Researchers found it takes just 33 milliseconds for people to form lasting impressions of you. Malcom Gladwell, renowned author of Blink, said it took an entire 7 seconds.

33 Milliseconds to Form First Impressions

Malcolm Blackwell published the instant best-seller Blink in 2005.  Gladwell explained in this ground-breaking book how all of us make unconscious decisions, snap judgments if you will, about other people and circumstances around us in just seven seconds.  Blink also offered its readers tips on how to improve our unconscious decision-making skills.

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Researchers with the University of York have recently upped the game on snap judgements or unconscious decision-making by indicating that it takes only 33 milliseconds, or 33 one thousandth or a second, to unconsciously formulate a first impression of another person. These snap judgment decisions or first impressions were formulated on traits of trustworthiness, status and attractiveness.

Clearly, the increasing prevalence of online images and internet-based relationships make the University of York’s research findings important and timely.

Tips for Making Good/Great First Impressions

Since real estate is primarily a relationship business, real estate professionals know how crucial it is for them to make good/great first impressions with every potential client they meet online and/or face-to-face.

Here are some tips from industry leaders from around the country to help you nail good/great first impressions:

  1. Introduce yourself with a pre-listing digital package that…
    1. lightly and quickly explains who you are as an experienced real estate agent/broker
    2. what you will do to prepare for meeting with the potential client (market research on the potential client’s preferred location, inventory availability, comparable pricing, etc.)
    3. what is likely to happen at the appointment (sample questions potential clients may have about you and questions you may have about the potential clients that are relevant to their real estate goals)
    4. what will happen after the appointment is/when the potential client chooses to work with you.
    5. According to Jack Cotton Jr., a top agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Osterville Realty in Osterville Ct, “(This) is not so much about introducing you, the agent, as explaining your process…Your best impression comes from conveying a process that speaks to the client’s pain points and interests.”
  2. Make your digital and in-person first meetings more interesting, fun and individual.
    1. Create digital and physical environments that enable the potential client and you to review listings, market information, comparable pricings together on multiple screens. (Establishing a “togetherness” process from the get-go sets the tone for the potential client to be comfortable with and at ease with you immediately.  Multiple screens also enable children to entertain themselves on Disney+ or   Everyone involved will appreciate your respecting their time and the feeling that you’re taking care of their own and their family’s needs.)
  3. Be prepared and totally up to speed on your potential client prior to meeting them.
    1. Know the market area of your potential client’s interest like you know the back of your hand so you can dive into a fact-based, objective conversation about the what, where, how much and timing of their real estate goals.
    2. Learn as much as you can about the potential client by checking out their social media profiles, their interests, their special talents, etc. You might find that you have several things and/or values in common.
    3. Know that your potential client will have checked you out on your social media channels, webpages, etc. prior to meeting you face-to-face. Make sure that your “information” is up-to-date and publicly appropriate
    4. Be on time…this means being 10 minutes early to the meeting.
    5. Know that the physical you, your clothing and your grooming, speaks volumes about you nonverbally. Show your potential clients that you respect yourself and that you expect them to treat you with respect.  This applies to how you look on camera (make sure you are well-lit) and off.
  4. Listen and let your potential client know you are listening.
    1. Engage your potential client with relevant questions and let them talk.
    2. Look at their eyes, both on-camera and off, and be attentive. No multi-tasking.
    3. Sit/stand up straight (no slouching, no distractions, crossed arms over your chest, etc.)
  5. Hand-write a thank-you note to express your appreciation of their time and goal sharing.
    1. Refer to at least one specific thing you learned and/or shared in your time together.
    2. Expressing appreciation and gratitude are qualities potential clients seek out when deciding with whom to partner when pursuing a goal.
    3. You have time to say “thank you” in writing regardless of how “busy” you are.

Thanks to Inman.


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