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Would you hire an Arizona agent wearing flip flops, shorts, and a tee shirt?

Real Estate Agent with Realty One Group

I first want to apologize to all my fellow professional Realtors in Arizona for having to write this. But I am very tired of seeing Arizona agents  wearing flip flops, shorts, and Tee shirts. No wonder the public has such a low regard for real estate agents, we are not seen as professionals.


Ok, fellow agents, go ahead and send me nasty replies if you want to, but how can any agent claim to be a true professional wearing Flip Flops, shorts, and a tee shirt? 


Maybe since I came from a business environment where professional dress was the accepted standard that this low level of attire bothers me so much. 


Please, all Arizona real estate agents, raise the standard of our professional appearance to the public and at least dress like a professional. NO MORE FLIP FLOPS, SHORTS, AND TEE SHIRTS. 


Also, I want to compliment all of my fellow Realtors who dress for success and dress like the professionals that they are. 


Just to be clear, I am not correlating ethics and integrity with dress. I am only commenting on the public perception of real estate agents when they do not dress as professionals. 


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Posted by

Peter J Thoesen PLLC

Realty One Group


2141 E Broadway Rd #101

Tempe, AZ 85282




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Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Peter J Thoesen PLLC While dressing professionally is no guarantee of the abilities of the agent (as others have said), it does promote "acceptance" at an initial meeting unless the expectations are set in advance that the "dress code" for the encounter is "anything goes".

Oct 13, 2015 03:01 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

My rule of thumb is to dress better than the clients.  If my clients wear jeans and a shirt, I wear slacks and a professional looking blouse.  I've yet had to don a tuxedo!    I agree, about the flip flops and shorts!  I don't care how hot the area and/or local market is . . . dress professionally!!

Oct 13, 2015 03:58 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Was greeted at the door of a new home community by an onsite agent in a tank top, short shorts and flip flops. Was not impressed. Not sure why anyone remotely thinks this is professional attire!

Oct 13, 2015 04:01 AM
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Mesa, AZ

I'll start this by saying that I am biased. As I think we are all. We are biased by our own experiences.

My wife and I recently bought a house in Arizona. We actually used a real estate agent team that does some of their marketing around the idea of wearing flip flops (I even have a pair of their flip flops in the closet in my home office).

When we were thinking about how we were going to pick our agent, what they wore was not a consideration. Maybe this is because of our biases. I work from home, so I don't dress up to go to work. I'll wear a suit jacket if I go to a conference, but it wasn't always like this. In the early years of ActiveRain, I wore an ActiveRain T-shirt and jeans, always. I never felt like I was any more professional or smarter because I put on the suit jacket instead of the t-shirt and jeans. I just happened to find a suit jacket that I really like and is flattering as I get a little older (and by older I mean I'm not as fit as I used to be, haha).

Here are a few of things that we did consider when picking an agent:

1. Did we like them? Did we trust them? The whole 'we wear flip flops and we aren't ashamed of it' thing actually comes across as authentic. They are who they are, and they refuse to apologize for it. I like that. To me, that's authentic and way better than picking someone because they are wearing a great suit. 

2. Are they good at what they do? This one can be challenging to know. But I guess I just assumed that since they do about 100 times the number of transactions as the average agent, they have probably gotten pretty good at it. We've used plenty of lawyers over the years. Guess what? They ALL wear suits, and 75% of them aren't worth 1/100th of what they get paid.

3. What was their level of technical savvy? Did they have great systems in their business. Did they have a top notch website (even though we didn't use their site, we used Redfin, knowing they had one let us know they were savvy). Did they do business using the latest tools like e-signatures and would it be conducive to the fact that we would be buying from out of town. 

4. Could they handle our business? My wife is very particular. I have a TON of questions. We needed someone who we believed had the skills to be able to handle this. They happened to be set up as a team where everyone on the team has a specialty. This ensured that there was always someone available to answer my questions, and things were done in a very precise fashion to make my wife happy (we never once didn't get a call answered, or waited more than 10 minutes for anything)

Like I said, we have biases. One of those is that we've come across plenty of people in suits that aren't professional. Wearing a suit or dressing up doesn't make someone professional any more than passing the real estate exam make someone a great real estate agent. 

Oct 13, 2015 04:04 AM
Tammy Lankford,

you are not the "average" buyer Bob, but I am really glad you wrote this comment from a consumer point of view. It sort of feels like my views as a broker who allows my agents to dress casual has been validated by a buyer.

Oct 13, 2015 11:35 AM
ActiveRain Support

Bob Stewart Testing

Oct 15, 2015 09:00 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I would hire the Arizona agent if he/she was great at what they did. 

Oct 13, 2015 05:00 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I would not... I don't expect my attorney, my accountant, my doctor to look unprofessional and I sure don't expect my agent to look that way either. There is a way to be business casual without looking like a slob.

Oct 13, 2015 05:39 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Yes, people are judged by what they are wearing. If I found an agent with experience that knew my area and had a successful marketing plan, his or her clothes would not be an issue for me. That said....personal hygiene would be.  

