Real Estate Is a Beauty Contest
Mark Schnurman Aug. 18, 2014, 6:08 p.m.
People may not want to admit it, but the fact is the best broker does not always get hired for the assignment. There are myriad factors that impact an owner’s selection process, including not only experience and education but also timing and personal preferences. These and other variables conspire to turn much of what we do into a beauty contest.
So, how pretty are you?
There are five key drivers to ensure you are controlling your image and leaving nothing to chance.
1) Deliver professional collateral material.
A broker’s marketing materials should be customized for each pitch. Today, owners are inundated with brokers so it is important to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd. This can be accomplished through both style and content.
2) Prepare for the meeting.
Learn as much as possible about the owner and his or her properties and history prior to the meeting. Find information by viewing a company’s web site and marketing materials, Googling the owner’s name and by networking with people who know him or her. Ensure you understand the financials, comps in the area and the broader trends in the market.
Be able to convey the value you can bring and express your strengths clearly and concisely. Most importantly, prepare yourself to show how you can achieve the pricing expectations, meet 1031 needs and market the property according to the owner’s requirements.
Plan on arriving early and being over prepared. Nothing can take the place of preparedness.
3) Make a good first impression.
Smile: As you approach another person, make eye contact and smile.
Dress: Err on the side of conservatism. This will vary based on the position, but generally a business suit (for both men and women) is appropriate and the best way to evoke a professional appearance. Your hair, nails and beard should be well groomed and your breath should be fresh.
Posture: Your posture should be straight, although not rigid. Standing up straight is a sign of confidence and authority.
Attitude: Your attitude should be positive. This will be apparent in your tone, volume and rate of speech. Speak clearly, enthusiastically and loudly.
Handshake: We have all been subjected to bad handshakes that were either too quick or not forceful enough. Use a firm grip like you mean it.
4) Make the most of the meeting.
Stress similarity: We like people like ourselves, because they affirm our beliefs, attitudes and characteristics. In business, similarity of thinking, values, experiences, background and communication style allows conversations and negotiations to flow freely.
Be interested, not interesting: Likeable people focus more on others than themselves. They ask more questions, listen actively, empathize and do not interrupt. They have a genuine interest in others.
Be positive: People are suckers for good attitudes. Praise their property, business acumen, family or hard work. It will come back in spades.
Exude confidence: Brokers should be confident and enthusiastic. An upbeat demeanor, good eye contact and warmth project confidence.
5) Follow up.
After the meeting, send a thank-you email the day of the interview, then follow up with a handwritten note the next day.
The notes should thank the owner; reiterate your strengths and state why you are interested in marketing the property.
In the end, real estate is a mere beauty contest. So ask yourself, are you the prettiest of them all? If not, it is time to get a makeover.