A 4X Agent Builds Relationships
Hey all you 4X’ers out there…thanks again for joining us on 4X Radio. We have now reached #7 in our 9 part series where we are talking about the 9 critical aspects that a 4X Agent must master or integrate into their DNA in order to enjoy the Dream Business. What’s a Dream Business? You ask? We talk about my version of the Dream Business in episode #26.
Today is going to be a juicy one…I love this topic…once you get this and understand it fully you can’t help but enjoy the dream business!!!
A 4X Agent Builds Relationships…
I am excited to talk about this subject matter because it is such a “game changer” in our business. In our Real Estate world. Not all businesses get to enjoy this option. Businesses that sell a service or a widget…don’t get to create relationships with their customers. With the rise of the “box store” “warehouse” model it is less personal now. But we think we are getting a better deal so we shop there. Do you remember going into businesses and they knew your name? Do you remember when they asked you about your family? There was a bit of relationship there…the opportunity for that is getting more and more minimized. Now with the uptick in online shopping – which I love by the way, the opportunity for any type of relationship building is eliminated totally.
But that is not so in Real Estate.
I don’t want to get to know my doctor really well…because usually when you go to see the doctor its not for a positive reason…the same thing with a lawyer…or even the accountant. However, do you notice how we refer to these people? “Oh I have to go see ‘my doctor’.” Or “You will hear from ‘my lawyer’!” Or “I’ll have to check with ‘my accountant’ on that.”
Would you like people to refer to you as “my REALTOR”? You don’t want people to refer to you as “THE Realtor” for sure. See the difference?
Now when I utilize or hire or engage the services of anyone, I want to be a “good consumer or good customer” because I see everyone as a potential opportunity. Even the guy hooking up my internet and cable is a potential client in my mind…nobody gets left out…But when it comes to the people that provide a service to me, I am not sure if they are thinking in their minds that they would like to solidify or build a relationship with me, in an intentional way. Like we need to in our businesses.
This is not something that is taught in school. It is not a thing that is taught in University either but I know that the people that “get it”, truly “get it”, and they enjoy the fruits of that for absolute certainty.
In our business – this the first thing that needs to change. I hear it all the time. I hear it from other Real Estate professionals, I hear it from other Real Estate Trainers all the time, I hear it from other people referring to our databases of people and it just grinds on my mind – like when someone sings off key or someone runs the needle of a record player over a record…you know that feeling? I just cringe…it drives me crazy. I can’t stand it.
They refer to people as a Customer. It reveals to me, immediately, how someone is thinking about the people they are supposedly serving. They have put them into a one dimensional format and categorized them as a consumer, a source of income, or someone to sell something to. They are a customer. They will satisfy that customer with their desired outcome and then make some money. I can be way off base here but to me, it also kind of creates a “lowest common denominator” type of thinking. They are a means to an end. What can I get away with before getting the result? How can I “close them” better? How do I get the sale?
What do we call that? We call that a Transaction, right? That is a transaction. We are performing a transaction between two parties. Now there is paperwork involved; there are terms to be met; there are conditions to be satisfied; there is consideration; and there is money involved.
We get paid to put two parties together and create a successful outcome and then we get paid at the end of the transaction once it is complete.
I think that you understand all of this but when you break it down in black and white facts, that is the truth and it is how we conduct our business.
Why does it grind on me so much? Let me ask you a few questions:
DO you agree that we are in the people business? Do you believe that these people are making a pretty big life decision each time they do a “transaction”? Do you think that there are other aspects of the product that they are buying that would be pretty important other than just the home? Does this “transaction” sometimes or just about every time carry with it a major life change? Can the transaction be emotional?
Just about every single time, we learn stuff about these people that is pretty personal. We know about their finances; Their credit challenges; Their kids and their family; The querky things that are important to them; The different things that are effect their lifestyle; Their insecurities; Their various personality traits; How savvy they are; How astute they are in business transactions; How inexperienced they are; We learn very quickly what they don’t know; How horrible they would be at negotiating if it were up to them; and how trusting or untrusting these people are…
We can’t help but get to know them a bit as we go through the journey together…it is that, a journey.
We have a fiduciary duty to take care of these people. It’s loaded into our code of conduct…it is spelled out in the rules of Agency….
People! This is a big deal! WE are dealing with people!
