Whether you’re meeting with clients or just striking up a conversation with a new contact, first impressions matter. Here are the most valuable tips you’ll need to tap into the best version of yourself — and build strong, lasting relationships.

Real estate agents meet a lot of people on a daily basis, and each new meeting presents a new business opportunity. Therefore, we are making a great number of first impressions every day — and we have to make sure each one counts.

Whether you are attending a networking event (in person or virtual), meeting with a new client or have a chance encounter, below are three tips and tricks I employ to make sure I’m always putting my best foot forward to make a brilliant — and lasting — first impression.

1. Appearance is key

It is true what they say that making a great first impression is about appearance, but I like to think that is not about the clothes you wear or the car you drive, but more so how you wear those clothes and carry yourself.

Being smartly presented doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor; it just takes some preparation and time. Making sure you are dressed smartly and professionally will show the person or people you are meeting that you take pride in not only yourself, but also your work.

Making sure your shirt is pressed and tucked, hair is neat and shoes are polished only takes minutes but speaks volumes when it comes to making a lasting impression. The old saying is true — you have to dress for the job you want.

2. Always be ready to talk shop

As I mentioned, each encounter is a business development opportunity so always be ready to showcase your knowledge and understanding of the industry. If you are attending a scheduled event, it will be easier to be prepared with some relevant facts to have on hand.

Regardless, an agent should always stay up to date on key trends and shifts within their market and have a wealth of information that both buyers and sellers would find useful.

One good tip I have learned during my time is that people always want to know about current interest rates and factors affecting loan limits and the like. Make sure you stay informed! Imparting valuable information will ensure a positive first impression.

3. Make it easy to keep the connection

Ever met someone who you wanted to keep a connection with, and they just gave out their last business card? Making it easy for your new contact to connect with you is part of making a lasting impression.

You don’t want to be that great person someone met but did not have a way of connecting with further. So, I recommend having multiple ways of leaving your calling card — be it by traditional business card or even e-business card.

Make sure to take your new connection’s information too, and send them a follow-up note that touches on a point that you discussed. The same can be said for virtual networking events. Make sure to connect via phone or email after as well, and also shoot them a LinkedIn invite so they can have an additional avenue to connect with you.

If you follow the three tips and tricks above, you will be sure to make a strong and lasting first impression. And don’t forget that making it easy for people to connect with you is one of the biggest parts of that process.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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