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Do You Trust Your Clients?

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Do You Trust Your Clients Too Much?

…Should You?

Most of us probably have never even thought about asking ourselves these questions, yet we need to know the answers.  We expect our clients to trust us, but should that relationship have trust flowing from both sides?

I am guessing most of you would first answer these questions with a resounding “YES”.  After all, good customer service is one where we trust our clients and they trust us, right?  Aren’t the best relationships built on trust?

Not exactly.  When it comes to a real estate related business, trust should mostly be a one way street.  There are businesses where trusting your clients is of utmost importance, but overtrusting in a real estate transaction can spell disaster.  Just take a look at your recent transactions and you will likely see what I mean.

Most of you have undoubtedly spent grueling amounts of time establishing trust with your clients.  You blog, excel in customer service, gather testimonials, and more in order to develop that relationship.  The key to a successful transaction rests in your client having complete confidence in you.  The overall transaction goes much smoother and your client will be much more stress free if they can trust you.

Real Estate Agents

Now that you have established a trusting relationship with your clients, certainly you would like to trust them to do their part.  That would be misplaced trust in all likelihood, though. 

How many clients have you dealt with, especially in today’s environment, that simply waste your time?  You know, they are just “browsing” or are looking to time the bottom of the market.  Maybe they are low-balling constantly and never seem to find the right home.  Can you trust this type of client?

Then there are those that delay, delay, delay, for whatever reason.  You know the ones, they receive a counteroffer and sit on it for days, if not weeks.  You need to get in there and prod them constantly.  What about those who fail to contact a mortgage professional to obtain that pre-approval?  They lack motivation, so you have to be very motivating at times.  Can you trust them to do things in a timely fashion throughout the transaction?

The good thing is that once the Purchase Agreement is signed and the transaction has begun, you’re finished, right?  Hardly, as you all know.  You have to stay on top of your clients to make sure they are doing what they need to comply with the requirements of the contract, a constant battle, especially if their mortgage professional isn’t up to the task either. 

Mortgage Professionals

Speaking of mortgage professionals not being up to the task, let’s see where they tend to misplace trust.  Most of us (yes, I fall into this category) do not get involved in the transaction until the borrower comes to us.  How they come to us plays a big role in many of our opinions as to how much to trust this customer.  If they are a referral, hopefully we have already gotten some insight on how well this customer can be trusted.

The mortgage professional’s role in the transaction could be considered the most important, after all, we control everyone’s money, including the real estate agent’s commission.  If we fail to do our job, or let the customer fail to do their’s, everyone suffers.  So, we cannot afford to be overly trusting of our clients or we, and everyone else, may not get paid.

As a mortgage professional, you undoubtedly will come across those who respond to every request in a timely fashion, some familiar with the way things work will even bring everything you need right from the start.  We all know that most are not very responsive and that “life gets in the way” more often than not.  That means we have to stay on top of the borrowers constantly, making sure we get the documentation we need, that everyone involved in the transaction is constantly updated, that the borrowers are getting the right inspections done on time, getting insurance in place, etc.  The mortgage professional should be the focal point of the transaction and cannot afford to trust his clients to do things correctly or timely.

To Trust or Not?

Certainly, the best relationships are built on trust.  However, in a real estate transaction, too many things can go wrong if any one person involved fails to do their part.  Since clients are usually the least experienced, placing too much trust in them can prove costly to everyone involved.  Some of you have long time clients who have done repeated transactions, such as real estate investors, and they can be trusted.  Do not allow yourself to get complacent or transactions with inexperienced clients can go horribly wrong. 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Paula Henry

    July 11, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Robert –

    I trust my clients, other Realtors and my mortgage professionals to get me what I need, when it is needed. Assuming my trust is misguided, they will receive gentle reminders through email and phone calls, until I do have it.

    Having systems in place, as Jennifer stated, is imperative to ensuring we are on top of each and every transaction. My clients trust me to do so.

    A great reminder we should always take a proactive position in our business and not leave the work to others.

  2. Matt Thomson

    July 11, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I guess I don’t see how trusting clients and growing complacent are tied together. I trust my clients because I’ve educated them on the process to the best of my ability. Trusting them means that I trust them to be upfront with me, to come to me with questions, and I trust them to trust me to do my job.
    Maybe it’s just semantics, but I believe that trusting your clients is a positive thing that makes all aspects of dealing with them more enjoyable.

  3. Ken Smith

    July 11, 2008 at 10:43 am

    You have to trust your clients, but at the same time you need to ask the correct probing questions or you will end up wasting a lot of your time with clients that really have no real motivation.

  4. Michelle DeRepentigny

    July 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I think I disagree with your definition of “trust”, what you seem to see as a lack of trustworthiness on the part of your client or indstry partners, I see as a failure to communicate or follow up on my part.

