The Importance of a Reputation
I work in a fairly small market. While there are close to 2000 agents, only about half of them are really active in the business. Over time, you get to know what niche other agents have, how they price their listings, and what type of clients they take on. Last week I went on broker tour with a group of agents. As we would drive up to the house, the typical conversation in the car would be something like this:
- “Who’s listing is it? Oh, Jane Smith? It will be overpriced.”
- “Who’s listing is it? Oh, Dan Smith? It is probably a bad remodel.”
- Who’s listing is it? Oh, Lucille Ball? She always has cute listings. It is probably priced well too.
Over time, we each build our reputation. Easy to work with. Ethical. Slick. Take overpriced listings. Takes great listings. Honest and ethical or an agent who fails to disclose. Good or bad, our peers make judgements about us and how we handle our business.
Whether we like it or not, building a strong reputation with our peers can impact our business. I know that I have pulled deals together that would not have come together if it wasn’t because the other agent not only knew me but respected me.
There are some agents you just don’t want to deal with
Can you think of an agent (or two) who you just don’t want to do a deal with? Agents whose listings you just don’t want to show? As our market has adjusted, the reputation of the agent has become even more important. With the high level of listing inventory available in most real estate markets, agents have a choice of properties to show to prospective buyers. There is likely to be more listings available to show than you have time to actually show your buyer. With limited time, and similar properties, which listing is going to be shown?
Hands down the house with the agent you like, trust and want to close a transaction with.
People talk. Agents talk. If an agent has a bad experience with you, I guarantee they will tell other agents about it. The buzz on the street is that Agent D didn’t disclose that a slide occurred on that property. Hmm, if they did that on one house, what might they fail to disclosure about this listing?
How do you want to be known?
What is your reputation in your market? How do you want to be known? Warren Buffett says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
I can tell you the reputation I want. I want to be know as a good agent who works very hard for her clients. I want to be known as the agent who takes nice, well priced listings. I want to be known as the agent who always makes the right ethical choices, even if it means I don’t get paid. I want to be known as the agent you want to have on the other side because I do everything in my power to get the job done.
Every day we have choices to make about how we manage our businesses. For the most part, we have control over the reputation we earn. Generally, our actions dictate our reputations.
If you think about how you want to be known, the action steps you need to take are crystal clear.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently…Warren Buffett