How to Build Quick Rapport With Your Candidates—Part 2

by | Jun 29, 2018

by Ben Hess, Managing Director, ThirdPool Recruiting

Last week, I introduced you to Robin Dreeke, the author of a great book about building quick rapport with those around you. Robin primarily learned these techniques in the FBI’s Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis program.

Many of the techniques the FBI uses to build trust with confidential human sources can be applied to the real estate recruiting process. To get caught up with this discussion, read the previous posting in this series.

Today, we’ll cover two more techniques the FBI frequently employs to cause their “interviews” to be productive.

Guideline #2 for Building Quick Rapport: Establish Artificial Time Constraints

Robin does a great job of setting the stage to teach this technique:

Have you ever been sitting in a bar, an airport, a library, or browsing in a bookstore when a stranger tried to start a conversation with you? Did you feel awkward or on your guard?

The conversation itself is not necessarily what caused the discomfort. The discomfort was induced because you didn’t know when or if it was going to end.

…Developing great rapport and having great conversations [requires] letting the other person know there is an end in sight, and it’s really close.

Robin shares lots of stories in his book about the conversation starters he uses. Almost all of the stories start with a phrase like, “I have a meeting that starts in 5-minutes, but I had a quick question….”

This simple phrase lets a person know he won’t be trapped. Once this happens, an important protection mechanism is lowered and the chances of this person opening up increases.

How does this relate to recruiting?

Surprisingly, many of your candidates are cautious and protective when they show up to the interview. Since the objective of an interview is to build quick rapport (remember perception of fit), letting the candidate know the interview is not going to last forever is an important first step in lowering resistance.

Try starting your interviews with a phrase like: “Thanks for coming in to meet with me. I have another meeting in 45 minutes I have to attend, so hopefully this will be enough time to get to know each other….”

Guideline #3 for Building Quick Rapport: Pay Attention to Your Nonverbals

I know most real estate managers were once agents, and it’ s common to receive (and now teach) training on the importance of nonverbal communication during the sales process.

It’s important to recognize the same nonverbal communication principles that help the sales process flow smoothly also apply to recruiting engagements.

Here are some nonverbal techniques commonly deployed by the FBI to build rapport:

Smiling: Looking grumpy or like you’re having a bad day is not a good way to start a relationship. Make a point to smile, especially when you first meet.

Slight Head Tilt: Adding a slight head tilt (one way or the other) to your smile shows others you have comfort with them and trust them.

Lower Chin Angle: High chin angles give the impression of looking down your nose at others and that you are aloof or better than them.

Holding Palms Up/Open: When sitting at a desk or conference table, hold your palms up and open while speaking.

(Examples: Smiling/Slight Head Tilt, Lower Chin Angle, Palms Up/Open)

The key to controlling nonverbal communication is self-awareness and a little bit of practice. FBI agents practice in the mirror. You might want to give this a try too.

There is much more to learn on this topic. If this is of interest to you, I would recommend picking up a copy of Robin’s book.

I’ll cover a few more topics later this week before wrapping up this series. Until then, try what you’ve learned so far in your next interview.

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The Simple Psychology of Real Estate Recruiting [eBook]

Unlock the secrets of effective real estate recruiting and learn how you can build trust, foster rapport, and understand the psychology behind candidate decisions. Discover techniques for converting acquaintances to hires and retaining agents by addressing their needs and aspirations.