Do you ever judge people based on the way they’re dressed? It’s ok, we all do it. It’s human nature to size someone up the instant we see them and, obviously, their clothes are a huge part of the impression that they make.
That’s why it’s so important for real estate agents to “look the part”. An agent’s job is to highlight a house, condo, or other property in its best possible light. It should look as flawless and as beautiful as possible. If you’re the person showing that property, you need a wardrobe that looks equally as good.
Obviously, jeans and a t-shirt just aren’t going to cut it in the world of real estate. Here are a few things to think about, and a few hints, about how you can assemble your personal real estate wardrobe.
Buying a new home could be the biggest purchase many of your clients will ever make. They’re probably going into it feeling very nervous and also excited.
Seeing their realtor in a professional suit can actually put them at ease and assure them that they’re in good hands. Rumpled shirts, pants, or skirts are definitely a no-no. Have them freshly laundered and pressed on a regular basis.
Consider the best colors for the job. When picking out a jacket, the black can actually be a little bit intimidating to some people. Softer, more approachable colors like grey, brown, navy, and even olive are generally preferable.
You want to portray an image of success; to visually reassure your clients that you’re a professional through and through. Your clients can and will come to trust you simply based on how you look.
Here’s the funny thing about clothing: It doesn’t matter how expensive and fashionable your clothes are if you don’t feel comfortable in them. Some people call clothing their “second skin”, and for good reason. Whatever you wear should be an extension of your own personality and style.
In real estate, and in all business, you need to strive for authenticity. If your wardrobe seems calculated, like something that you wouldn’t normally wear, a client might subconsciously pick up on that. Pick clothing that’s professional and portrays the image that you want but, most importantly, pick clothes that you actually like and want to wear.
Real estate mogul and one of the cohosts of “Shark Tank,” Barbara Corcoran explained to Business Insider that we should dress for the business, customer, or employer you want to attract.
How do your clients dress? At your first meeting, take note of what they’re wearing. If they have a slightly conservative style, you might want to reflect that in your own dress the next time you have a meeting. If your clients are much more casual, matching their dress with business casual might help them feel more comfortable with you. If you have a client who is very fashionable, add some fashionable accessories to your ensemble.
Subtly mirroring your clients while still maintaining your own personal style is a great way to start building rapport.
Would you dress differently for an open house than you would a lunch meeting? A real estate agent wears many hats (figuratively speaking, don’t wear a hat to an open house!) and different parts of the job make different demands on you.
Let’s say that you’re meeting some clients at the office to sign a contract. In an office environment, you probably want to look as professional as possible, as you’re doing “official” business. Wear a suit jacket or blazer, button up dress shirt, etc. However, when you’re showing an open house, you might want to appear a little more casual and comfortable as you show off the property. If you’re going to a construction site, your best suit might not be the most appropriate thing to wear. Use your own judgement and dress appropriately for the situation.
So, with all of that said, what do you wear? It does depend on your personal style but these suggestions are a great place to start, and to mix and match:
- Blue or Brown blazer
- Fitted pencil skirt, knee-length or longer
- Dark slacks
- Classic black high-heel shoes
- Comfortable flats
- Button-down dress shirt
- Silk scarf
- Simple jewelry (nothing flashy or distracting)
- Tan or grey suit jacket
- White dress shirt
- Selection of ties
- Black/brown dress shoes
- Dark socks
- Dress pants
Don’t forget about the fit of your clothes. A visit to the tailor is a good idea to make sure that the fit of your clothing is the most flattering to your body type.
Dressing the part of a successful realtor doesn’t have to be complicated, but finding your professional style might take some time to cultivate. What do you like about your current wardrobe? What’s missing?
When you up your wardrobe game, you’ll look more professional, make a better impression on your clients, and exude more confidence. Now that’s a recipe for success.