Trust in any line of business is absolutely fundamental to long term success. Anyone who does business successfully, already knows this. Somehow though, our human frailties and other causes can condemn us to failure. A few stories from recent news illustrate this painfully. One in particular, a Daily Mail piece from today, shows all to clearly how negative and damaging frailty can be.
A real estate agent caught on camera taking ladies’ underwear from their Arlington, Virginia homes that he marketed is just plain wrong. Hidden camera footage clearly showed Stephen Brumme of Silver Spring, Maryland tossing homeowner chest of drawers and closets in search of panties. The video below tells the dastardly tale.
Imagine the homeowner’s psyche where hiring and inviting a real estate agent or any other professional into their home is concerned. People who do these sorts of things ALWAYS make things difficult, not only for clients, but for the rest of us trying to uphold ethics.
Turning now to a resounding staccato of complaints against shady wheelers and dealers, the Orlando Sentinel has a series “Ticked off! @rip offs, scams” – where ordinary customers get the shaft from this sales person or that professional. One scam that really caught my attention being a victim of bait and switch marketing and sales. A resident tried to buy a nice frying pan, only to be offered a whole expensive set. Then, when the customer tried to just cancel the order, the sales peeps gave them the run around. In the end, the Orlando native receives a big box in the post with the whole set. Needless to say, the credit card died at the weight of the charges. How’s that for the multitude of smaller crimes we all suffer?
Then, a story about the credibility aspect of short sales hit U-T San Diego the other day. According to that report price disputes appear to be effectively destroying the relationship in California between Fannie Mae, agents, and homeowners. According to the report the big questionable is; “Is Fannie Mae overpricing homes there?” Not a lot more need be said actually, the perception is enough for trust to go down the drain. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back over half the homes in the state, so what’s the loss in credentials worth here?
Finally, news that corporate executives making an exodus to Switzerland to avoid taxes is all the international business news today. Imagine the dismay at both ends of the trust table when stockholders discover their decision makers are trying to cheat! According to this news bit, a new rule may allow shareholders to hold up exec pay and bonuses to curtail such deeds. The Swiss vote could derail many an attempt to offshore gains.
In our own business, as PR, marketing, and even consulting executives, we find every day an ever worsening climate of industry trust. Fact is, most people just plain distrust public relation or any business you can name, by default. An honest person has to climb a growing Mt. Everest to just show the truth of honest value. This is true across the spectrum of business really. Let us know your thoughts and your experiences along these lines.