Real estate is a people business. You can win or lose an opportunity to move forward with a listing based on how you appear and how you speak. Of course, image includes how neat your appearance is, the way you behave and whether or not you follow the ethics enforced by the National Association of Realtors. However, it’s also based on how well you listen and whether you appear confident and positive.
Here are some tips for presenting a more polished image:
1. Answer the phone.
Did you know that the one action that negatively impacts a real estate professional’s image the most is the failure to communicate on a timely basis? They simply don’t answer the phone and failing to do so impacts how you are viewed by buyers, sellers and other real estate professionals.
2. Listen carefully.
Pay careful attention to what is being said and analyze what isn’t being said. Are your customers folding their arms across their chests? Are they looking at you with stiff, frozen faces? Adjust your presentation to help your customers open up. You can do that by being open yourself. Your feet should be forward and apart; keep your hands away from your face; and avoid nervous signals, such as jingling your keys or playing with your hair.
3. Watch your tone.
In your email communication, be courteous and always review your messages before sending. And, don’t type in all caps, it comes across as if you are shouting at the person receiving the message.
4. Dress for success.
Leave a lasting good impression by being early, pleasant, confident and gracious. Of course, appearance is extremely important to leaving a good impression. For women, wear closed-toed shoes, avoid tight fitting or too short clothing and don’t underestimate the jacket. Even if it’s hot outside, a jacket is a completer piece that signifies that you’re here to discuss business.
For men, wear a button-down shirt and dark jeans or dress pants. Avoid wearing T- shirts. Again, a jacket is a completer piece that immediately gives you a polished look.
A lot about image comes down to respect and manners. Always introduce others, give a firm handshake, say please and thank you, don’t interrupt, and admit your mistakes. By taking the time to communicate, do your homework and listen carefully, you can nail it at showings, the listing presentation or closing table.
Linda Yates, aka The Image Energizer, is an executive coach and trainer with Linda Yates Consulting (lhyatesconsulting.com).