5 Signs You’ve Made it as a Real Estate Agent

One of the key reasons that many get into real estate is for the opportunity to control their own destiny. There’s certainly a monetary factor to that, and success can be measured to some degree by volume of houses you’ve sold and amount of commission checks you’ve cashed. However, a lot of those things are dependent upon factors you can’t control.

Rather than emphasizing specific numbers-related metrics, you can determine your success and gauge how close you are to it by defining and working towards goals that will bring rewards that ultimately define achievement by the things you create.

Let’s look at success from a perspective that combines financial reward, sustainability, growth, and reduction of work output. As we walk through these, consider how you can change your work style as well as your outlook, and imagine how these goals might provide you with the focus to ultimately achieve better professional and personal results.

 

Sign #1: You no longer have to chase leads

Leads are the lifeblood of our profession, but obtaining them is an ongoing process. Rather than operating in a way where we get leads, follow up on them, then get more and keep functioning in this kind of loop, it’s better to have a regular stream of leads always coming in.

Yet, we REALLY know we’ve hit a major success milestone when we have a system in place that not only continuously brings in leads, but nurtures them throughout their entire life cycle until they finally result into a closed deal.

Successful Realtors put some form of automation that ensures lead flow into place to guarantee they’re providing value from “click to close.” Doing so ensures your name and business are regularly front and center for potential customers through email and other forms of digital outreach throughout the duration of your relationship with the client (which, hopefully, is forever).

Automation gives you freedom, and that’s among the more valuable indicators of success. 

 

Sign #2: Your “side hustle” is no longer necessary

As we’ve mentioned previously, the customer journey takes between 11-27 months before a customer actually closes on a house. When you’re starting out, that can be a lot of time before you earn a dime, and there is likely a need for you to maintain a regular paycheck. Moving out of the side gig and focusing just on your real estate business is a hugely important goal.

This is a success metric that delivers in two ways:

  1. The ability to support yourself solely as a real estate agent means you have a sustainable job (albeit one you still have to work at constantly) and you no longer have to juggle different activities just to make ends meet.
  2. Your efforts can be concentrated solely on building your business and creating a great experience for your customers.

 

Sign #3: You’ve created an ongoing source of referrals

Trust me, at some point, you will start to receive more calls than you have to make. This is when the referral machine starts to kick in as well as the result of your dedicated effort over countless years to keep clients so happy that they sing your praises to others.

Essentially, they will be doing a good deal of marketing for you, and that results in you benefiting from the network effect. An outcome of this kind begins to feed on itself if you continue to deliver excellent service; happy customers help you create more happy customers, who keep creating more and more potential clients.

Once you’ve achieved this, you can de-emphasize some of your costly and time consuming lead-generation efforts in favor of focusing on building on the relationships that have been successful for you.

 

Sign #4: You’ve built a team

This isn’t about empire-building, but if you have a good team collaborating with you, you can cover more ground, list more houses, acquire more clients, and have a larger presence in your market.

The key to doing this is to spend time thinking about building a business rather than just selling. This also includes knowing when to keep it in-house and when to outsource – such as hiring a team that contacts and converts leads for you :). It may take some time away from just selling, but over time you’ll be able to cast a much wider net in pursuit of more deals. By scaling your business and focusing on management of a team, you’ll have more closed deals and a bigger pipeline to show for it. 

 

Sign #5: You’ve established a brand

Your ultimate success as a Realtor comes down to the reputation you’ve built. Once people recognize you and associate your name with trust and reliability, you’ve got a lot of your work done for you.

Think about how people associate brands with things that are important to them: Johnson & Johnson makes people think of a company that looks out for them; Apple helps people feel innovative and cool; Nike equates with fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Similarly for you, you have to cultivate more than just a pretty face. You’ve got a lot of competition in your market, but if you consistently go above and beyond in terms of customer service and treat clients with the utmost respect, word will spread that people can rely on you to support them through one of the biggest life decisions they’ll ever make.

In addition, as you build a team you’ll start to attract others who want to be part of your success, so the residual benefits start to add up. Among potential partners, clients, and others, you’ll be seen as a blue chip, go-to real estate agent who gets the job done right.

We define success in a variety of ways, but ultimately they should nourish your personal interests, make use of your skills, and provide you with financial reward. As a Realtor, you have an opportunity to create your own path for success, as defined by you. Sticking to a framework that uses the five yardsticks we outline here can help you achieve both those career AND personal goals while also providing you with a rich and fulfilling life experience.

