Preserving 100% commission agent reputation prevents failure.
As a professional salesperson, every real estate agent’s reputation must be formidable to earn clients’ trust.
On the other hand, inability to maintain a perfectly good reputation leads to your downfall. News and reviews flying around online make and breaks reputations.
How often do you look up online reviews about a restaurant before visiting for the first time? Or, reading product reviews before purchasing? When deciding which brokerage to associate with, do you look up online reviews about the brokerage?
Clients work the same way. They want to do business with someone they trust. A real estate agent with 100 Yelp 4 Star or 5 Star reviews goes a long way to establishing immediate trust with potential clients.
On the other hand, negative online reviews scare potential clients.
How One Online Jerk Ruined a Realtor’s Business
An Alabama Re/Max Realtor lost $200,000 in business starting in 2015 because one person posted negative comments on her brokerage’s Facebook about her.
“She’s a Homewrecker” screamed the headlines claiming she was the “other woman” in a marital affair. The post went into great detail about how she hired the Realtor and found her in bed with her husband in a home they were going to preview.
A “complete lie” claimed the Realtor attempting to stop the damaging comments in the Facebook page to no avail. In a very short period after the original post and subsequent comments went viral, clients stopped returning her texts and calls. Appointments with prospective clients canceled.
It took hiring a lawyer and a private investigator to uncover the falsehood and locate the perpetrator. After spending $100,000 the truth prevailed.
It turned out the woman who posted the lies became angry with a post by the Realtor on another social media channel about a teenager taking selfies at Auschwitz. The Realtor’s comments enraged the other woman who sought revenge. In essence, the woman “trolled” the Realtor and continued to post more lies on other social media platforms.
The Realtor ended up suing the woman for the loss of business estimated at $200,000 as her listings dropped by half and few new clients hired her. After winning her lawsuit in 2018, she still hasn’t collected her damages yet.
Can this happen to you?
How to Avoid a Bad Business Reputation
The above example had nothing to do with agent-client relationship going bad. However, it shows how easy it is for one crazy or angry person to ruin a good business reputation online.
Follow these recommendations to avoid ruining your reputation:
Always Resolve Issues with Your Clients
Too many real estate agents get into trouble by ignoring problems with clients or never fixing issues with them.
As seen above (although not a client), one evil client can kill your business. A bad review getting high Google search rankings always pops up when potential clients Google you. Sadly, that all it takes to ruin your online reputation. In spite of receiving lots of good reviews, a bad one ranking above them makes potential clients doubtful.
In reality, you can never satisfy everyone. Bad reviews occur. Don’t take them personally. It’s how you handle unsatisfied clients that counts. Ignoring them never works.
However, responding when angry or upset leads to mishandling a volatile situation. Always step back from an emotionally negative situation. Take time to cool down. Then try to fix the problem.
Once fixed, ask the happier client to remove all negative reviews.
Proper Training Leads to Fewer Mistakes
The purpose for training and lessons is to prevent you from messing up.
So many mistakes can occur with real estate sales. Learning and understanding contracts, ethics, laws, and good rapport reduce mistakes.
Looking unprofessional must be avoided at all costs. The moment you meet a potential client project an air of professionalism. Even when nervous, project an image of competence.
Don’t forget your training and education. People feel comfortable working with professionals who look and act that way.
Never be Pushy
Always balance between how you deal with clients and how they prefer to do business.
Keep in mind you are the expert and willing to be helpful. But, never let your ego get into your head. Listen to what your clients say, don’t interrupt them with your suggestions, and always show concern about their needs.
Never push your ideas. They will never trust you if you shut their ideas and plans down with yours instead.
Maneuvering them in a soft manner towards both of you being on the same page you want leads to trust. Sure, clients always want to do things differently. However, if you gently educate them about how the law requires something else allows them to choose the right path on their own.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Control Your Business
Letting your negative emotions dictate your response to bad situations were mentioned above. Think with your logical side rather than with your heart.
Real estate can be a very emotional business. A first-time home buyer’s emotions always run thick. A rejected offer makes buyers angry. Offer compassion without getting emotionally attached to the client.
Let your mind control your business and not your emotions.
Blind Trust Leads to Trouble
Businesses based on trust and not facts leads to trouble. Trusting buyers, sellers, investors, other agents, blindly rarely results in a smooth business.
The real estate business depends upon experts such as lawyers, inspectors, appraisers, lenders, and surveyors. If a seller tells you his property is zoned for multi-usage, do you blindly trust him? If a buyer claims to be qualified for a $1 million mortgage, can you trust her?
The ability to quickly determine facts in real estate depends on the types of relationships you maintain with experts capable of providing them. How your experts answer questions posed by your clients establishes your reputation.
Poor answers to clients’ questions results in a bad reputation.
Treat Everyone with Honesty and Credibility
Nothing more valuable than an honest, credible real estate agent.
Sellers need it to accurately price their listings. Buyers save time by working with honest credible agents to find their ideal properties.
Making your clients feel comfortable requires characteristics and skills to appear as an honest and credible professional.
Providing valuable information and familiarity with your niche makes you appear credible. Buyers’ concerns about crime rates, schools, nearby parks and recreational areas like a beach, fine dining options, supermarkets, and churches must be answered honestly.
Returning clients’ phone calls, text messages, and providing important documents to prospective clients demonstrates organization and reliability. Keeping all promises and not wasting clients’ time shows trustworthiness.
Bad Real Estate Agents
Buyers and sellers do not want to work with bad real estate agents.
But, how do they find out if an agent is good or not?
Googling the agent online to see if good or bad reviews exist is easy to do.
Asking tough questions to agents requires knowing what to ask. Websites and blogs provide good sources for buyers and sellers to learn what to ask real estate agents before working with them.
A Boston Realtor writes blogs teaching sellers about what to look for in a good vs. bad real estate agent. Like “Things Real Estate Agents Should Be Doing For Home Sellers”.
Another blog post describes how “bad” real estate agents behave. “9 Signs You Hired a Bad Realtor to Sell Your Home”.
He even includes a blog post titled, “How to Fire a Real Estate Agent”.
Sites Exposing Lies Told By Real Estate Agents
Just Google “Sites Exposing Lies Told By Real Estate Agents” to see how many exist.
If you stay out of these sites and maintain positive reviews with Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other social media channels and review sites; you are preserving your good business reputation.
Preserving 100% commission agent reputation comes down to acting honestly, credibly, and professionally.
Follow these suggestions:
- Always resolve issues with your clients.
- Proper training leads to fewer mistakes.
- Never be pushy.
- Don’t let your emotions control your business.
- Blind trust leads to trouble.
- Treat everyone with honesty and credibility.
When choosing a 100% commission real estate brokerage in the greater San Diego region find one providing some of the suggestions above. Like Free Training with courses about real estate laws, contracts, marketing, and sales skills.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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Big Block Realty – 100% Commission Real Estate Brokerage