It’s a trust thing

July/August 2017 edition

When it comes to professionalism, trust is the most critical element – and to build trust, as an industry we need to collectively embrace a mindset of continuous learning. Here’s why.

I’ve been in this business for 40 years and, while a lot has changed over that time, one thing has remained the same – the need to always keep learning.

I can vividly remember the day a lecturer said to our valuation class “the more you learn, the more you earn”. His words still ring in my ears to this day. Those eight small words made so much sense to me and it marked the beginning of my learning journey – a journey that continues to this day.

​I strongly believe that every agent needs to keep learning throughout every stage of their career. It’s the only way to truly succeed and stay ahead. Be a sponge. Absorb as much knowledge as you can and work out how you can apply that knowledge to challenge the status quo.

Building your knowledge is the key to building your skills. Building your skills allows you to build your confidence. And by building your confidence you’re in a better position to build trust with your clients. Learning has a knock-on effect.

Building trust

In just the last handful of weeks I’ve attended both the Australian Real Estate Conference (AREC) and the Real Estate Results Network Principals’ Advance Conference. Leadership and trust were hot topics at both events. Both are learned and then earned, and underpin our role and responsibilities as agents. Without both leadership and trust, we simply can’t advise, guide and influence good decisions for our clients.

At AREC, Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, spoke strongly about these two themes and emphasised the fact that agents are in a position of trust. We are in a high stakes business. We’re working with sellers and buyers who are placing an enormous amount of trust in us. They trust that we have the knowledge and skills to deliver the outcomes they want in a situation that, in many cases, is highly stressful and very emotional for them. They trust us to make their lives easier and provide a positive experience.

My question to every agent in the industry is: how can we possibly deliver this if we stop learning because we think we know everything? The answer is simple. We can’t.

In the main, consumers don’t trust real estate agents and survey after survey shows this. As we continue along the pathway toward professionalism, we need to bolster the trust consumers have in our industry. And to do this, we need to keep learning.

So never stop learning. Grab every opportunity with both hands to build your knowledge and you’ll reap the benefits.

John Cunningham
REINSW President