In this fast-moving market, ethics and transparency can take a back seat to speed – but that only makes trust even more important these days. If you want to gain the trust of potential customers and build your reputation, here are your options.
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In our modern world, being labeled “trustworthy” is a great praise. In our industry – especially in a hot market where ethics can seem like an afterthought and transparency is difficult to achieve – earning the trust of potential customers is more important than ever.
Here are six ways to gain the trust of property prospects, from collecting reviews to applying for awards.
1. Get reviews
I believe the best way to gain potential customer trust is through reviews. In order to get relevant and read reviews, there are some key elements that need to be considered by the agents. The number of reviews you have is crucial so that consumers can be confident that they aren’t just from your mom and best friend.
In addition, reviews should be posted on third party websites such as Zillow, Realtor, or RateMyAgent. This strengthens the legitimacy and helps the consumer to have confidence in the credibility of the reviews.
Not only do you need to have lots of high quality reviews on the right platforms, but you also need to keep your reviews current and up to date. If your last review was from 2020, you need to get some new ones.
As a consumer, when I see that your last review was from many months ago, I might wonder if you’ve been working a lot lately. When I request reviews from my customers, I ask them to share certain experiences with me and my team.
Not only does this help the third-party website’s algorithms recognize that the review is genuine, but it also gives potential customers an idea of what it might be like to work with you. You will notice topics when you end up with enough reviews and you can then use those in your marketing.
If you’re well on your way to having a robust review ecosystem, there are five more ways you can build trust with prospects.
2. Share customer success stories
One of the easiest ways to instill trust and goodwill is to have a Customer Success Stories page on your website or blog that lists the actual stories your customers have about working with you.
You might be able to share how many quotes you wrote or what you did to make sure your salespeople had a smooth run even with a quick sale. Telling real stories and sharing photos from the demonstrations or with your clients is a great way to show off your expertise.
And it goes without saying that you should get your customer’s permission to share this information, photos, or other content before posting it. Provided they’re a huge fan of yours, they’ll likely not only give you permission, but they’ll likely share the post on their own social media as well – resulting in social proofing.
3. Be a contributor
How about writing reviews and customer success stories as well as contributing to your local newspaper, business journal, Inman News, real estate website, etc.? Publishing your work on third-party websites through respected media is another way to get prospects to trust you.
It may take some on-the-spot brainstorming and research, but if you’re a pretty good writer and willing to invest the time, there are so many ways to feed the endless appetite of Americans (and other agents) Contribute real estate -related content.
4. Speak or teach at events
Speaking in person or virtually at events is another way to show customers that your coworkers respect you and want to hear from you. It shows that you stand out in an industry with tons of brokers.
Depending on the topics you are talking about, you may also be able to reuse the content for your customers. For example, if you are often asked to talk about your Facebook marketing, you can include this in your list presentation and indicate where you have spoken and taught on the topic.
5. Apply for awards and look out for lists
This idea is the one you have the least control over, but it’s another great way to build trust. When you win awards and get put on lists, customers can easily see your expertise and professionalism.
You will be surprised how many awards there are in your city. And for national recognition, you’re likely to attract list makers’ attention as you consistently write or talk about topics.
In addition, some rankings and lists are determined solely by sales. This is another opportunity for top producers to shine. I have many friends who were listed on Realtor Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list, and while most of us haven’t taken the opportunity, it has still been a life-changing accolade for many of them.
6. Pay attention to your language
We know that real estate agents often don’t have the best reputation with consumers. Staying away from words and phrases like “top producer”, “million dollars” this or that, or “a billion in sales” is a smart move.
Many of my own friends believe that $ 30 million in sales equals a millionaire. If only that were true, right? Instead of focusing on the money you’ve made, focus on the results you’ve achieved for your clients.
And in the end, the most important thing is getting tons of five-star reviews, speaking at a conference, or being on a special list. The best advice is: if you want to be trustworthy – be trustworthy.
Stephanie Lanier is the founder and CEO of Lanier Property Group, a boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, North Carolina.