The commercial real estate industry is all about relationships and contacts. Having expert knowledge of your market is wonderful, but being a “people person” with a likable personality will help tremendously as well. Here are ten traits of likeable people:
Being likeable is completely in your control, and you can improve your skills in this area over time, if needed. As a service-based professional, being approachable is the first key to building relationships with potential clients, co-workers, and vendors. Everybody likes talking with people who are friendly, approachable, and welcoming. Think about how you portray yourself at work; do you stay in your office all day with the door closed or do you make an effort to smile and say hello to people? It is natural for people to subconsciously mirror the body language of the person they’re are talking to, so smile when you pass someone in the hall or when you’re making small talk around the office coffee machine. Not only will it make you feel happier, but it will make those around you happier as well.
Greet People By Name
Likeable people greet people by name and refer to them by name during a conversation when it’s appropriate to do so. When you first meet someone, make a mental note of their name and add the person to your contact database. It’s helpful to even make a few quick notes for yourself about where you met, what you discussed, or a fun fact so you can easily remember your initial meeting. When you’re going to see that person again, greet them by name and ask them a friendly follow up question about something you discussed previously.
Make A Strong First Impression
Speaking of meeting someone new, research shows that people make a decision about whether they like you or not within the first five seconds of meeting you. Five seconds! While this may sound a bit intimidating, use this short time-frame to your advantage by greeting the person with a smile, a firm handshake, and a bit of friendly and casual conversation. Having a positive body language will ensure that you make a great first impression.
Use Positive Body Language
Speaking of body language, pay close attention to your facial expressions and tone of voice to make sure that they are positive. Make eye contact, uncross your arms, and use an upbeat and enthusiastic tone of voice; it will make a huge difference in the conversation.
Be Genuine and Reliable
No one likes a “fake” person. People gravitate towards genuine and honest people that they feel that they can trust. Don’t attempt to win people over by saying what you think they want to hear, or doing things that you think will make them like you. Instead, be true to yourself and you will attract the right clients and people to work with who will be an ideal fit for you. It’s also important to be reliable and do what you say you’re going to do. It’s all about building trust with those around you.
Listen to what’s being said. Really listen; what is the meaning behind what the person is telling you? Most people only listen so they can respond and as the person is talking they are already thinking about what they are going to say next. Instead, let the person know that you are truly listening to them by asking thoughtful questions to show that you care about what they’re saying.
Be Open Minded
People appreciate it when you listen to what they have to say; even if you don’t necessary agree with it. In order to be a likeable person, you need to keep an open mind so others feel comfortable talking to you. Try to see situations from their point of view without passing judgement.
Make Others Feel Important
Recognize other people for their accomplishments, big or small. Say thank you to those who help you and let them know that you appreciate their help. This is such a small thing, but when you are genuine with people and you notice their contributions, it makes you more likeable.
Don’t Seek Attention
You don’t have to go out of your way or put on a show to be likeable. Simply being nice, friendly, and attentive to others will go a long way in winning people over.
Balance Work and Play
There’s a fine line between being too serious or being too goofy; especially at the office or when you’re meeting new clients. Don’t be so serious that you focus solely on your work and ignore those around you, but don’t be so social that you don’t have enough time to focus on your work. Be social in short amounts of time; have meaningful conversations with clients and co-workers, and show that you are capable of having fun at the appropriate times.
Remember, being a successful commercial real estate agent requires more than just market knowledge. It’s all about getting clients and building genuine relationships with them. If some of these traits don’t come naturally to you, make it a priority to work on some of the areas that you lack. Being approachable, making people feel ease, and showing genuine interest in your conversations with other people will go a long way in this industry.