I have the bad habit of arriving everywhere early. To me it isn't a bad habit, but it does seem to rub others the wrong way!
Arriving early to an inspection in a high-rise building, I was told to go on in and directly to the apartment. After making my way through the security gauntlet, I went to the unit I was to inspect.
I was met at the door by an elderly woman, who somewhat reluctantly allowed me inside. After all, she did not know me from Adam. Visibly nervous, she began chatting and tried to portray a very happy mood. I think she wanted me to know she was a nice person so I would be less tempted to do her in... Her discomfort was understandable. I have a pleasant manner and it put her somewhat at ease. And I have some practiced jokes that let my silly, off-the-wall humor come out. Then came the question:
"Do you inspect everything in the house?"
"Yes, I do."
"Even my closet? Do you inspect my clothes closet?"
"Yes, I do."
"Goodness! Why in the world do you need to go in my closet?! How long will you be in there?"
"Oh, not long ... (two, three ...) "unless your clothes fit."
You need to understand, while I like floral prints and dark blue with small, white polka dots, her blouse would hardly have fit over my head. She was very small.
She gasped! Her eyes got huge! She was shocked! Then, slowly, a smile creased her face, she pointed and shook her finger at me and said, "I liiiiyyyke yooouuu!"
After that she was my good buddy.
My clients arrived some time later. We had a nice visit. It was an easy inspection. After I was done working on my report, and as we were finishing, she brought us out a plate of cookies.
Very, very cool -- I got cookies out of the deal!
My recommendation: Arrive early. Get let inside. Say something outrageous. Disarm them with humor! And eat your cookies... And try to make a new friend.