The listing appointment is perhaps one of the, if not THE, most important meeting you will have in your real estate business. So it’s important to understand the behavioral cues that you are sending to the seller when you are face-to-face. We’ve put together a few of the basic behaviors that you should employ and be aware of to make sure that you get the listing confidently.
Don’t keep the seller waiting. In fact, come to the meeting 10 to 15 minutes prior. If you are going to be late, and you know that well before your meeting, call the seller right away to let them know what time you will be arriving.
Smiling and Nodding
It sounds so simple, but the simple acts of smiling and nodding convey so much to the seller. It says that you will take care of everything and that you have everything under control. When the client poses a problem, confidently sit up, smile and provide a solution. As you prepare negotiation, give affirming nods to show you understand and agree. A nod can also give acknowledgement to the seller even if you disagree with them (for example, with pricing the house).
Keep It Open
Gestures that are closed in or closed off (crossing arms, crouching and turning away) may make the seller feel that you are not engaged in the conversation and can create tension. And if the situation does become a little contentious for whatever reason, don’t square up your body to the seller or move in closer. This position feels confrontational to both men and women. Instead, keep your body less square and more aligned with the person.
Keep It Real
Yes, you’re excited to hopefully close the deal (and that just may be your personality), but be aware if your enthusiasm overwhelms or is a bit too much. You will appear more authoritative and in control (in a good way) if you keep your gestures waist-level, your voice calm and stop to pause during the conversation.
Things You Say
Words matter…tons. And the ones you use can be a deal-killer if you use the wrong ones. One example is using too many filler words. Saying things like “Honestly,” “you know,” “um” or “like” repeatedly can not only be annoying but also undermine your credibility in a conversation. In order to mitigate usage of such words, speak slowly and with purpose so that everything that comes out of your mouth is said with conviction. Confidently speaking can go a long way in building trust with your potential client.
Phrases or words that go over the seller’s head is another area to look out for. You know everything there is to know about real estate, but the client may not. Break down your thoughts and ideas into simple, easy-to-understand prose that the seller can appreciate and get right away. Avoid industry language or acronyms that they may not be privvy to.
This is a pet peeve that anyone can appreciate, so make sure you keep it to a minimum. A major part of communication is listening. So before jumping in with your two cents, listen intently to what the seller is saying before drawing any conclusion or delivering an answer. It can go a long way to give even a few seconds of thought to your reply.
Clarifying before giving an answer or responding can help ensure you are on the same page with the seller. Ask questions or repeat back what you think the seller is saying or asking. They’ll appreciate that you’re truly trying to understand them instead of glazing over it.
Keep the Jokes to a Minimum
You’re in the listing appointment for business, so keep the conversation professional. This may be your first actual meeting with the seller, so it’s important to establish credibility by getting down to brass tacks first and foremost. You don’t have to be stiff, of course, and a little jovial exchange is certainly allowed here and there, but references to race, sex, gender, politics or religion should be kept off the table. You don’t yet know your client completely, so you never know how you might offend them or put them off.
Turn Off that Phone
It bears repeating that turning off your mobile devices is a big rule you should follow for any meeting. Nothing chips away at a client’s trust more than if their time with you is continually interrupted by a beeping or ringing phone. Go ahead and turn off the vibration element, while you’re at it. Along the same vein, don’t even check your phone for messages or the clock. It will appear to the seller that you are uninterested in them and can send the signal that you have more important things on your mind. Instead, have a watch that you can check and politely ask, in the last few minutes you have left, if they have any other questions. Then list out the next steps to bring a natural conclusion to your meeting.
When you and the seller have come to an agreement and all is said and done, continue the professionalism to the very end. Shake their hand firmly and fully (no limp “fish hands”), smile, make eye contact and thank them genuinely. Stand tall while you do this, and your new client will feel good knowing that they made the right decision to put their home in your hands.