Building and Maintaining Your Reputation in Real Estate
Reputation is important no matter which industry you’re in. Whether you’re in IT or agriculture, what others think about you can make or break your career. In real estate, I find this to be even more true, because being an investor is all about brokering deals, and when you’re brokering deals, it’s ALL about what people think they know about you.
So how do you make sure that others are thinking about you in the right way? You build a good reputation, and you work to keep it that way. Here’s how:
Start by learning
When you first get started in real estate, you’ve got a clean slate to work with. No one knows who you are, and this can actually work to your advantage because you can create whatever image you want. But before you do that, you need to spend some time observing and learning. No one likes a know-it-all, and especially one who doesn’t actually even know anything! So you’ve got gain as much knowledge as possible before you start working the scene. Get online, browse some real estate forums, read some books, and spend some time familiarizing yourself with real estate and whatever niche you plan on getting into. Then you’ll be ready for the next step…
Get to know people
With a good knowledge base in place, now you can start getting acquainted with others in the biz. Doing this is productive for several reasons. 1. You’re making connections, which can serve you well later on. 2. You’re learning even more from those connections. 3. You can find a mentor to help guide and advise you. Remember, each person you meet has the potential to propel you and your business forward, so make sure you keep an open mind!
Say no when it’s appropriate
Some people think that everyone loves a “yes” person, but this isn’t true. Believe it or not, people can come to respect you more when you say no when it’s appropriate. And in this business, there are times when you must say no. Not every deal is going to be a good one, and there will be those inevitable moments when you disappoint others you’re working with. This is just part of the game. Trusting your instincts and staying true to yourself are a big part of building a good reputation, and this means saying no when something doesn’t feel right.
Keep your word
This one’s a biggie. Please, please, please be the type of person who does what they say they’re going to do. If you don’t, you’re going to upset people real quick, and they’re going to realize they can’t count on you. In this business, you do not want to be that person. You’ll lose contacts, friends, and deals. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and follow through on the ones you do make.
Make yourself easy to work with
Throughout it all, you must be the kind of person that other people WANT to work with. That means being friendly, approachable, engaging, and knowledgeable without appearing arrogant. You don’t have to be everybody’s best friend, but you do have to be a person that people feel comfortable around.
Your success in real estate is largely dependent on your reputation. From the very beginning, it’s important that you work to build and cultivate a good reputation for yourself.