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Business body language 101

A real estate professional’s image relies heavily on their reputation. A significant amount of an agent’s business come from referrals, which makes it incredibly important for them to be conscious of their body language and how they are projecting themselves to others. Below is a short list of body language tips that may seem obvious but commonly overlooked.

People tend to judge others within a few seconds based on their appearance. Having good posture demonstrates confidence whereas slouching does the opposite. A Harvard study even demonstrates how slouching resulted in a 10 percent decrease in testosterone (hormone linked to competition) and 15 percent increase in cortisol (the stress hormone). On the other hand, standing tall with open arms made participants increase their testosterone levels by 20 percent and decrease their cortisol by 25 percent. That hormonal difference is going to have an impact on how you feel about yourself, as well as how your clients perceive you.


Position your feet at about hip width apart
Your stance says a lot about you. Feet close together may indicate insecurity and closedness, whereas a wider stance signifies confidence and being open. However, having your feet too wide may reflect badly upon you; slightly wider than your hips is recommended.

Mirror/mimic your conversational partner’s body language
It is generally known that people prefer to do business with people who are similar to them. Mimicking your clients’ body language or posture subconsciously sends signals to them that make you appear more likable. You should not over do this, however, as it will appear awkward and confuse your client.

Photo credit: CharlesFred via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: CharlesFred via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Be aware of where your feet are pointing
Subconsciously, our feet tend to point towards what we are most focused on. If we are tired or bored, our feet may start pointing towards the exit. These cues are subconsciously processed by others, so it would be wise to be aware of your body language and adjust accordingly. Your best bet is to have your feet (as well as your torso) facing towards your conversational partner, to show you are attentive to what they are saying.

Be aware of your body when being asked a question
When asked a question they don’t like, many people cross their arms or legs, subconsciously shielding themselves from interrogation. Again, these cues are subconsciously ingrained into the other party’s head, so real estate professionals should be aware of their body language in such situations. You should appear neutral when receiving a question; smiling too quickly when asked a question may also make you appear deceptive.

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