Body language is present in every face-to-face interaction. Most of the time, we’re entirely unaware of the nonverbal cues we’re sending and receiving. And yet, those gestures, alongside tone of voice, can significantly affect the conversation. You’ve probably noticed the difference it makes when someone is relaxed and engaged versus when they are anxious or uninterested.
Our unconscious interpretations of body language play a huge role in understanding how the other person feels. Training yourself to pay attention to these nonverbal cues can give you better control in your client interactions. Once you practice a few posture and gesture techniques and learn to manage your facial expressions, you can appear more confident and likable with your clients. When you can read prospective customers’ body language, you can steer every conversation in a positive direction.
How Body Language Can Affect Your Sale
Making professional sales in any field is about establishing a human connection with the client. When the product on the line is as big and important as a house, connection is even more critical. Real estate agents need to be empathetic and attuned to potential homebuyers’ thoughts, feelings and needs.
Real estate agents also need to instill a sense of confidence and trustworthiness as homebuyers consider their many options and decide how to make the biggest purchase of their lives. Understanding and employing effective body language can help you strengthen your connections with prospects and land more sales.
As a real estate agent, you can use body language in sales in two key ways. First, you can use it to project confidence, trustworthiness and positive energy. Customers rely on the personal touch you bring to the table, and that can be a huge deciding factor when choosing an agent. You have expert advice and opinions for every breed of homeowner. To get your clients to recognize that insider knowledge as expertise, you must speak with confidence and authority.
You can also use your understanding of body language to pick up on nonverbal cues about what the clients think and feel. If their eyes keep wandering toward a specific part of the house or architectural feature, you can infer they’re interested in what they see. You can use this information to steer the conversation toward that feature and deepen their excitement about the house.
Use those tricks during negotiations to understand what the other parties want, even if they aren’t expressing it aloud. Nodding and adequate eye contact can indicate agreement, while any signs of tension indicate nervousness and displeasure.
Outside of direct conversations with customers, mastering body language can also help you with networking, which can, in turn, help you land more sales down the line.
5 Body Language Tips From the Pros
Gain better control over how your clients perceive you with a few simple gestures. The right movements and facial expressions can make you seem more professional, relaxed, friendly and knowledgeable. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Open Your Arms to Open Your Prospect’s Mind
One way to boost your confidence is to adopt an open body posture. Keep your arms uncrossed and away from your chest, straighten your back and roll your shoulders to open your chest. This posture makes breathing easier, helping you feel more relaxed. When you feel confident, you look and act more trustworthy. It can also subconsciously show clients that you’re open to them and their needs.
2. Start a Chain Reaction With Your Smile
Smiling is one of the most powerful tools you have. Psychologists and social scientists have come out with study after study celebrating the benefits of smiling.
For one thing, the physical act of smiling, regardless of your mood, can make you feel happier. The facial movements involved in smiling release dopamine, which increases happiness, and serotonin, which reduces stress. Many salespeople have attested that smiling helps them stay upbeat during sales calls. A simple smile can imbue you with confidence and positivity, which supercharges you during an open house or tour.
The endorphins released when you smile are great for helping you stay energetic yet calm during client meetings. Even better, it can affect other people’s moods, too. We’ve all heard that smiling is contagious, and studies have shown that’s actually true.
According to recent research, when someone sees another person smile, their brains must interpret it. To do this, they simulate the expression in the same part of the brain that controls facial expressions. That response, combined with their new knowledge that the other person is happy, often causes them to smile right back.
This phenomenon is excellent news for you. If you can get your prospects to smile, they’ll also experience the flood of dopamine and serotonin that boosts their mood and eases their stress. The ripple effect from your smile can help put prospects in the perfect state of mind to buy a home. The study also suggests that making eye contact increases the chances that the other person will mimic the expression. So, to give your smile the maximum impact, look your clients in the eye.
3. Balance Animation With Authority in Your Gestures
The way you move your hands, arms and head as you’re speaking can send many messages. Talking with your hands in a smooth, natural way can enliven a discussion and engage your clients. It’s crucial to balance this out with small, firm gestures. Used appropriately, these movements can project authority, helping your prospects see you as trustworthy and confident.
Finally, remember to vary your movements. Changing how you move throughout your interaction can help the conversation feel more natural. Mix hand gestures with nodding and small gestures with sweeping movements. It’s also helpful to point to areas where you want your prospects to focus. On tours, gesture toward the specific design or architectural elements as you’re talking about them. When discussing paperwork, point to the sections you want your clients to focus on.
4. Take a Measured Pause
As a real estate agent, your goal is to make a sale. As such, it’s easy to feel like you need to stay in control of each conversation by talking. But that’s just one trick of many in your toolbox. Taking a pause is a great way to help yourself collect your thoughts.
Pausing comes in handy, especially after someone asks you a challenging question. Take a second to breathe, then move forward with your response. Pausing can make you seem more cool and collected. At the same time, it can build anticipation for what you’re going to say next.
We naturally want to fill empty pauses, so try to resist the urge as you master the art of the pause. While it may feel long to you as the speaker, the listener perceives it as totally natural.
5. Be a Mirror to Your Clients’ Body Language
Anyone in professional sales knows the importance of building a personal connection with potential clients. Mirroring has a proven influence on sales because it lets you show empathy and understanding for your clients, enhancing the emotional connection. A study demonstrated that salespeople who mimicked customers’ body language had higher sales and were rated more favorably by their customers. If you can harness that power when showing houses, you can potentially improve your sales, too.
Body language mirroring is an often unconscious behavior that builds empathy and rapport between people. Because mirroring is usually something that happens without our knowledge, doing it on purpose requires some subtlety and practice. First, start by squaring your body with the other person, adopt a friendly sales posture and make excellent eye contact. Hold back on mirroring their behavior right away and instead focus on establishing a connection.
As you’re speaking, study some of their repeated gestures and pick up on what they mean. Look at what they do when they’re emphasizing a point and how they hold their posture. When the time is right, mirror their movement naturally every so often. Use it as a way to demonstrate that you understand them and are attuned to their thoughts and emotions.
Show Every House in the Best Light With Real Estate Exposures
Once you meet with clients in person, body language can enhance your first impression and help you make more sales. To get clients to meet you in person, it helps to create a strong digital first impression, too. Perhaps even more important than the way customers perceive you is how they perceive your properties. Real Estate Exposures has a range of services to help you make a better first impression on your digital listings.
First, our real estate photographers make every listing look its best inside and out. We take high-resolution photos from the best angles and retouch every image to achieve bright, natural whites, eliminate orange lighting and add blue skies to every exterior shot. We can also do virtual staging in many furniture styles and create stunning walkthrough and aerial videos or 3D virtual tours to give customers a feel for every space.
To learn how to make your next listing shine, reach out to our team or request an appointment.