How to Come Back from Reputation Damage

June 21, 2019

In the world of real estate sales and brokering, reputation is everything. And with so much access to information online, the importance behind having a solid working reputation among the public is even more critical. When your name is related to a scandal, a controversy, or just a bad review, it could be the difference maker in having continued work.

In an industry that thrives on word of mouth, the damage could be seen in your bottom line and client list. A fact sheet shows that the annual cost of unhappy customers rings in around $537 billion, an estimate based on lost revenue in the U.S. consumer market due to customers who changed brands or services, such as real estate brokers, because of bad experiences or bad reputation.

If your business has taken a hit because of a knock against your reputation, there’s hope of coming back from it. Here are some ideas:


After getting a hold of why you’re in this predicament, the next step after a mistake has been made, bringing harm to your reputation, should be to apologize, and fast. Own up to what the matter is as an apology can go a long way. By acknowledging responsibility, you’re opening up the door for a more positive response in return.

Stay away from sweeping the issue under the rug or trying to rationalize with the problem and make excuses. Next, outline what you’re going to do to make up for the mistake/issue at hand. If you want others to look at you differently following the incident, you’ll need to have a game plan for how you’re going to make things right.

Be Patient

While being committed to making a change and making up for what happened, it will take some time to see repairs come to life. Expecting an overnight acceptance back to where you were before isn’t realistic, so this will take some time to heal and pursue. Let the dust settle after the issue has happened, the apology has been made, and the road map for making things right in the future is produced, then let the customers and potential customers handle the rest.

Be Consistent

Mistakes happen and you’re going to make more as time goes by, but that’s no excuse to not try and get things right. People are much more likely to notice behaviors that confirm their beliefs than those that go against them. Basically, if others have come to see you as someone who is disengaged or falls back on their plans to change course, they’ll be much more prone to remember that one big mistake you made that got you to the place you were at.

Be Sincere

If you want to repair your reputation in the public eye and get back to business as usual, your goal shouldn’t be to change the perception of you in the eyes of other people. The main point of this is to actually have a changed character so that your reputational repair isn’t just a show. Follow up with your clients and offer up your apologies and reach out to the public via social media, making a statement of how you’re making changes to how you operate. After that, it’s a matter of putting things to work.

Make Sure Your Insurance is Up to Date

In the event that a mistake is made, damaging your reputation in any way, it’s best to have a backup plan, and not just for your name. If there is litigation of any kind it could be a costly affair that damages more than your business name–it could hurt your bottom line. Having real estate professional insurance can effectively protect your real estate operation if a claim is made, giving you peace of mind so you can put your efforts into repairing the damage.

About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)

The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.