How Your Clothes Represent Your Business
Have you ever been told that you should “dress for the job you want?” Many times, the clothes you wear to work make a big impact on how others perceive you. This is even more accurate for real estate agents as the clients you meet may only see you a limited number of times and how you’re dressed will tell them a lot about who they’re potentially working with. With open houses, you'll likely only get one small window to impress a prospective client and if you're wearing your favorite hoodie and sneakers, you may not get to see those clients a second time.
Real estate involves a lot of interpersonal interactions and everything you do is a reflection of you and how you do your business. Which means your attire should match how you want to be perceived, not how comfortable you may want to be on any given day.
A Pointed Perception
A Psychology Today study examined the effect of clothing on the perceptions of the person wearing the clothes. During this research, 300 men and women studied two pictures of the same man, but in one picture, he was wearing a nice tailored suit and in the other, he was fashioning a very similar off-the-rack suit.
With all details being controlled and the face of the model pixelated, these men and women judged the man in the more expensive suit more favorably in just 3 seconds.
Their judgment wasn’t based entirely on the fact that they simply liked his suit better either. The report stated, “They rated him as more confident, successful, flexible, and a higher earner in a tailor-made suit than when he wore a street equivalent. Since the model’s face in the pictures was blanked out, these impressions must have been formed after quickly eyeing what he was wearing.”
Taking this study into account as an agent and a representative of your business, you might want to run out and buy a beautiful three-piece suit. But don't head out just yet - you’ll want to dress to impress but always wear the right outfit for each situation - whether you’re meeting new clients, hosting an open house, or in meetings at your office. That goes for each type of real estate that you’re dealing with, as well.
The Right Style
Real estate broker Andrew Hasdal believes in the importance of the right outfit for the right environment, saying, “As I primarily show condos and homes in the city of Chicago, I generally wear either a suit/tie combo or dress pants/shirt/tie, and most of my clothing is tailored. However, this may be out of place if you’re showing rural properties or inexpensive apartments: you’ll look out of place or even intimidating to a client, which may make them feel less at ease. But dressing down is never an excuse to look unkempt. Above all else, you should always look put together.”
As long as you’re dressing for your audience and keeping a professional look, you’re on your way to success. One common piece of advice is, “Dress as if you have a meeting every day.” Even if you don’t have any meetings on the books, you never know who will reach out throughout the day and this is a surefire way to look your best no matter what. As soon as you assume you won't be interacting with clients and take an "off day" with sweatpants at the office, you know that will be the day someone calls you for a last minute showing. If you consistently dress to impress, your clients (and team members) will see the effort you’ve put into your appearance and associate that with your work ethic.