There comes a time in the experience of virtually every new real estate entrepreneur when they learn that what they say may not be nearly as important as to how their actions mirror their true thoughts. Body language is something that is critically important for every new real estate newbie. It will soon be apparent that your success in structuring true win/win deals will depend upon your ability to communicate effectively with the opposite party to the transaction, and your body language will play a major role in this vital communication.
If you search for the meaning of Body language, you will find that it is defined as the non-verbal communication between two individuals or a group of individuals through physical behaviors such as limb movements, facial expressions, eye movements, other bodily gestures and postures. Subtle movements you unconsciously make may determine the outcome of real estate transactions, both large and small.
Yes, body language is critical to your success as a real estate entrepreneur. Let’s examine 4 factors every new real estate newbie must understand about creating strong and powerful body language.
Factor #1 – Power of Positive Body Language
Arthur Ashe, the great tennis pro, is respected around the world for his ability to project self-confidence. He once said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” As you learn to project positive body language you will understand that your posture when speaking and listening is paramount. Correct positive posture creates personal confidence, but this can only take place when you prepare ahead of time. Imagine your first interaction with the seller of a property that you have identified as a great rental property. If you fail to stand erect and straight, the seller may decide that you are not a serious investor. How you stand, walk, and even sit is important as positive posture can provide the self-confidence you need as a successful real estate entrepreneur.
Your goal as an investor and negotiator is to create a positive connection with the opposite party, or in our case the seller. Your eyes are far more important than you might imagine in establishing this link with the seller. Correct eye contact instills a common bond. It is vital that you look directly at the other party. It is common for a new investor to look away from the other party. Oftentimes this is done out of fear. He or she may fear being rejected or they might fear making a mistake in what they say. The common bond between yourself and the other party will often hinge on the connection made with the eyes.
It has been shown that smiling has many positive health and success factors. Researchers have found that smiling can relief stress and even lower blood pressure. There is, however, an even more important value of projecting an honest smile. A smile will improve your personal outlook on life, but it will also improve the mood of those people around you. True Smiling provides trust, and trust is an important key in structuring real estate transactions.
Touch is the first sense we acquire as a newborn and it is also important in creating powerful body language. Matthew Hertenstein, a researcher from DePauw University, demonstrated in a study in 2009 that we have an innate ability to decode emotions via touch alone. He found “that participants communicated eight distinct emotions – anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness – with accuracy rates as high as 78 percent.” The act of touching may be self-touching such as brushing your eyes or it may be a simple act of shaking hands. A caveat is that we must avoid invasive touching of another person. Non-invasive touching can open a door of understanding between 2 parties.
Factor #2 – Positive Body Language Can Be Learned at Any Age
We learn to project our feelings through body language from birth, and we continue to learn new ways of expressing our true feelings throughout our life’s adventure. As a new real estate entrepreneur, it’s not too late to learn better and more effective ways of communicating through positive body language. In order to correct negative body language, we need to realize that it is a step-by-step process. We can break it down into ten easy-to-understand steps:
Step 1 – Understand what you are presently showing. Before you can correct negative body language, you must be aware of what you are already doing. Awareness should not bring self-criticism, but rather it should make you cognizant of what changes you need to make.
Step 2 – Examine and study others. Pay attention to what people around you are doing and acting. As you consider their actions, take the time to ask yourself what feelings you are getting. You will be able to survey both positive and negative body language. As you review their actions, take note of the personal feelings you are generating from those actions.
Step 3 – Replicate other positive people. You want to learn from others and the best way to do this is to mirror the actions of others. Consider a friend who always seems interested in what you have to say. Is that individual establishing good eye contact and exhibiting a true interest in listening? If so, then start to do the same thing. Mirroring success is a great way to achieve personal success in learning positive body language.
Step 4 – Be aware of crossing patterns. We seem to always cross ourselves. We cross our arms and our legs. Crossing arms in front of your body can create the image of rudeness or self-importance. However, if you cross your arms behind your back, it seems to illustrate a sense of being at ease.