The Art of Keeping in Touch with Past Clients

The business management expert Peter Drucker famously said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” It’s certainly hard to argue with that, but what Drucker neglected to mention is that keeping the customers you have is critical to long-term business success. In fact, it costs 7x more to obtain a new customer than it costs to keep an existing one. The lesson? Keep your customers happy and maintain your client relationships.

So, while you’re out trying to acquire quality leads and build relationships with new potential clients, remember the value of establishing relationships with your existing clients. Also, remember that a relationship is built on more than just an annual holiday greeting card. It requires work, but it also should be among the more enjoyable aspects of your work. After all, ours is a relationship business and getting joy from connecting with people and treating them well is one of our greatest side benefits.

The value of repeat customers

In our world, customer relationships and the services we provide are a bit different than, say, Amazon or Zappos. We are not in a high volume transaction business, but important dynamics begin to appear when we have happy customers and maintain client relationships.

A great experience will likely reward us with repeat business, and even if we only get a customer to buy or sell a home with us twice, it ultimately delivers to us additional revenue for a far lower cost than finding a new customer. Note that 25% of real estate agents generate more than 50% of their business from repeat clients; across all real estate transactions, which accounts for 12% of all residential real estate volume, or $56 billion. Considering your commission on a home, this is a significant statistic. It also reinforces the fact that you had to spend far less to actually acquire the lead and nurture it through the customer journey, so in reality, the commission is even more valuable.

It’s also important to recognize that as buyers age, their purchase price increases, so you almost automatically are looking at higher commissions with repeat customers. The NAR points out that the price increase of 15% for buyers from 37 to 51 years of age, and 21% for those 71 to 91.

The NAR also ran a survey and discovered that a whopping 89% of buyers would use their agent again. This is important for you to note because it tells us that customers want to engage and maintain relationships. That same survey also found that 42% of buyers were referred to their Realtor® through an existing client relationship. The lesson is, if you DON’T make the effort to have that kind of relationship, a customer is almost invariably going to seek it elsewhere.

 

How to nurture your relationships

Certainly, there are tactics to being effective at relationship maintenance, but the first step is to ensure you are genuine with your intentions. There’s nothing worse than a phony email or call where the client knows you’re just checking them off a to-do list.

Then again, it’s not scalable to have lunch or coffee regularly with each and every client. There are, however, a variety of ways you can keep yourself front-and-center with your clients, and maintain open lines of communication:

There are business benefits to staying connected with your clients. In fact, because it’s easier and cheaper to work with existing customers than to create new ones, doing this should be a key part of your marketing strategy. But don’t lose sight of the fact that the real test of a solid, trusted Realtor is someone who actually cares about the people he or she works with, and finds ways to demonstrate that continuously. 

The Importance of Health in Real Estate

Being a real estate agent is like being a warrior in the professional world – it’s a different breed of work.

Think about it…

  • Your office extends out into the wide geographical landscape in which you oversee.
  • You meet face-to-face with clients on a regular basis (a lost art in today’s digital age).
  • You’re constantly running from one location to another.
  • You don’t work within the confines of 9 am to 5 pm. When your buyers call, you answer.

The daily grind and rigmarole of working as a real estate agent can take a huge toll on the body and mind of anyone in the profession. According to a 2017 study conducted by Statista, 37 percent of individuals have seen increases in overall stress levels due to their job demands over the previous year. This is clearly seen in the real estate industry.

Agents tend to work themselves into a frenzy.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]However, as we all know, time is money…

So what remedies come into play when dealing with one of the most demanding professions in the modern-day economy?

 

Let’s Get Physical

We’ve noted previously here at Agentology how vitally important your personal style is when dealing with your buyers.

The way you present yourself to the world can make-or-break any potential sale you may have:

  • Are you showing up to your showings looking disheveled?
  • Are you keeping up with hygiene?
  • Are you only partially dressing yourself before meeting clients?

The same can be said about your overall physical health when it comes to your energy in this profession.

According to a study done by research scientists from the University of Georgia, individuals who engaged in low-intensity workouts on a regular basis decreased fatigue by 65%.

As the author of the study, Tim Puetz, puts it, “We have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy – particularly in sedentary individuals.”

