It's all fun and games until it doesn't wash off in the shower.

Real Estate Agent with iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc.

Are piercings, tattoos and studs the new fashion accessory to our wardrobe? As Realtors, we have an image to maintain. We are in the public eye 24/7. There are many schools of thought regarding proper attire and dressing for success. Dress up or dress down? Suits or jeans? But the new question is how acceptable and professional are tattoos and piercings?

We want people to trust our judgment and our words to lend credibility to our tale of experience. We drive nice cars, live in upper end homes, wear stylish, moderately expensive clothes and carry high tech gadgetry that makes us appear wicked cool in the eyes of the consumer.

The other day, I walked into a real estate office to deliver an offer and to my surprise the receptionist had a nose stud. When she turned around I noticed a huge tattoo on the back of her neck. To her credit, she was a lovely girl, sharply dressed and I do have to say she had really cool hair. I mean, "don't hate me because I'm beautiful hair". But my focus was on the tiny diamond stud perched on the side of her nose in all it's sparkling glory. Which got me thinking....Am I a prude?

No, definitely not. I'm a cool chick. I am the proud owner of two tattoos which I love but when working are discreetly covered. I highly doubt that my clients even know they exist or even care for that matter. I have no piercings, except for my ears. No facial "adornments", tongue studs, brow rings, etc. which, by the way must hurt like a son of a gun.

Please tell me....why would anyone willingly punch a hole clean through their tongue??? That little clicking sound it makes is somewhat annoying to me as well. Kinda like the sound of static on a bad cell connection. Also in question is how one might eat spaghetti while wearing a tongue stud...hmmm. But, to each their own...

If you are going to sport some ink, hopefully it will be something original, yet tasteful. Personally, I'm grown weary of the typical snake with a dagger through it, (yawn) the mural of your life's sorrows stretching from your shoulder to the your wrist (overdone) and the word killer tattooed on the back of the hand. (overused) I'm thinking that the scary toothless skull oozing and gushing crimson tinted ink might need to be covered up and kept under wraps as well.

Really now, would you buy a house from someone with the words "bad ass" stenciled on his neck? I think having "Mom" inked on the upper arm is also a cause for concern, especially if the guy is over 40 and never married. If the only woman a 40ish man has had a serious enough relationship with to etch her name on his skin is his dear old mammy this might just be a red flag. Maybe not when shopping for a Realtor but definitely if you are a single woman doing a little man shopping.

Regardless of personal preference, who we are in our personal life does sometimes spill over into our professional life. With so much time and energy spent marketing ourselves to the world, it's no wonder we are under the public microscope. Although we are not movie stars, rock stars, sports figures or models, our ever smiling frozen mugs are plastered about town on signs, ads and even on shopping carts. Like it or not we have a very public persona.

Let me give you a little "for instance". Last year I was in the middle of preparing Christmas dinner for 20 people when I realized I was missing a key ingredient. Without a thought to the consequences, I tossed on a hoodie, sweat pants and sneakers and made a mad dash for the grocery store.

With my prize of cinnamon in hand, I made my way towards the checkout stand and ran smack dab into a Realtor I hadn't seen for a while. We exchanged pleasantries and then off I went. Weeks later I heard through a friend that I had been seen in public in my...sweats! Oh, the horror of it all! Ridiculous? Yes indeed....but it did happen.

To complicate matters, the girl, and I use this term loosely, from whom this story originated is no prize herself. Why her over bleached blond rat nest of hair and overdrawn brows (are they really supposed to arch up into the middle of ones forehead?) is frightening enough to stop traffic on I-5 during Friday rush hour!

I don't mind telling you, that incident really steamed my grits for a bit. For days, I was sure people were staring at me, not because of the "Cinnamon Incident" as it has come to be known, but because my nose was so far out of joint that I'm positive it was at least two degrees east of center on my face. Lordy Lordy!!!

The points made here are just a reminder that we are never truly invisible to our adoring fans and potential clients. People do judge us on our appearance and behavior or lack thereof. If you plan to pierce, poke or paint your body take a moment to consider the permanence of it and the image you want to project.

Comments (42)

Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

CeCe !!!! I love this post :o)  Yes it was entertaining, but had an underlying question/message that I also liked !

Great post...I have flagged it, and recommended it for a feature :o)

Cheers !


Jan 20, 2009 01:01 PM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Myrl: LOL!! I try to keep my limit at 2.4, although I have been know to have 2.5...guess my tolerance is a little higher than yours!!!

Bill: I have this visual of you up all night pouring over the blogs searching for that post....please tell me it's not true!

Barb: Thanks for the compliment. BTW...I don't get mad I get even. Haha! Truly, I don't get steamed very often. I'm just happy peppy and bursting with life!

Sheldon: Glad you liked it!!! Thanks a bunch for the flag! You are soooo my new favorite!

Jan 20, 2009 01:22 PM
Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation
Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC - Port Coquitlam, BC
Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team

I want that guy presenting all my Buyers Offers to Sellers.  I think the intimidation would get more signatures then all the comparables that could be printed on paper ever would.

We had a purple haired nose ringed, tatooed punk working as an assistant o one of our Realtors, she acted professional on company time, didnt dress professional but you should have seen the stuff she had on Facebook! aye yi yi

Thank you for another great blog oh ink-ed one.

