You have the license, the knowledge, and the determination, what could be missing? Something isn’t quite right. Have some key interaction steps been skipped, become sloppy, or taken for granted? The opportunities are just not coming to fruition. Perhaps your arsenal of business tools isn’t complete! If a mishap or awkward moment occurs, the way a real estate expert handles the situation plays a key role in the impression they make.  Personal charm and wit combined with professionalism sells confidence and gains loyalty. When obstacles arise, and they will, handling each with the utmost professionalism instills immediate confidence for the buyer. It may be the perfect time to step back, reassess your image, adjust your approach, and regroup.

Looking in the Mirror ― What Do Others See?

Is what clients see, what they get?

Potential clients make decisions based on what they think they see. You are the only person in control of this perception, and it is an important part of your professional identity. It’s your trademark! When your image and your overall approach inspires trust, you are perceived as confident and self-assured.  And, what begins as an impression often turns into “opinionated facts.” This powerful component of perception conveys your confidence and competence. It begins with the visual impact that your appearance and body language send. It is also supported by your verbal communication. For example, it is a fact that people will judge your advice by how serious you are in your personal presentation. They are looking for reassurances that you are offering them the best advice, have their best interests at heart, and are sensitive their needs. 

Visual communication shows

Verbal communication tells.

One must balance the other to make you believable!

Start by assessing your appearance!  One of the most powerful tools you have, and the one that is taken the most for granted, is your appearance. From your hairstyle and attire to your shoes, your overall appearance dictates how your body will walk, sit, and stand. What you decide to wear should make you feel and look authoritative, confident, and comfortable. Certainly, your age, culture, and region play an important role as well. Plus, what you wear says a great deal about who you are and how you want to be treated. Your clothing expresses your individuality, your values, and your aspirations. Dressing professionally will send a more confident, credible, and authoritative message. Dressing too casually or too sexy will send a mixed message and could sabotage your efforts.

Consider how you carry yourself when you are having a bad hair day. Are you hiding under a hat? What if your clothing just does not fit correctly or is too tight? Are you constantly tugging and pulling? If you discover a stain or feel too wrinkled, do you want to hide? And do you find yourself constantly making excuses for yourself? This is counterproductive as it distracts from your professionalism, creates a distraction, and detours your focus. In other words, you do not have one’s undivided attention.

Opt for a style of dress that best represents your real estate brand, reputation, and keeps the focus on your expertise.

Next, wear your confidence like a power jacket. Make sure your posture, handshake, eye contact, and gestures send the intended message. Your handshake relays what the body is feeling (e.g., secure or insecure), your eye contact conveys your honesty and sincerity. Your gestures consist of a combination of messages that can be demeaning or offensive, or helpful and supportive. Your body language needs to have a purpose, support your verbal message, and put others at ease.

Finally, examine your conversation skills. If most of your communication is virtual, face-to-face communication can be awkward. How do you start a conversation, learn needs, and keep your client engaged? Use your conversation skills to learn commonalities, needs, and what the client aspires to achieve. Plus, conversation is not just about talking; it is also about listening.

Why should you care? If you care about yourself, it will show and imply that you care about your real estate profession and client needs. They go together. Your appearance is a great way to gauge your attention to detail. Keep your appearance appropriate and non-distracting and your body language engaging. Head-to-toe assessments are made on your credibility based on your visual message.

Where and how do you use these tools? At networking events, meeting over coffee or meals, and social gatherings.

  • Can you walk into a room filled with strangers and own the room by engaging your people connecting skills? Does your image exude confidence and make you appear approachable? Or, does your image make others uncomfortable or create a barrier?
  • Are your dining manners above reproach and non-offensive? Can you go from a simple coffee to elaborate formal meal with ease and finesse? 
  • Can you begin a conversation anywhere and find potential clients? Can you detour to comfortable topics and keep the conversation neutral when discomfort is evident?

These skills are all a part of your professional identity. You are never not noticed! Your professional identity goes with your everywhere. Present less than your professional best, and all your efforts could become fruitless. It’s how you achieve referrals or not.

How?

Master the interpersonal skills and professional presence you need to meet, greet, and interact with people in a professional and confidence-inspiring manner.

Utilize your personal interaction skills from the initial greeting to networking activities, when meeting with buyers, (onsite and offsite) and while attending social events.

Learn strategies to get beyond any uncertainties or feelings of awkwardness that you may encounter as a real estate professional, whether meeting a buyer for the first time over coffee or, conducting business at a formal business dinner.

Watch for future columns that address professional presence, etiquette, and protocol for the real estate professional. You will learn how to develop your professional presence, maintain an engaging, charismatic connection, and handle people and situations with finesse. These are the attributes that will give you a personal sense of self-satisfaction and attract quality clients. 

It’s your reputation.

How do you want to be perceived?