We’ve all heard about body language. When someone’s arms are crossed, it usually means that they are being impatient, closed off, and insecure. Or when someone rolls their eyes upwards during a conversation, they are often considered to be skeptical and in disagreement with what is being said.
But what we interpret in body language is not always true. After all, a person might have their arms crossed just because they are cold and wish to warm-up. Or, they may be looking up because their kid has a soccer game that night and they’re worried about rain!
People can misinterpret body language. So realtors, you want to make sure YOUR body language isn’t being interpreted as something negative, especially during important meetings with prospects.
Here are 8 body language tips for realtors:
- Dress for success. First impressions matter and looking sharp and professional is a great way to make the best first impression. Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle free, and professional.
- Friendly and Firm Handshake. This is one of the fastest ways to establish rapport, so look someone in the eyes, smile and give them a firm handshake. Some agents look down at the hand, perhaps worried they’ll fumble the handshake. If this is an area of concern, practice and get it right.
- Make Eye Contact. Ensure to maintain eye-to-eye contact during the conversation, especially when the other person is talking. This will reinforce that you are interested, paying close attention, and listening to what they are saying.
- Smile. Smile as often as possible, but never immediately after the other person asks a question. A smile after a question about financing, for example, might be interpreted as condescending.
- Good Posture. Keep your feet on the floor, not crossed and lean slightly forward because you are showing that you are there to conduct business and make things happen. By contrast, sitting back with your legs crossed indicates that you’re settling in for a quiet evening and a movie. In other words, this is a posture that should be avoided at all times.
- Go ahead use your hands. When you are speaking, use your hands and arms as a way to express yourself, illustrate your point, and exude power and confidence. For instance, tap or point your finger on a specific object to further validate a significant point. Ensure that you avoid nervous gestures such as playing with your hair or biting your nails.
- Note taking. When taking notes, keep your notepad visible, not tilted close to your chest. People sometimes get nervous when a real estate agent is taking notes that they cannot see. Keeping your notepad visible makes them feel more comfortable. And, do not worry they probably won’t be able to read what you’re writing anyway.
- Mimic the customers’ body language. Psychologists have found that a great way to build immediate rapport with a stranger or anyone, is by synchronizing your gestures with theirs. For instance, if your customer has crossed her leg, cross the same leg in the exact same fashion. On a subconscious level you have created immediate rapport with this person.
Takeaway point: Realtors ensure your body language, from your clothes, to your gestures, posture, and eyes consistently communicates that you are a knowledgeable, helpful professional.