It’s that time of year again, the insanely busy leasing season. We all know our first impression is critically important. This includes things like curb appeal, the scent in the office, and the cleanliness of common areas, but do you know that you are a big part of that impression?
A first impression happens in just a fraction of a second. To be more specific, our brains process verbal and non-verbal cues in a tenth of a second to form our opinions of a person or experience.
Once that impression is formed, it is nearly impossible to reverse. And don’t think first impressions only happen in person. We also make fairly accurate first impressions based on Facebook photos. Makes you think twice about what you’re sharing on your business page!
When we see or meet someone for the first time, we are evaluating a few things. Attractiveness, likability, trustworthiness, and competence are examples. In fact, research has found that attractiveness and trustworthiness are the qualities we judge most quickly. Yes, attractiveness. That doesn’t mean sales people need to be super models, but it does mean that you must be well groomed and well dressed.
Fist impressions are made up of a number of factors, but there are a few that stand out more than the others.
- The way you dress.
Career apparel makes more sense now, right? Prospects and residents want the people running their apartment community to look professional and capable. Would you trust someone in jeans and sneakers to manage a $50 million asset? Or even a $10 million asset? Probably not.
- The firmness of your handshake
When it comes to the first time you meet a prospect, the firmness of your handshake plays a role in the initial perception. A weak handshake can create a feeling of passivity, which doesn’t imply competence.
- Your voice.
The tone and tenor of your voice are also significant. Personality judgments such as trustworthiness, aggressiveness, and warmth are all made the moment a person hears your voice.
When we form a first impression of another person, we’re judging how warm and trustworthy the person is. Whether we realize it or not, we are judging the person’s intentions and competence.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative