For estate agents, knowing how to build up trust in your estate agency amongst potential clients couldn’t be more important for your business’s success. Agents who have unethical practices or who offer only a mediocre level of service will inevitably find that their customers will go elsewhere and, over time, their company will struggle and fail.
The professional relationship that your estate agency forms with its buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants has a key role to play in the success of your brand, so knowing how to inspire trust in prospective clients and how to maintain those business relationships in the long-term is imperative.
Essentially, trust lies at the heart of whether customers come to your agency for a single sale or return the next time they need to sell a property.
With this in mind, how can estate agents harness the power of trust to their advantage in today’s competitive business marketplace? Here, we offer you seven top tips to help you reassure prospective clients that you are an estate agent that can be relied on to be trustworthy, reputable and honest in all your market dealings.
What makes trust so important?
Trust lies at the heart of all relationships, whether professional or personal. When you work in a business that is based on relationships, such as real estate, it’s easy to see why trust-building is so essential to success. Once you’ve shown customers that your brand can be trusted, they’ll refer their friends and family to you whenever they’re buying or selling a property.
Furthermore, the next time they need property advice or tips, the next time they’re listing their home for sale on the market, or the next time they’re interested in buying a new property, they’ll make your firm of estate agents their first port of call.
Can you trust estate agents?
Unfortunately, residential estate agents have a persistently poor reputation in the market. Recent polls have shown that the average real estate agent is ranked lower in the trustworthiness stakes than most other businesses, so why is this the case?
Consumers seem to base their low opinion of estate agencies on a number of factors, with accusations of lack of experience, incorrect house valuations, and a lack of qualifications being high on their negative agenda.
It’s therefore down to estate agents themselves to win over clients by demonstrating that they can be trusted not only by their behaviour but also through their digital marketing, approach to social media and the level of service provided to clients.
What inspires trust?
Although it may sound simple to say “inspire trust in your estate agency”, what does this actually look like in practice?
Some estate agents fall into the trap of thinking that trustworthiness is something that they can establish in their prospective clients through clever marketing, but that can only ever be a short-term measure.
No matter how persuasive your marketing campaigns are, clients will eventually see through that superficial charm and will turn to one of your local competitors if you can’t follow that advertising through with high-quality advice, excellent services, and a professional team.
Of course, it isn’t possible to build up confidence in your estate agent firm overnight. It will take time to persuade prospects and clients to place their trust in your brand. But as long as you use the right strategies and take care to showcase your team as the professionals that they are, you could achieve success very quickly.
So, without any further ado, let’s look at our helpful advice and top 7 tips for estate agents who want to corner the market in terms of trustworthiness and honesty.
1.Value the clients’ time
It’s fair to say that time is an extremely valuable asset. As an estate agent, it’s vital to recognise how important it is to respect your clients’ time and avoid wasting it. A poorly organised estate agent will never be trusted.
Whether you’re dealing with buyers or sellers, punctuality is key. Someone selling their property doesn’t want to wait around for you to come and give them an estimated asking price. Buyers, on the other hand, don’t want to be waiting at the door of an address that they want to view waiting for an agent who is running late.
One of the top tips that we can give is to always keep any meetings or calls that you’ve scheduled and try to avoid any last minute rescheduling or cancellations.
Remember that it doesn’t take much to make the general public distrust an estate agent. Any inappropriate behaviour is sure to give the worst possible impression. In a crowded market like the estate agent industry, this can be fatal to your business.
Of course, it’s not impossible that something could crop up that would mean that you are genuinely unable to meet a specific deadline. Should this happen, it’s imperative to make contact as quickly as possible with the client in question.
Being honest and upfront about the delay at as early a stage as possible will go a long way towards reassuring them that you are a real estate agent that can be trusted after all. Apologising, explaining the problem and immediately offering the solution of another date will show that you are prepared to be accountable and that you respect your clients.
Doing this will improve their opinion of your real estate business and will help to build a stronger and more positive reputation for your agency.
2.Listen more and talk less
When a buyer or seller approaches estate agents, they will have a list of things that they need to say. True, it’s part of your job to offer professional property advice and sell your services, but it’s also a key element of your role to just listen and take on board what each buyer and seller wants and needs from their property transaction.
Remember – it’s impossible to build up the customer’s trust in your real estate agent firm if you focus solely on your property industry mission.
