Trust takes a long time to build, but it can be damaged or completely broken in seconds. That’s all it takes. But if you’ve made a mistake and lost the trust of your client, don’t worry – almost every real estate agent reading this article right now has had this happen to them at least once in the past.
Nobody likes owning up to their mistakes, and it’s easy to get defensive when you make them and try to bury them. There is, however, good news – even the biggest of mistakes don’t have to leave a permanent black spot on your real estate career. If you’ve found yourself in a sticky situation, here’s what you can do to rebuild the trust of your manager and clients.
1) Own Your Mistake
It’s already happened, and nothing you can do now will change that. As a result, the most important thing you do next is how quickly you own up to the mistake you’ve made. This will help to minimise the damage to your working relationships.
The worst thing you can do is just leave the mistake without addressing it at all, so as soon as it’s happened, contact your manager and let them know. Stick to the facts, don’t make excuses, and don’t make it all about you. Talk them through what’s happened and try to have a few solutions ready to let them know you’re already on top of the situation.
2) Apologise to Them
Let’s face it – you’ve made a mistake and that’s your fault, so you need to apologise. Your manager is aware, and they’re potentially upset with you. Bear in mind, however, that there are right and wrong ways to apologise. If done correctly, it should come in 3 parts – admitting to your mistake, apologising for it, and showing you’re aware of what you should do differently in the future.
3) Fix the Problem
If you want to quickly regain your manager’s trust, you shouldn’t simply pass the problem to someone else to fix. You’ve owned the problem and apologised for it, so now you need to fix it. You might need a bit of help if it’s a complex issue, and that’s totally okay, but you should make them completely aware that you want to solve this yourself, as it will help you to avoid making the same error in the future.
The quicker you can own your mistake and rectify any damages, the faster your manager will stop dwelling on it.
4) Address the Root Cause
Why did the problem occur, and what could you have done to avoid it? Reflecting on the issue is an important step and it’s often easier to do once some time has gone by.
Use the benefit hindsight gives you to identify any patterns in your professional performance or working behaviour that might be sparking these kinds of mistakes. After you’ve done this, address how you can change in the future and implement measures to reduce the chance of them happening again.
5) Share Your Experience with Your Peers
After all, you are part of a team. Use your reflection to give your colleagues some insight on your mistake, why it happened and what you did to fix it. Just as you’re using hindsight to stop the same mistake occurring again, they can use your experience to grow professionally and avoid making it in the first place.