How sedentary (outside the needed physical responsibilities of your job performance) have you been in your life?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Integrating low-intensity workouts into your daily routine isn’t overly demanding on your time and body and don’t necessarily involve a costly gym membership. These workouts can include:

  • Investing in a standing desk.
  • Taking a 20-minute walk during your lunch break.
  • Riding a bicycle to and from different real estate locations.

Some of these workouts adhere to the NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) Principle.

NEAT includes the physical movement in our lives that isn’t planned exercise or sports.

Another method of promoting your own physical health through the time-constrained windows of this profession is through the regular practice of yoga.

According to Psychology Today, regular practice of yoga has been proven to increase body awareness, relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpen attention and concentration, and calm and center the nervous system.

 

Don’t Forget About Mental Wellness!

As alluded to earlier, this profession can be very demanding on the psyche for even the strongest minds in the industry.

Bustle.com puts real estate agent first on its list of 10 most Stressful Jobs in America.

Managing your mental health and deliberate action in maintaining it cannot be sacrificed at any cost.

Fortunately, there are many simple and time-friendly measures you can take in order to fortify your mind to the onslaught of all the stresses this life can bring.

  1. Breathe:

Yes, this seems obvious, but most people forget the value of contemplative breathing as a means of reducing stress:

    • Inhale slowly and breathe deeply through your nose, feeling your stomach expand.
    • Exhale slowly, again through your nose.
    • Repeat for one minute.
    • Practice mindfulness meditation:

Similar to the above practice, mindfulness includes:

    • Finding a nice quiet place to sit and remain in a relaxed yet aware posture.
    • You want to help quiet your mind here: when you breathe in say in your head “in” and when you breathe out say to yourself “out.” Again, you are quieting the rigmarole of your mind wandering.
    • There are great smartphone apps that can help you make a daily practice of this: Calm and Headspace are a couple of favorites!
  1. Take inventory of your circadian rhythm:

In other words, practice a manageable sleep schedule. Getting enough quality sleep has been shown to improve:

    • your concentration.
    • memory.
    • energy levels.
  1. Taking a sabbatical/vacation:

Sometimes, we just need to step away from the never-ending daily grind of it all (except not for too long).

    • Let your buyers know you are stepping away for a bit and put them in the hands of a trusted associate.
    • Disconnect from your work and focus on what truly matters during this vacation: your spouse, your kids, and your time together.

 

To Recap

The mind-body relationship is a tightly wound web that is still being untangled by the advancements in modern science and research.

You know and realize the demands that this work can have on you. Now you also know the proper toolbelt you can utilize to take you mental and physical health to a higher level as well.

The human body is a machine that needs proper care and maintenance to reach full optimization– It needs regular exercise in order to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.

Your brain and your mind also need the proper fueling and maintenance in order to thrive in this arena.

It is your responsibility to use the advantages at your disposal to elevate your cognitive abilities throughout the day.

  • Take a moment and breathe.
  • Carve out time for daily mindfulness meditation.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • If all else fails, give yourself a vacation.

You’ve decided to enter this arena as a true warrior of the marketplace with this job.

You deserve to be dressed with the proper armor and weaponry to become the victor.

How to Crush Online Leads Without Going Broke

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”70″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”padding-2-percent” column_padding_position=”left-right” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”3/4″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_custom_heading text=”How to Crush Online Leads Without Going Broke” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Purchasing leads can be done in a variety of ways; events, door-to-door, and referrals are all options. However, one of the easiest ways to get leads is to just buy them. We all know of different types of list brokers and online sources who can slice and dice different demographic data into hopefully delivering qualified leads that have a high likelihood of being successful for us.

But the issue with drumming up leads is always about quality. Anyone can put a massive list of names and contact information into a spreadsheet, but if none of them wants to buy or sell a house, then unfortunately, you’ve wasted time and money. More than 40% of marketing experts say that poor lead quality is their biggest barrier to successful lead generation.