Step 5 – Establish non-threatening eye contact. If you are alone at night in a strange neighborhood, you have always been told to avoid making eye contact. This is done out of fear. In creating a positive body language, you want to establish direct eye contact. It will draw the other person to you and create a bond. The key is to always smile and show an interest in the other person. A frown or passive look of disinterest will derail any negotiation.
Step 6 – Straighten and Relax your posture. Your posture is important and you should avoid slouching at all costs. If you take the time to stand straight and relax, you will find that you are immediately interested in the other person.
Step 7 – Establish position. If you are talking to another person, face them directly. Don’t look away. You want to communicate one-on-one.
Step 8 – Avoid unstated questions. Speech may not actually be considered as body language, but your intonation can have a profound effect on how you communicate. If you sound gruff, it will be negative. Avoid upswings in your intonation as they indicate a lack of self-confidence.
Step 9 – Control your hands. Everyone wants to know what to do with their hands. If you put your hands behind your back, you project confidence, while your hands in pocket can show over confidence or boredom.
Step 10 – Relax and sit in engaging position. Finally, you need to learn to relax in a comfortable position. It will take time to correct negative body language, but when you do so, you will have greater success in negotiating great real estate transactions.
Factor #3 – Understand the Body Language of Others
As you mirror the body language of others, you need to read the feelings of the other party. It is equally important to understand what your opposite is actually communicating with you. Your opposite will be more forthcoming if they see you responding to their body language.
Pay attention to the other party and don’t be afraid to take notes. When you do so, it will demonstrate to your opposite that you are engaged and attentive.
Finally, when you are done talking and interacting with the other party, end with a positive handshake. Look the person in the eye and smile. This action will show that you are excited. Most importantly, it will indicate that something more is to come.
Factor #4 – Avoid the Negative Signs Leading to Disaster
Watch for these signs in your personal body language as well as in the body language of your opposite. These are signs that will lead to negative outcomes. It is important that you avoid these signs at all costs, but it is also important that you are aware when your opposite is demonstrating the signs. If your opposite is revealing any of these signs, you need to evaluate whether you are negotiating in good faith.
- Distracted eye contact. Don’t look around the room. Treat everyone with respect. When a person exhibits this sign, it indicates that the other party is not important and they are already moving on to someone else.
- Negative eye contact. Looking at anything or anyone else shows that the person has no interest in the other party or in what is being said.
- Gazing at your phone or ipad. . It emphasizes that you are not interested to what is being said. You may hear the words, but to the other party, it is like talking to a brick wall.
- Failure to listen. Nothing will discourage the other party more than noticing that the other party isn’t engaged in the discussion.
- Rapid speaking. This is a sign of distrust or nervousness and nothing is more disruptive.
- Invading opposite’s personal space. Never treat the personal space of the other party as belonging to yourself. When you invade their personal space you are creating a feeling of unrest or even fear.
- Non-response. It’s important to give clues that you are listening to the other party. A nod or an indication that you are listening is vitally important.
- Making excuses with the word “but”. When you make excuses, you are showing that you aren’t in control, but when you use the word “but”, you are outwardly acknowledging that you aren’t in agreement.
- Closed body language and crossed arms. When you fold your arms or cross them, you are showing that you are in a defensive posture and are not readily agreeable.
- Frowny face. When you have a frown or a negative expression, it shows that you come across as intimidating or hostile.
Positive body language is the key to successful real estate negotiations and subsequent real estate purchases. When you learn how to manage your body language, you will be able to demonstrate trust and confidence to others, key factors in all great real estate transactions. In every real estate deal, you will want to exude credibility and confidence, and the key to achieving these goals is to learn how to use your entire body as a communication tool.
As you learn to apply these positive body language factors, you will demonstrate that you have the interests of the other party paramount in your mind. This will ensure that you open the door to Win/Win deals.