An industry that is sometimes characterized by its obsession with profitability above all else doesn’t immediately lend itself to trust. I’ve already talked about what Scouting taught me about trustworthiness, so today I’m talking about a surefire way to help build that trust with your clients, partners, and team members: An agent should be loyal.

The Scout Handbook is helpful here: “‘A Scout is loyal. A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.’ Loyalty means to be faithful. When we say a Scout is Loyal, it means he remains steadfast in his adherence to what is right.” As an agent, your loyalty needs to be customer- and team-focused. Becoming true and faithful to your clients is the best way to gain loyalty from them — loyalty breeds loyalty. Real estate professionals need to be loyal because they need loyalty in return; this business lives and dies by reputation, returning business, and referrals.

Loyal to Your Team and Partners

Loyalty to a team is hard to build and easy to destroy

Building loyalty in a team is one of the hardest and most important aspects of team building. Stability without loyalty is a pipe dream. Here are three non-negotiables for creating a loyal atmosphere on your team.

It Starts With the Leader

The way team leaders lead their team impacts every aspect of it. If you’re looking for people to show up for you, you have to show up for them. Engage with your team. Get to know their needs, dreams, and drives. Go out of your way for them and build a culture that does the same. People don’t quit teams; they quit cultures and leaders. Be the kind of leader who shows up. If you aren’t a leader, do what you can to nudge your team’s culture in the right direction.

Consistent Accountability and Follow-Through

Creating a culture of accountability is essential to creating loyalty in your team. Agents and professionals who know what’s expected of them and know it will be followed up with will do more and feel like a part of something bigger than they are. Ingraining that sense of inclusion and partnership is one of the most important things a leader can do to keep people around and create loyalty.

Hire Right From the Start

There’s really no substitute for getting the right people in the right places on your real estate team. If you hire right, you’re far more likely to foster loyalty. Do proper background checks, ensure that the people you hire are a good cultural fit for the team, and make sure you onboard well and consistently. How you hire and train new members echoes into how you retain them — your team’s loyalty starts in the hiring process.

Loyal to Your Customers

If your customers don’t sense your loyalty to them, why would they feel any loyalty to you? Loyalty breeds referrals, repeat business, and a sterling reputation — all things your business desperately needs to succeed in a difficult market. What you do is infinitely more important than the words you say, but you should always stick to what you’ve promised. If you find that you can’t, that needs to be communicated early and transparently.

Your customers can tell how well you show up for them and how much of your focus they get. It takes time and effort to build loyalty — loyalty which can be destroyed in moments with poor communication or a lack of consideration.

What kind of real estate professional do you want to be? Be the sort who fosters loyalty and you’ll find you always have your pick of business. As the Scout Law suggests, agents who do the right thing tend to foster the most loyalty. Learn that lesson and you’ll find a loyal team, loyal customers, and a culture of loyalty that follows you in every aspect of your life.

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Up Next: An Agent Is Trustworthy: What Scouting Taught Me About Real Estate