The ideal situation is when you can get high-quality leads and get them cheaply. To do that requires some strategy and planning, so let’s look at the most effective ways to invest your time and money when it comes to purchasing leads.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”If you’re trying to get more clients, you can do one of two things:” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:22|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1555612836396{padding-top: -20px !important;}”][ultimate_icon_list icon_size=”36″ icon_margin=”10″ css_icon_list=”.vc_custom_1532643166495{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][ultimate_icon_list_item icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^18654|url^http://newagentology.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/number.png|caption^null|alt^null|title^number|description^null” content_line_ht=”desktop:36px;”]

Wait for the phone to ring

[/ultimate_icon_list_item][ultimate_icon_list_item icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^18653|url^http://newagentology.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/number-1.png|caption^null|alt^null|title^number (1)|description^null”]

Work to get leads, follow up with them, and turn them into customers

[/ultimate_icon_list_item][/ultimate_icon_list][vc_custom_heading text=”I’d recommend Option 2.” font_container=”tag:p|font_size:16|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1555612867670{padding-top: -20px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Online leads can cost a lot, with little in return

An analysis of various real estate lead sources indicates that costs can vary widely — anywhere from $2 – $100 per lead or more. Additionally, getting those leads requires you to make a year-long (or at least month-to-month) contractual commitment, and within the details of that contracts are often restrictions on how you can use the leads. So, before you can even see if they’ll prove to be of any value, you have to make a sizable investment.

There is a large contingent of realtors who will tell you to avoid buying leads online. Their feelings are typically for reasons of cost, as mentioned above, but also because of poor value. Some even suggest that buying online leads can be a fix for when you need to drum up new business quickly, but like any type of business relationship, those leads have to carry some realistic potential to turn in to actual opportunities. Many of the sources for leads (Realtor.com, Zillow, and others) have convoluted rules about what constitutes a lead and what the buyers are actually getting. One real estate agent communicated his frustration about a particular well-known vendor: “I’ve been billed $25,000 for the same information… the same buyers… over and over.”

A report from Inman about the efficacy of online leads includes this synopsis of research about ®Realtors’ perceptions of their paid lead acquisition: “When their return on investment was rated individually by agents, all four listing portals included in the survey — Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Homes.com — received more ratings of “poor” than all their ratings of “mediocre,” “good” and “great” put together.”

Realtors spend almost $9 billion every year on advertising, and Attom Data found that 56% of that (a little more than $5 billion) is spent on purchasing leads. One could argue that there’s something valuable enough in buying leads that people keep doing it, but there’s a huge difference between being a buyer and being a discernible buyer. It’s important to be astute about what and how you’re buying leads so you can derive the most value out of your investment.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Real estate agents spend $9 billion every year on advertising” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:40|text_align:left|color:%231468a4|line_height:56px” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

Get More Value by Applying the Right Methods

Those who have had success with online lead purchases usually cite one or more of these three things as being critical to using leads effectively:

  • Requirements: Be specific about what you’re looking for and only purchase from vendors who can deliver according to your specs. Besides demographic and geographic information, be specific about the format of your leads; demand that duplicate records be only counted once, that there will be no fake IDs, and any other aspects that will help prevent bogus leads.
  • Process: Most of us can attest to instances of getting leads but not following up. Of course, the leads you don’t follow up on will be worthless to you. So, by instituting process and the right tools from Agentology, you’ll be able to automate lead capture, email distribution, marketing nurturing, and consistent follow-up and outreach. It’s only through this kind of discipline that you’ll generate a return on your investment. A realtor in Austin, TX said it this way: “I’m trying to increase the number of leads coming in as opposed to decreasing them. It’s important to me to continue the flow of leads at a consistent pace. “
  • Nurturing: Remember that leads all by themselves don’t really do much. If you nurture those leads through effective marketing efforts, then you can, over time, turn them into actual business opportunities. Part of doing this is ensuring you’re constantly focused on converting. If you aren’t, then your competitors are. Hubspot estimates that 74% of those who work with online leads believe that converting those leads into customers is their top business priority. Thomas Devor, a realtor in Glendale, AZ, said, “No matter what type of internet leads you’re working with, the majority are looking six to nine months out, so staying top of mind is critical. Therefore, it’s important to have a lead capture system in place so that you can track what your agents are doing as far as staying in touch.”

Organic activity can deliver a lot of leads (some say as much as 51% of your leads), while the cost of purchasing leads will likely result in smaller numbers. Yet, keep in mind that small businesses tend to fare the best when it comes to buying leads. Hubspot suggests that smaller businesses (those with $250,000 or less in annual revenue) can be very successful with approximately 100 quality leads per month. Larger businesses require a lot more leads and a lot more activity to get those leads. And, ultimately, it’s the quality of those leads that’s what is most important.

In the end, real estate agents have a lot of roles to juggle  – buying/selling homes, and building a business. There are endless ways to drum up business, and as we’ve seen here, online leads can be an effective way to do that. The key is to be specific and focused about how you structure your lead buying, and then ensure you are disciplined about actually using those leads to deliver business to you.

