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Is Your Face Costing You Leases?

I often listen to a local radio show on the way to work.  Today, the host was talking about his recent trip to Europe and something called "face control".  This sparked one of those dangerous brainstorming sessions...you know the ones you come out of wondering how you got from point A to point B without crashing.  Then, because that wasn't bad enough, I called a good friend of mine for some input.  She had never heard the term either so I looked it up.  To my surprise, it wasn't at all related to any of my brainstorm tangents.

From "feis kontrol", a Russian klub colloquialism of the English words "face control." Your "face" is your level of wealth, beauty, power, social standing, and overall desirability. - Urban Dictionary

Deep right?  Here's how I see it...

How does this apply to the multifamily industry, specifically your leasing office?  You might...no should be...familiar with the importance of body language and its effect on prospect buying tendencies.  So what about your face?  Could your facial expressions be losing you leases?  Are your facial expressions a violation of fair housing?  Very possibly yes.

We have gut reactions to many things and people are no exception.  The way someone smells, the clothes they wear, piercings or tattoos they have, something they say or just their overall appearance can cause gut reactions - very visible ones at that.  This is not to say that you should become desensitized to appearance, but just gain control of your reactions.

Have you ever walked into a vacant with a prospect, had it smell not so fresh, found dead bugs or cobwebs in the corners and tried to redirect their attention somewhere else?  Your face control or lack thereof could  have been the reason they leased with you or went with the property down the street.

Visual ques aren't the only things to spark a facial reaction however.  I mentioned smells before, but how about words.  Test your reactions with these descriptions:

-A man, clean-shaven with piercing blue eyes and golden blonde hair wearing a freshly pressed black suit and shoes you can see your face in walked into our office today for a tour.

-The apartment I showed him had fresh carpet lines, smelled like that Febreeze I love and the floors were literally squeaky clean.

-A man with a ten o'clock shadow, horn rimmed glasses and a lip ring wearing a sweat suit and dirty tennis shoes walked into our office for a tour.

-The apartment I showed him had a musty smell, cobwebs everywhere and someone tracked mud all over the carpet.

Just imagine if a co-worker was describing something and then a prospect walks through the door.  You may have to change your facial expression pretty quickly.  This can be a great team building excercise!  When the office is closed of course...

If you would rather discover your level of face control in private, do a Google image search for some of the things mentioned above, turn on your webcam and click away.  You're going to see a myriad of different photos that may cause gut reactions.  I urge you to watch and record yourself.  You may be surprised at the face(s) you make.

Still wondering about the term face control?  Well here's all I could find on the origin:

Feis kontrol is the power of the velvet rope, originally referring to the surly bouncers at the most exclusive Moscow klubs. It can literally refer to club door personnel, or it can be used figuratively to refer to some ideal social arbiter.  A sophisticated addition to bouncing at night clubs. Usually performed by a designated host(s). Face control persons are there to decide which individuals in the line are privileged to get in without having to wait in line and sometimes avoiding cover charges/lists/frisking. If you get picked out from the line at the club it means that you're privileged! - Urban Dictionary

Oh and if you're not familiar with how important body language is, stop by The Training Factor.  They have a course for that!

Thank you to Melanie B. for your help on this!  I love our morning phone calls :)

~Angela

"Expressions of disapproval are on a level of vulgarity that cannot be tolerated. The way to express disapproval is to do without applause." - Rudolf Bing

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great post, Angela! All of your points are spot-on. And I'd say the same points apply to interacting with residents. The same question could be posed, "Is your face costing you renewals?"

  Jen Piccotti
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks Jen! That's absolutely true! What you say with your face is more powerful than all the words in the world. Whether it be new leases, renewals or even referrals, make sure your visual language matches what's coming out of your mouth.

  Angela Irizarry
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Love this, Angela. Some theorists say that our body language (including face) is what people cue off of first. The words we use actually are minor (and the last to be believed!) So--if your body says 'no' but your language says 'yes', our prospects are going to believe the 'NO!' Thanks for posting this!

  Jim Baumgartner
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you Jim, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  Angela Irizarry

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