So is the way you dress costing you money?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Full Circle Property Management

So when did we become such a casual industry? Does showing up for an appointment dressed in dockers, jeans, open collar shirts, baseball hats, sandals, etc cost you credibility and impact the amount of money you make? I would say yes.

I run a property management firm and no matter how I insist that wearing a tie to a meeting with those that hire you is a good idea, they still don't listen. I am thinking they pay me to represent them, shouldn't I look professional?

I know for a fact that some of my clients chose me because I look like a professional and in their business they respect that. I think that people like to work with successful people, and you are judged by your appearance. Think I am wrong? I challenge you to choose any publicly traded company you want and look at their President/CEO/CFO/COO and tell me what they look like. How many would guess short, overweight, balding guy with poor teeth-even though that guy might be the most qualified.

So think of this-How many clients would not work with you if you dressed a notch better? I bet none! How many clients would prefer you over the other guy simply because you had the nice professional appearance and the clean car? I bet at least one or two at some point. So what's to lose? And maybe you will see yourself in the mirror and impress yourself as well!

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Ambassador
1,894,169
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Dennis the first time I meet Bill Gates at a meeting of university CEO's he was in khaki pants, courdory jacket and no tie.  generalizations about how a CEO should look went out the window sometime ago. IBM blue is no longer required.  Dress how you like and for the clients you want to or are comfortable serving.  

Feb 15, 2014 08:39 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,312,469
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning Dennis,

I think you dress for success;Bill Gates is an anomaly

Make yourself a great day..

Feb 15, 2014 08:46 PM #2
Rainer
232,793
Pamela Smith
Award Realty - Sun City West, AZ
Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand

I work in the over 45 market communities.  They definitely prefer a clean pressed look.

Feb 15, 2014 08:52 PM #3
Ambassador
2,759,037
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning, Dennis. I strive to make sure that the inspectors who work for this company are dressed like professional engineers. It does create a good image and image is important.

Feb 15, 2014 09:16 PM #4
Rainer
71,872
Pamela Cloud
Remax Town & Country - West Chester, PA
Serving the southwestern suburbs of Philadelphia

Hi Dennis, great post. My aunt always said "water seeks its own level." The beauty of real estate is that you can create any type of business you want -- casual, professional or otherwise. Professionalism starts with the way your present yourself and is a sign of respect for your clients. Professional dress also instills a sense of confidence that you know what you are doing.  

Feb 15, 2014 09:24 PM #5
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2,304,451
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Hi Dennis,  Very good point.  Here in Colorado, the attire seems to be a bit on the casual side.  I was dressing for a closing last week and then decided I better dress down a bit or I might make the clients feel uncomfortable.  But overall, we feel more professional if we look the part

Feb 16, 2014 01:52 AM #6
Rainer
62,118
John Owen
Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage - Oshawa, ON
Broker serving Durham Region, Ontario

Dennis, well presented post. My preference is to lean toward more professional attire.

Feb 16, 2014 02:19 AM #8
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4,205,114
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dennis- I remember when we moved to Florida and saw the way some of the sales staff in new home models were dressed... very casual.   It made an impression on me. I do think how you dress can make a difference. 

Feb 16, 2014 05:49 AM #9
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Dennis, Typically before a seller or buyer ever meets us, they've found us on the internet and already judged our expertise and professionalism there.  The fact that I wear Dockers and polo shirts has never stopped a buyer or seller from being able to work with us.

And from the same standpoint, I have a day job for a Fortune 500 company, and suits and ties are NOT required.  In fact, they went to a casual work dress policy years ago and it hasn't hindered job performance or professionalism a bit.

Feb 16, 2014 06:01 AM #10
Rainer
212,763
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Thanks for all your comments!

Pamela-I have to agree when I look good, I feel confident!

Kathy-I agree. I judge by appearance as do most humans.

Bill-How do you know for sure? How do you measure if someone has stopped working with you over your appearance? I also worked for a large corporation (Ocwen/Altisource) and they felt that casual dress blurs the line of respect for clients and respect for authority and chain of command.

I dress in a tie and dress clothes out of respect for my clients, so they know who is the professional in the room.

Feb 16, 2014 06:40 PM #11
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Dennis,  I'm not going to try to prove a null hypothesis for you.  My experience has been that it's experience and service level that matter to our clients.  If someone is so superficial that it takes a patterned piece of fabric wound around my neck to prove I'm a professional than I think we've got a bigger issue don't we?  I respect my clients by being courteous, by being responsive, by being knowledgeable. 

Having served 6 years in the Navy and 23 years with that Fortune 500 company, my respect for someone has never been decided by the clothes a person wears, but by the character of the person.  I'm thinking this is just going to be one of those items where we're going to have to agree to disagree.

Feb 16, 2014 10:13 PM #12
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Dennis Swartz

MBA, GRI...experience counts!
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