In business and in life, the foundation of success and happiness has always been built on TRUST. You already know that the divorce rate in America is way too high (damaged trust issues), and in a similar fashion, the repeat rate for customers and clients returning to the same real estate agent for future transactions is also dismally small. In fact, if you take a look at a recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, you’ll discover that recent home buyers love their agent (88%), but only 11% of buyers come back around to the same agent when there’s a need for real estate services. That’s a pretty amazing and important statistic.

That statistic leads to some obvious questions like, did those buyers not like and trust their agents, or did their agent under perform for the fee they were charging, or was it just that the agent did not stay in contact and provide some relevant additional service between the times the consumer made their first real estate decision and their next decision to buy or sell?

The concept of TRUST has been taught by many well respected and admired authors, philosophers, psychiatrists, and business experts for years. What’s lacking in their reports and studies appears to me to be the actual practice of establishing, building and maintaining trust.

I have discovered in my six decades of life and research that creating a life and business filled with TRUST is not just a concept though, but rather a four-step process;

  1. Introduction Stage – or grand opening phase
  2. Building Rapport Stage – or the question and listening phase
  3. Maintenance Stage – or the giving not taking phase
  4. Repair Stage – or the sincere apology phase

In the introduction stage, a Harvard University study showed that if adults assume that their ability to discern trustworthiness in strangers is a skill honed over a lifetime, they’re wrong. Even children ages 5 and 6 made very nearly the same judgments about the trustworthiness of adults, and children ages 3 to 4 were off by just a few percentage points. People make inferences (right or wrong) about strangers’ characters within 55 milliseconds of viewing them. We call that profiling, and YOU do it too!

You can fix this dilemma in part by moving from a two step opening to a three step opening, making your initial introduction more about the other person than yourself. In the building rapport stage, a smart person will learn to ask more questions and really listen to the answers. As my friend Jack Canfield said recently in an interview he did with me on my new books, “You focus on becoming more interested than interesting”. Jack is exactly right.

And the benefit is that you learn massive amounts about the other person which always gives you a reason to stay in touch (assuming they are a good match for you personally and professionally). To succeed in the maintenance stage, you must become more of a giver than a taker. Read the wonderful book The Go-Giver by my friends Bob Burg and John David Mann and you’ll understand the importance, relevance and success that comes from being a giver. Building trust is maintained over a lifetime. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

And finally, we all make mistakes. We say and do foolish things. Understanding the proper art and science of the apology stage is life and business changing. You already know how hard it can be too effectively and successfully apology and yet how important it is to your happiness and profitability.

Selling real estate is hard. Maintaining successful relationships is difficult. The result of understanding, creating and maintaining fulfilling relationships is what will bring you the joy and success we each are seeking. Become a master of “The TRUST Based Philosophy” and life will be your oyster. I guarantee it. Because of these huge issues and questions, I’ve written four books published under the theme:

The Trust Based Philosophy.

  • Trust Based Leadership – Proven Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading
  • Trust Based Selling – Proven Ways to Stop Selling and Start Attracting
  • Trust Based Success – Proven Ways to Stop Stressing and Start Living
  • Trust Based Networking - Proven Ways to Stop Meeting and Start Connecting