Confidentiality is Key
When representing buyers and sellers in real estate, the issue of confidentiality must not be overlooked. Generally speaking, people don’t like to have their finances or personal situation become an open book for all the world to see.
This is why it’s so important that a trusted real estate advisor and let their clients know information shared will always be held in the strictest confidence.
Most agents appreciate this fact, but very few agents emphasize this critical point in their advertising, marketing, and client presentation. You can be the most trustworthy agent in your area, but if you don’t share this key strength with your buyers, sellers, and prospects, it’s likely to cost you a lot of money and you may never even realize it. Consider the following examples that show how critical it is to let your clients know that you’ll respect their confidentiality:
- A Listing Prospect: You’re making a presentation to a prospective seller and you do not bring up the issue of confidentiality and your competition does. The seller does not want everyone in the neighborhood to know their information. They perceive the agent that just discussed confidentiality as being the more trustworthy agent and decide to list with your competition. In reality, private information is much more secure with you, but you don’t get the listing because you never discussed this key point.
- An Existing Listing: Your seller likes you and knows you can get the job done. Your success is proven and the seller is confident that you can get the job done. But, they’re afraid to share key facts with you because they’re embarrassed or just don’t want anyone else to know their personal circumstances. Had they shared the information, it would dramatically change the strategy for selling the home. Instead, you don’t have the full picture, your strategy is flawed, and you never sell the property.
- Neighbors: A prospective seller wants you to represent them because you live in the neighborhood, are an expert on the community, and are more knowledgeable than any other agent about the community. They choose another agent because they don’t want their dirty laundry being shared with other people in the community. The issue of confidentiality should have been brought up. Alternatively, you don’t live in the community, and share the risk of personal information about them being exposed to their neighbors by a listing agent that is a neighbor and also a member of the club. You get the listing because the sellers don’t want to take the risk of their dirty laundry being shared.
- Affluent Buyers and Sellers: This group is the most sensitive to protecting private information. Failure to point out their respected confidentiality is likely to be a fatal flaw.