A crisp white shirt and dress pants or a pair of jeans with a plaid top? Whatever your choice, remember, you have 33 to 100 milliseconds to make an impression.
Deciding what to wear on any day can be frustrating. But the pressure is that much higher as you take your first steps in real estate, where your outfit can easily be synonymous with competence.
As an agent and a real estate exam coach, aspiring agents have often asked, “How do real estate agents dress?” Real estate agents must dress professionally, which often spells suits and formal dresses. When it comes to accessories we keep things simple nothing flashy, nothing noisy.
If you ever get to glance at my feet, you will find kitten heels or court pumps. Balmorals, however, are often the choice for male agents.
But that is far from all. This article will reveal the way real estate agents dress and accessorize. We will journey into what to wear for different occasions and why it’s essential to keep your target clients in mind when preparing your work attire. So, let’s find out how real estate agents dress.
An Attire Fit for the Job
A real estate agent’s attire makes powerful first impressions that influence perceptions of their competence and professionalism. Studies suggest that appearance impacts judgment on competence and reliability within seconds.
Both male and female agents should opt for traditional business wear. Think suits, blouses, trousers, button-down shirts, and polished shoes.
If you ever find yourself caught in the mental battle between colors always err on the side of navy. You can never go wrong with neutral colors like navy, black, white, brown, and gray.
If you are anything like me, then you love accessorizing. But in my line of work, I have learned the art of balance. I try to ensure that every accessory remains minimal and doesn’t serve as a distraction.
Hair, nails, and grooming also convey care and attention to detail critical for the job. In all areas, agents must reflect the refined elegance home buyers expect when making one of the most important purchasing decisions of their lives.
The impression of credibility and success evoked by appropriate real estate fashion helps nurture the trusting relationships that ultimately close deals.
|Female Real Estate Agents
|Male Real Estate Agents
|Formal: Blouses, shirts
Business Casual: t-shirts, golf shirts, turtlenecks
Business Casual: t-shirts, golf shirts, bottlenecks
|Formal: slacks, pencil skirts, full formal dresses
Business Casual: jeans, chinos
|Formal: Dress pants
Business Casual: jeans, chinos
|Formal: pumps, stilettos, kitten heels, D’orsay
Business Casual: derby shoes, brogues, flat pumps, wedges, boots, loafers
|Formal: oxfords/balmorals, dress loafers, dress boots, plain-toe dress shoes
Business Casual: oxford sneakers, monk straps, wingtips, Chelsea boots
|Formal: blazers, coats
Business Casual: cardigans, jerseys, dress sweaters
|Formal: blazers, coats, waistcoats
Business Casual: cardigans, jerseys, dress sweaters
|Watches, pendants, simple earrings or studs, handbags, bracelet
A Dress for the Occasion
In real estate, adaptability is key, and this extends not just to an agent’s schedule, but also their wardrobe. Just as each day can bring a different set of tasks and appointments, so too should their clothing reflect the diversity of interactions they’re likely to encounter.
Whether you are meeting clients for the first time or it is follow-up meetings you to bring your best foot forward. According to fashion psychology (yes, it is a thing), the outfits you choose project endless information about you. One researcher from Iowa State University put it this way: dress is a systematic means of transmission of information.
That begs the question, what information do you want to project to clients?
When you envision meeting clients in high-powered fields such as finance or law, those whose idea of competence means wearing dress suits and leather shoes, try to mirror that level of professionalism.
This holds true even if these clients are seeking residential and not commercial properties. Dressing appropriately helps establish credibility and trust.
On the other hand, if your clientele consists mainly of individuals from less formal sectors like creative arts, it might be beneficial to veer towards business casual attire. Dressing down slightly doesn’t mean compromising on professionalism; instead, it allows you to connect more effectively with these clients by aligning yourself with their comfort zone.
In real estate, every interaction is an opportunity for connection. Ensure your appearance communicates understanding and respect towards your client’s professional ethos.
One of an agent’s responsibilities is not only finding but also showing houses unless you partner with a real estate showing agent. However, showings are practical events. You may find yourself traveling between houses and driving across communities.
