If I was going to open a real estate office […] I’d figure out how to be this integral member of the community and not worry so much about whether or not I was selling a house, tomorrow…because there’s a trust shortage, there isn’t a people who know how to fill out forms shortage.
~ Seth Godin
If all I did as a real estate agent was be really good at “filling out forms,” I would have clawed out my own eyes a long time ago, right before turning in my license.
However, Godin is right about one thing: real estate agents tend to be shortsighted. They are also some of the least trusted people in the First World. Politicians are maybe THE least trusted, but I suspect we’re a close second. Ironically, I happen to love politics almost as much as I love real estate. So I’m either a masochist or just very determined to change the world. Anyway…
What I’m truly curious about is this: despite all this social media, headline-generating bla-bla about “know, like, trust,” how much does it really matter to people? When you sign your life away on a real estate transaction, are you betting on the trustworthiness of the agent? Or is it possible that you’ve been sold on some other package of promises that has nothing at all to do with trust?
I’m not being facetious. I really want to know. Because consumers SAY they want a real estate agent they can trust, yet they hire agents all the time without assessing this one crucial piece.
The agent may or may not be trustworthy. (Lots of them are, in fact.) I’m just not convinced that everyone is talking about it at the kitchen table. Trust may be assumed or implied. But is it explicitly asked for? And if not, why not? Are your instincts so unwaveringly accurate that the question is literally a waste of breath?
Understandably, a discussion about trust isn’t all that sexy or interesting. Most business owners—real estate agents included—know that in order to succeed they have to stand out, create a niche, or otherwise offer something uniquely valuable to the customer. So we agents promise the highest this, the best that, the glossiest whatever.
But what of the promise to act with integrity and do what’s right when no one is looking?
Isn’t that valuable enough to warrant a conversation?
Undoing a bad deal in real estate is impossible. There is always collateral damage, if not to your bank account then to some other part of your life. So ask yourself if trust matters. Then ask your agent.