First Impressions Count - The First 7 Seconds of Presenting your Appraisal! My Top 6 Tips!Oct 06, 2020
If you have been following along in my blog series ‘Appraisals that List & Sell’ you will have already carried out a significant amount of work BEFORE you rock up to your appraisal appointment.
Next, you have to master showing up!
So, what does it look like to ‘show up’ as a real estate agent?
Let’s talk about the physical aspect.
Consider the golden rule of making a first impression, you have 7 seconds to get this right!
So here are my top tips…
No matter what car you drive, in real estate, it should always be clean and tidy and running well.
Here is an unwritten and unspoken rule; if your car is a broken-down battered mess, the first impression you give off is that you must be an awful salesperson, as clearly you don’t make enough money to buy a decent car. The opposite may also be assumed. If you rock up in a very flashy car, the vendor may think, not always, but certainly, sometimes, this rep charges too much commission. The flip side of the flashy car assumption is “this rep must be successful and therefore they know what they are doing”.
Here’s the truth; for my first two years in real estate, I drove a Hyundai Getz that cost me $10,000. Understandably, agents starting out are going to have a pretty average car, if this is the case for you, keep it clean, tidy, serviced and have the tires in good condition. The car is respectable and so are you!
As you earn more, in the lucrative business of real estate, you can enjoy the benefits of earning and investing in a car that suits your business image. It’s all about personal preference and choice.
A word to the wise about signage on your car!
In my opinion, and this is based only on my opinion and also a comment, which I will share with you shortly, that I hear over and over again from my potential sellers
I am not a fan of real estate signage on real estate sales agent’s cars (this is not my belief for the rentals side of the business).
If a potential seller is considering putting their property on the market, they often think about it and talk about it with agents for some time before taking action.
Your potential seller may not be ready to inform their neighbors that they are thinking, of selling for various reasons. So, let me tell you, my friend, rocking up to the house with your car plastered in real estate signage could be airing all sorts of dirty laundry, to the neighbors of your potential seller, that they may wish to keep private.
Even seeing your sign written car about the suburb could be enough to stop that potential seller calling you in the first place!!
However, as a businesswoman, I do know the power of car signage from the point of view of building local awareness of your brand. I just think we’re not RED BULL or the local plumber.
If you’re still not convinced there’s always the option of magnetic signage which you can stick on to your car doors, and remove easily, for such appointments. This is an option worth considering if you are on the fence about signage.
I often receive the same message from concerned potential sellers when they call me for an appraisal; ‘Gayle if your car has signage, do you mind parking down the street and walking to the house please?’
Just keep in mind that there are many, many reasons why people sell houses, and not all of those reasons are butterflies and rainbows, sometimes the reasons are financial stress, relationship issues, or bereavement.
Ok to wrap this up; Your car should always be clean, tidy, well serviced, and your tires in good condition, no matter what the make and model!
Your professional attire
Again, this is a personal choice, however, there are a couple of rules which I suggest you adhere to.
I have always been a ‘jeans, blazer, heels & stylish handbag’ girl in my day-to-day business – always!
What this DOES NOT look like
- Fashion jeans with rips/ studs/ glitter
- Fashion blazer of any color which does not instantly give you the impression of business.
- Cheap or fashion style shoes
- Cheap or fashion style handbag
What this does look like
- My jeans are always smart, dark in color, and well fitted
- My blazer is always an upper-end brand, well cut and well fitted
- My shoes always heels and always in good condition
- Under my blazer is always a simple understated top
- My handbag is always in good condition and big enough to fit my laptop and business folder in
- My hair and make-up are always done
I’m a straight talker, in case you hadn’t guessed by reading my blog 😊 …
So here are a couple of straight-talking points regarding how you should NOT dress for real estate
- If you prefer to wear a suit…
- Do not wear a suit that is falling off you. Whether it’s from Target or an upmarket brand, make sure it fits you well and is clean, ensure your shirt is tucked in and fresh. For the boys out there; straighten your tie and close your top button for God sake man
- Boys, either be cleanly shaven or have a tidy and trimmed beard
- For ladies that need a little bit of extra attention
- Ladies, keep in mind, low cut tops and very short skirts are for your boyfriend, not the husband of the potential seller. Keep it classy babe!
- Always have clean hair, nails, shoes, and accessories
Whatever your style is; make sure it’s clean, tidy, and sharp!
A word to the wise on perfumes and aftershaves
Oh my goodness, do I LOVE a good smell! I am a REAL perfume girl, however, here is something I have learned in my over 25 years of winning in sales, and of course my mother’s voice ringing in my ears “Jesus, Gayle (in her full Dublin/Irish accent) did you need to drown yourself in the bottle of perfume”. What I have learned along the way is that not everyone loves perfumes as much as I do, so here is my word to the wise; ‘A little goes a long way’
So, we are taking this step-by-step, so let’s move on to Tip 4
Ok, we’ve rocked up, next, knock the door and then SMILE!
There's an old saying that says that “a good smile warms hearts and opens doors”. That my friend, in a nutshell, is why a smile is so important.
- The car is looking right
- We’re looking and smelling right
- Our business accessories are on point
- We’ve knocked on the door and we’re smiling
The person opens the door and you say …
- Hello; I’m so and so, your local real estate agent, thank you for inviting me to pop by
That, my friend, is how I open the beginning of every appraisal, at the front door offering my hand to shake!
A quick note on good manners, some people and cultures do not wear shoes in their homes, a good tell is if you see shoes outside the front door!
If you see shoes scattered about the front door, once you have introduced yourself as above and shaken hands, simply ask ‘Would you like me to take my shoes off before I come in?’
90% of the time the person will say no, however, you have just earned a GOLD STAR for good manners!
Once I enter the home, I put my bag down and I say to the owner...
‘Please can you take me on a little tour and show me your property’
This is how I start every appraisal I attend
This allows me to be quiet first, to let the homeowner talk as they show me through the property. Inevitably, as most people don’t like awkward silences, the homeowner will talk about the property as they take me through, what they do and don’t like, what needs to be done, what doesn’t. I politely look about and make pleasant comments here and there about the property, however, I make sure not to talk over the owner or dominate the conversation.
This approach helps me…
- Get a feel for the homeowner and their energy.
- It also allows me to mentally check that the appraisal I have prepared, which I am about to present to the seller, is on point.
This little house tour inadvertently helps the seller to open up to me a little about their needs. It opens the door to allow me to naturally ask, as soon as I sit down following the tour, a very important question;
‘So, Mr/Mrs. Seller, why are you considering selling this property?’
This question is the most important first question you can ever ask at an appraisal.
My understanding of the seller’s motivations and their needs is CRUCIAL to me carrying out the appraisal successfully.
Remembering that our goal is always to list the property, at the required commission, with paid marketing in advance and in a manner that will successfully sell within an appropriate time frame.