If you don’t want to pour 100s of hours doing this process manually, hire a service like Agentology to handle it and convert those leads for you. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/4″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”blog-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

A Cautionary Lesson About For Sale By Owner.

FSBO – homeowners who (foolishly) decide to forego the expertise and steady hand of a real estate agent in favor of “saving on commission.”.

As a real estate agent, you either love it, or you hate it (you probably hate it). Granted, the idea of saving money is appealing to anyone selling a property – and it’s often the reason they’ll jump right into an area they know very little about. But, this puts them at risk of losing money, time, and a nasty legal battle in the process, should things go wrong.

And more often than not, they will go wrong if someone doesn’t know what they’re doing.

On the other hand, an experienced real estate agent can communicate their value to a potential seller, helping them realize that listing a home as a FSBO (for sale by owner) is time-consuming. It can also render a seller as a target of scams, result in fetching a lower asking price, or be subjected to the conflicting information that plagues the interwebs such as any run-of-the-mill price estimators I’ve covered before. Frankly, it’s hard to discern what is more vexing: the loss of potential business to an amateur, or the fact that these sellers end up losing money and time as a result.

As an agent, I’m sure you’re well aware of this lose-lose situation. I’m also sure you know people who still insist on going the FSBO route (which is all the more disrespectful because they’re acquainted with YOU, an actual agent.) Therefore, we’re happy to provide you a nice reminder of why agents, as licensed professionals, are better for the job. Feel free to share this with any FSBOers you encounter.

Liability

We all make mistakes, and FSBO sellers do more than most. If someone is selling their property and fail to have a licensed agent on each side, they may end up paying for some pretty costly mistakes.

Agents know their stuff. They’re trained to identify mistakes, or at least make sure mistakes are covered by Errors and Omissions insurance.

We live in a very litigious world, and no one wants to be the target for a lawsuit…right?

In fact, did you know that if your house is built before 1992, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires you to (courtesy of Real Estate Find Law):

  • Tell the buyers about any lead-based paint or related hazards in the house
  • Give buyers 10 days to test the house for lead
  • Provide buyers with a Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pamphlet entitled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
  • Include warnings set forth in the law in the sale contract
  • Obtain signed statements from all parties involved verifying compliance with all legal requirements
  • Keep the signed acknowledgments for three years as proof that you followed the law

Honestly, this is just a snippet of the endless info that someone is accountable for knowing, or else risk legal ramifications. That’s to say nothing of the litany of disclosures they must provide or even the incessant amount of legal documents involved throughout the whole process. In short, a real estate agent works tirelessly on a client’s behalf, ensuring that they don’t stumble on to the wrong side of a lawsuit.   

Paperwork

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers, the most difficult task for FSBOs is understanding all that paperwork (and there’s a lot of it).

Depending on the state you live in, there will be varying amounts of paperwork you’re required to not only complete, but understand. Of course, there are generic contracts that can be downloaded online. But, if someone has never sold a property before, will they really have any idea what they mean? Would they know how to customize such an important contract?

What’s more, before a property is ever listed, you need to gather all the paperwork related, such as:

  • The Title report
  • A copy of the deed
  • The sale agreement from when the property was purchased
  • All of the property’s tax information
  • Homeowner’s insurance paperwork
  • Survey reports
  • Mortgage loan information
  • Let’s not forget about the home warranty either, to top off the endless list of documents.

Additionally, if the property is being rented out, the seller is also going to need to gather up a copy of the lease agreement and proof of the tenant’s security deposit.

FSBOs Sell for Less

To say nothing of the lack of experience involved,  the average person barely has the time needed to give the whole process its due diligence. A seller would need to slate time to research market reports, (plus research to decipher that research), determine the market value, and develop (if necessary) the marketing skills necessary to sell the house.

And frankly, more likely than not most owners can’t lay claim to these qualifications.

That’s why FSBOs tend to sell for less than if they were sold by an experienced agent. According to reports, FSBOs lost around 16 percent of the listing price, selling for significantly lower than agent assisted homes.

The Future of FSBOs

The good news is that according to the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs are at an all-time low at just 8 percent.

Considering it is less expensive and somewhat easier to market a home today versus pre-internet days, we’re still seeing a decline in FSBO sales. According to this piece by Forbes, this fact “runs contrary to trends experienced in other vertical markets, such as investing, travel and tax preparation, which have all experienced significant do-it-yourself growth bolstered by web services.”

