You probably tell your listing clients that it is important for their homes to make a positive first impression. Thus you urge them to take care of all the exterior work that lends curb appeal.
Whether you are an agent, a lender, a stager, or any other type of service provider, it’s equally important for you personally to make a positive first impression.
Except in your case, you may have to make that positive first impression several times. Here’s why…
You have three ways to make a positive first impression…
- In writing
- On the phone
- In person
“In writing” covers writing in 4 different formats:
- On your website
- In your prospecting letters
- In your emails
- In your print advertising
You need to create a great impression in all of them, for two reasons. First, because you don’t know when/where a prospect will first pay attention to you as an individual. Second, because a “first glance” first impression can dissolve quickly if your prospect gets an opposite reaction on the second glance.
That makes every one of those possible written first impression locations equally important.
You’ve heard that “consistency counts” in marketing – and that applies to the quality of your marketing as well as the frequency.
On your website, your home page, bio, information and promotional pages, personal listings, and blog all need to project the same positive image.
Spelling, word usage, grammar, and useful content all count, and so does tone.
People are far more drawn to upbeat, positive individuals than they are to those who sound gloomy or angry. So be careful, especially with your blog. If you’re having a bad day, you should either talk yourself out of it or skip writing for the day.
- Avoid the temptation to spout off about the buyers who had you show them 17 homes, then wrote an offer with their Uncle Ned.
- Forgo ranting about the agent who ignores your requests for showings.
- Don’t mention the sellers who once again failed to clean their cat’s litter box before your showing.
Nobody wants to listen to a complainer, so switch to a better topic. Keep it positive and helpful.
When it comes to your prospecting letters, the same guidelines apply.
Consistency counts in both frequency and quality. Make sure every letter is about the reader, not about you. They don’t care what you want or need, so don’t tell them you need listings. Instead, talk about their wants and needs – and how you will help them accomplish their goals.
When you’re writing to people who don’t know you yet, your prospecting letters are a means of showing them you’re the professional they can count on.
If you don’t want to write the letters yourself, visit my prospecting letters page, where you’ll find a wide variety of letters you can download and use today.
The first impression some prospects will get will be the email you send in response to an inquiry or when they leave their information in a form on your website.
Before you write it, think it through.
What do they expect to get in return for leaving their information? Perhaps it’s a special report. In that case your note can be short and sweet, saying “Here’s the report you requested.” You can also thank them for making the request and let them know that you’ll be sending more information they can use.
Maybe they were just checking their home’s value or doing a home search and didn’t expect a thing. In that case, your email should be a “Thank you for visiting” message. It can offer a special report or just let them know you’ll be sending more information.
Make sure your message is positive and upbeat.
If you’re doing print advertising, don’t let someone else ruin your positive first impression!
When you place an ad, make sure you proof carefully it before it goes to print. People make mistakes – and their mistakes can make you look foolish.
This is my voice of experience warning you. When I had a real estate brokerage and regularly advertised in the local newspaper, I learned it the hard way. There might be a misspelled word – or a word left out. One time they ran our ad without the phone number.
Proofread everything – whether you’re the one hitting the print, send, or publish buttons – or someone else is.
Make a positive first impression on the phone
Before you make or take a call, relax, breathe, and smile. Think about someone or something you love. Envision the positive outcome of the call. Feel grateful that people want to speak with you.
If you’re calling in response to a web inquiry, do so with the expectation that they want to hear from you. If you’re cold calling, consider that they may welcome your call because you’re offering your market reports or information about homes for sale in their neighborhood.
In other words – get rid of the idea that they may see you as a bother and just hang up on you!
One first impression many ignore is the one on their answering machines. Smile before you record that message! And… think about what your caller wants to hear.
Believe me when I say that they don’t want to hear that you’ll return their call “at my earliest convenience.” Switch to “My earliest opportunity” or “As soon as I can.” So far, every time I’ve left a message for someone who will call me back at his or her earliest convenience, I’ve never received that call back. I guess it was never convenient. But that’s OK – after that message, I didn’t want to talk to them anyway.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
If you want to make a good first impression, smile at people. What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not to smile? Everything, if not smiling prevents you from enchanting people.
Make a positive impression in person.
Your first meeting with a new prospect will set the tone for the rest of your relationship. It could also determine whether you have a future relationship. That being the case…
- Be there on time – and not overly early.
- If you’ll be late in spite of your best efforts – call and let them know why and when to expect you.
- Arrive composed and organized.
- Dress appropriately for a professional in your area. It differs from place to place – check out the comments on this old Active Rain post.
- Be aware of how much information they want or need, and don’t over-talk. (They may not need a 20- minute explanation of why you use specific marketing materials.)
- Pay attention to their questions and answer them completely.
You are a professional and a small business person. Conduct yourself as if your professional future depended upon it, because it does.
smiling woman on the phone Image courtesy of podpad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net