Oct 13, 2015 06:40 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Living in Destin, Florida my career apparel is shorts, boat shoes and polo that has Re/max embroidered in it. Never had anyone not work with me because of that. If I worked NYC it might be different. Have been to Arizonia in the summer. No way long pants for me. Great local story. A bummy looking guy walked into the office. Wanted to look at $1,000,000+ properties on the beach. Floor agent kind of brushed him off. Guy walked out. Getting into his limo another agent outside walking in recognized him. Said hello asked if he could help and sold him a $3,000,000+ home. Think I can compete with the suit anytime.

Oct 13, 2015 07:17 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

The last time I was in Arizona it was 118 degrees in the shade.  I think I would question the agent who WASN'T in flip flops and shorts!!

Oct 13, 2015 07:20 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I had a tenant in a home I was viewing the other day say, "look at you, in your matching Tory Burch bag and sandals," and you know, there is a way to dress a bit casual for the weather without dressing down. I still dress for my clients, although I run around in literally rags the rest of the time. And I could pull off rags, but I don't want to. I believe they deserve my best, whatever illusion that may be, LOL.

Oct 13, 2015 12:09 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Bob Stewart made some INCREDIBLY important distinctions here.

In his explanation of 'choosing' he actually listed several of the what I call 'THE ONLY FIVE QUESTIONS A HOME OWNER HAS."

Moral to the story: answer those questions without being asked and you will get the commitment. 

The 21 year old with the tats and blue Mohawk kicked my butt in sales as he closed 5 mill in GCI. Look at the score. If they are winning you need to take notes.

What I have observed is those who complain about other agents get more visibility, spread more negative message, than the actual offender.

When I'm on the trail pounding out the miles I'm still spreading the real estate gospel....sweaty, pained, exhausted and most certainly out of uniform......exactly like everyone else I hope to encounter on the trail. Some folks do not dress trail appropriate. NO PROBLEM! I still celebrate 'cuase they are on the trail.

Do I extend to the flip-flop wearing, tee-shirt baring, Foster Grant shielded agent the same measure of professional respect as others? Not likely. I image the 'curb appeal' reflects what is inside. And in a tie, I will point to the offer that suggest the greatest assurance of closing.


Oct 14, 2015 05:06 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

An observation.  Everyone who has commented here - both for and against - that one can see more than a head shot - is dressed "professionally" - collared shirts, many with ties, yours truly included.  Why no T-Shirts - I think we all know the answer.

Oct 14, 2015 08:14 AM
Serena Jones
Serene Living AZ - Tempe, AZ
Broker Extraordinaire ;-) ePro, PSA, SRS, AHWD

Interesting... However there are big differences in those agents who 'dress up' and those of us who wear jeans and flip flops. For example. I've climbed fences, trimmed cactus, patched roofs... I've climbed onto a roof to examine the HVAC's in 110 degrees. I sell my fair share of homes, and I do whatever is necessary to make sure that everyone parts ways happy! I can honestly say that I've never seen a guy in a suit and tie climb a roof... but we all have our ways. My way is about taking care of my clients myself and doing what's necessary. Other's recommend a good vendor... both work. So, when I show up at your listing wearing jeans and flip flops, know that it's because I work my ass off... and as a trade, I'm going to be comfortable doing it.  :-D

Oct 14, 2015 10:21 AM
Amy Gerrish
Realty Executives - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor - Phoenix to San Tan Valley

Flip flops in tow, these guys sell a ton of real estate. http://movethirty.com/relocation-guide/professional-real-estate-agents-in-denver/

Oct 14, 2015 10:27 AM

The one who sells the most houses wins! You my sir have been beat by the flip flop wearing dream team!

Oct 14, 2015 12:20 PM
Debbie Nieman
Keller Williams Sonoran Living - Ahwatukee, AZ
Let Me Dive into Your Real Estate Needs

I'm glad you didn't include wearing panty hose with that Kevin...because you'd need to go first with the 100+ degree's we still are having in October.  I agree with you about looking professional.  Heals, nice pair of shorts and blouse works too :-)



Oct 14, 2015 12:48 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Peter J Thoesen PLLC I think business is business - and if local trends allow these business people to wear that, I'd say, go for it.

Now just for the sake of being different someone does it, that' a different story altogether.

Oct 14, 2015 01:55 PM
Jon Griffith

Considering the fact that I know of two agents who have closed 199 transactions in the past 12 months wearing flip-flops, I don't think it makes one bit of difference in their market.

Oct 14, 2015 02:52 PM
Janice Dressler

I've worked with people who dress very professionally, but had zero integrity. Also, I've known people who weren't dressed nicely treated poorly because of their appearance at retail stores. Maybe they share your bias? Integrity means far more than a business suit.

Oct 14, 2015 03:16 PM

Yes. I used an agent who wears flip flops. He helped me find a new home to purchase and then listed and sold the home I had been living in. If I needed to buy or sell again I would go straight back to him. To be blatantly honest, I would be more offended by someone who does not write well or use correct punctuation and capitalization than a person who dresses more casually. I am not an agent, just a satisfied customer who believes success in your business comes from treating others correctly and by selling houses.

Oct 15, 2015 02:11 AM