Establishing Credibility

One thing I’ve learned is that credibility counts. Anyone with the proper education can be a real estate agent. The key to success is defining what makes you different from all the others. Establishing credibility is one way of doing that. Here are a few ideas of what you can do to establish some credibility in your marketplace.

Get Quoted In the Newspaper
Ideally, it would be nice to have your own column, but not everyone can manage that. Almost anyone can manage to get quoted. All you have to do is pitch a story that is interesting to the reporter. The easiest way to do this is to reference something about someone else. For instance, let’s say your last client had infant triplets and needed to get their house sold fast with very few showings. You posted the house on the MLS on Wednesday and said “no showings until the open house on Sunday”. There were tons of people at the open house and the house sold with multiple offers as a result. This is a story – but not about you. It’s about how a couple with special needs sold their house quickly. The babies make it a human interest story, the quick sale makes it a business story. Either one makes you a subject to be interviewed. Pick the interesting stories from your history and offer up an idea each month to a reporter. Eventually, one will get picked and you will be a celebrity for a day.

Then, once you have the quote in the paper, get reprints. Copies of this should go onto your website, in your pre-listing packages, and in your buyer packages. You should reference yourself as “As seen in the Boston Globe” in your personal promotion ads and listing mailers. This way, one small citation in an article becomes a major plus for your career.

Write a Tips Booklet
Tips booklets are easy to write, take little effort to mass-produce and can serve as an additional source of income for you when sold on the web. You can write booklets on how to stage your home to sell, how to buy for the best price, how to invest in real estate, etc. You can put up a website dedicated solely to selling these booklets on the web and then advertise them through various per-click listings and other avenues. Best of all, in addition to the income you’ll earn off these books, you can then reference the number of booklets you’ve sold as a statement of your credibility to your incoming prospects. You can even license these books to agents in other markets and let their booklet purchases add to your total.

The most often overlooked way of establishing credibility is letting your clients speak for you. Testimonials are the single most effective tool you have for converting leads into clients. The other two tools listed here will bring in the leads, but this one will help you close the deal. People like to hear from other people who have worked with you in the past. There’s no better way to prove you’re good at what you do than offering the testimony of the people you’ve helped in the past.

Testimonials from your clients should appear on all of your marketing material, including your website, the brochures you put out on the homes you have listed for sale, your business cards, etc. This way every time a prospect is considering working with you, they always have someone in front of them telling them why that would be a good decision.

There are many other ways to establish credibility, including getting a book published like I did. Whatever path you decide to take, building your credibility should be one of your top priorities. The more credible you are, the more seriously people take you and the more likely they are to hire you.