Guess what? Here’s the other alarming fact. We are people? Ya…sometimes we forget. News Flash! We are people dealing with people.
Ok so with this new information – how do we operate?
With the Golden Rule in mind – right? That is actually written into our code of conduct in our Real Estate board for my area.
How far do we take that.
“Treat others the same way that we would like to be treated”
Ok…what would we like? Actually let’s start with – what we don’t like…
Do we enjoy dealing with a necessary evil? Someone that we have to settle with. Someone who has positioned themselves in a place that makes it unavoidable to deal with them? Do we enjoy working with someone who looks at us as a means to an end? Do we like working with someone who obviously does not care about us? Do we like working from a place of insecurity, feeling like someone may not be qualified to handle our affairs? Do we like dealing with someone who is late all the time? Do we like dealing with someone who is obviously unorganized and frazzled? Do we like dealing with someone who is constantly using tricky words to talk us into things? Do we like dealing with people who look like they are doing this as a part time gig? Do we like dealing with people who don’t fulfill their promises?
What do we like? How would we like to be treated?
Do we like to work with people that we trust? Do we like to work with or consult with or deal with, people that we like? Do we like people who are working for our best interest? People who have our back? DO we appreciate it when someone goes the extra mile? Do we feel good about paying a premium for something that is much better? Do we as humans have an inherent need to be listened to? Do we as humans…this means all of us…have an inherent need to connect with other humans? Yes…Yes .. Yes…we all do. This is normal. DO we like being involved in a “win-win” relationship?
Guys and Gals….we need each other. We do.
Also – do we all like to get a good deal? Or feel the satisfaction that we made a good decision? Yes we all do.
Every transaction should be a “win-win” scenario. Everyone should walk away happy with the outcome. That feels good. Was it fair? Were all expectations met? Were there some surprises or challenges? Maybe…how were they dealt with? How did the professional handle it? With integrity? With honesty? With professionalism? Efficiently? With your best interest in mind?
Your Business – wait, first of all – do you think of your real estate profession as a “building of a business”? You must.
Picture a brick layer building a house of bricks – maybe this is the 3rd little pig. Lol. He is building his house of bricks. 1 Brick at a time. It is unavoidable – each brick has to be laid by itself. The Brick Mason sees the next area where he needs to lay in the next brick…scrapes in a layer of mortar, then puts some on the brick and then lays the brick. He uses his trowel handle to tap the brick into place…then makes sure it is level with the brick beside it and then moves on to the next brick…This is the same as each client and contact that you meet and begin a relationship with.
This is how you build your business. Each person has to be selected and then preparations have to be made in order for them to become part of your business and then you have to take great care in order to lay them in properly…then the mortar holds it all together. It needs time to cure and solidify but once it is solid it is hard to break down or knock away…each person is like another brick to your business. The Relationship is the mortar that holds it all together. This is a relational business. This is the business you want. Trust me. It is cheaper to maintain. It is solid and highly profitable.
Treating your clients like customers is like just piling the bricks beside someone else’s brick house. You just accumulate a bunch of bricks but there are not solidified anywhere. Its all in a pile. All different types and shapes and some are broken and cracked but they’re in the pile so it makes you feel good because the pile looks impressive…lots of bricks are good right? You may have a few that you can stack neatly. Some may stay around but there is no solidification. Not only that but it is really easy for the guy next door to grab a brick and put it on his house to solidify his house. If its not solidified on your house and its in this hap-hazard pile it’s fair game for any other brick layers – in this scenario. That’s what it’s like. That is transaction thinking. I just want bricks. More bricks. More bricks. More bricks. Just keep going after bricks but not taking the time to organize them and put them in place and use mortar to keep them solidified to build the house is a waste of time, money and energy. See the difference?
Does this analogy make sense?
Building Relationships is crucial to building the dream real estate business. Here is a list of 5 benefits:
- You build a solid business that will be solidified with a foundation that will withstand any market condition.
- You make more friends in your life and that’s awesome
- You get a flood of referrals from these people
- You are dealing with people you enjoy dealing with
- You create a business of raving fan clients who are excited to do business with you.
I could go on and on and on, about the benefits. That’s just a few for now. Believe it or not…this is a major differentiator. I’ll explain.