    It is my job to juggle all the balls and make sure none of them hit the ground and roll away.

  5. Dan Connolly

    July 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Well trust is a elusive concept. The clients should ideally trust us to take care of their best interests, and part of this means that since we know how things can go wrong, we need to remind them of what their part is. We need to trust (or understand) that they may have the best intentions, but since they don’t do this every day, they might not remember everything we have asked of them. We need to trust our own instincts and make sure to double and triple check every aspect of the transaction, and we need to trust that if things get screwed up, we will be held responsible. Trusting that the client or customer will do what they are supposed to do is not the brightest approach. It’s like trusting that a 4 year old won’t run in the street. Or like trusting that if you talk about someone “behind their back” that it won’t get back to them.

  6. Bob

    July 11, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Trust is over rated. Just ask the short sale buyers who trusted everyone in the transaction.

    Trust, but verify“.

  7. Dan Connolly

    July 11, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Reminds me of an old Arabic saying: “Trust God but tie up your camel”

  8. Eric- New Orleans Condos and Lofts

    July 12, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Most of the time things work out. Most people do buy at some time and you get referrals from people galore that you never expect. Ask yourself where else can you make a 6 figure income for the last 10 years and work for yourself. Compared to my previous jobs, real estate is great. Much more trust in this business than in the corp. world. Glad this is what I do. Also glad I saved much of what I made over the past 7-8 years cause feast and famine is part of life.

  9. Raymond Stoklosa

    July 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Robert,
    It seems to be after 30 years in the business that we must continually test for motivation. Well developed interview techniques can save us all a great deal of time, money and anxiety. There must be a compelling reason to change, otherwise we are lying to ourselves. It’s not that our clients and customers deliberately lie to us — although some do — it is that they don’t know what they really want and often don’t know how to get there. Intelligent client management, careful counseling and a relentless pursuit of the truth will help put the “real” back into real estate.

  10. Eric Blackwell

    July 13, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I’d agree with many here that trust does not equal not following up to make sure things are done.

    Best

    Eric

  11. Holly White

    July 14, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Trust is something that is earned imo. This is why we all generally use or recommend the same professionals in our business, ie, mortgage brokers/lenders, title companies, home inspectors, etc. We’ve all gone through a multitude of business professionals we’ve worked with that just didn’t do what they said they were going to do and when we found those that did, or at least made up for their mistakes, they earned our trust. Once you’ve found those people you tend to hang on to them. We’re all in this together and each are a crucial piece of the real estate transaction puzzle. The puzzle isn’t complete if one of the pieces are missing. Now that I have a great group of people to work with that understands this, we all make sure we’re doing what it takes to get to a smooth closing. That also means that we are all on top of items that need to be taken care of by our clients. We all have to remember that we are here to educate and help our clients through the transaction. For alot of them it’s their first home (or it has been years and years since their last purchase) and they have no clue what is expected of them.

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Economic News

Boomers retirement may be the true reason behind the labor shortage

(ECONOMY) Millennials and Gen Z were quick to be blamed for the labor shortage, citing lazy work ethic- the cause could actually be Boomers retirement.

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Older man pictured in cafe with laptop nearby representing boomers retirement.

In July, we reported on the Great Resignation. With record numbers of resignations, there’s a huge labor shortage in the United States. Although there were many speculations about the reasons why, from “lazy” millennials to the number of deaths from Covid. Just recently, CNN reported that in November another 3.6 million Americans left the labor force. It’s been suggested that the younger generations don’t want to work but retiring Boomers might be the bigger culprit.

Why Boomers are leaving the labor force

CNN Business reports that 90% of the Americans who left the workplace were over 55 years old. It’s now being suggested that many of the people who have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic were older Americans, not Millennials or Gen Z, as we originally thought. Here are the reasons why:

  • Boomers are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than their younger counterparts, so they aren’t returning to work. Boomers are less willing to risk their health.
  • The robust real estate market has benefitted Boomers, who have more equity in their homes. Boomers have more options on the table than just returning to work.
  • Employers aren’t creating or posting jobs that lure people out of retirement or those near retirement age.

As Boomers retire, how does this impact the overall labor economy?

According to CNN Business, there are signs that the labor shortage is abating. Employers are starting to see record number of applicants to most posted jobs. FedEx, for example, just got 111,000 applications in one week, the highest it has ever recorded. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the pandemic-induced increase in retirement is only temporary. People who retired due to the risk of the pandemic will return to work as new strategies emerge to reduce the risk to their health. With new varients popping up, we will have to keep an eye on how the trend ultimately plays out.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?

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NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<

#CarsonHUD

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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.

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young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

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The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.

#JobOpenings

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