The Short List: Jay Zwelling’s Techniques for Being an Honest Agent

by James McClister


Jay Zwelling is a Realtor with ShowcaseMiami Realty in Miami.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we spoke with Jay Zwelling with ShowcaseMiami Realty, who shared his techniques for being an honest agent. 

Guess what’s one of the single most important traits people say they want from their real estate agent? If you guessed honesty, then you would be right. Buying or selling a property is one of the biggest financial decisions most people make in their lifetime. So it’s important for them to know they are dealing with an honest person during this major transaction.

I want you to do something now: go to Google – the biggest search engine in the world – type in “Real Estate Agents are….” and let Google finish that sentence for you – it’s based on everyone’s searches. Did you get something like liars, evil, crooks, lazy, etc.? Well, this is the perception we are all facing. But I have good news for you, this perception can be changed, one client at a time.

Here are three techniques to help you be the most honest real estate agent you can be:

3. Be detached from the outcome – I know this sounds counter-intuitive, it doesn’t come naturally, but like most aspects of this business it can be learned and is a trained behavior. So how can you do this? First, you must only focus on your actions – the only things you can control. As we all know, deals can fall through for myriad reasons, most of which are out of our hands, inspections, appraisals, financing, etc. So instead, concentrate only on your actions and just make sure you are on top of everything you are responsible for. It’s also helpful to have many deals in your pipeline. The more deals you have in the works it will automatically lessen the focus on the outcome. By being detached from the outcome, you are more likely to do an honorable job.

2. Always tell your clients what they need to hear, even if it’s tough – A great way is to ask for permission first. Such as by saying something like: “Are you open to suggestions?” or “May I give you my opinion?”. It is such an innocuous question that nine times out of ten they will say yes. Then it will be much easier for you to give them the honest truth they need to hear. They may not like hearing it initially, but it will build your credibility and they will respect you and ultimately appreciate that you were honest with them upfront.

1. Role Reversal – This is a simple one, but maybe the most helpful. When something’s in question, basically just put yourself in your client’s shoes and then ask yourself the question again. What would I want if I was in that situation? This will quickly put things into the proper perspective. It will remind you to always put your client’s interests first, and you will be ok. Simple but effective.

I hope you found this information helpful. Who knows, maybe one day in the future when we search Google we’ll get a much better suggestion. I honestly hope so.

Jay Zwelling is fairly new to the industry, but since joining ShowcaseMiami in 2011 he’s made a quick name for himself as one of the more social media savvy agents working in Miami. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest

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