I got a call a couple of days ago from someone who indicated they wanted to gain back my trust. I thought about that statement for a moment and could not figure out any way that could be possible. How can you gain back someone's trust? Trust is something that if lost it is almost impossible to get back. In this case it is absolutely impossible. They can't gain back what they never had.
In business and in life your reputation is one of the most valuable things you have. It takes a lifetime to build, but can be lost with a single bad decision. Once lost it may never be repaired completely.
At this Sunday's open house a visitor handed me a business card and a flyer promoting their staging business (so far so good).
- Visitor: I am looking for my sister who is a buyer and said this home would be perfect for her.
- Me: Does your sister have a Realtor®?
- Visitor: I am representing her. I am also a real estate agent. I would like to bring her back here on Wednesday to see it.
- Me: I have a Sentrilock electronic box on the front door. Do you have a Smart Card (Electronic Key)?
- Visitor: Yes I do.
- Me: Just call my office and confirm when you are going.
The conversation continued and we discussed the real estate business. I identified myself as the regional chairman for the Board of Realtors® and that I was also an instructor for CE classes. She said she was planning to attend the regional meetings to network with other area agents and told me she still needed to get her CE classes to renew her license.
While she was in the home her car engine was running and there was two people waiting in the car. I suspected she was only there to promote her staging business and was not actually interested in my listing. But, you never know.
When I got home that evening I was going to send her a follow-up e-mail. Here business card said Realtor Associate / Home Staging Designer. The card had the name of her staging business, but no reference to her real estate brokerage. So I looked her up to see which real estate brokerage she was with.
This is where the fun begins. She is not listed as a member of the Honolulu Board of Realtors®. I then went to the state website to look up her license. You guessed it. She not only does not have an active license, she has never had a license in the state of Hawaii. OK what is going on here? She said she is planning to show my listing, she said she has a Smart Card. BIG RED FLAG!
I sent off an e-mail to the Board of Realtors® who confirmed she was not a member of our local board and not a licensed agent in the State of Hawaii. They contacted the stager and she said it was a simple mistake (simple?). She agreed to throw away the business cards and removed the Realtor Associate from her website. She also said she did not actually have a smart card.
I thought that was end of it until I got a call from her later in the day. She knew I was the one who turned her in and she called to apologize and asked if she could earn my trust back. When did she have it? What could she possibly do to earn my trust? If you want to earn people's trust, you have to start by being trustworthy. It is unfortunate our first meeting started this way. I may have been a good source for referrals to her, but any chance of that has now been ruined. Hopefully she learned from this experience.
Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
Principal Broker, ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR
Island Style Realty Inc.
Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"
Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers. His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.
Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors. To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents.