Last year I wrote an article suggesting that if you want to know something about your Realtor you should check out his or her ride. It occurs to me, however, that instead of using a Realtor's car as an indicator of what kind of agent you'll be getting (or already have) a more interesting point of reference might simply be what they're wearing.
That's right, I'm going to be talking about clothes...what Realtors wear, when and why.
First of all, I have to admit that I am not particularly known for any real keen sense of fashion (ok, and everyone who actually knows me can stop laughing), and although the whole concept of "dressing for success" is something that is not beyond my intellectual capacity, actually executing the idea on a consistent basis has been, lets say, somewhat of a challenge. So there, I've said it; I'm not Tim Gunn.
But that doesn't mean I'm not a good Realtor, I hope. (Gulp.)
Anyway, despite my own fashion weaknesses, I do occasionally notice some differences in what seems to be appropriate attire given different circumstances. For instance, if I were a Portland or even a Bend agent, shirt and tie, or even a full-blown suit worn on at least a some-what-regular basis, would be the norm. It is my contention, however, that in the La Pine and Klamath County markets, anyone showing up in a suit and tie, especially a Real Estate guy, would be looked on with great suspicion as some kind of yuppie city-slicker who's too arrogant and full of himself to be given even the time of day. Obviously, that kind of perception wouldn't be too good for business.
However, it's funny that although we Realtors who work primarily in the area enjoy the privilege and expectation of dressing "smartly casual," if you will, I'm often quite amused about how the actual practice of this kind of dress manifests itself, even within the less-than-thirty miles that separate Bend from the county line.
Say what? I'm saying that when it comes to casual attire, there seems to be some kind of difference between even Sunriver and La Pine. I haven't quite put my finger on it, but there is a difference. It's sort of a JCrew/ LL Bean / (dare I say - Birkenstock) kind of thing, versus something that's not. I'm not arguing that either choice is better, but the distinctions between the two are, at least occasionally, somewhat amusing.
My friend the investment advisor has, on more than one occasion, expressed a belief that for him, in his business, maintaining a certain business-like image is an essential component of his success. The fact that this subject has come up on more than one occasion might suggest that my buddy is actually making a tactful recommendation, rather than a declaration with regard to his own situation. It is still my belief, however, that despite the fact that each of us is regularly tasked with making equally critical recommendations regarding our respective clients' financial conditions, the so-called image of a Realtor seems distinctly different from that of any other advisor.
Buying a home is personal, and it is the very personal nature of the Realtor-Client relationship that is most effectively facilitated by a more relaxed atmosphere than perhaps that of other business relationships. For me, as a Realtor in my market, I'm pleased to operate within an environment that seems to place a higher level of importance on actual deeds, practice and reputation, rather than a place where image is factored more seriously into the equation.
Fred Jaeger is a licensed Oregon Real Estate Broker and an e-PRO Certified Realtor® affiliated with RE/MAX Sunset Realty Sunriver/La Pine Oregon. He can be reached directly at 541 598-5449 or firstname.lastname@example.org .