As realtors, our relationships with people are the foundation of our business. Relationships lead to referrals, which make our businesses sustainable. Otherwise, real estate is just a job, not a career, and we are (effectively) unemployed after each and every deal.

The art of establishing relationships is one of most difficult practices to master. It requires a lot of heavy lifting, but it’s well worth the effort.

The key is the understand the one secret to building meaningful relationships (and really, it’s not such a secret): Getting close to people.

I know, that’s a little vague. But before I explain in more detail, let’s back up a bit, and first talk about what actually makes a relationship meaningful.

4 Stages of Building Meaningful Relationships

Meaningful relationships are established over time, and have four key stages:

  1. Initially, someone is aware of you. The person has heard your name in conversation, seen your advertisement, or has perhaps attended your conference presentation.
  2. Next, the person knows you. You sat at the same table for lunch, discussed business, compared notes, and traded some personal information.
  3. In the third stage of the relationship, the person likes you. You have demonstrated who you are and revealed what is important to you and you share some attributes and interests.
  4. Finally, the person trusts your advice and seeks your counsel. You engage regularly with the person, share expertise and experience, and have demonstrated that you are trustworthy.

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