You have probably heard it before: investing in real estate is a people business. There is perhaps nothing more important to a real estate investor than the contacts they forge over the course of their career. While a proper education and proven systems are invaluable, the prospect of a new relationship can solidify lucrative deals well into the future. With a strong enough contact list, a relatively new investor can become a variable juggernaut in their respective market. In fact, some investors base their entire career on the concept of referrals. In reality, investors are as prosperous as the relationships they make. The key is connecting with clients on a level that makes them want to work with you. Having said that, first impressions are absolutely critical.
First impressions are quick to form and difficult to change. That’s why the first impression you leave with potential clients or new colleagues is so critically important.
The following illustrates 5 ways to make a brilliant first impression:
The concept of punctuality is about as basic as it gets. However, despite being a business fundamental, it needs to be addressed. The impact it has on your business is too big not to warrant your attention.
Punctuality has become a real issue in today’s technology laden market. As a result, people worry less about being late because they can always send a text to let someone know they are “on their way.” Do yourself a favor and never let yourself get to that point. Instead, plan to arrive at your destination 15 minutes early, as to collect your thoughts and maintain a level of confidence.
There is a lot to be said about someone that is always on time. A punctual investor knows the importance of a meeting. By simply showing up on time, they are acknowledging the importance of their client. Conversely, a lot of negativity can be derived from someone that is never on time. In fact, more can be said about an investor that is never on time. Those investors who fail to realize the importance of punctuality neglect their clients – perhaps the worst thing you can do as an investor. By making them wait, even just a couple of minutes, you are placing yourself ahead of them. Soon enough, you will loose favor with the very person you are trying to impress. After all, they could be the source of your next deal. The least you can do is show them the respect they deserve. Show up on time!
Yes, there will be times when you can’t avoid being late. The key is not making it a habit. And if you are running late, don’t show up with a cup of hot coffee in your hand.
In order to make a great first impression, you have to be able to meet the expectations of those you are entertaining. However, you can’t do that without knowing yourself. It has been said that knowing who you are is the key to a good first impression. Therefore, you need to make a point of being genuine. If you have to try, you may be going about it wrong. The world deserves to know the real you, and so does your client.
The concept is simple, or at least it should be. If you are uncomfortable wearing a suit and tie, don’t. If that means wearing flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt, go for it – just make sure your client is aware. Focus on being polished and pulled together in your own stylish way. The people who are meant to do business with you will only be able to find you if are authentic.
On the other hand, it is pretty easy to tell when someone is being disingenuous. The second a potential client has any reason not to trust you: game over. Your job as an investor is to never let it get to that. Be yourself from the beginning.
The theory of a confident real estate investor is easier said than done. Having said that, there are steps you can take to give yourself more confidence. The first, and most important, step in generating confidence is knowledge. It is almost impossible to go into a meeting feeling confident if you don’t know what you are talking about.
Gaining confidence is introduced at the early stage of becoming an investor. From the onset of your investing career, do whatever you can to further your education. Strive to learn something new every day. Over time you will have a wealth of knowledge that can benefit you in any meeting. The confidence you gain in knowing your market (and niche) will translate to your meetings. You will gain the trust of someone you just met if you are confident in your actions and demeanor. Sometimes all you need is confidence to make a good first impression
One secret to making a good first impression is to be memorable. There is a good chance that the person you are talking to will meet plenty of other investors. You need to do what you can to stand out from the crowd. Subsequently, if you are not memorable, you probably didn’t leave a good impression. Before you meet a new client, Google them. Take a look at their last few social media updates. Check out what they have “liked” on Facebook. Pop over to their Pinterest profile and see what they have been pinning lately. Find a few key topics you share a passion for and sprinkle those into your conversation. Understanding where they come from can spark a meaningful conversation.
Being positive is not about ignoring the negative or burying challenges; it is about overcoming them with grace – and infusing uplifting energy into any situation. The goal is to provide an excellent experience for those around you. After all, if you are not being positive, there is a chance you are being negative. I don’t think I need to tell you about the difference that can make the first time you meet someone. There is almost no good that can come from an overly negative first encounter.
Your first encounter with someone is one of the most crucial moments in your career. Always be aware of how you present yourself, even during those moments when you think no one is watching (or listening to your phone call in the hall).