By Dolores Esanu
It’s 2013 and we’re revamping our lives and even our closets. Some things fit, some things don’t, and some we hope will fit again. In business, the thinly veiled line of what’s acceptable is becoming even more transparent. One hundred years ago, for a businessman, nothing less was expected than a tailored three-piece suit. Post-war American, working women wore sweater sets and full skirts, always past the knee. The 1980s brought the “linebacker suits,” fully accompanied with the ever so flattering shoulder pads.
So what about today? In real estate, we can receive a call to show property only find ourselves trekking through 40 acres of muddy land. Business functions can even be challenging. A recent banquet invitation specifically stated “Business Formal,” and I went on to witness long formal gowns, pant suits, and even blue jeans!
Wondering If I’ve been guilty of these business fashion crimes, I begun to research. What is the definition of the main types of business attire? The list below confirmed my curiosity:
Business Casual – Men you can disregard the suit with this one, but you can’t put on jeans either. Polo, collared shirt, tucked in with khakis fit under this category. Ladies, you can sport anything from skirts, to dresses to dress pants with a button down or countless blouses.
Business Professional – Consider it one step above Business Casual. Real estate may not see this as a norm very often. But careers involving finance or law may have this stricter dress code. Blazer and skirt or suit pants for women and suit with any color/print tie for the guys.
Business Formal – Guys, you can bring out the cuff links with this one, but a tux is not necessary. A dark colored suit and tie would be more than acceptable. Ladies can adorn a suit and skirt with heels, preferably closed or a conservative dress.
Smart Casual – Ah, the one us REALTORS® can relate to. Men can wear crewneck tees, sweaters, dark colored jeans and loafers. Ladies have an advantage as the options are greater. Tailored jeans, fun colored blouses; anything that is harmonious and pulled together would suffice.
Each office is different, each agent is different, and each day is different. Our attire can change drastically in a day due to the unpredictability. But isn’t this what makes our industry so exciting?
By Melissa Krchnak
I obviously am not an expert in what anyone else’s listing presentations are like, I only know mine. Yet I heard someone talking about the Olympics recently, and with my market’s emphasis on the need for more inventory, it got me thinking. Is your listing presentation like watching cycling or gymnastics?
I can dig both, and yet I watch them with a different level of interest. See, I can put cycling on and read a book or cook my breakfast or check Twitter. I know I probably won’t miss anything major and I’ll look up every now and then to see who’s ahead. With gymnastics though, it goes from one event to the next so fast. I’m so engrossed with how competitive it is, that I have to keep my eye on the TV or I’ll miss something great. So, is your listing presentation creating lots of interest with a fast-paced and quick finish? Or is it uneventful and lasting for hours?
My suggestion if it’s dragging on? Hit the high points, move through each piece effortlessly, and put a bow on it in 45 minutes or so. Any longer and you’re losing them. Remember what your mom used to say about visiting friends’ houses? “Don’t overstay your welcome!” Just get your agency and listing agreement and get out. You can get disclosures signed, pictures taken, etc., another time. This is strictly presentation time.
So, are your clients watching cycling or gymnastics when you’re presenting?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Brooke Wolford
Recently, at the Minneapolis YPN SquareTable event, I had a discussion with a few agents about what type of car you should drive to protect your image as an agent. It went back and fourth based on where you lived, who you served, etc. While I agreed with a lot of the responses, I also feel that having a certain type of vehicle does not make you a good agent. It’s all about what you do for your clients.
Take me for instance. I live very frugally. I have a nice car and all, but it’s really nothing special. When I go grocery shopping, I clip coupons. I rarely shop for novelty items and money really is not an issue with me. I worry about making sure I’m able to support my family and being able to retire some day — both are very important to me.
While discussing this with the other agents, someone suggested that you talk to your past clients and see what they thought about the vehicle you drove. I decided to survey some of my clients and see what they said. I sent an email out to them with the following questions:
1. Is there anything that would have deterred you from using me as an agent? Examples: If I had purple hair, tattoos or drove an ugly car, etc.
Client #1- “If you had purple hair, I might have run after meeting you in that open house, but I could care less about tattoos or the car you drove. “
Client #2-“Honestly, was impressed because you drove the same car as me. I know the quality of the vehicle you drove and I think it says a lot about a person by choosing a high quality vehicle. “
Client #3- “Well, I believe in first impressions. I didn’t know what type of vehicle you drove when we first met. I had the opportunity to work with you and my loan officer for a while before I started to view homes, so it really didn’t matter anymore. I was happy with you.”
2. What are the reasons you used me as an agent? Continue reading »