As a Realtor this word resonates within me. Am I trustworthy? Do people trust me? On a daily basis I am responsible for the largest investment most people will ever make. Do I handle that responsibility with care? Do I earn each clients trust?

What is trust?

Whether online or offline, I desire to act in a manner that earns everyone’s trust through being genuine and honest. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have just released their newest book Trust Agents that discusses the concept of online trustworthiness. From the inside cover you see:

Trust agents aren’t necessarily marketers or salespeople; they’re the digitally savvy people who use the Web to humanize businesses using transparency, honesty, and genuine relationships.

Real estate is a human business! Even with all the automation of home searching and valuations, ultimately it is a human business. I believe that anyone who originally met me online would say that I’m the same guy IRL (In Real Life). I’m generally the same goofy guy who loves to take pics of food and anything else that crosses my path, engage in great conversation, listen when an ear is needed. Maybe point someone in the direction of help if I know someone who can help. I don’t do these things because I have to, I do them because it’s who I am. I think Jeff Turner summed it up wonderfully:

“You can always tell when someone is sincerely interested in helping others and when they merely want you to think they’re interested. Dale proves over and over again, that he is truly interested in helping others. For a real estate professional, that’s a gift. I’m honored to know Dale and pleased I can count him as a client and a friend.”

These are words that humble me and make me smile. (Thank you again Jeff, I’m honored to call you friend as well!) Everyone wants to think they are trustworthy but unfortunately all are not.

Realtors are one step above Multi-Level Marketers

Wow! Those are words that hurt. Tonight I was out with a few friends and we were talking about online and offline reputations and the above statement came out of one of their mouths. They did not direct it at me but it was directed at the industry I am a part of. I’ve also heard from more than one individual that real estate professionals are not much (or any) better than used car salesmen.

Why do people continue to work with people they don’t trust? This escapes me. If you have that feeling about someone, why not move along and find someone you do trust? Especially when dealing with such a large investment. Trust is critical! Why place such an enormous responsibility in the hands of a “MLM or used car salesman”? I don’t know the answer, but it is an interesting question.

So, do you trust your real estate professional? Have they earned your trust? I certainly hope so. Are you a real estate professional? Are you trustworthy? Are you going above and beyond to earn the trust of those who need you and your service? I certainly hope so.

Trust Agents photo by Chris Brogan, used under Creative Commons licensing
We Con photo by boeke, used under Creative Commons licensing