-verbal communication or hearing the tone in a voice. They also don’t have the luxury of being able to demonstrate some of their well rehearsed scripts & dialogues and put their negotiation skills to full use.

The nature of the internet has also changed the way agents show property. It’s now extremely rare to have clients in the car traveling around for hours at a time seeing the homes the agent decides to show them. Nowadays, most people simply meet the agent at one property at a scheduled time or they attend an Open For Inspection.

The whole demographic of client interaction has been changed forever.

What can you do about it?

I recently read this book ‘The Speed of Trust – The One Thing That Changes Everything’ and in it Steven M. R. Covey said:-

“Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, your track record. And both are vital.”

With the internet providing transparency and insights into the marketing framework of most agencies, your Character can be interpreted in the way you present your listings for sale and the script within your website, articles, etc.

Plus, when it comes to Competence, it has now become a lot easier for consumers to identify the IT savvy agencies over the pretenders. A real estate agencies competency or lack of competency online can have a resounding impact on their overall success.

People are now making decisions about you and your company over the web. That’s the transparent nature of the web.

Are lots of clients calling you in for an appraisal because they like what you’re doing over the internet? OR on the other hand are the vast majority of them not calling you and are you losing business to your competitors because the potential clients don’t think your online marketing is up to scratch?

Does your online marketing need to be looked at professionally, from a different point of view?

Let’s face it, you can be the greatest agent at scripts and dialogues or be the best negotiator in the business but if the potential client doesn’t like what they see about you over the internet then in the majority of circumstances you won’t even get the chance to present to them.

As the internet keeps evolving and expanding into new, exciting areas, for some the changes to the web will act like an accelerator for their business BUT for others it will act like ‘the brake’.

Is the internet working effectively for you or not? Do you get many people subscribing automatically to receive information from you or are you still manually entering in most of your customers into your database?

Are you getting called into enough market appraisals? Have you implemented an effective online lead generation strategy? Are you embracing the online world and using the power of Social Media to help build trust faster through online recommendations?

Finally, within the heading of this article, I posed the following question “How Can People Trust You As Their Agent When They’ve Never Met You?”

Please take some time to think about some answers to that question because if you can come up with a few answers to it, you’ll be well on your way to achieving some incredible success in your real estate career.

Please feel welcome to ask any questions or share your thoughts and ideas within the comments section below.

By Amanda CorneliusAmanda Cornelius on FacebookAmanda Cornelius on Google+Amanda Cornelius on Twitter Visit author's website

Amanda is the Co-Founder and CEO of Properties Online, Inc, a website technology company created to help agents and brokers grow their business. Along with her husband Greg, Amanda co-owns a real estate brokerage located in Northern California with 9 offices and over 250 agents. Amanda holds a BA in Film and Electronic Arts from California State University Long Beach, and has worked in the film, internet and print industries for over 25 years designing marketing materials for Dick Clark Productions, John Travolta Productions, Warner Bros., Disney, Bob Hope and more.

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