Realtor Dress Code Upgrade?

No, I’m not seeing any Realtors don formal wear (like tuxedo’s) just yet.

But there do seem to be more men wearing ties and sports coats lately, and women wearing fancy scarves and the like.

What’s going on?

“Dress for Success”

I’d guess a couple things:

–Older, more established Realtors are reacting to the “grunge” look infiltrating the new, younger ranks of Realtors.

–In a rough real estate market, it’s a self-esteem thing: if you look more professional, you feel more professional — and clients perceive you that way.

–With the proliferation of online real estate information such as Zillow, Trulia, etc., there’s a (mistaken) impression that Realtors no longer add value, or are simply “middlemen” who can be cut out (you can, of course, but you’re almost certainly going to end up worse off than if you enlisted a skilled Realtor’s help — and by more than the 6% or 7% you’re going to “save”).

Dressing professionally helps rebut that conception.

–More competition. In a slow market, especially for upper bracket homes, there are more Realtors chasing fewer listings. Long before prospective clients check out your references or track record, they form an opinion of you based on your appearance.

Looking in the Mirror

That’s always been the case, of course.

However, clients contemplating listing their $1 million-plus homes are themselves more likely to be successful professionally (and dress like it!).

It’s only natural to gravitate to Realtors who they can identify with and relate to.

In other words, who look like they do.

P.S.: Yes, it’s a bit cynical, but I remember reading a book on interviewing that was strongly recommended by a friend on the eve of my first major interview with a “Big Eight” public accounting firm (WAY back when).

Whereas most books on the subject basically advise “being yourself” — this one recommended being like the people you want to work with. In other words, reflect their look, dress, values, etc.

I got the job . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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