It takes time to develop a relationship with a customer. They need time to learn to believe in you and your expertise, and to accept that you have their interests at heart. To achieve this goal, you need to have patience.
Yes, of course, property selling is your ultimate goal, but part of that process involves listening carefully to the wishes, concerns, and explanations of the client. A key element of your job is to focus on their wants and needs.
If you’re unable to supply what they demand, be truthful from the start. Explain the reasons why you don’t have the ability to match their expectations then offer an alternative solution while explaining how it would benefit them to bear your advice in mind. Fail to be upfront with your reasoning and you risk being deemed inexperienced or unreliable.
3.Stay in touch
Estate agents who fail to return calls create a very poor impression of their organisation. Failing to stay in touch with prospects, whether they are keen to buy or to sell, is a sign of unreliable agents who would be best avoided.
Waiting for the client to call is also a poor level of service. You can create the impression of being proactive agents by taking the initiative once in a while. Give them a phone call or send a message to their email address every now and then – it doesn’t have to be a hard-nosed sales call – simply touching base from time to time about their sale or purchase is common courtesy. It also shows that you take a personal approach to your work and that you’re aware of their needs.
Not only does this work to keep all parties in the loop, but it is also a sign that you are on the ball when it comes to house sales and are prepared to take a proactive stance to selling.
4.Be a property management education resource
Yes, estate agents sell properties, but they provide so much more value than that. Parties looking for resources about the property market search for related information online and your website can be a complete source of free and accessible advice to meet all their needs and answer their property related questions.
Whether a consumer needs advice about the sale of their house, is looking for tips about what to look for in a property to purchase, or even seeking information about money matters such as applying for a home loan, you can give them the details they seek for free thanks to your expertise in the industry.
The more blog posts you have published on your website covering a wealth of relevant topics, the more questions you can answer on the client’s behalf, and the more questions you’re able to answer, the more your agency will be trusted.
Establish yourself as an authority in the sector and you’ll not only retain your existing clientele but they will also recommend you to their friends and family members, generating qualified leads that you can then capitalise on.
5.Never make a promise you can’t keep
It’s natural for agents who are keen to make a sale to go above and beyond to convince leads that they can move heaven and earth for them. But making false promises will only cause more problems than it solves. Successful sales aren’t just about the promises you make – they’re about how you follow through on them.
An agent’s reputation will almost always precede them and that can be a problem if you’ve been found to be false in the past. Prospective leads will almost certainly check out your company through community reviews and testimonials, and if they aren’t positive, they will look elsewhere for a firm to handle their sale or purchase.
That means that you can’t be a “yes person”. You need to be pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful, yes, but if there’s something you can’t do, don’t compromise your integrity by promising to do things that you simply cannot – it will only harm your reputation in the long run.
6.Avoid pushing your personal agenda
It’s your role as an agent to work in partnership with your client and that means working to their agenda, not your own. Yes, you’re there to make deals but save your own opinions for yourself.
However tempted you may be to try to persuade them to rent a property that is out of their price bracket or encourage them to view houses that they would never be able to get a mortgage for, it’s imperative that you avoid this course of action. Following it will only make them annoyed and uncomfortable – two things that will only serve to encourage them to go to one of your rival local agents.
7.How can you inspire trust with digital marketing?
More people than ever before go online searching for data and details when they are ready to take an important life decision such as buying or selling their home. To reach these future clients, you need to put in place an effective marketing strategy.
While effective marketing is, of course, crucial in helping you to sell your services, it could also play a vital part in enhancing your credibility and in helping you to build a reputation as a trustworthy authority in your field.
To this end, you need both a search engine optimised website with an informative and engaging blog and a strong social media presence to interact with your prospects. Area guides and e-guides can be helpful tools in this regard.
How to inspire trust in your estate agency – an overview
So, what have you discovered about creating the right trustworthy impression in the minds of prospects?
We would advise that you make sure to value their time and keep them in the loop at all times. At the same time, you need to always be upfront and truthful – if you can’t assist with something, say so from the get go. Honesty is always the best policy.
Don’t forget to listen to what the customer has to say and take on board their needs and requirements instead of pushing your own agenda, and be a valuable resource for property information and advice.
Most of all, use the power of technology to market your company in the most effective way.
We can help you to create content that is engaging, inspiring and trustworthy to inspire those who read it and make them want to find out more about your firm. They will trust it as an authority in the industry, so contact us today to learn more.