Updated: Apr 8, 2020
We’ve all heard, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” You are perceived as likeable or unlikeable by others in mere seconds. A positive first impression is very important in the multifamily industry- our customers, current and future, judge us by our curb appeal, quality and services. People also define our abilities, product knowledge and experience instantly.
The fact is people want to do business with, or buy (or lease) from, people they like. It is a fundamental cornerstone in successful leasing that we put our best foot forward and create an immediate positive impression.
Having a positive impression first begins with being likeable. If your prospect likes you they will connect with you, be open to answering questions and engaging in a conversation about their needs and wants in an apartment. This “like” will result in a trusting relationship as we share community information and assist them to find the ideal home.
There are certain actions and areas that we can focus on that will positively impact first impressions and likeability. When executed properly the following tips can help you attract people who may not otherwise find you naturally likeable.
1. Appearance: Did you know that 55% of a person's opinion is determined just by physical appearance.* In reality, what you wear is not a shallow consideration - it could be a dealmaker or breaker. Come in everyday dressed, pressed and ready to impress. Being appropriately dressed for your particular role and responsibility will match what the customer “expects” you to wear. It also shows your pride in your role and contributions to the community. (*source: Society for Personality and Social Psychology)
2. Be You!: The more at ease you are, the more another person can get to know the real you. Be genuine and comfortable in your own skin by showing your personality and uniqueness. Letting the real you shine will be a natural draw to others.
3. Smile: A pleasant and sincere smile is one of the best ways to make a great first impression. It is proven that humans are naturally attracted to others who are smiling. Be aware of your facial expressions. Did you know that smiles have a powerful effect on us? Research at Duke University shows that the human brain prefers happy faces, and we can spot a smile at 300 feet – the length of a football field! Smiling not only stimulates your own sense of well being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable and trustworthy. When you smile at someone, you are almost always guaranteed a smile in return.
4. A Good Solid Handshake: The handshake is a universal sign of welcome and is one of the most important nonverbal communication cues because it can set the mood for the entire conversation and meeting. A firm handshake will give you instant credibility while a weak one can make you appear weak or untrustworthy.
5. Eye Contact: Keep your head up and look the person who you are having a conversation with in the eyes. Good eye contact lets others know that you are interested in them and interested in the conversation.
6. Be Polite: Put great manners to work in all interactions with prospects and customers. Residents and prospects alike will notice your courteous, kind and thoughtful gestures and actions. Classic phrases that we can all weave more into our conversations are: “Thank you. It would be my pleasure. I would love to assist you with that. How may I help you? You are welcome.”
7. Be Enthusiastic: Be excited about your product, services and all that your community has to offer. Your passion and positive attitude will be infectious and will make you approachable.
You now have seven stellar ways to increase your likeability factor. Remember, people lease because of you. They renew because of you and they will refer to their friends and family because of you. It all starts because they liked YOU!