Dress your way to Success!

August 23, 2010 by Shirleen Von Hoffmann Leave a reply »

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach HomeBuilders AdvantEdge Copyright 2010

Just a reminder to you on how important it is that you dress for success at all times. What I see most in the sales field is bad hair, people not taking the time to prepare themselves in the morning, no make up, outfits not appropriate for real estate, sometimes to tight and too casual.

Why? Here are three good reasons…
1. Because you are a professional, you must appear as one You are helping people make their biggest purchase of their lifetimes. In a good market you make more than some doctors and most lawyers. You must look sharp as they do, all the time.
2. Because you must appear as the expert in Real Estate and dressing for success helps to convince the prospects you are an expert and a successful one at that. It also gives you confidence!
3. Because most Managers are very sensitive about this topic and ask me to talk about it.

• You don’t have to spend a bundle to look good. Heck I don’t care if you wear the same outfit everyday as long as it looks clean and professional.
• Business jacket that fits well, Not to small and not too big, long or short sleeves. If you jacket is slightly tight, don’t button it, leave it open.
• Nice blouse
• Pants, skirt or dress. (skirts and dresses being at the knee or longer)
• Hair is important. It needs to have a style, be styled and put together. Longer hair needs to be off the shoulders. Pull it up in a bun (not using a big clip) or pull it back in a professional ponytail.
• Light Make Up and perfume
• Nice Earrings-Diamond studs or pearls are best.(if you can’t afford real-they make such good fakes you can’t tell)
• Simple-Necklace (pearls preferred)
• Nice Watch
• Nice Shoes or pumps (clean and polished)
• Manicured nails

• You don’t have to spend a bundle to look good. Heck I don’t care if you wear the same outfit everyday as long as it looks clean and professional.
• Business jacket that fits well, Not to small and not too big.
• Nice shirt with tie
• Dress Pants.
• Hair is important. It needs to be styled with your neck shaved and facial hair should be groomed.
• Nice Watch
• Nice shoes (clean and polished)
• Nice leather belt.
• Light Aftershave
• Manicured nails

Tips for all…
• Black is an easy color to match and looks elegant.
• If you have to think about an outfit you are wearing, wondering if it is professional then it probably isn’t Rethink it and change into something else.
• Pearls are easy for women and very elegant looking.
• Simple, elegance is the easiest way to look professional.
• I advise Agents on their Images and how they come across. If any of you want me to give you the once over, just ask.
• Keep your ties, tied while you are on duty and jackets on.
• Glasses, if needed should be current styles.
• Don’t forget if your car is parked out front, keep it clean and washed.
Remember it’s always SHOWTIME in real estate and I am here to make you great at what you do!

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19 Responses

  1. S. Robert August says:

    Dear Shirleen:

    Wonderful comments. People want to buy products fom people they will feel comfortable with the first time they meet them. We only have about one to four minutes to really make a great first impression.

    It is also important to dress up only one level above or below the socioeconomic profile you are trying to sell. I try to dress for my audience.

    Be happy with your choices, Build your own self-esteem by being clean and neat at all times.

    Take time to shop at stores that can provide you with staff that can help you build your wardrobe.

    Good luck and keep selling!

    ONwards and UPwards!
    Posted by S. Robert August, NAHB Life Dir., IRM Fellow, MIRM

  2. Mark Woolley says:

    Shirleen, Great basic reminders and must do’s! May I add from my experience as an executive – stay away from tight fitting clothes, for both sexes and avoid cleavage. It’s a turn off and not the professional image one is trying to set forth.

  3. Patty Williams says:

    Patty Williams • As a young person in the design community, I cannot agree more with this! Current styles are often not appropriate for business, and sometimes young professionals want to play up the fact that they indeed are fresh and new to the business world. That’s a great attitude to have, but business isn’t a fashion show – there’s always time to dress up after hours. If you have to think about it, it’s not appropriate to wear to work. Choose pieces that are timeless and interchangable with others to maximize closet space (e.g. a great button down blouse that works with trousers and pencil skirts).

    The only other thing that I would address is undergarments – women’s, specifically. Undergarments should be worn exactly as the word states, and should be an invisible part of the outfit. Most women do not wear appropriately sized undergarments, and the seams end up showing through clothing… even thick fabrics and loose-fits! Invest in quality undergarments and get measured by a professional – even Victoria’s Secret has at least one professional on staff. Having the right secret weapons underneath will make anyone’s shopping experience much, much better!

