The One Quality That Strips Away Mystery.

The One Quality That Strips Away Mystery.

“The One Quality That Strips Away Mystery.”

From Robin Dreeke, co-author of the brilliant new book, “Sizing People Up – A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction.”

I listened to the conversation on The Marketing Book Podcast between host Douglas Burdett and Robin.

Every realtor/estate agency, especially those with a curious mind, should listen. It’s on the link above.  Better yet, buy the book.

Sizing people up is instinctively what the best realtors do.

And those that don’t?

“We’ll get back to you. We have another agent to see later.”

The prelude to yet another rejection.

That one quality?

“Even good people feel the need to hide things, because nobody’s perfect and everybody’s vulnerable. A high percentage of people break rules and lie when they’re desperate; for something they want, or something they fear. But even people in comfortable situations often shade the truth and cut corners just to get a little further ahead in life.

Decent, moral people also shade the truth, because each of us wants to be loved and sometimes we’re afraid that our true selves aren’t worthy of it.  Millions of people, though, conceal their agendas and hide the whole truth for reasons that are far darker –  such as greed, manipulation, power, control and deception…..

When you’re sizing people up, you learn a lot about their character, traits, tendencies, fears, affections, strengths, weaknesses and skills, but all of that feeds into the single most important attribute that you’re invariably looking for;


It’s the one quality that strips away mystery, illuminates the truth and is indispensable to a positive relationship.”

Let’s get straight to the point – real estate agents are in the bottom three of least trusted professions (Veracity Index of Trusted Professions). Right there, alongside politicians and journalists.

Every vendor/landlord is looking, not for the best estate agency, but one that they can most trust.

Here’s the irony.

Every vendor is sizing you up.  They’re looking for social cues.

And all you can do is hide. Like every other agent.

Behind the mask of perceived competence.


How then to be more trusted?

As Robin says, it’s not simply a matter of following the formulaic Know, Like & Trust.

There are plenty of examples where knowing & liking doesn’t necessarily relate to trust.

The simple answer is made by Dr. Brené Brown :  The first thing we look for in others and the last thing we’re willing to reveal about ourselves.


Having the courage to admit you’re not perfect.

That you don’t know all the answers.

That for some vendors, you just might not be a good fit.

“Indispensable to positive relationships” says Robin.

If you’ve read any of my previous 100+ posts, you’ll know that relationship presses every one of my buttons.


Fine, if I’m buying a Snickers Bar.  But for selling my home, it needs something more.

It needs someone to care.

Don’t make the mistake of telling me that you do.

Others have said the same.

They’ve said they are passionate. That they’re honest. Determined. Available. An expert.

I’ve lost count of the promises.  And the boasts.

I need to know that you care – without you telling me that you do.

I had a conversation with a realtor just this week.

She was very defensive about her business.  About herself.

Other than asking for help, that’s about all I got from our initial chat.

I dug deeper. I checked her profile on other platforms.

Turns out she’s very much into Rescue Animals.

Something very close to my heart.

That simple fact tells me more than enough.

Caring, compassionate, patient, generous. Just a few of the adjectives I associate with having rescue dogs. You need those inherent qualities. You don’t just suddenly acquire them.

Contrast that with the millionaire-mindset realtor. How has she got where she is?

Ruthless, ambitious, determined are adjectives I associate with that persona.

Now, if I’m selling my home and looking for a business relationship, I’m more inclined to instruct someone with whom I share affinity. Not someone who I don’t know and don’t trust.

On this occasion, it’s something that wasn’t shared but something that would have been all the better for having done so.

“Trust, in a relationship, is a complicated thing. Trust requires allowing others to see as much of ourselves as we have the courage to reveal.  Allowing others to see behind the mask. The masks we all wear to overcome the fear.” 

Bruce Springsteen

The real estate industry is beset with problems. Too many to go into here.

But the biggest of those problems is lack of real trust.

If your clients trusted you more, they are more likely to accept your advice. Show respect. Share more information Refer you to others. Give you the benefit of the doubt. Forgive mistakes. And, involve you earlier in potential issues.

Trust, permission, remarkability, stories that spread and humanity (connection, compassion, humility) are the assets that matter in real estate.

Not the competence. Not the corporate brand. Not the value offered.

There’s a route to gaining that trust.

It’s called transparency.

As yet, it’s sadly missing.

I live in hope.

Thanks for reading. If you have a question, or comment, I love to hear from you.

There’s more information on my website

A simple call-to-action button on the bottom of the page gets you even more information. What it doesn’t get you is a follow-up call, spam email or anything else that you might consider interruption.

There’s also a series of six short emails available, highlighting the benefits of personal brand for realtors.  Just go to

Again, you won’t be added to any list. If it’s of interest, call.  If not, don’t call.

Trust me on that!












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