When this day rolls around, keep the landscape in mind. If you are showing a house that is built on an incline, a pair of pencil pumps will not do. I would lean towards a pair of brogues or derby shoes.
But dressing for showings goes beyond the environment. You want your attire to resonate with potential buyers.
For instance, if you’re showcasing properties in farming locations or rural areas, it’s advisable to opt for a more laid-back wardrobe that resonates with agricultural architects. Denim or plaid outfits can be an excellent choice as they blend well with this setting. You could finish the look off with a pair of boots.
On the other hand, if your work involves selling properties in central business districts (CBD) or offering penthouses to prospective buyers, then stepping up your dress code becomes essential.
Always ensure that shirts are neatly tucked into slacks or pencil skirts. Male agents should consider wearing a suit complemented by a necktie, never a bow tie, to exude professionalism and sophistication suitable for these high-end environments.
Dressing to match your clients’ environment suggests you understand their lifestyle and in turn, their needs. This will earn you their trust.
Pro tip: showings often involve countless hours of standing, making footwear everything. Try to pick comfortable shoes for these occasions.
A Day at the Office
A day at the office is an exercise in balancing personal style and professionalism. These days are open for your full control, especially if you are not meeting clients nor is it closing day.
Make it a day to create an atmosphere where you feel at ease to do your best work. On these days, choosing what to wear becomes more than just a morning routine, it’s part of setting up your workspace for success.
For instance, my own wardrobe choices often lean towards relaxed yet presentable outfits when I’m spending the day behind my desk. Picture dress pants paired with a comfortable T-shirt, simple yet smart enough to make an impromptu video call if need be.
Alternatively, consider denim jeans matched with a trendy blazer. This is an ensemble that shouts laid-back vibes and a business-ready demeanor.
It’s all about the right balance: being too relaxed might affect productivity, while dressing overly formal might hinder comfort.
Think of a real estate closing transaction like a meticulously choreographed dance. Every step and move counts and it’s imperative that you present yourself in the best light possible. Your attire isn’t something you can compromise on. It needs to be formal, without exception.
Imagine this scenario: You’re seated at the negotiation table with other professionals such as lawyers and notaries; people who have years of experience under their belt and command respect with their mere presence. By choosing formal attire, you communicate non-verbally that you belong among these seasoned professionals.
Moreover, from the client’s perspective, they see someone who takes their role seriously enough to dress appropriately for such an important occasion. This inspires trust in them towards you as their representative during the process.
Items to Avoid
Even though business casual is acceptable in real estate, agents must steer clear of outfits crossing into the overly casual territory. While comfort is important, maintaining a professional image is paramount.
Equally important to avoid are revealing outfits. Plunging necklines, mini skirts, or clothing choices that show too much skin could potentially undermine your credibility as an agent.
Lastly, when considering personal grooming aspects like perfumes or colognes, remember less is often more. A gentle, subtle fragrance speaks volumes about elegance and grace, exactly the image you want to project.
Also, bear in mind that some people have allergies or sensitivities to strong scents which might make them uncomfortable during property tours or meetings with you.
Building Trust Starts With Polished Business Wear
Dressing as a real estate agent is an art that requires striking the right balance between professionalism and approachability. It speaks volumes about who you are before you even utter a word.
Being well-groomed and neatly dressed not only boosts your confidence but also reflects positively on your credibility. Your outfit should attest to your competence, attention to detail, and understanding of your client’s needs.
Here are several points to keep in mind when deciding how real estate agents dress:
1. Evaluate: Know who you’re meeting with before choosing an outfit, consider their profession, and what they may be expecting from you.
2. Always dress appropriately: for house showings considering both the environment and potential buyers’ expectations.
3. Maintain balance: When dressing for the office, it’s okay to be laid back while maintaining a semi-formal look.
4. Always opt for formal attire: for closing days, choosing formal attire is without exception.
5. Steer clear: Avoid outfits crossing into overly casual territory.
We’d love to hear about how these tips have helped improve your professional image as a real estate agent! Share them in the comments below, or let us know if you have any other go-to fashion tips for agents just starting out in the industry!