Have you ever seen a colleague, and there’s something about them that just seems next-level? Something about them seems elevated? Something about them makes you feel average, and makes you see them as fantastic.
Chances are, it’s their etiquette. Etiquette is a kind of invisible education. Once you master it, you will take your business from average to fantastic, and make you the one people admire.
As a real estate agent, your dress, speech, manners and other behaviors, are on display at all times and your clients are paying attention, and, (sorry, not sorry) based on these visual, verbal, and non-verbal cues, they’re making judgments about your ability and credibility.
Perhaps this could be said of any industry. But, in the world of real estate, there is very little to no distinction between the personal and professional realms. Your closest friends and family are often your biggest sources of business, and therefore they have the greatest potential to bring you new clients. When they talk you up to a prospective client, what do you hope they say about you?
The way you show up in life is the way you will show up in your business.
Have you ever heard the saying, how you do anything is how you do everything? This is not only an adage for scoping out new romantic partners, friends, and colleagues. It is a reminder that other people are checking you out as well and recommending you accordingly.
That’s why, in real estate, there is no business etiquette. There’s only your etiquette.
If you are perpetually late to your personal appointments, chances are you will be late for your client appointments. If you hold the door open for the stranger behind you at the grocery store, chances are you’ll hold the door open for your client when you take them to a showing.
We humans are creatures of habit. It’s faulty logic to think that simply because you change circumstances, roles, or enter a different physical space (like an office), you suddenly transform into someone that is better suited for that situation. Do your friends trust you? Then your clients will too. Do you speak clearly and honestly with your family? Then you’ll do the same with your co-workers.
Brush-up on the basics
When was the last time you actually thought about your own etiquette? If it’s been awhile, take a little time to do it now. You can start by thinking of the people you most admire in this regard. What is it about how they handle certain situations, or talk to people, that you appreciate? It is somewhat of a matter of personal preference, but there are some basic rules of social interactions that have stood the test of time:
- Don’t interrupt others when they’re speaking, or say “excuse me” and explain why you feel the need to interrupt if you do
- Let people go ahead of you (unless it involves a revolving door)
- Open doors for others
- Ask questions and listen to the answers (that second part matters the most)
- Avoid sloppy drunkenness in social situations (time to grow up)
Need some more suggestions? Check out these classics:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Emily Post’s Etiquette
- Myke Meier’s Modern Etiquette Made Easy
Your personal brand
The reason any of this matters is because manners and etiquette are an emblem for your personal brand. Your business model, company culture, and the customer experience you provide will be a ringing endorsement (or not!) for future clientele. People want to know what to expect when you come through the door. Everyone’s style is different, but here are some staples for your consideration. When you have about 15 minutes, give some thought to the following:
How do you…
- Dress – Not the label, but the presentation. Classy? Clean? Neutral? Then iron it! Wrinkled high end clothes are my biggest pet peeve.
- Treat people
- Speak – Enunciation, tone, volume. Are you succinct? Long-winded?
- Navigate physical/personal space
- Address people
- Say thank you, and write thank you notes.
- Give gifts
Here Are 5 Quick Tips To Building A Rapport
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