Coloring Client’s Perceptions

By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine

Did a lime green business suit throw a twist into your most recent showing? Could your smiley face-yellow brochures make it difficult for clients to take you seriously? Face it, your color choices affect how others perceive you . . . and that’s not always a good thing. But don’t be blue, you don’t have to remain at the mercy of these subconscious messages any longer. Remix your personal palette and create a better image for yourself and maybe it’ll improve your sales.

In ColorSmart: How to Use Color to Enhance Your Business and Personal Life (Pocket Books; $12.95), authors Mimi Cooper and Arlene Matthews provide an engaging and humorous guide to color and its psychological effects. Understanding the impact of various colors allows us to control the unconscious signals these selections convey, say the authors. The book examines each color’s subliminal impact. For example, did you know that red provokes the most numerous physiological responses of any color, causing heart and pulse rates to quicken? Or that yellowish-green hues incites negative psychological responses? By changing colors, the book states, you can change your life.

Real estate professionals might want to take special notice of Chapter 4, “Applied Color Smarts: Using Color in Your Life.” In addition to taking a thorough look at how to choose the colors in your wardrobe to project your desired image, it also has a section on using color to help sell a house. It’s common knowledge that buyers prefer soft neutral colors, but you can also:

  • Use color to make your house seem more up-to-date—Large surfaces such as wallpaper and carpets should be soft neutrals, but using accents in the latest fashion colors can make a house look current and well maintained.
  • Use color to make your home seem more luxurious—Purple, scarlet red, or jewel tone colors present an upscale image
  • Use color to make your house look larger— Certain shades, such as a soft putty color, can make a house seem smaller. Adding accents to a house’s exterior can give it added dimension.
  • Use color to make your house look lighter and brighter—The combination of too much blue and too little light can drain the life from a room. Lemon or coral accents can brighten it up.

Written in a breezy, accessible style, ColorSmart provides an excellent introduction to color theory. Of course, you don’t need a book to tell you whether your color choices gravitate toward bold passions or old fashions. But the book also helps identify how your color choices affect how others perceive you, and that’s a valuable commodity in the high-touch business of real estate sales. Sometimes there’s only a shade’s difference between looking great and becoming a color disaster.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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