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How to keep your trust battery fully charged

Real estate is a relationship-based business. And nothing degrades a relationship more than a lack of trust.

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships together” – Stephen R. Covey

Real estate can be incredibly frustrating at times, especially if your clients don’t fully trust you. Conversely, the smoothest transactions are the ones where your clients trust you completely and always follow your best advice.

But trust isn’t black or white. There are degrees of trust.

Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify, talks about the “trust battery” as a metaphor that helps you think about and visualize levels of trust.

Each time we interact with someone, we are subconsciously considering the level of charge in our trust battery and this reflects how we respond. This applies to all your relationships, including friends, family, colleagues, team members and clients.

Every time you have a positive interaction with a client, your trust battery gets charged. Conversely, seemingly insignificant negative events can quickly drain the trust battery.

For example, you promised to send your client some information, but you forgot. Or you were five minutes late for an appointment and your client is not a time-optimist like you are. (What’s a time-optimist? They overfill their days and don’t get things done.)

There are a thousand ways to drain a trust battery. These incidents may seem minor or unimportant to you. But if your trust battery gets drained too much, it can adversely affect an important future event.

For example, in my local market (Calgary), we are in the midst of the craziest seller’s market ever. Every good listing is selling immediately with 10 or 15 offers. I was involved in one with 28 offers recently.

So how do your clients react when you tell them they probably need to offer $81,000 over asking, as I did recently? How’s your trust battery with that client?

The above example just happens to fit the current narrative, but it’s always important to maintain a strong trust battery with your clients. How, you ask? Integrity? Of course, but integrity is just one of the components needed for a fully charged trust battery.

Think about this: Do you know anyone who is a good, honest, decent person (with high integrity) and also an awful Realtor?

Yeah, me too. They have the best of intentions, but high integrity alone does not make a great agent.

Skills do. Skills and experience and mindset and hard work. When you combine those attributes with high integrity, the result is a fully charged trust battery.

Regarding mindset, think about your primary focus. What drives you? Is it getting more leads to chase? Convincing more prospects to hire you? Collecting more commission cheques?

Or is it increasing your knowledge and skills in order to serve your clients better? If so, you already know that the commission cheques take care of themselves if you have the right attitude.

Confession time: I just heard about the concept of the trust battery on a Darren Daily episode, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Remember what Stephen Covey said? Here it is again, slightly abbreviated: Trust is the most essential ingredient in effective communication.

That means to be a great Realtor you must be a great communicator.

Luckily, fully charging the trust battery between you and your client and becoming a great communicator are 100-per-cent learnable skills.