As much as we would like to believe that a client’s willingness to work with us is based solely on our ability to help them buy and sell real estate, experienced agents know that there are quite a few additional factors that contribute to whether or not someone chooses to work with them. If only it was that simple, right?
In an effort to make sure that as many of those factors are aligned in your favor as possible, we pulled together a list of six simple etiquette tips that we think every real estate agent should have a firm grasp on.
Dress for Success
You will never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure that the first impression of anyone you meet is that you are dressed like they would expect a successful real estate agent to dress. It is a proven fact that people are going to let your appearance influence their opinion on your abilities, so make sure that that influence says something positive about you.
Practice Introducing Yourself
Speaking of those critical first impressions, make sure that you have something to say when you are introduced to someone and they ask what you do for a living. Having an elevator pitch ready to go is a common tactic that is taught in many networking classes, and having something rehearsed and ready to go is a great way to make sure that you are able to predetermine exactly how you come off in those networking situations.
Master the Handshake
Another thing that has a huge impact on how clients perceive you is how well you have mastered the art of the handshake. There are entire books written on this complex business custom, but starting with the basics like “firm, but not too firm” will get you where you need to be.
The most important takeaway here is to know that the handshake is coming, that it is critically important, and not to fumble through it. Practice makes perfect.
Clean Up Your Language
Another way that clients are definitely going to judge you is by the words that come out of your mouth. You don’t need to come off like a Harvard scholar to impress people, but swearing like a sailor is going to be an instant turn-off for more people than you realize, so make sure you keep it clean.
Record a Professional Voicemail Message
It is always better to actually answer your phone, but even the best agents are going to let calls go to voicemail occasionally. Those outstanding agents probably have an extremely professional voicemail message recorded for their clients. Make sure that your voicemail message states exactly who you are, what company you work for, and how much you are looking forward to returning their call.
Eat With Manners
One of the biggest mistakes that many otherwise-impressive agents make is throwing all of their manners out the window when the alcohol starts flowing and the food arrives at a lunch or dinner meeting.
First of all, don’t be that person. Second, make sure that you keep in mind those dining etiquette tips that your mother taught you like putting your napkin on your lap, keeping your elbows off the table, waiting for everyone to be served before digging in, and keeping your elbows off the table.
These tips might seem like simple common sense to many agents, and that isn’t far from the truth, but not a day goes by that we don’t encounter an agent that is taking a shortcut somewhere. Make sure that you aren’t the one taking those shortcuts and your clients will be able to better focus on your real estate skills, and not your lack of proper manners or etiquette.