    Thanks for the post, it’s a sore subject for many people!

  4. Patty,

    Glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for your insight from a younger perspective. You make some great points!


  5. Mark,

    Thanks for your comments. I tried to avoid the cleavage topic but know it needs to be tackled, see it all the time.

    Thanks for adding you two cents, it’s very important.


  6. Robert,

    thanks so much for your comments and glad you enjoyed this one. I love your suggestions!

    Take Care


  7. Ron Klassen says:

    RIGHT ON! You are so right, and this is something every sales professional (actually any professional in touch with the public should hear/read/see.)

    I switched from “business casual” (which today has become “casual casual”) to jacket and tie some years ago. My sales close rate increased by over 1/3 — virtually overnight. (We are residential remodelers.)

    You can add that to your “testimonials” if you like.

    Do you have books or other printed materials available — I’d like to pass them on to several colleagues — male and female. Something that goes further into the “whys” than this brief article could.

    Thanks again — I can see why you’re the “Queen,” and long may you reign!

  8. Kelly Mulcrone says:

    Thanks Shirleen, you never get a second chance at a good first impression!

  9. Judy Hicks says:

    I could not agree more, one of the issues we have in North Florida is the heat, it’s important to know that you can dress professionally without overheating. I just wish if you are going to wear sandals……please get a pedicure!

  10. Judy we have that same problem in California. I was talking to Agents today about dressing for the climate and when in heat and wearing open toed shoes to make sure their feet are groomed as well.

    Thanks so much for the input

  11. Robert thanks for your comments and added wisdom. I do think it’s important for Agents to dress up a knotch from their communities.

    You are the best!

  12. Thanks Kelly. I know as a Sales Trainer you see this as well! That statement you shared hold true after all of these years!

  13. Hi Ron,

    o glad you enjoyed the article. The results you got when switching it up are pretty amazing!

    Well Actually I do have a book! Glad you asked. here is the link http://www.topproducersecretsbook.com

    Thanks so much for your comments. You made me laugh!

  14. Catherine Teague says:

    My mother taught me a valuable lesson at a very young age, never leave the house unless you look your very best, you never know who you will run into, and you will surely run into the most important person of your life on the day that you don’t! Isn’t your potential buyer one of the most important persons you will ever run into? You send a huge statement based on your appearance, the first is the level of confidence you have in yourself and that the buyer can depend on. Secondly, you represent a builder that hired you in part because of your appearance on the day of your interview, they were buying your package. Buyers have greater confidence when you are professionally dressed, the competition is watching you and determine how seriously to worry about you once they visit and see how you dress! If you consistantly dress professionally you will feel better, look incredible and perform to a higher level of greatness. Plus you make a strong impression on the community when you run for lunch or stop by the store on your way home. I have been stopped many times in grocery stores because I wear a name tag on my suit and asked questions or am given comments about the company I represent, several buyers who are now great friends came from encounters like these, I need no greater proof, how you dress can make or break your career. A good “Austin Reed” suit is timeless will last for years and make you feel like a million! Invest in yourself and your ROI will be incredible. Best Wishes for your success!

  15. Catherine,

    You are right on target with your comments. I couldn’t agree more!

  16. Tony Siciliano says:

    Good stuff, Shirleen, but that’s commonplace for you, as we all know. One thing to add for all of us is NO tattoos, or at the very least, no visible ones. Having a tattoo on your neck is about the dumbest thing anyone can do in many aspects of life, and showing it off to an interviewer makes the interviewer’s job extremely easy for the purpose of rejecting that person.

    Be professional ALL THE WAY. With the unemployment close to 10%, interviewers will justifiably look for any reason to reject a candidate, and having a tattoo rates right up there. No sales manager on earth wants a salesperson going in front of a customer with a tattoo.

  17. Gosh Tony,

    I totally forgot to address Tattoos. Not my favorite subject.

    Thanks for your input and I am so glad you enjoy my articles!

  18. This subject has alway left me confused. I have to visit jobsites on a regular daily basis and sometimes have to lend a hand or become more involved with the work than i care to be. I have given up on looking dressed up as a contractor all of the time, your advice. I sell real estate as well and on days that i do that exclusively i know that dressing well is a given.

  19. Hi Craig,

    You are right, there are sometimes when you are doing the messier work and you need to dress down. However in this article I am speaking to those who are sales professionals and not being a contractor as well.

    Thanks for your comments.

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