What is the absolute foundation of all relationship? What is the first thing? It starts with trust. Trust. What has a more “trusting” tone? Customer or Client. Transactional business or relational business? I think that we want to trust each other. I do. Personally, my first inclination when I meet someone is to trust them. I want to trust them. I want to believe that people will tell me the truth. Sometimes I can be criticized for not being cynical enough for sure because…I know that I want people to trust me. I want them to know that I will not lie to them. I want them to know that I tell the truth to them even when it may be something that they don’t want to hear…That’s the way I operate and so why shouldn’t everyone operate that way. When I catch someone in a lie then that is it, I cannot trust them anymore.
Years ago when my kids were in Elementary School I spoke to them about the “Trust Account”. I explained to them about how bank accounts work and that soon they would be open bank accounts and learning the principals of saving money etc. But right around that time my son did something. I can’t remember what it was. It wasn’t a big deal but he didn’t do what he said he was going to do. I was relying on him to get that done. It might have been something as simple as walking the dog so she doesn’t poop in the house or something. Anyway, I thought that this was a good time to make this a teaching moment with the kids. I explained how a bank account works. Then I explained that when I put trust in them, it is like an account. Every time they do what they say they are going to do. Every time they tell the truth and act honorably they make deposits into the trust account and the account builds up. I explained that I know that there will be times when they make a mistake or they screw up…that will happen. A withdrawal is then made out of the Trust account. It may have happened either on purpose or by accident but if they have made enough deposits in the trust account then I can continue to trust them. IF they constantly make withdrawals then it gets harder and harder to trust them. I told them that I want to be able to trust them. I asked them if they trust me. They said yes. I asked if they ever felt that I had ever let them down or failed to honor my word with them. They said no. I told them that I would continue to make deposits because I wanted our relationships to be built on trust for the rest of our lives.
I think that they got it. I have awesome kids…two of them are now “adulting” and my youngest is 16 at the time of this recording. I am very proud of them. Do they let me down sometimes? Yes. Are they perfect? No. But I believe that we have an understanding and I know that I will continue to hold up my end.
So that’s the story about the Trust Account. I love the analogy and I kind of came up with it on the fly at the time.
But think about that for a moment. That is how we need to build all of our relationships. With Trust first. So does it make sense to figure out how to earn their trust as soon as possible? Ask the question to yourself – “how do I earn this person’s trust?” Sometimes just asking a question over and over can get you to the answers. Simple questions can be powerful.
How does it start? By being a professional. By being accountable. By being organized. By being consistent. By operating intentionally. These aspects are crucial so that is why we spend time on this subject matter.
Trust is the basis of all relationship. What happens when Trust is compromised before you have had a chance to build up the Trust Account? What happens? The relationship will crumble. It is very hard to put back together again.
Studies have shown that if someone is angry for some reason it can be repaired but if someone builds up resentment it is very, very, difficult to patch up. Resentment builds when someone is “let down” or disappointed, or if they have been wronged. If you have breached trust and can be perceived as taking advantage of someone, then resentment will spread like a cancer and literally kill the relationship.
I say this to new agents all the time… “Earn their trust quickly, and then never betray it”.
People always want to know “what to say”. They want some tricky scripts. It is one of the highest searched items on the internet for Real Estate professionals. Yes…I studied it. That is why we offer FREE Scripts on our website. Go get them anytime you want at 4Xformula.com. I have designed them in such a way so that you need to employ the mindsets that we teach in order to really maximize the impact of those scripts. If you don’t want to take our Real Estate course, will they still help you? Yes, I believe that they will. But, after saying all of that…you don’t have to practice a speech or memorize lines to be performed, if you are operating in a way that is designed to gain trust and then ensure that you never betray that trust. Does that make sense?
Ok…now let’s take this and apply it to our marketing approach. What is our message? How do we deliver the message? Who is the message directed to? What medium do we use? If you are now focussed on Relational Marketing how does that change your approach? Put some thought to this. This is where you need to be focussing. What is important to the people that you are marketing to? Listen to Podcast Episode #22 Entitled “Stop Saying Great Service!” to hear more about my thoughts on that.
I think our time is about done…this one went on a little longer than normal. Thank you for sticking with me. I truly hope that you are getting value from these episodes…if you are on iTunes please drop us a comment and a rating. It really helps. In the meantime, get on the wait list for the 4X formula Real Estate course and we will let you know once we start the launch. Next Episode (#34) will all about Referrals! So exciting…For now…Go out there and make a great day!