In the residential property management industry, we strive to promote the best features of our community, but many of us miss out on one important feature – ourselves! The service and human presence we bring to the community should not be overlooked, rather it should be touted as one of our strong selling points. We’ll discuss how to make sure you are bringing your best self each day as well as effective ways to sell the benefits you bring to the table.
Your presence can add a great amount of value to the experience of the prospect of resident, but what does that really mean? Presence is a dynamic factor that helps shape the way you are viewed by others and you can choose what type of presence you display. You can come in with energy and boost the atmosphere or come with a negative presence and draw away from the positive atmosphere.
The first step in establishing your presence is with the first impression you make. A first impression can be formed within the first 7 seconds of the encounter and will likely flavor the remainder of the encounter, so it’s essential to make it a great one! Two primary characteristics judged during a first impression include trust and respect, both of which are vital in creating a positive relationship with prospects and ensuring resident loyalty. What are ways we can help foster a positive impression of being trustworthy and respectable? Initially, our overall appearance plays an important role. Our appearance includes:
- Body language – Poise, posture, how you walk into/out of the room, facial expressions and eye contact all contribute to the impression your body language is creating. Does your body language convey an open and welcoming demeanor or is it closed (shy, nervous or uninterested)? Be mindful of the quality of your handshake as well.
- Tone of voice – Is your tone of voice animated, welcoming and friendly or robotic, uninterested or unfriendly? Pay attention to the volume of your voice as too much can indicate anger or aggression and too little can seem uncertain or difficult to hear.
- Words spoken – Your vocabulary, word choice and grammar play a role in how you are perceived. Poor grammar or vocabulary can make you seem like you are not knowledgeable.
- Physical appearance – Good physical appearance does not imply you need to be the most beautiful or handsome person, rather that you should be conscientious of your clothing and grooming. Wear properly fitting, tidy, professional-looking clothing and do not forget fresh breath and smelling clean. The way you care for yourself gives others an idea of how you will care for them!
Once you’ve made a good first impression, how do you maintain that positive presence? How you act throughout the remainder of your interaction will play the biggest role in keeping up a positive impression. Some of the personal qualities to help ensure a successful interaction include:
- Positive Attitude
What happens when you fail to make a positive impression? Maybe you were having a bad day or even a bad year! Guess what? You CAN rebrand yourself in cases where the impression you’ve made is not as positive as you would have hoped. A great place to start in these cases is to admit that the way you handled things previously was not your best and that it could have been done better. This is an important step in building or rebuilding trust. The next step to get you on your rebranding journey is to become self-aware and focus on your emotional intelligence. This means you get in touch with your emotional and physical state and understand how you are feeling and why. A helpful tip is to keep a journal to make notes about how you are feeling and what else is going on around you.
As you become more self-aware, you will also need to work on being more transparent about your emotions. You will need to become comfortable expressing how you feel and explaining why without getting agitated and the only way to accomplish this is to practice. Give yourself time to stop and think before you speak. Learn ways to regulate yourself and consider how your words and action impact others. Below are four exercises you can use to help you perfect your self-awareness:
- Self-Assess – Take a personal inventory of your current attributes related to presence.
- Ask for Feedback – Ask a trusted colleague for input on what they observe and how it impacts them.
- Keep a Journal – Note situations, how you react and how those reactions may have impacted others.
- Continue Learning – Refer to resources pertaining to emotional intelligence (EQ) and other leasing consultant training for more ideas.
The journey to self-awareness and positive presence is ongoing. As you grow and change, so will your behaviors which contribute to maintaining your presence and making it one of your best features!
Ellis Partners in Management Solutions, Edge2Learn