Karri’s article, as featured in Mario Jannatpour’s The Honest Real Estate Agent, second edition, 2016.
When I got into real estate a number of years ago, I was concerned about a culture that seemed to value “the deal” more than the client. Mario’s book, The Honest Agent, was positive validation for a new agent who wanted to be herself, have a profitable business, and do the job right.
In business and in life, honesty is foundational to all. If we are not honest with ourselves, we cannot grow as people. If we cannot grow, fulfillment is an impossible dream. And honesty is so much more than “not lying!” It’s about integrity. My clients constantly thank me for being straightforward, proactive, and honest.
After the deal is done, clients will remember your character, perhaps more than anything else.
If you are not standing in your integrity, then it is much more difficult to look a client or prospective client in the eye and ask for the privilege of representing them. For you are asking for the keys to their hearts, their trust, and maybe their most treasured possession… home.
Without honesty, you cannot sustainably serve clients. You’ll lose sleep. Your health will suffer. The client may face hardship because you couldn’t bring yourself to be honest about something that you thought was “no big deal.” (Who are you to say what matters or doesn’t matter to another human being?)
Of course, it should also go without saying that as a licensed agent, you have a very real obligation to act honestly.
Selling real estate is hard. But it is much harder to enjoy the journey when you’re constantly on guard about the truth. We are paid to have the tough conversations. We are paid to ask questions that no one else has asked. We are paid to present facts and safeguard from dangerous nuance. We are paid to be honest.
Bold honesty is the most merciful, generous thing you can do for your client and for your business.
It cannot be quantified by a quick buck, but there is no doubt that being honest will pay you back with loyal clients and a rewarding, prosperous career.