The Reputation of a Real Estate Agent

The Reputation of a Real Estate Agent

Being in the real estate industry since I was 18 years old, I often get asked, “Why do real estate agents have a bad reputation?” The answer is pretty straight forward. Although, today I want to talk to you about how you can avoid having such a negative connotation to your profession and instead have people reach out to you for help.

According to Forbes, only 25% of Americans trust our profession. Please refer to the chart below. The reputation of a real estate agent is literally a “make it or break it” scenario. If you have a good reputation you’re more likely to obtain more leads and clientele. If you have a bad reputation, chances are you’re not generating a lot of leads. Seems pretty to understand right? Okay, so if it’s so easy, why are there still some real estate agents with such horrible reputations? It comes down to two things. Greed and inauthenticity.

It’s no secret that some people think some real estate agents are in the industry only for the commission they’ll be receiving from a sale. They’re not wrong, some are. For some real estate agents, the word “home” has the same meaning as the word “money”.If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re not one of those agents. So you’re ready on a good path. Don’t get me wrong, obviously selling homes is how we get paid and how we make a living, but I believe that should be secondary to changing people’s lives.

Put yourself in other people’s shoes. The word, “home” is a word filled with a lot of different emotions. Let me elaborate, close your eyes and think about the word “home”. What are the first three things to come to mind? I tried this with a couple of friends and I got words such as; family, love, memories, happiness, and privacy. These words carry a lot of weight. It’s time that us real estate professionals, begin to handle this word with a lot of care.

Be real, be yourself.

As I mentioned before, the problem is greed and inauthenticity. Let’s start with inauthenticity. I can’t stress it enough how important and vital it is to be yourself in this business. Believe it or not, if you’re not real, if you’re not yourself, people can read you like an open book. Especially when your brand, your reputation is directly involved in the biggest investment of their life. With that being said, you can’t fake caring for people! So for this to actually work, you have to actually care about wanting to help people find a home. Notice I didn’t say “buy.” The shift starts in your mind. According to studies, it takes about 66 days to form a habit. On the contrary, it takes about 22 days to break a habit. So you have some work to do. Tell yourself over and over again, “I’m helping people find a home.” Later on, we’ll add to that sentence.

Forget the dollar signs.

I believe in educating buyers and sellers just as much as I believe in educating real estate agents. There are many unethically or sneaky ways that some real estate agents do business. These are some of the practices that I DO NOT advise you to do.

1. Intentionally give an overinflated appraisal of your client’s property to get the listing and, a couple of days down the road, ask them for a price reduction.

2. Promise your client that you will sell their house for above the listing price.

3. Fail to present all offers to your clients.

4. Never answer your client’s phone calls but is the first one at the closing table.

FYI, the last one is one of my biggest pet peeves. These are only four of the many situations that some agents try to get away with. As you can imagine, these are all situations that can ruin your reputation as a knowledgeable and trusted real estate agent. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that these unethical and sneaky practices only help the real estate agent receive a bigger commission at the end of it. So do me a favor and don’t do any of these, you’ll thank me later!

Yes, earning an income and making money is important but there are ethical ways to do it as well. If you’ve successfully provided value and knowledge to your clients, earned their trust, made them feel confident and comfortable, the money will automatically follow. I speak from experience. Providing an exceptional guest service and client experience is just like purchasing car insurance. What do I mean by this? I mean that because I know I have done everything ethically from the start there is nothing preventing me from not getting paid for my work. My commission check is ensured! But remember, it’s ensured ONLY after you’ve laid a solid foundation with your clients.

Next Steps

I hope you were able to get some valuable information out of this article! Please feel free to start a conversation and comment your thoughts below. Also, check out my Agent Tools page where I have compiled resources and recommendations for real estate agents like you, who are ready to take their real estate marketing one step further.

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