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Leave Your Shoes At The Door - A Lesson Learned

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group S-96414

Leave Your Shoes At The Door - A Lesson Learned

A response to one of my posts  Tips for living with your home on the Market reminded me of a listing that I competed for and LOST and the incredibly valuable lesson I learned.   Not only a good lesson for Realtors but for others finding themselves at the homes of others for whatever the reason.

A normal course of action for me, is to follow up after a listing presentation to find out if I am the person for the job, or if for some reason, I am not chosen, why.  shoes

This particular listing presentation happened about 20 years ago and the lesson learned was so simple but also valuable that I thought I would share it 

It has since become a habit no matter whose home I enter including my own!

This listing appointment was in Franklin, MA and I wanted very much to be the one to market this home.  I knew that my experience and marketing surpassed the competition, and also knew there was a lot of folks coming in.    I did my best presentation, had facts and figures at my fingertips.   My marketing materials and personal statistics were great  and I felt very comfortable and happy with it.   When I get called in for a listing, I expect that I will end up with it.   :)    But, on the off chance I do not, I try and find out why.   

In this particular instance the homeowner told me they were going with another Realtor.

Naturally not just out of curiosity but also to make improvements in any way I can, I asked why.  

The homeowner told me that the person they hired took her shoes off when she entered her home.  She was sold on this person by that act! 

Wow.  I lost a listing for that reason. 

From that day to this, I always leave my shoes at the door!   

                                  Lesson Learned.



About the author

Carol-Ann PalmieriCarol-Ann Palmieri, 

a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with Al Mussi have helped hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education. 

 Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....

 Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!


Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Interesting suggestion. I guess it is a courteous action. I lived in Japan for four years and got used to it although I am back to being All-American now!

Nov 02, 2012 06:02 AM
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Another way to do this is to stop before entering and ask if you should remove your shoes?  Also if you know they have a pet - bringing a treat for that pet will get you miles ahead in the rapport area.

Nov 02, 2012 06:28 AM
Angela & Stephen Hardiman / HouseTie.com
HouseTie.com - Spokane, WA
When first impressions count...

It is just common courtesy to ask the seller(s) upon entering the home.

Nov 02, 2012 07:18 AM
Alesia Rapkin
Berkshire Hathaway Georgia Properties - Grayson, GA

I know this happens.  But what makes a seller think their floors are clean enough for my feet?  Just makes you want to do something irrational (just for fun) when asked to remove shoes,  like telling them "certainly if you will be kind enough to point out any places where child/dog/adult accidents have occured so that I might avoid them"  LOL

Sorry just begin bad this afternoon.


Nov 02, 2012 07:41 AM
Laurie Lamoureux
Seamless Moves - Bellevue, WA

My response might be different because I'm not a Realtor, but our moving services estimators always remove our shoes or bring shoe covers. Also, I dislike it when the prospect's dog jumps all over me and they don't stop it, but have learned to wear business clothes that I only paid $3.00 for at Goodwill. Then I can truthfully say, "oh, don't worry; it's fine." Anything to show we're flexible and will do whatever the client wants.

Nov 02, 2012 08:08 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting post, yet I'm not sold about leaving your shoes at the door is a deal buster. If a prospect is more interested in how you enter their home with or without shoes than the tangible and intangible benefits of your service, you probably wouldn't want them as a client and wouldn't fit your client profile anyway. 

Nov 02, 2012 08:11 AM
Mary Padilla
YES! Realty - Albuquerque, NM

I never take my shoes off in my own home unless I am in bed.  I wouldn't know or even think to do that unless I am cued by a shoe bin or rack at the door and them walking around in slippers.  But, one thing it did remind me to do is to get rid of all my imperfect socks!  My mother told me about the "underwear" thing in case you ever have to go to the emergency room, but I don't recall anything about socks!

Nov 02, 2012 08:29 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Isn't that funny that a simple gesture like removing your shoes would have such a big impact!  It's customary over here for people to remove their shoes so it's second nature already.  When showing homes to buyers I often have to remind them about it.

Nov 02, 2012 08:37 AM
Paul Armstrong
Realty Network - Laguna Hills, CA
Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area

LOL...  I got a good buyer ($675,000 sale) because of this.  I was just previewing homes for a Client and I always ask if I should remove my shoes when entering a home and the owner is there.  The owner said "yes" and a few days later she called me and asked if I would help them find their new home, I said I would like to but aren't you going to use your agent who is selling your home? The owner said NO because her listing agent does not work with buyers!  She happened to really like me because I ask if I should remove my shoes and it turned into at $675,000 sale!  You just never know what can happen in this business!

Nov 02, 2012 12:11 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Carol Ann, this is one on the most unusual stories I have heard.  The Sellers were definitely not in tune with Listing Agent qualities that matter.

Nov 02, 2012 02:05 PM
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Fascinating & obviously this homeowner wasn't interested in learning what it takes to sell a house. I loved taking our shoes off in Japan where everyone does it ... but having been unsuccessful getting my family to do it back hoe in the US, I've given up.

Our handyman put booties on and that's good when they're wearing big ugly boots that could track in dirt, but not for day-to-day stuff

Nov 02, 2012 05:15 PM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

No shoe houses are apparent when you walk in the door.  You will see other shoes there.  You can notice the homeowner to see if they are wearing shoes.  You can ask.  I never realized that wearing shoes in some homes is a cultural disrespect until I had a very nice Indian client explain this to me.  An agent who is paying attention picks up on these issues.  A client who makes an immediate decision is the norm.  People work with people they like and trust and can make that decsion right away.

Nov 03, 2012 11:57 PM

#89  Yeah---- lol-----my feet are pretty clean & I dont know about your floors----

Great blog post---I have a "no shoes" rule in my home, but I don't cast stones at anyone who doesn't assume that unless I tell them. it probably was another reason that you didn't get the Listing--- but a good lesson learned.

Nov 04, 2012 06:52 AM
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

#89 Yeah---lol---my feet are pretty clean & I don't know about your floors.


Great blog post-------I have a "no shoes" rule in my home, but I don't cast stone at anyone who doesn't assume that unless I tell them----it probably was another reason that you didnt get the Listing----but a good lesson learned.

Nov 04, 2012 06:55 AM
Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Thanks all for weighing in!  

I know the shoe thing sounds silly.   It has been awesome reading your thoughts.  While  I may have lost the listing for an another reason, this was the take away from that particular situation.    Shoes off for me.  It has served me well.   I do always have a dilemma in the summer when socks are not in the picture...  :)

    Thanks all!!!

Nov 04, 2012 07:05 AM
Cyndi Carver
The Carver Home Team - Covington, WA
Newcastle & East Renton Specialist

That's funny. It's not something I even think about. To the door, off with the shoes. Wish I was that lucky to get win the listing by just taking off my shoes.

Nov 04, 2012 03:47 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Interesting.  I generally look to see if the home owner has on shoes and ask them if they would like me to remove them.

Nov 08, 2012 05:46 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I'm am so use to taking off me shoes when overseas that it became a habit.

I hear some agents take off more than that, that's another story.

Nov 18, 2012 02:47 PM
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Carol-Ann,  I always ask "would you like me to take my shoes off?"  I've only had one person say yes so far.

Dec 28, 2012 12:11 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I don't know if Mimi commented in this thread but she wrote a post that was just about the opposite.  She took her shoes off and the people were offended by it.  I think the best policy is to ask honestly.  People are different.  My parents would be offended by the act of taking off the shoes.  I wouldn't care one way or another, while others obviously do care.  It's interesting for usre. -Kasey

Jan 20, 2013 03:33 PM