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.”
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.
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!