Real estate agents have a bad reputation. In a 2012 Gallop poll asking to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in different fields, Real Estate Agents landed just above Lawyers and below Bankers…. don’t know about you but that just doesn’t sit well with us. We recently answered a few questions about reputation along with a few of our friends and it’s clear, there is an elephant in real estate’s living room…..
Reputation is a hard thing to fix. It takes a lot of work to overcome a widespread poor impression held by the public. The first step is to provide exceptional service, but to do that you have to know what the consumer really wants. The only way to know is to ask if the service you provide is meeting their needs and expectations. We may be afraid to hear the answers, but if we aren’t providing what they need, isn’t it better to know? If we can make adjustments and become better at what we do, we can stop perpetuating the bad reputation. Listening to consumer panels at events like Hear it Direct and Inman Connect has given us a few ah-ha moments.
Next, managing reputation and knowing what people are saying about you is important – now more than ever. Every consumer has a voice and an audience in this digital age. If you ask for feedback and then listen – you may be able to avoid a bad review or comment in a place that you have no control over. There are so many review sites on the internet… how do you even begin to get a handle on it? We started using RealSatisfied about a year ago. It has given us a way to monitor how we are performing. Our clients are able to tell us the good, the bad and the ugly – and it gives us the opportunity to fix what went wrong. The best part is we have easily gotten a lot of great testimonials as a part of the RealSatisfied process that we now can display – on our own sites and on some of the review sites.
It seems that the key in all of this is communication. Asking, listening and then responding in a positive constructive way. Recently the question was asked in one of our favorite Facebook groups, Raise the Bar, “When there are “problems” on transactions, what, in your experience, is the number one cause of those problems?”. The answers all boiled down to one thing…. a break down in communication. Communication is the most important thing in any relationship…. why would the relationship with your clients be any different? So let’s stop tip toeing around that elephant and start doing something about it….
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear”. - Socrates.
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