Whether we like it or not, first impressions count. As a real estate agent, your goal should always be to make a good first impression when meeting new prospects so you can convert them to clients. If you want to secure more deals, up your first impressions game with these following seven tips.
When it comes to making a good first impression, the most important factor is not being late. In fact, it’s best practice to always arrive ahead of time so you can take a few minutes to settle yourself and be ready to greet your prospects. Likewise, it’s good manners to be the last to leave. Doing this shows prospects that you value their time, which helps create a good first impression.
Prior to meetings, you should research new prospects and determine what they want from you. A good way to do this is by looking them up on social media and search engines. This allows you to put together a profile of each prospect. Understanding who they are allows you to understand what they want. For example, if they are looking to buy property in your area, research which listings you believe may suit them. Arriving to meetings armed with this information shows how eager you are to help them.
Knowing your audience also means understanding how to present yourself when meeting with them. Your clothing, hairstyle, makeup and jewellery should be in direct relation to who, when, where and why you are meeting with each prospect. For example, if you are showing someone through an open home, you should wear professional business attire. However, if you are meeting with prospects on the weekend for coffee, perhaps leave the tie and heels at home. Researching your prospects beforehand helps you put your best foot forward.
Body language can go a long way in making a good first impression. Your stance, hand gestures, facial expressions and eye contact play a huge part in the impression you give. When meeting new prospects, make sure you use positive body language. Positive body language involves good posture, relaxed eye contact and steady breathing. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, hold a brochure or clipboard. Just make sure you never cross your arms as this blocks open communication. It’s also important that you learn to read your prospects’ body language. Mirroring their movements encourages empathy and shows interest. Likewise, if they are mirroring your actions, it’s a good sign they are interested in what you have to say and offer.
Before meetings, compile a list of questions you want to ask new prospects. This ensures that you come away from meetings with all the information you need to help them buy or sell property. If you’re speaking with prospective sellers, ask questions about their desired timeline and price. Alternatively, if you’re meeting with prospective buyers, ask questions about their desired location, budget and property style. As important as it is to ask the right questions, it’s equally important that you actively listen. Active listening is when you give prospects your undivided attention. Show that you’re listening by occasionally nodding, smiling when appropriate, and providing verbal cues such as ‘Yes’ and ‘That’s correct’. This helps show you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, and are eager to assist. To ensure you have accurately understood your prospective client, repeat in your own words what you heard them say to ensure no miscommunication has occurred.
Coming across as an industry expert helps make a great first impression. When meeting new prospects, they will no doubt ask many questions about the current property market, industry trends, average property price, and market area statistics. It’s important that you confidently answer every question to show that you know your facts. Keep informed by subscribing to industry e-newsletters such as Real Estate Business and Elite Agent Magazine, attending conferences, seminars and workshops such as AREC and ALPPPS, listening to podcasts such as Real Estate Uncut and Real Estate Pros, and upskilling your real estate qualifications at Validum Institute. Staying educated ensures that you come across as an industry expert.
To help create a good first impression, you should chat about your abilities as a real estate agent. Sharing your professional background and why you’re passionate about real estate helps show how you’re different to other agents. In your first meeting, briefly discuss the agency you work for, suburbs you’re familiar with, styles of property you help buy, sell or rent, and types of technology you use in your role and why you love being in the industry. This helps further establish you as an industry expert and makes prospects more likely to know, like and trust you from the get-go.
Making a good first impression does not end when the meeting ends. Immediately following the meeting, email the new prospect a thank you note and outline the next steps. You should also attach any necessary additional information, such as listing links, open home times, suburb reports or agency details. This shows you are making them your top priority. As well, you should connect with them via social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Once they accept your invitation, make sure you send them a quick note saying thanks and that you’re looking forward to working with them. You should then schedule a time in the next week to follow up with the prospect to ensure you remain top-of-mind, and eventually secure the deal.
If you want to secure more deals, start putting these first impression tips into practice. And, if you’re looking to become qualified in the real estate industry or upskill your real estate qualifications, call Validum Institute TODAY on (07) 3193 5270 to find out more about our fresh new blended approach to learning.
We’d love to know how these first impression tips help you secure more deals. Email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.