Whether you like it or not, first impressions matter. Even though it’s hard for someone to truly know you after a single encounter, your goal as a real estate agent should (obviously) always be to make a positive first impression when meeting new clients.
After years of working as a real estate agent—and then several more years spent launching a real estate CRM company—I’ve made my fair share of first impressions, and I’ve been on the receiving end of just as many. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about how you can make that first encounter with a client result in a positive first impression.
- Set an intention. An article by Forbes suggests spending some time prior to your meetings to set an intention. If you’re meeting with a young couple ready to buy their first home, think about ways that you can be approachable and reassuring. If you have a phone call with a new high-budget client, you will need to focus on demonstrating confidence and expertise.
- Be authentic. Ditch the smarmy sales tactics. Be open and honest about yourself and your process. Your clients would much rather talk to a real person than hear a scripted sales pitch.
- Use positive body language. Inc.com columnist Peter Economy suggests starting with a firm (but not too firm) handshake, focusing on good posture, leaning in to show that you’re interested in what they are saying, maintaining eye contact, and not being afraid to laugh when it's appropriate.
- Listen. Make sure you aren’t the one talking the entire time. Come prepared with questions, then listen intently to their answers and take notes. You’ll be able to gain a lot from this first meeting, and they'll appreciate your commitment to understanding their homebuying or selling needs.
- Dress to impress. Before you get dressed, consider how you want people to perceive you. Let this play a role in your choice of clothing, hairstyle, jewelry, accessories, makeup, etc.
- Don’t be late. Show your client that this meeting is important to you by showing up on time.
- Over-prepare. They may not need a printed version of your Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Your First Home, but carry it with you anyways. They might say they only have five minutes to talk, but block out 30 minutes on your schedule, just in case things change. Practice enunciating their last name during your drive over. Over-prepare, and you’re almost guaranteed a smooth first meeting and a great first impression.
What steps do you take to make a positive first impression on your clients?