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Who Do You Trust…and Why Should You Trust Me?

Date: October 22, 2015 | Author:

By Doug Bullwinkel


TRUST is not something to be taken lightly.


It’s not something you can buy, and it can turn to dust if not properly maintained. It takes a great deal to earn it, but it can be lost in an instant. What is trust and how do we get it in the first place?


We are all born innocent and we immediately trust everyone. Initially that can be a good thing until we get a little older and it becomes something dangerous in the world we live in. At some point, we all have to be taught to distrust in order to survive. I’m sure you remember learning about the dangerous stranger when growing up. That’s about the time kid’s start seeing monsters in the closet and under the bed. It can be a confusing time during this transition from pure innocence and unconditional trust, to suspicion and distrust. This is when the first taste of fear can enter our lives. This is necessary as it can make us less vulnerable to dangerous situations and increase our ability to survive.

As we grow from childhood to become adults, we have to modify those ideas in order to adapt to our roles in society. We inherently want to trust others, but our life experience has taught us not to. We try to balance the need to trust people with the reality of fear and suspicion, and we learn to selectively mistrust. As time goes on, we eventually find the need to have others trust us in order to function in society. So how do we become trustworthy and let others know that we are?

There are different types of trust. The first type would be what I call assigned trust. The military is a good example of this. You are put into a group and immediately forced to trust others with your life, as they must trust you with theirs. You don’t get to pick who you trust, you must trust other members of your team in order to survive. Police and firefighters have much the same assigned trust in their lives. If this breaks down, the team is weakened and all become vulnerable. They must rely on each other and trust each member of the team to protect each other. This type of bond may stay with members of these groups for the rest of their lives. Once you’re a part of one of these groups, you’re always considered a trusted member.

In the business world, we have to create trust through credibility, or what I call “earned” trust. Google the word “credibility” and you will find it combines elements of trustworthiness and expertise. To earn someone’s trust, you must demonstrate reliability and possess experience with the necessary credentials for your position. Without credibility, it is very difficult to establish trust in any business relationship.

It doesn’t matter if we are Realtors, Mortgage Lenders, Home Stagers or Contractors; we all need to establish trust with a potential client, quickly and professionally. We only have a matter of seconds or minutes at the most, to make a lasting impression on the person we want to do business with. Having a polished, concise presentation goes a long way in making your first impression a positive one. Listening is an even more important part of the process. A balance between giving information and getting information is critical if you are going to have credibility and trust in your business relationships.

A referral from a satisfied client gives you INITIAL CREDIBILITY with your new client. It can save you time and energy, so you can more quickly move on to the task of helping the client to meet their needs. Almost as good as receiving a referral is meeting a member of one of the assigned trust groups that you belong to. Those lifetime bonds that we establish early in life will allow the potential client to immediately have some degree of trust with us, as those initial bonds don’t go away. While trust groups that have shared being in harm’s way are the strongest bonds, other groups such as college fraternities, clubs, churches, organizations and alumni still offer an edge over your competitors who don’t share those past relationships. That will help to get you in the door, but it’s what you do from that point that will determine if you succeed or fail. Just remember that once there is a BROKEN TRUST or betrayal, that relationship can never be repaired.


As a Mortgage Loan Originator, I truly believe that TRUST, CREDIBILITY, EXPERTISE, and RESPONSIBILITY are the most important elements in creating and keeping our business relationships. It’s a powerful combination that will make it difficult for anyone to compete against.

NOTE: Doug Bullwinkel is a licensed California Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS #281609 for Guaranteed Rate Affinity with over 30 years in the Real Estate and Mortgage Industry. He specializes in Niche loan programs including the VA Home Loan Program, FHA, USDA, CalHFA and down payment assistance programs. His website is Doug can be reached at (916) 295-0044 for more information or email him at: