Yes, your appearance can make or break a sale. But does it actually matter?
I guess we’ll leave that question to the most important judge of a realtor, the customer.
Can a beard affect a home seller's decision to hire you?
What about warm weather agents wearing more casual and weather appropriate attire?
Is a having a beard a hindrance in sales? Are tattoos?
You can have the best pitch and the best marketing methods, but if you come across as underdressed compared to your competition, some owners may not list with you.
Whether or not that happens is going to depend on the owner, and even possibly the area that the home is in.
Unfortunately, people will judge you by the way you dress.
I see successful agents dress in jeans with ball caps on at all times. This can work for them. They have a loyal customer base. They do tuck their shirts in, and never look sloppy.
But those agents are old pros and have been around for years just living off of referrals.
Dressing professionally is something you probably do most of the time. If a guy dresses professionally, then he’ll have a much better chance of getting away with a beard.
There are a lot of jobs that won't allow beards. Even the New York Yankees have rules against that. Real estate isn't like that necessarily.
Here's the scenario:
Three agents are targeting a luxury home in a high-end area of town. The owner is in their sixties. The first is an average agent. He doesn't say much to stand out. The pitch is about how he can guarantee to get the home sold in 4 to 6 months.
He doesn't wear a suit, but he wears a collared shirt and slacks. He has a clean-shaven face.
The second is a veteran agent who wears a polo and jeans. His pitch focused on how many listings he has and has done in the area.
The third agent had a beard. His listing presentation stood out, and he let the owner have more input than the other two realtors.
The owner felt more valued. The bearded realtor gave the owner materials on how to stage the home and information detailing his own process. It was a completely different pitch than the other two realtors.
But the owner is an old-school thinker. He and his wife will naturally lean toward the clean shaven, well-dressed realtor.
Do they choose the pitch that connected with them the most? Or the guy who looked the part?
In this case, the last night they were making the decision and were going to choose the young clean-faced realtor. Then they took another look at the materials our bearded realtor left and then changed their minds.
Integrity makes you trustworthy, and a beard can't take that away, but you may have to go an extra step to prove yourself.
Facial cues about lying are in the eyes, not the cheeks, chin, lips, goatee, soul patch or neck.
Real estate agents already have a poor reputation. But it's still about proving yourself and your worth to owners.
You could even brand yourself "the bearded realtor." Use it as an advantage.
The truth is, there is no concrete answer for situations like the one I just mentioned. Those owners could have easily chosen the clean-shaven guy.
I asked one of our members, Tim, about his experience on listing appointments and how owners view appearances.
"I used to dress pretty casually, and probably about four, five years ago I made that conscious effort to start dressing a little nicer. I don't do ties or jackets, things like that. But I do wear nice slacks, nice shoes. It could be a button-down shirt without a tie, and I notice a difference in my business," he said, "I don't know if I can say that it's anyone's else's reaction to me, but I felt more professional, more competent, and maybe that translated. But it was about that time my business did start to take off."
His sentiment seems to be one that is similar to other agents. Real estate is an image orientated business.
If you're chasing a luxury listing, that own may judge your outfit and car more than a mid-level house. For Tim, his business plane still seemed to be the most important factor.
But Tim works in a high-end market. So his improved appearance ended up making a difference.
And it affected his confidence more than anything.
Confidence goes a long way when you first meet a realtor. It can show through and even make a difference if you win the listing or not.
Some agents don't need to worry about that part of meeting an owner. Their plan and presentation can take care of itself.
But dressing professionally can never go bad, and it can give you a confidence boost.
But by no means does it mean everything. Take a look at this Facebook comment from an agent on Realtor.com.
This agent won the listing by riding a bike to an owner's house. Now, the owner didn't realize it was because she didn't have a car, but the point still stands.
If she rode a bike up to a million dollar home, would she still have the listing? Probably not.
When you show up for a listing appointment, you want to keep your image similar to what you portray in your marketing.
This is where your image matters, in your marketing.
As long as you are separating yourself from the competition and showing your value, the listings will come in.
One of the best methods we use at Smart Agents to separate yourself is books. Books have a huge perceived value. They don’t get thrown away.
They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition. That’s how a smart agent thinks!
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!