I recently had an, ahem, let’s say a difference of opinion with another Realtor. This Realtor told me to do what he directed me to do, or he would “ruin me” with attacks on social media. My reaction? Like the thoroughbred horse with a fly on his tail, it’s a nuisance. The horse knows it’s there. But he’s too busy winning to bother giving it any attention. Why? Because I know I’ve spent 25 years building a reputation that will take more than a social media tantrum to destroy. And it’s a reminder how important it is to decide who you are, what you stand for, and what you want that reputation to be before anyone knows you’re in the race.
The Kathy Chiero Group real estate team sells 200-ish homes a year. That means our agents deal with hundreds of homeowners, thousands of our Realtor® colleagues and their Buyers, and dozens of support personnel. Michael Jackson once said, “the bigger the star the bigger the target.” Not to put ourselves in the realm of MJ, but it is inevitable that while crossing the paths of this many people we are going to cross swords with a few of them.
How do you build a solid reputation? First, you write a Mission Statement. Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your goal as a professional? How will you serve your clients? Next, you measure everything you do by that statement. Do you say you are excellent? Then measure every day’s activity by excellence. Do you say you offer the highest caliber representation to your clients? Learn what “highest caliber” is and do it. Do you say you are honest? Don’t lie. Do you call yourself a professional? Be on time. Be prepared. In fact, read the Boy Scout Law – that’s a great outline for a mission statement.
It’s the simple things that matter. Return phone calls. Cross ’T’s” and dot “I’s. Know your craft. If you don’t know something, have the humility to ask. If you know something, have the humility to answer without condescension. Give. And Give Back. Contribute to the careers of others. Thank those that contribute to your betterment. Let your word be your word and don’t go back on it. Do the right thing even if it costs you money, time, or embarrassment. Admit when you’re wrong, stand firm when you’re right.
Do that for a decade or two and you’ll have a sterling reputation. Occasional attacks on social media? A flick of the tail and you’re on your way. Focus on the track and get back in the race.
Next week I break down how a good reputation serves you in business (and life).
House Call is a blog written by Kathy Chiero, Licensed Realtor and Team Leader of The Kathy Chiero Group of Keller Williams Greater Columbus. Find Kathy and her team at www.OurOhioHome.com