The real estate industry is built on strong first impressions and appearances — and often for good reasons. With the average home in America priced at $188,900, there are almost 200,000 reasons for people to be picky when it comes to hiring an agent.
So how do you as an agent come across to your potential clients? What is the first impression a potential client has of you? What do you look like? Are you simply wearing a T-shirt and jeans? Hopefully not.
If you are just entering the real estate industry as an agent, it can be a little tough to figure out how formal you need to be and if your wardrobe calls for a complete overhaul. So here are some tips for dressing for success in the fast-paced world of real estate.
This is a concept that agents will try and drill into the heads of their clients when they take a listing. First impressions are vital. This sentiment translates directly from looking at homes to being an agent.
Male agents will want to sport a crisp haircut and freshly pressed shirt and pants. Women will want to have skirt or pantsuit, conservative dress with a jacket and close-toed pumps. This is the prototypical professional image that most people expect from a real estate agent.
Pro-Tip: One what to bolster your curb appeal is to use the latest tech trends. Using real estate lead generation software on a tablet or other device will help you look like you’re “in the now.”
Context is Key
You don’t always need to be in your Sunday best to make a good sale though. Sometimes, the regional context in which you live will overpower the need to be professional. For example, if you’re showing off condos at a ski-resort or bungalows in a beach town, business casual is more common. If you are trying to sell vacation homes, you want to appear relaxed, yet professional.
Also, if you live in a rural area selling ranch properties, you’re not going to want to be walking around cattle grazing areas dodging cow-pies in your Manolos. In this context, wearing jeans and boots is just fine and even preferable.
Don’t Stop at the Clothes
You can be decked out in all Armani, but if you show up in a beater car, you probably will lose some of the curb appeal you need to form a good first impression. There are a couple schools of thought with regards to what kind of car a real estate agent should have:
- A fancy car will give the impression of wealth and success.
- The only thing tat matters is that whatever you drive is clean and reliable.
The first school of thought assumes that buyers and sellers will only want to hire some uber-successful real estate personalities. The second assumes that what you drive ultimately doesn’t matter. Which is the right one?
When comparing these two philosophies, it’s important to once again consider context. If you are selling a home in Beverly Hills, you’ll want something a little more flashy that shows off your successes. If you’re selling something in the suburbs, you will most likely be fine with something reasonable and affordable.
The truth is that you need to be self-aware of your circumstances, region and portion of the market you are trying to enter. With a little bit of awareness and the above tips, you’ll be well on the path to dressing your way to success.
Questions for Discussion: What other advice would you give a real estate agent wanting to make a good impression on a potential client?