Building client trust

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Dr. Ana Lisa Asis-Castro

The View from Taft

Building trust is the basis of any relationship. Fostered relationships are the underpinnings of a successful business. It takes years to form the trust so that a client will be comfortable to deal with a service provider such as a real estate broker.

Trust is related to reliability, truthfulness, integrity, and the abilities of a real estate broker.

Trust is being reliable. Reliable real estate brokers perform consistently well. Reliability is the real estate brokers’ ability to deliver the promised service faithfully and correctly. It is whether real estate brokers followed what the client exactly specified. Any and all statements communicated and reports submitted should be error free. Their level of service should be the same all the time to the client, the client’s staff, employee, or representatives. Proper expectations is best set so that the client knows what to look forward to.

Trust is being truthful. Being truthful signify that an individual is honest. Truthful real estate brokers work hard to ensure their clients’ safety and continued trust. Real estate brokers should not provide false information. When mistakes are made, they should not be afraid to tell the client. It is essential to be honest if something appears to be unfair, especially if it seems inequitable with the client.

Trust is having integrity. According to a British writer and lay theologian, CS Lewis, integrity “is doing the right thing,even when no one is watching.” It is having the principle of being decent that demonstrates one’s good character. Merriam-Webster distinctly stated the word “decent” is “marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill.”

American psychologist, Laurence Kohlberg theorized three levels of moral development. The lowest level is the “pre-conventional morality” wherein individuals behave according to what is socially acceptable because of the possible rewards or punishment. The next level is the “conventional morality” where individuals behave according to what they believe are society expectations. They follow rules, regulations, and the law out of a sense of duty. The highest level of moral development is referred to as “post-conventional morality.” Here, individuals behave based on principles of conscience and values of human dignity. As a real estate broker, at what level of moral development are you? What do real estate brokers consider to be universally acceptable ethical principles of their practice? How attached are real estate brokers to their own principles of justice?

Trust is having the ability or strength. Competent real estate brokers have the required skill and knowledge to perform their service correctly, thus, eliminating guess work and errors. Clients are provided with correct and updated materials. Also, efficient service is provided with the skillful use of technology.

Trust is a critical success factor in the real estate business. Author David Horsager’s eight pillars of trust can make or break one’s business. A real estate broker can base their work on the following pillars:

Pillar 1: Clarity: People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous.

Pillar 2: Compassion: People put faith in those who care beyond themselves.

Pillar 3: Character: People notice those who do what is right over what is easy.

Pillar 4: Competency: People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable.

Pillar 5: Commitment: People believe in those who stand through adversity.

Pillar 6: Connection: People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends.

Pillar 7: Contribution: People immediately respond to results.

Pillar 8: Consistency: People love to see the little things done consistently.

It is a real estate broker’s job to inspire trust because it is what fastens the relationship of service providers with their clients. Clients, even when vulnerable, will feel safe working with a real estate broker they trust. This trust is built when one is sincere and competent. It is the key to establishing long-term relationships with clients and putting across the good character of professional real estate brokers.


Ana Liza “Pinky” Asis-Castro, DBA, REALTOR® teaches in the MBA program of De La Salle University and real estate management in the College of St. Benilde and I-Academy. Dr. Asis-Castro is a practicing real estate broker since 1989, and is a real estate service provider to several organizations.