Blogs are the place for buyers and sellers in the Princeton area and elsewhere in New Jersey to find the real scoop about real estate. What would they see when they get to the blog?
With so few real estate people blogging consumers are not yet aware of what is in it for them. To get this information out in public and to engage consumers in a dialog I want them to come to my blog. My profile page could be their first point of contact. I decided it needs complete revamping or at least a major face-lift, no pun intended.
This is how I come to the conversation about dress. Working on my profile page, I got to see my photo a lot and this is what went through my mind “this jacket just got to go". The picture is current; it’s just the jacket, it's so 90-s. In his book “ Blink: the power to think without thinking”, Malcolm Gladwell suggests that we only have that long – “a blink” to make an impression.
This conversation is about two things the importance of dress in real estate: 1. Dress in Photos; 2. Dress code in general.
Agent photos were always puzzling to me, before and after I started in real estate. To this day I look at the pictures of agents lined up on the pages of Princeton Packet and Town Topics (our local papers) and wonder “Which face would I like to sell my house?” I don’t advertise my face – I keep the wrinkles all to myself.
Having accepted that photos are a special feature of life in real estate, I come to the question of dress. I am not talking here about pictures taken 20 years ago, that horse has been beaten to death. I am talking about what impression our current photos leave by way of dress. Blogs are a conversation with someone who we don’t know and don’t see. Photos in the blogs help the reader to engage in this conversation. Not because I am beautiful, but because they can “see” the person they are talking to.
Let me give you an example. I was commenting on a blog of a person pictured in a relaxed Hawaiian shirt on his profile (totally fictitious). I related to the person completely. I later saw the same person’s picture in a suit and tie – I also related, but it was not the same person in my mind.
Please don’t tell me, it’s not the cover it’s what’s inside. I agree - once you get to the insight. The photo on the profile is who the reader will be seeing in their minds eye and “talking” to. It should be true to who we are and to the image we want to project. Are you the power broker doing multi-million dollar deals? Are you wearing suit and tie, so the market reports from you are received with more confidence? Are you writing for the relocating executives or vacation home owners? Are you dressed for the former or the later? Are you cool looking and therefore on the edge of all things new in marketing? Do you have a cartoon instead of a picture on your profile? What does the cartoon say to your readers about who you are?
What we wear in the blog photos could be even more important then what we wear to meat a client – on a blog you may not get a second chance.
Which brings me to what we wear in our every day real estate agents’ life. Years ago I remember rows of white starched blouses and dark suits hanging in my closet. In my early consulting days I came in one day in a yellow suit – it was very conservative and yellow. Let’s just say, I never wore that suit again.
There are many dress codes now: casual, dress –casual, client meeting and others. Did you ever think why business attire uses the word “code”? Because it is a code of communicating corporate culture. Why do casually dressed guys and ladies, change into suits when they meet clients? Why so much fuss about dress? Is it at all applicable to real estate? What subtle message are we communicating?
There are different schools of thought for real estate. There are those that dress “like their clients”. For example, a guy selling in Florida – would wear shorts and a polo shirt, because that’s what his clients wear. The idea is that the client will relate to them better.
Another theory – if you are selling 2+ million dollar homes, you should dress the part, and I don’t mean expensive jewelry.
The third idea is to dress in the same style for all clients, picking the style from the two previous choices.
I know some big gun agents, who look like they just rolled out of bed. With this argument, I just wasted a perfectly fine morning writing this post. I am sure I'll hear it - "we sell houses, not our looks."
Then what do you wear when you are “not working”? I was in a store yesterday and 2 people asked me for my card. Was I prepared for meeting potential clients? I was helping my sister choose a table.
My clients will be buying and selling their homes in Princeton, West Windsor, Montgomery Township and Hopewell. I want to dress for their success.