Jan 20, 2009 03:54 PM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

I am one that does not care what you do with your own body.  I think tattooing your face is a bit much, but to someone else its art and a way to express yourself.  My only concern for them is 'what are you going to do in life?'.  You sort of create your own road if you go too far with tattoos and piercings.  I doesnt say anything about your character though.  When I worked for a large mortgage company, I had a gentleman work for me that had full sleeves and a nose piercing.  He had to always wear a long sleeve shirt to cover his arms and had to remove the nose ring, but he was the best employee I had.  Always on time, worked hard, and it was quality work.

Jan 20, 2009 04:14 PM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Scott: Wow! I never thought of that...intimidation has been proven to work in some cases, huh. Purple hair seems a bit over the top. That's definitely a cry for attention.I wonder what her career goals are???

John: Long sleeves are fine in he winter but I guess it' a good thing he doesn't live in Florida, huh. That could be a sticky situation.

Jan 21, 2009 01:40 AM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

You are right about that.

Jan 21, 2009 01:43 AM
Ron Spanton
RE/MAX Real Estate Associates - Gilbertsville, KY
Kentucky Lake Area

Great post as usual Cecily. I don't understand people that look like they ran into a nail gun! I also think we need to look professional. I kind of enjoy it when the cooperating Realtor shows up to a closing in sweats and I dress appropriately for the situation. I think it only makes the other Realtor look bad.

Jan 21, 2009 03:52 AM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

John: I'm always right! Hahaha! Okay, not always....but once in a while.

Ron: OMG!!!! He wore sweats to a closing??? Crickey!

Jan 21, 2009 04:08 AM
Scott Owens
Halifax, NS

I knew you didn't see my tat blog because you were surprised when you saw my tattoo on FaceBook.  It really isn't all that funny...sorry...but thanks for the plug.

Loving the comments here!

Jan 21, 2009 07:57 AM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

I've only been here on the rain for a few months and I think you posted that about the same time. BTW everyone...Scott's Tat Rocks! For a close-up of Scott's Family Crest and another great post on Tattoo's check it out. Boss! Da plane! Da Plane!  

Jan 21, 2009 08:10 AM
Sean Keene
The Keene Group - Salem, OR
Realtor - Salem/Keizer

I totally agree Cecily. How can you take anyone seriously if they have there face inked up and metal attached to there face. I myself have no tattoo's but there have been a few that I thought about getting. I always go back to thinking, "what is that going to look like when I am 60?" every time I have walked away.

How would I be able to sit at the Bingo parlor in a short sleeve shirt sporting a tribal arm band at 60!!

Great Post.

Jan 22, 2009 07:33 AM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Sean: Haha! Somehow I can't see you sitting in a bingo parlor-tat or no tat. Thanks for stopping in!

Jan 22, 2009 10:37 AM
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Cecily - Everyone has their own personal preferences and thoughts on piercings, tattoos and the like. I personally don't have any of either, but to each his/ her own.

however, if I did have a tat, I'd get one like this........!!!

So wrong on so many levels!

Jan 22, 2009 12:39 PM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Craig: Wow! It's!!!!! I'm speechless....and that doesn't happen very often!

Jan 22, 2009 02:41 PM
Sean Keene
The Keene Group - Salem, OR
Realtor - Salem/Keizer

I once ran across this panther tattoo that I really liked. It was a cross between a real one and a cartoon. Kind of cool. I was going to put it on my upper chest till I got to thinking about it. When gravity catches up to me how am I going to explain the elephant tattoo on my chest to my grand kids????

Jan 23, 2009 02:09 AM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Sean: See Margaret's Clydesdale comment to her daughter. It's the law of gravity....maybe when we get that age we won't care what it looks like, ya think???

Jan 23, 2009 10:20 AM
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Cecily's latest tattoo.......

Clay Aiken Tattoo

Jan 24, 2009 01:56 PM
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

Craig: I thought that was you with the camera peeking in my bedroom window...hee...hee.

Jan 25, 2009 09:01 AM
Olena Osipov
Maple Ridge, BC

Cecily, I'm so proud of you-2 tattoos!!! 2!!! I have 0 now and probably forever-I'm sooooo scraed of that needle. And I LOVE my Lululemon sweats which cost $100 by the way (it's canadian thing). They make me fell like a million bucks in and out. BUT they're for off duty times if they ever exist:)

Anyways, real estate agent's professional look is a loooong discussion. How about chipped nails, fading nail polish, sandals at -5, sneakers etc. The list is long. But I completely agree with you-we're professionals and are viewed as those, and should act and look accordingly.

Jan 28, 2009 05:54 PM
Laura Gwyn
Laura Gail Gwyn Properties - Salem, OR

I totally hate the fact that there is this underwritten "rule" that we can't be caught in the grocery store with no make up and a baseball cap.  I actually do it all the time.  I assume nobody recognizes me.  It has never caused a ruckas.  When I'm on I'm on and when I'm off I'm off.  That's my motto...  And where do we draw the line?  What if we needed 8 cases of beer for a party?  lol...  that would never be me of course but I have always wondered if I would have to send in one of my daughters friends!

Mar 04, 2009 08:56 AM