Real estate agents and brokers who started their business practice in the ʼ80 and ʼ90s have witnessed first-hand the way the industry has changed. The once vertical relationship between real estate professional and client, whereby a salesperson’s value was centred on their position as gatekeepers of information, and where trust was placed in this power, is now a thing of the past. In today’s virtual world, where access to information is readily available, the power has shifted and so has the trust.
The transactional mindset is slowly changing and more people are starting to see the value in relationships and how powerful trust is for building a successful business. This couldn’t be truer for those working strategic alliances.
A strategic alliance focuses on creating a relationship with a complementary professional (an accountant, legal professional, investment advisor or a home service provider) creating an environment where the respective professionals can share their database of clients.
Think about that for a moment. If you are successful at earning the trust of your clients, what you say to them matters. Bob Burg’s famous quote, “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust” illustrates exactly why strategic alliances work. If you recommend a complementary professional to your clients, that sense of trust has the potential to be transferred.
“All things being equal” is an important piece to this formula, because building strategic alliances is not about finding a random person to share business with. It is important to make sure that you find someone who is like you, who shares the same values as you and who will treat your clients the same way you do, and vice versa.
Many challenges that real estate professionals are facing today have been caused by this shift in power and trust. We have been left feeling that we need to slice and dice our business into modular pieces, and scramble to find ways of gaining back a sense of power. The solution to this is clear. Build a relationship business with your clients and your alliances and you will start to see that the power is found in the trust.
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of REM magazine.
Michelle Risi is the executive vice-president for Royal LePage Your Community Realty in Toronto. She is also a director at the Real Estate Academy and is the President of Your Community Realty Toastmasters.