To put it simply: if a seller uses a real estate agent, even if it’s just to upload the listing to the MLS for advertising purposes, NAR includes that client within their pool of sellers labeled as “engaged in agent-assisted sales” – which is clearly an oversimplification of the term “agent-assisted.”

Should Agents Be Worried?

As an agent, there’s no need to worry. Given the downward trend of FSBOs, along with the stipulations for selling, insufficient exposure to potential buyers – and all that paperwork – FSBOs is not set to overtake the usefulness of agents anytime soon.

After all, you’re an expert for a reason!

Close More Real Estate Deals in Style.

You’ve done the hard part: spent a ton of money generating leads online or a ton of time working on getting those referrals. Then It happened; you landed a meeting with potential clients. What are you going to wear, how are you showing up?

Real Estate is all about first impressions being prepared and looking the part is half the battle. What to wear, is one of the first things you should be thinking of as soon as that meeting is scheduled. You might not think it’s the most important thing but it is vital to your success. According to The Close Studies, at Princeton, NYU, and Dartmouth have found that people judge you in a matter of milliseconds after meeting you. Making your buyers and sellers feel comfortable in those first meetings is so important especially since they’re judging you in the matter of seconds, and they are about to trust you with one of the most important decisions they will make in their lives.

My wife Emily and I recently purchased a new home. As first time home buyers we needed the proper guidance and professionalism to help assure us that we were making the right choice, so Emily set up a time for us to meet with a real estate agent she was referred to.

First off, we were greeted (late) by an agent who checked all the boxes of someone just returning from a late night out: Disheveled hair, wrinkled shirt, and red, heart-shaped sunglasses that covered half of her face. She approached us and as she scrambled to tuck in her shirt, a glow stick fell out of her purse (ok not really, but that wouldn’t have surprised me).

As we toured the house I couldn’t help but look at my wife and shake my head. Remember when I said how important first impressions are? Needless to say we didn’t end up going with that agent. Although the agent had nothing to do with the home, our purchasing decision was MASSIVELY influenced by our agent’s demeanor and professionalism.

On the flip-side, the next agent we met with made us feel confident and reassured us that we were making the right choice by going with her. The second agent was early, had a bunch of listings ready for us to look at in our price range and desired location. Better yet, the way she carried herself and her professional attire made us feel confident that we were going to be taken care of when we made this huge life changing decision.

The real estate “dress code” can be something that is often confusing to many agents. What do you wear? Do you overdress? Underdress? Look professional or somewhere in between?  It’s never appropriate to show up in a t-shirt and sweats, but you have to walk a fine line. When in doubt, always lean toward being overdressed and over prepared than underdressed and underprepared. According to Real Estate Express, appearance is extremely important, as most clients tend to hire agents based on appearance and gut feeling.  

Demographic and Market

Knowing your demographic and market is the first step to knowing how to dress. Common sense needs to be used before you step out the door to meet with a potential client. You’re not going to wear a suit to the beach or board shorts and flip flops in an affluent neighborhood.  Understanding your audience is crucial to understanding what attire to wear. Chicago Agent Magazine stresses the importance of dressing for your market and avoiding the glitz and glamour that make your clients feel really uncomfortable. “People don’t want to hire a beauty queen to sell them a house, they want a professional.”

Mirror

The easiest way to know what to wear is to mirror your potential clients (for the most part, but there will be exceptions). Not every client requires you to overdress or look too formal. Absolute Mortgage recommends dressing the way your prospective clients dress. People buy your appearance – before they will buy real estate from you! A client will instantly feel better knowing that you are on the same mental wavelength as them if you try your best to mirror their style. With social media and Google available at your fingertips, don’t be afraid to do a little harmless research to see how your potential client dresses. If you can come across this information or the info you find is not suitable, rely on your instinct, but lean towards overdressing if necessary.

The Basic Go To Attire

If you’re still perplexed of what to wear, the experts from The CLOSE have you covered![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your appearance will always vary depending on various situations in real estate. These could be dependent on property, weather, and client dictation. The one thing to always keep in mind is to follow fashion trends, look clean, and kept up. When in doubt, dress conservatively, and always remind yourself that the way you dress and present yourself is an important aspect of your real estate success.

If you’re a real estate agent, join our Facebook Mastermind Community and tell us what you wear to close deals or if you have any other “what not to wear” advice – we’d love to hear from you!