This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
In salesmanship the personality of the broker enters almost immediately and continues to be a factor throughout. Whether the broker will secure the right to list a property often depends upon his personality - the way he impresses the owner at the first meeting. Sometimes unfavorable impressions created the first five minutes can never be overcome. Not infrequently the question of whether a purchaser will even look at the property depends on the broker's appearance and manner. For until we actually know the real man we are forced to judge by his exterior characteristics. Sometimes a man can live down first impressions, but any unfavorable impression is a handicap and therefore puts a useless obstacle in the way. In general, the personality of the broker should create the impression that he is a solid, intelligent man with plenty of energy and perseverance. Naturally he should be neat in dress, have no eccentricity of raiment that will attract the mind of the customer away from the deal or create the impression that he is sporty or frivolous. I have known of cases where the fact that a caller's clothing was over-scented with tobacco created an unfavorable impression. Moreover, the broker must be able to make friends, be a man who has ideas and whom, therefore, men are glad to see even if they have no business at the particular moment. But this implies no necessity whatever on the broker of drinking or smoking if he does not want to do so. I have never been able to discover that drinking is essential to commercial success.
To sell a piece of property, the broker naturally must know that property thoroughly. It is good practice, then, for the broker to visit the property himself or to have a competent assistant inspect it. The results of such an inspection should be made a matter of record and a complete description of it and all data bearing on its actual value and the value of property in the neighborhood made readily accessible to those in his office. Where records are to be used by more than one person, it is essential to have a fixed system of denoting quality. "Good," "Fair," "Excellent," "Poor," etc., as applied to buildings should have a definite value, mean a specific standard throughout the office.