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Trust is based on perception, not a 51-year history

David S. Jones

​​We became the experts for Texas real estate on May 18, 1971. The minute Gov. Preston Smith signed Senate Bill 338, the Texas Real Estate Research Center was created, and Texans had a place they could go to for answers.

We were instantly experts not by virtue of anything we had done to date but because we were now part of an institution known worldwide for its research — Texas A&M University.

Of course, in the 51 years that followed, the Center has built a strong reputation. More than 2,300 articles and reports are a testament to our history of applied research.

In the marketing world, reputation is called brand authority. Our authority comes from the perception stakeholders have of us. Stakeholders trust us because they perceive us as the experts. Much of that trust is because we are part of Texas A&M.

A few years ago, Reputation Lighthouse in Austin conducted a communications audit of the Center. One of the questions we wanted answered was how is TRERC’s reputation helped or hindered by our affiliation with Texas A&M University. We were pleasantly surprised that stakeholders listed so many advantages they perceived in this affiliation.

It gives the Center credibility.It showcases independence with the appeal of scholarly research.It connects us to a Tier 1 research institution.It provides stature not available from a self-funded independent group.We are supported by a powerful university, and our researchers are well suited to research at such a preeminent institution.TRERC gains credibility because it is expected to live up to the university’s reputation.

Each day our staff works to earn stakeholders’ trust. Tell us how we’re doing. We appreciate the feedback. Contact us at [email protected].​