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Do you wear jeans or slacks to work? Golf shirt or tie? Who really cares?... The New Rules of Real Estate Etiquette: don't discuss politics, religion or how a Realtor should dress because you're sure to offend someone.
Well, I'm asking for it but here goes... (please comment and tell me I'm wrong... I can take it!)
First of all, let me say that you are free to dress how you wish, I really don't care. I would just like tell you how my mind has been molded over the last couple months.
Who Wrote the Rules? My business life before the world of real estate was a creative and casual one. We designed marketing and branding campaigns for clients, always looking for that next big idea. This culture comes from the pioneers of Microsoft, IBM and now Google who encourage their employees to do WEIRD and ABNORMAL things while at work: mandated naps on the job, video games in the lounge, beer on tap, shorts and sandals in the office, etc. Their belief was that the more casual and "real" a person is, the more creative they will become because they don't have to conform to "the man" and put on that work persona. The employee became "themselves" and the things that make them creative will spill over to the work they have been asked to perform and productivity (and creativity) will increase.
Just think of me as a kid in college seeing that work environment! Sign me up! I did and worked in that world for a decade, wearing shorts to work and often walking barefoot around the studio as I went to refill my Captain America coffee cup and tossing a nerf basketball into the hoop as I pass by. It was sweet.
The REAL World Rules Then one day, something predictable happened: the Business World peeked over the edge of their cubicle and saw the Creative World having so much fun! And they were doing "business" in such a casual way!
"Wow!" thought the Business World, "I want to do that too!" So the worlds began to blend, much like the sheep wanting to share a cage with the lion. Some things were not meant to share a space.
I came into the real estate world with a defined philosophy of how my business would run. Picture me: the Cool Tech Guy, great at design and video, knowing all the cool gadgets and tricks out there in cyberspace. I would target 30-somethings who would instantly relate to me and my coolness and be able to instantly trust me because I am "one of them" (just look at my jeans and Converse shoes!) We would have an instant bond, I won't be that pretentious, stuck-up, rich-boy Realtor wearing gold watches and driving a Benz as I flaunt my wealth.
I knew the other side of the argument. I MENTALLY knew it. I just wanted my previous world to come into the business world, and that is not where it belongs. I heard an amazing woman named Jan speak about her philosophy on dress code. For some reason, she was able to flip the light switch in my mind and get me to do a 180 degree turn on my belief (by the way, are we bold enough to actually challenge a belief we hold true? Are we afraid to change our minds?) Anyway, here is what she said, "I dress this way to establish myself as the authority in the room. They are looking to me to guide them in the biggest financial decision of their lives, and dressing this way gives me credibility before I can even open my mouth to prove it."
She went on to say, "I hate dressing up. I come home and immediately take these off and put my rags on. But when I get that call after dinner to go present a contract, I have to talk myself into putting that suite back on. But you know what? I do it every time because that is what GREAT AGENTS DO."
Bing! Thanks for the light, Jan.
Today, I "put on my job" with every tie I tie. I look the part so I can ooze professionalism and let my clients know that they are in good hands. Trust is a hard thing to gain from a client, and this is one EASY thing to do to get one more chip on my side in pursuit of that trust.
Let Me Be Blunt If you know me, you understand that I tell it like it is. That's the Creative Director in me coming out I guess. Let me sum this idea up like this: I KNEW I was supposed to dress up in the business world but I was TOO LAZY to do it and would rather make excuses than do what is necessary to become the BEST agent to serve my clients.
Does dressing up make me better than you? Not necessarily. But put us in a lineup and have the client stand behind that mirroed glass and have them pick a Realtor they'd prefer to work with and let's see who gets the first shot to win their business.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.