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President’s Corner Be fair and honest in all your house dealings

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Kerry Suess

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011 4:09 pm

Many of you may remember that my theme for this year as president of the Lodi Association of Realtors is “Reputation — A Firm Foundation.’

The Realtor Members and Affiliates of LAR have been encouraged to stick to the basics. The basics are to be fair and honest in all your dealings. To follow the Realtor Code of Ethics, which is derived from the Golden Rule.

To always do your best to take care of the needs of the client and the money and others things will take care of themselves. To truly understand that structuring your business in this manner will help you to develop a good reputation, which is the most valuable thing you can have in the Real Estate business. Most top Realtors get the majority of their business from referrals from past clients and friends. This is a necessary and growing trend in the industry fueled by the demand of clients and hopefully will become the norm in society.

I recently read a story by Erica Christoffer, who is a Multimedia Web Producer for Realtor Magazine. Erica writes that “Honesty is the best policy.” — An old saying that rings truer today in real estate than ever before. Realtor and author Mario Jannnatpour, a sales associate with RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, Colo., is making honesty his mission in his recently-released second book, “The Honest Real Estate Agent: A Training Guide for a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent.” “Honesty is what our clients want today from us as Realtors,” says Jannatpour. “Combine honesty with knowledge, expertise and skills — this completes the profile.” Jannautpour spoke with Realtor Magazine about his new book and the power of honesty in business.

In preparing to write this book, Jannautpour says, I did research on Twitter and Facebook. I spoke with people who were never my clients, asking them what they believed was most important when working with a Realtor. “Honesty” just kept coming up as an answer. It’s honesty in that you’re always doing the right thing for your clients, even maybe at the expense of killing a deal. You should always have the mindset, regardless of the deal, that you tell the truth because that’s what your clients need to know. Let them make the decision based on the information you present. I’ve experienced situations where the sales professional holds back information. In real estate, you can’t do that. The house that people live in is the most important purchase of their lives.

There is actually a chapter titled “I Hate Real Estate Agents.” That’s a thing we all deal with as Realtors, especially throughout the past decade in light of foreclosures, short sales, and the mortgage industry meltdown. Some real estate agents played a part in that, unfortunately. And we have an industry that includes a lot of people — over 1 million members of the National Association of Realtors – so there are going to be a few bad eggs. I think the way you counteract it as a real estate agent is by simply doing the opposite of the stereotype. Focus on the needs of your clients, be honest to them, and be honest to yourself. Some of my best clients are people who had bad experiences with other real estate agents in the past. When you show them you can do a good job and be honest, they really appreciate that.

When asked if he had a couple of tips, Jannautpour said every job we have — whether in real estate or in other industries — there will always be issues and challenges. Don’t walk away from the foundation you are building in your career. Connecting with your sphere on a personal and professional level will help grow your business. And never, ever give up. No matter your career path people may tell you that you can’t do it. But you can. Block out all of the negative messages you get, stay focused on what you want and you will achieve it. Don’t let them coerce you into giving up your dream. Stay strong and seek out advice from other successful people. Your Clients need you, so don’t give up.

Jannautpour discusses marketing yourself as an expert in your area. In his opinion any agent should base their content marketing on their knowledge and expertise. “If you live in an area with a lot of short sales and foreclosures, then make that your area of expertise. Get to know as much as you can and be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the market.” Real estate is an excellent career choice once you have established yourself. Realtors cannot be outsourced. Plus it’s a fulfilling career. It’s the best job I have had in my life because I make a positive difference in the lives of my clients. Jannautpour says “success is based on helping my customers”. We all have challenges and issues, but when it’s all said and done and I have happy, satisfied clients at the closing table — that happy, warm feeling I get is the definition of success. And the connection I make with clients through the process; that to me is how I define success.

I agree. Take the time to make sure you are working with professional and ethical Realtors who pride themselves in taking care of their clients. There are a lot of us and you deserve it.

Questions or comments can be made to Kerry Suess at