Why is Body Language so important to our Real Estate Sales Business?
One of the most important things that we can do as agents is to communicate with our buyers and sellers. It’s extremely important for us to be able to communicate effectively, have good manners, solid e-mail and electronic etiquette, and express ourselves in a professional way, at all times. It’s also critical that we be able to tell when someone is interested, or disappointed, and we often have to read people’s minds. Real Estate Agents are almost like magicians -- It’s up to us to remember our clients’ preferences, habits, jobs, and hobbies -- and for us to put ourselves into their shoes when viewing prospective offers or properties.
It’s important for us to start at the very beginning by making contact using appropriate bodily contact while we greet each other. This may be a smile and a wave, or a warm handshake, depending on how well you know the client and the situation. Initial greetings should always be as welcoming as possible without looking like you’re being a phony baloney. You should also remember to introduce all attendees to each other, with the proper titles and names for each one of them. This should occur right at the outset, so that there isn’t an awkward or uncomfortable moment later on. You should also be extremely courteous at all times, and be careful not to show anger, disgust, or sadness in your own face, even if disagreements have been involved. The clients don’t have to, but it is your job to be professional and respectful of everyone at all times.
This also goes for behavioral and cultural differences. You should make sure to do your research, and learn which gestures could be offensive to other cultures. When in doubt, it is better to do nothing, or to at least always use a two-finger point. Some other cultures find one finger pointing extremely offensive, which is why you’ll always find flight attendants using two and three fingers to point and gesture. The same is true for popular locations that have a lot of international visitors, like Disneyland. Besides pointing, you should also avoid using popular hand signals like the thumbs up, or the “OK” finger sign, unless you’re sure that the client is American.
This all seems very complicated, but it really isn’t. Buying and selling real estate can be viewed like a bunch of players sitting at a poker table. When so much money is involved, people tend to hide their hands, keeping the cards close to their chests -- and who can blame anyone for that? It’s your job as a real estate agent to read between the lines, and learn how to understand and interpret body language. It can be the one difference between a “no” and a “yes”. Humans can produce over 700,000 signs, over 5,000 distinct hand gestures, over 1,000 different postures, and over 250,000 facial expressions. Can you believe that?