More than unlocking a door, buyers want their agents prepared for showings. Santiago Arana of The Agency recommends these tips to stand out.

Whether you’re hosting an open house or guiding clients on a private listing tour, showing a home is a great opportunity to not only showcase a property and your best qualities as an agent but to build a stronger relationship with your client. Here are five qualities and skills agents must tap into for a successful, productive showing.

Prepare in advance, tour with purpose 

Advanced preparation and a deep understanding of the details are essential to a smooth, successful showing. While it’s important to know details such as square footage, bedroom counts, utilities and more, what sells the home is the feeling one experiences upon entering. Elevating that experience is key, and you make that happen.

Tour the home in a way that helps your clients picture their life there, and envision the potential of each space. Knowing the home inside and out will help you guide your clients so they can decide if it’s the house for them. Going through a home together, in person, is also a great way for you to further discuss and weed out what doesn’t suit their needs.

Share details in person and on paper

When it comes to sharing pertinent details about the home, you can certainly lead your clients through each space, drawing attention to key elements as you go. Or, if your clients prefer to take the property in at their own pace, print out a physical fact sheet for them with the home’s must-know features — especially the ones they might like. Consider including a map of the area for them with close-by points of interest.

Be thoughtful about what you point out both in-person during the showing and on this takeaway sheet. For example, if you know your clients like to entertain, highlight the kitchen and backyard. If they have young children or plan to start a family, note the proximity to top-rated schools.

If they are active, mention nearby health clubs, hiking trails, running routes or bike paths. If they like to go out for dinner and drinks, point out the proximity to a few popular restaurants.

Serve as a consultant, not a salesperson 

During a showing, it’s important to serve as a consultant for your clients, as opposed to an outright salesperson. This means pointing out features you know they may like (as mentioned previously), but also being mindful and transparent regarding any property’s shortcomings.

Your goal is always to build trust with your clients, and by remaining a realistic — yet optimistic — guide during showings, they will see that they can trust you to be honest with them.

Observe closely and act with intention 

As an agent, sharpening your observation skills and strengthening your ability to read people’s nonverbal cues will be a significant part of your success. During showings, these skills are key. You must stay present, avoid checking your phone and truly pay attention to how your clients are experiencing the home.

Notice crossed arms (a potential sign of anxiety or resistance), pursed lips (which could mean apprehension) and really listen to your clients’ comments. Hear what they say, and what they don’t say.

Be personable and professional

Preparing in advance, knowing your clients’ needs, being deeply familiar with the key features of the home, guiding the tour with confidence and maintaining open, upbeat conversation with your clients — all of these elements speak to your professionalism. Clients want to be able to rely on their agent to be polished yet personable and relatable.

Regardless of whether you are a natural people person or more of an introvert, showing a home will be a positive experience for all parties if you approach it with thorough, thoughtful preparation and keep your clients’ best interests top of mind.

At the heart of a successful home showing is a demonstration of warm service, the ability to anticipate needs and a willingness to connect on an authentic level.

You’re the host — make the most of it.

Santiago Arana is a managing partner at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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