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Take A Stand: Increase Your Sales; Improve Your Health

April 03 2014

business womanOften, when brainstorming how to increase your real estate business, you turn to paid products, technologies, and services. However, more and more research is showing that using powerful, assertive body language while you work can have a measurable impact on your performance and lead to more successful results.

Let's take a popular product: Zillow. In December 2013, Zillow reported 48,314 real estate agents as "premier subscribers" paying an average of $271 per month. That is a lot of agents paying $3,252 every year for a real estate product. Just because a lot of agents buy a service does not mean that if you buy the same service, you will get any or even the same level of value compared to other agents. Outcomes are determined not just by what you use, but how you use it.

Zillow may make a lot of sense if agents can directly identify increased business from that cost. However, suggesting, "all you need is one deal and you've paid for it" could be sufficient justification for any business expense. It also, could be a very shortsighted defense of paying for a service simply because it is popular. You could risk losing significant profits by spending money on such things. Just because you get some business from a service doesn't mean it is a good investment.

Any product or service you purchase should provide both tangible and intangible benefits. For example, a tangible benefit of a product would be regular or consistent new business or an automation of a workflow. An intangible benefit would be an excellent customer experience.


In a study of more than 4,000 agents, we found the number one business practice that divides agents who take home $250,000 in income compared to $70,000 in income was direct prospecting to homeowners who had taken steps to try to sell their home.

Again, the #1 business practice that makes $180,000 difference in income is: regularly contacting homeowners who need to sell their home. What makes this so fascinating is its simplicity. This is a business practice, which is: 1) specific, 2) controllable, and 3) replicable.

As a real estate agent who may be interested in improving their business, you could first consider ways to improve HOW you actually work before paying for a new service. For example, by assessing your body language when speaking directly to potential clients, either over the phone or in-person, could give you immediate insights into the type of results you're getting from those communications.

Social scientists have found people make "sweeping judgments and inferences" from body language. Those judgments have a very real world application in terms of who we choose hire or promote. Are you thinking about your body language during your prospecting sessions or listing presentations? Body language that demonstrates power can actually cause a change in one's hormone levels and have a measurable impact in feeling more assertive, more confident, and more optimistic. According to sales training experts, assertiveness, confidence and optimism are the best feelings to magnify during a regularly scheduled prospecting session or a listing appointment.

Two important researchers in this field of non-verbal language are: Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard, and Dana Carney, from Berkley. Cuddy and Carney discovered when people practice powerful body language, such as standing up and spreading their arms or taking up more space in their chair, even when they feel quite the opposite of powerful and confident, they can fake being confident and powerful until they actually feel confident.

Cuddy said, "Our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes." A two-minute power posing session is able to make a noticeable difference in behavior and outcomes. Imagine practicing this during your morning prospecting session to help set the tone for your day!

One of the easiest powerful body positions to practice is simply standing up and expanding your arms. In a survey conducted this year, we found 51% of male agents stood up while prospecting, compared to 42% of female agents.

Famed non-verbal research psychologist Albert Mehrabian's taught that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. This gives significant meaning to how you position your body, even when the person to whom you are speaking can't see you. Phone prospecting anyone?

In short, before you sign up for another product or service, assess how well you are doing with what you already have. Also, when reviewing what you're paying for, identify those services which directly help you grow your business in a specific, controllable, and replicable way and cancel any services that you can't measure regular revenue generation from.

Finally, in your next office training, role-play or discuss powerful body language and the relationship it has to mindset and determining outcomes.

Michelle Holt is the Director of Marketing at REDX. She lives in New Orleans, LA and next to Christmas, Mardi Gras is her favorite holiday season. Prior to coming to real estate technology, Michelle began her career on Wall Street. She studied Public Relations at Brigham Young University.