Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Most buyers are pretty excited about seeing a home in-person for the first time. Sure, they’ve probably seen more than a few pictures online but there’s nothing like walking through a home and touching, feeling and smelling it. Taking those first steps into the house comes with hope and all the possibilities of what life might be like when they move in.
With that said, imagine you are a homebuyer and call up a real estate professional and set up an appointment to view the property.
Upon your arrival the the agent is nowhere to be found.
All sorts of red flags start firing off in your mind:
“Am I at the right address?”
“Did the Realtor get lost? Wait - how does a Realtor get lost? Aren’t they supposed to know the area?”
“If they can’t show up on time - maybe they aren’t so reliable after all!”
Basically, when you arrive late for an appointment you undermine your trustworthiness at both a conscious and subconscious level.
Showing up early demonstrates that you are able to manage your time and are able to meet basic deadlines.
Pro tip: Get there at least 15 minutes early so you can verify access and open the property up.
Dressing appropriately is one of the easiest ways to make a good first impression.
I want to emphasize the word “appropriately” in this sentence because it doesn’t always mean a three-piece suit with a Charvet tie. Your style and your outfit should blend your style with that of your client and even the properties you are going to show. Because details matter how you appear will affect your buyer’s perception of you and the service you provide.
If you are showing beach cottages in Manhattan Beach your outfit will likely be different than if you are showing office space to a group of architects in downtown Los Angeles.
Be smart about your style and understand that how you visually present yourself will affect how your client perceives you.
Getting out of a clean car as a Realtor doesn’t hurt either.
Pulling property profiles and running comps isn’t the most exciting part of the job of being a Realtor. But remember that showing up with data in hand is one of the best things you can do to demonstrate your preparedness.
Being able to explain to your buyer why the deal is good and showing them data and comps will increase your credibility make you more trustworthy as an agent. Preparation is key whether you are meeting with a buyer client or preparing for a listing presentation to a seller.
Inevitably there will be something that goes sideways while you are in escrow - the home inspection might show more work than the buyer is mentally prepared to do or an appraisal can come in low. The more of an expert you seem to your buyer the more likely they are to take your advice.
Being perceived as an expert isn’t something that just happens. It’s a series of experiences that your client has with you that will build trust. Preparation is a critical step in building that relationship.
If you aren’t sure- yes it is 100 percent rude to swipe through your phone instead of being fully present with your prospect. It feels weird that I have to remind folks of this, but I have seen this time and time again in personal and business settings.
Constantly being on your phone makes your client feel unvalued - and those feelings never make for a great start for a relationship.
I get it though - you’re worried about that other escrow that is falling apart or you want to check TMZ to see if Kim Kardashian really got married again, but resist the temptation.
If you must have your phone out, the least you can do is turn the ringer off and only look at it during natural breaks in conversation.
If we can agree that COVID is over we can get to the importance of a firm handshake the first time you meet a client. The truth is that a good handshake helps to set the tone of your confidence and maybe even how trustworthy you are.
A firm handshake coupled with a smile and solid eye contact (not in a creepy way) can impart a strong first impression with your buyer. This type of introduction can help your image and set a solid foundation.
A strong and warm handshake also can subconsciously show your willingness to compromise and reach a real win-win for you and your buyer.
Like a magnet, we are drawn to people who smile. We are also polarized and repelled by people that have negative facial expressions like frowns and grimaces.
Of course, smiling is seen as attractive and even makes folks assume you embody more positive personality traits.
Smiling more often can also have an ancillary effect of making you look youthful because studies show that the muscles we use to smile lift the face thereby making a person appear younger. I’m not suggesting that smiling is a natural form of botox but I might not be too far off. Smiling helps you look younger and psychologically makes us all feel just a little bit better.
So if you want to look more confident, youthful and give off a positive vibe try smiling a little more consciously and little more often. It might help you win over that real estate client, make you seem more relatable and even more approachable. You might even find that you get a little further along in life.
In the end - smiling suggests success.
I have spoken to some real estate agents who say that they don’t feel comfortable asking too many questions of a new buyer because they don’t want to appear too pushy or nosy. Some agents I have spoken with say they don’t even ask about buyer financing on the first meeting.
While these probing questions might seem a little awkward we have to ask these questions just like a doctor would to properly diagnose a patient. In the real estate world questions about financing, buyer needs and wants and timelines are critical.
I know if you have taken our real estate school online you’ve learned about the importance of asking questions of your client to better understand their needs. We talk a lot about this in our Real Estate Practice course.
It is said that the best real estate agents and salespeople keep asking questions until there are no more answers. Also keep in mind that the more questions you ask, the more emotional intelligence you build and the deeper your relationship with your client becomes.
While many of the above list might be considered common sense, they are all important reminders to be present and focus on the needs of your client.
As always if you are looking to get your real estate license, we would love to talk to you! Call us at 888-768-5285!
1. Arrive early at the property.
2. Dress the part and groom yourself properly.
3. Come prepared.
4. Put your phone away and appear interested.
5. Offer a firm handshake.
6. Remember to smile!
7. Ask questions to show that you are interested.
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