We’ve all done it. We see a person and in seconds we immediately start to profile them based on what they’re wearing. Wrinkled shirt. Bound to be sloppy. Open toe shoe. Unprofessional.
Of course, appearance isn’t everything. But first impressions most certainly count. In fact, your dress code can speak volumes before you even introduce yourself as a real estate agent
In the highly competitive estate agency industry, agents should use every possible opportunity to attract potential leads. A real estate agent’s dress code is one of the most effective tools available to make the right first impression.
TIP #1: Context matters
Not every situation requires the same dress code, so dressing to the setting and audience is key. While business casual is always a safe bet, it pays to blend in. In fact, emulating your prospective client’s dress code can help you build a rapport with your client. Mirroring your client’s style may seem odd, but it also makes your first impression more relatable.
If your market is in an area where everybody is wearing business attire, then you want to make sure that you’re also dressing for the part.
It’s perfectly acceptable in very hot countries to wear a smart chino, golf shirt, or a long-sleeve casual shirt, and more casual shoes. A good example would be in Dubai where many agencies have introduced a “summer wardrobe,” catering for agents doing desert viewings in temperatures sweltering above 50 degrees.
TIP #2: Show me your ID
The younger you look, the more youthful you appear. The more professional you want to dress. If you’re young and starting out in real estate, with no track record of success, it definitely pays to level up the professional dress code.
Without the years behind you, it’s advisable to up the ante in the wardrobe stakes. Even in the middle of summer, it’s not difficult to look smart. A blazer with a casual shirt or polo can go a long way.
TIP #3: Playing it safe
When in doubt, go conservative. Especially if the market is culturally sensitive. Despite the fact we live in an age where tattoos and piercings are much more commonplace, they can still be seen as slightly taboo to some audiences. Whilst a more open-minded client may not flinch at a lip ring or tattooed sleeve, you don’t ever have to worry about clients judging you negatively.
Experienced real estate agents tend to stick with classics, so keep the palette to black, grey, white and all neutral muted colours. The main focus should be on the property.
On the other hand, if you’re running an open house or want to beat off the competition in a pitch, it’s not a bad idea to go with bright accent colours or a touch of glamour. And if your niche is in super high-end listings, think about adding a few designer labels to your repertoire, while keeping it classy.
Tip #4: Less is more
Heavy jewelry and strong perfumes can be innocent expressions of your personal style, but may not blend well with such a client-facing job. The same can be said for revealing clothes, over-the-top colours or those extra-funky ties. Aim to leave the impression that you’re knowledgeable, professional and a seamless conduit to the sales process.
Dressed up in something inappropriate and you become easy to dismiss. You don’t want to be the distraction. The last thing you need is to be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Tip #5: Dress for the kill, every day
There will be days when you won’t have to attend viewings or meetings. That’s no reason to dress slack. However, dress for the close and you’ll be putting yourself in a position to win. You are a reflection of your company and your capabilities. Project the correct professional reputation in the way you dress on any given day. You never know when the phone will ring calling you to action. So don’t let yourself be caught off-guard looking sub-par. Dress like the Closer you believe yourself to be.
Bonus Tip#: Anything doesn’t go
Of course, the details of what you wear to work will vary depending on where you will be working, but if you’re showing people beautiful properties all day, aesthetics are obviously important.