Most of us will have been to job interviews where we were asked to provide an example of a time we showed initiative, took responsibility or exhibited leadership abilities. This is because simply listing ideal attributes for a role is not enough.
And that’s why mentioning ‘integrity’ in your agent profile is rather pointless. Because what real estate professional doesn’t declare that they personify this attractive attribute? You’ll only sound like the next salesperson trying to win clients.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a very important aspect of your role as an agent. It’s just about approaching it from a different angle. The saying, ‘Actions speak louder than words’ is what it comes down to with integrity ‒ as it is better to prove, through the things you do, that integrity is a trait you possess.
“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.”
And this is what will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Attributes of integrity
So what is integrity? It’s about doing the right thing even when no one’s looking. Synonyms include righteousness, virtue, truthfulness and honesty. These are simply words unless we put them into practice daily in the way we conduct ourselves in the workplace, and with clients.
Ways to demonstrate integrity include:
- Being reliable
- Communicating honestly and openly
- Remaining modest, even when we achieve great results
- Being fair and impartial
- Not competing against colleagues
- Engaging in an activity that benefits everyone in the workplace
- Acknowledging the work of others and giving credit where it is due
- Volunteering in our local communities
Examples of integrity in the workplace
So what does integrity mean in practice? And how does it enable our business to lead better, and improve client relationships?
As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of ways to describe what integrity actually means. But it can be tricky to make sure it is something we exemplify in our daily lives.
Firstly, it is important to be authentic ‒ which means staying true to who we are, not just what we think others want to see. And humility is also key, so don’t show off or brag about achievements. Of course, it is fine to be proud of a milestone, but egos need to be kept in check.
Other ways to demonstrate integrity in the workplace include:
Be a team player: From sharing helpful information to working on listings together when it is for the benefit of the client or encouraging a colleague if they are having a bad day, there are many ways to be a great team player.
Take responsibility: If something goes wrong, don’t hide from it. Own up (if it was your mistake) and do your best to rectify the situation. People will respect someone who owns up.
Be dependable: When you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it. Keep your word and, where possible, go the extra mile for your colleagues or clients.
Be honest and upfront: Don’t change the angle of information to win business. If there is an issue or complication, always approach it head on.
Display patience: In the real estate world, there can be plenty of things to hold up a sale or a new listing. But never pressure clients or colleagues to make a decision for your own benefit.
Volunteer: Giving our time for the benefit of others is a true display of integrity. However, you need to be mindful that you have an authentic reason for choosing to assist an organisation or charity. Volunteering should never be just to try and demonstrate you’re a ‘good person’.
How to differentiate yourself from other agents
Almost every agent bio informs you that the agent’s key values are honesty and integrity. But if everyone claims to act with integrity, how can we differentiate ourselves?
As a starting point for your profile you should highlight your key attributes, but keep it in everyday language. For example: ‘easy to get along with’ (not ‘approachable’) and if you say you’re a good communicator, you could explain that it’s because you have solid practices in place that enable you to keep clients regularly up to date.
What is important here is to understand how to explain to potential clients that you aren’t like every other agent who mentions in their profile that they possess ‘integrity’. Think back to those interviews where you have had to provide examples of real-life stories and scenarios that build a picture of the person you are. And where possible, include testimonials and quotes from those who can validate the things you say.
You’ll soon find is that you will only need the feedback (and, in turn, word-of-mouth referrals) from clients who have seen you display integrity at first hand.
Here at One Agency, we have a reputation for only accepting members who have demonstrated integrity. It is important to us to ensure our team personifies the qualities that come with being genuine, honest and trustworthy ‒ because we know it‘s what sets us apart from the rest.
"It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that counts."
‒ Paul Davies, Founder and CEO