I have been selling homes full-time in Austin for 12.5 years now. When I got my license, I was 26 years old, and I was hungry beyond belief. My business partner at the time was 21 years old, so we both wore suits (or at the very least, shirt and tie) most of the time, even during the hottest months of the year. This was part of our effort to appear older and more experienced, as I recall.
With the exception of special events such as weddings and funerals, I haven’t worn a tie in roughly 10 years. Why not? Because I DON’T LIKE THEM. We have had record-high temperatures in Austin this year for several weeks running, peaking in the 107-degree range a couple of days. The thought of wearing a hot, long-sleeved shirt and tie, especially with a jacket, makes me a little woozy now.
Instead, you are much more likely to find me in a polo shirt and either jeans or khakis. I like being comfortable, and I have more than enough knowledge about this industry. In other words, I don’t need to try to prove anything by wearing a double-breasted suit (yes, I did that too back in the day). That being said, I rarely wear t-shirts outside of the house. Something about my prep school upbringing makes this difficult for me.
I am thankful to be self-employed, and even more thankful to live in Austin, which is probably the most casual big city in Texas. I haven’t been able to bring myself to wear shorts and sandals for showings…..yet. However, I have encountered agents who do this regularly, especially those who specialize in ranch or waterfront properties.
I typically advise my agents that it’s best to be dressed just a little nicer than our clients. If they are wearing shorts, jeans will probably suffice. If they are wearing jeans, wear something slightly dressier. If they are wearing a suit, you must rent a tuxedo. If they are nude, wear a bathing suit. Of course, I am kidding about the last two. I can’t remember which sales trainer I heard mention this rule of thumb, but it has served me well over the years. Generally speaking, the vast majority of our clients wear VERY casual clothing when viewing homes, unless they are coming straight from work.
The bottom line: If you are looking for a button-down, 1950’s-style real estate agent, I don’t really fit that bill. If you want a real estate broker who cares passionately about his clients and strives to make the process as easy as possible, give me a call! Who knows? I might even wear a tie if you request it, assuming I can find a jacket that fits. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Photo above by paul goyette – found on Flickr.com.
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