Dress Appropriately

You have probably been getting dressed without much help for several years now, but since this subject has received so much attention, I'd like to discuss it. How you dress probably will not be the determining factor in whether you succeed or not. An inability to dress acceptably didn't even make the final list in my survey asking why people fail in real estate (see Appendix A). That doesn't mean it isn't important, but it does suggest that all you need to follow are some common-sense guidelines. Here are a few from my experience.

First, you should not dress to be noticed. If what people remember about you is the tight skirt or the lime green leisure suit, you made the wrong kind of impression. Second, dress for the occasion, keeping in mind the standards of the community. If you are going to talk to the president of the local bank about listing her home, naturally you would not show up in jeans—but jeans might be exactly right for talking to the local dairy farmer about selling his place. For your everyday attire, consider what those in your town who are successful in real estate wear. In some places, it will be jackets and ties for men and dresses for women—but not everywhere. As one survey respondent said about his locale: "This is a blue jeans society. A coat and tie arouse suspi cion." Finally, don't feel compelled to rush out and buy a new wardrobe—unless you are looking for an excuse to do that. (And if you do, men, please don't buy a loud and tasteless plaid sports coat, the stereotypical trademark of the pushy salesman).

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