How to Dress for Success

Services for Real Estate Pros with Magnets USA®

Man putting on a tie

So, you’ve been working your tail off to get your name “out there” in the real estate world, huh? Sending letters, handing out marketing items with your name and logo—you’re well on your way!

Now that your name is all over town, it’s time for your phone to start ringing off the hook. And since you’ve worked so hard to project an image of authority and professionalism (with your marketing) you need to be sure the person prospective clients meet for the first time is consistent with your marketing image.

That means it’s time to take a look at how you look.

I’m sorry to say that mama was wrong when she told you “appearances don’t matter.” Appearances do matter—at least in the business world. Would you trust a doctor that came into the exam room wearing flip flops and patchwork pants? Probably not, and just the same—your clients won’t trust you if the first time they meet you, if you look like you just rolled out of bed.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, clients could be uncomfortable if you’re overdressed. Most will agree it’s better to be slightly overdressed than under. In fashion, there is a fine line between flashy and trashy; it’s critical that you walk the line like a pro.

Young business woman with a fun scarf.

Here are a few tips to help you dress the part:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: dress appropriately to your region; if you’re in Texas it is okay to wear cowboy boots, if you’re in New Jersey—it’s not.
  • Dress for the job you want: if you want to be a manager, take a look at how your manager dresses and replicate.
  • Dress as you want to be seen: are you a serious person? Dress conservatively. Are you a wild/wacky person? Rock out with your bright pink sweater. Just remember how you dress says a lot about who you are.
  • Dress for the occasion: jeans are okay if you’re sitting behind a computer all day, but when it comes to meeting clients in person, it’s best to look as professional as possible.
  • Guys: you can never go wrong with a blue/white button down shirt, khakis and a conservative tie—i.e. leave the tie with a flaming baseball at home.
  • Gals: a conservative blouse or sweater with a knee-length skirt or dress, and slacks are always a safe “go-to” outfit. And leave the 4-inch heels at home, flats or moderate pumps will do.

Another important aspect to your wardrobe is color. It is common knowledge that colors convey messages and, yes that includes the colors in your wardrobe. What colors you can wear (tastefully) also depends on your complexion, hair and eye color. Take a look at some color recommendations based on your color palette.

For example, if you’re selling a house, it would probably be best to wear blue because it promotes feelings of authority and trust—whereas wearing a mustard shade might make people uneasy.

 For the ladies, it’s important that you learn to dress for your body shape.  The fellas have it easy here, because men’s clothing is pretty standard; women, however, need to flatter all the right areas.  An hourglass figure would be selling herself short wearing a dress made for an apple figure. See how to dress your body shape. You would be truly amazed how many styles will complement your figure.

Two men dressed in strange suits with clown makeup.

 When it comes to fashion, you really want to be honest with yourself and wear clothes that are comfortable to you. However, don’t forget that what you wear is also a reflection of you: if you dress clean, neat and tastefully—people will assume you are.  If you dress like you just crawled out of a hole in the 80’s—people will assume you’re a little crazy.

 Dressing like a professional isn’t hard, just remember:

  • Mind your color scheme
  • Dress for the job you want
  • Dress for the occasion
  • Complement your shape
  • And stay true to yourself—if you feel uncomfortable, you probably look uncomfortable.

Do you find your clients are more comfortable if you dress casually or more professionally? Do you have a specific color you wear when dealing with clients? Share some of your wardrobe recommendations…

Comments (4)

Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I agree with your blog. It is important to dress for success. I am a believer of trying to imitate our clients level of dress as muxh as possible. It seems this makes evereyone comfortable.


Jan 04, 2013 01:03 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Clothes make the man (and woman)

Jan 04, 2013 01:03 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Presentation of ourselves is as important as the promotional material about specifics of our business...and where we work does have something to say about this, too.   Rural areas are a little different from a cityscape.

Jan 04, 2013 01:47 AM
Magnets USA
Magnets USA® - Roanoke, VA

Great responses everybody, thanks for pitching in! And you're absolutely right Betty, "imitating our clients level of dress" is the perfect way to say it--it makes everyone more comfortable :)

Jan 06, 2013 10:48 PM