New research shows that real estate agents need to be careful not to rely too much on technology, and instead make sure they get plenty of face-to-face time between themselves and their clients.
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The study, held by imago and Loughborough University School of Business and Economics, looked at several different methods of communication in an effort to gauge their effectiveness in how respondents retained important information, enhanced their business prospects and learned new skills.
The findings reveal that face-to-face meetings were ranked at 85 percent on average for engagement, which is much higher than the other methods of communication. The researchers said that body language is key to making face-to-face meetings more effective, because it helps to support the message you are delivering.
“In face-to-face meetings, our brains process the continual cascade of nonverbal cues that we use as the basis for building trust and professional intimacy,” Carol Kinsey Goman, an author and international business speaker, wrote in Forbes.com. “Face-to-face interaction is information-rich. We interpret what people say to us only partially from the words they use. We get most of the message (and all of the emotional nuance behind the words) from vocal tone, pacing, facial expressions and body language. And we rely on immediate feedback – the instantaneous responses of others – to help us gauge how well our ideas are being accepted.”
The paper notes that people subconsciously remember more about what they see than what they hear, and that explains why people are often able to be more persuasive during those situations.
Besides seeing and hearing, your sense of touch is critical as well. A separate study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows found that those who shake hands are twice as likely to remember that person.
Goman argues that face-to-face contact is therefore critical to business success.
“If you want to be optimally persuasive, effective and memorable, make that meeting face-to-face,” Goman concluded.