It may sound like a strange question, but it is an important one if we aspire to be successful in any endeavor. Especially if we are in a highly competitive industry like real estate. Of course, we can’t really answer that question unless we clearly understand what is to be high quality, and this will likely be subjective depending on the priorities of our clients, colleagues, and ourselves.
"...always professional, put together, and confident..."
If we are high quality, we will be known as an expert in our field. We will be successful, admired, and imitated. Clients will trust and recommend us, and colleagues will be eager to collaborate with us. Think of others in your community that fit this description, and examine their public image. Are they always professional, put together, and confident? Do they appear to be successful even though you know little about their actual success? Are they ever connected with unattractive marketing or distasteful content? The answers may be obvious, and that is no mistake! It takes great effort and discretion to create an image like that, and a high-quality professional will accept no less than to be perceived in that way.
Let’s dig a little deeper and break down a few of these aspects and traits.
"...ready for the next opportunity and unafraid of the next challenge."
A high-quality professional is always put together and ready for action. This goes beyond how you may be dressed, although how you are dressed and groomed says a lot about the state of your life (we’ll come back to this later). You will always appear to be ready for the next opportunity and unafraid of the next challenge. Even when you are busy, you will seem approachable and available. When clients and peers interact with you, you will be cool-headed and open to conversation. You will engage in a meaningful way, and yet be able to take charge and tactfully close a conversation if you are needed elsewhere. If you are truly too busy for such interactions, you will likely be behind closed doors.
A high-quality professional is organized, with a complete and accessible calendar. You will always know when you are available and when you have appointments, and you are punctual for those appointments when it is within your control. You are reliable and you value the time of others. If something comes up, you will communicate that with anyone who may be affected, and you will be apologetic when it is appropriate.
A high-quality professional will look organized as well. A poorly groomed or sloppily dressed person is broadcasting that they either don’t respect the people that they will be interacting with, or that they just couldn’t manage their time well enough to properly care for their appearance. In either case, many clients will perceive this and will either actively or subconsciously begin looking for a different option. Additionally, a professional who is dressed woefully out of fashion is telling everyone that they are inflexible and unwilling to adapt. This implies a closed mind which may create difficult professional relationships. It is also an indication that the industry may have left them behind, and they may be unfamiliar with new technologies, processes, and techniques.
"...continue to grow, and learn better ways to serve..."
Let’s talk about those new technologies, processes, and techniques. A high-quality professional may not always be on the cutting edge, but they will often analyze their industry as they continue to grow, and learn better ways to serve their clients, and increase their sphere of influence. They don’t waste time adopting every new technology, but they look for merit in promising ones and incorporate them if merit is found. They will also continue innovating themselves as they become more experienced in their particular niche.
"...you aren’t only marketing their home, you are marketing yourself!"
What about marketing? Since many possible clients will first be exposed to you through your marketing, it may be one of the most important aspects of your image. This is especially true if you are a real estate agent since your services include marketing your client’s property. Remember that when you are marketing for a client, you aren’t only marketing their home, you are marketing yourself! Will you let your reputation be damaged by bad marketing? Not if you are high quality!
Let’s go back to the high-quality professionals you thought of earlier. When was the last time you saw them cutting corners when creating their marketing? Probably never, right? That’s because they know that it takes a long time and a lot of work to build a solid reputation for someone who will always go the extra mile for their clients. They know that it will damage their reputation if they list a property with photos they took with their cell phone, or if they didn’t take time to properly stage it. Their clients and colleagues will often be able to identify their listings because of the way that they market it, so they utilize high-quality marketing products and strategies. If they can’t justify using high-quality marketing on a possible listing, they won’t take the listing.
"...always be a contributor to success..."
Anything we become involved with in life, be it personal or professional, will bear our fingerprints. Will our involvement in these endeavors improve or degrade them? Do we add value to our endeavors, or do we hope they will carry us along? If you are high quality, you will always be a contributor to success, and this will be obvious to everyone involved. As a result, you will never beg for a new client. They will seek you out because they have seen your work, they know your reputation, and will likely have been referred by another satisfied client. They will know you are high quality!
Speaking of high quality, here are a few shots we recently captured for a high quality real estate agent in Atlanta, GA.