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Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Is There a Real Estate Dress Code?

Image of a real estate agent showing a house to a family

Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education

Published: December 5, 2019

Appearance is an important part of real estate, so it’s natural that you might be curious about how to put your best foot forward when meeting with clients, hosting open houses, or even working at the brokerage office. Real estate sales is a highly public career and involves interacting with numerous people in the local community on a daily basis. Agents and brokers take pride in their appearance, as it reflects on their professionalism, trustworthiness, and success.

While there is no official dress code for real estate agents, you probably already suspect that your presentation should be clean, neat, and professional in order to make the best impression on your clients and the public. But what exactly does that mean and how do you achieve it? There are a few factors you should consider before determining how to dress as a real estate agent.

Real Estate Agent Dress Code Considerations

Before making any decisions, take a moment to think about these considerations. They might illuminate the direction you want to take when dressing for a career in real estate sales.

Where will you be working in real estate?

Your style of dress may be very different if you’re working in a metropolitan city with high-profile apartment buildings versus a small town that prides itself on its farmland and single-family homes. Both require a high level of professionalism, but looks and style may change depending on the cultural norms of each location.

Pay attention to how other local real estate agents and brokers appear to the community. Are they very formal, wearing suits and dresses? Or are they more casual, opting for khakis and button-down shirts? Under-dressing may convey a lack of interest or respect, and over-dressing may have the unintended effect of coming across as too slick or business-oriented. Dressing appropriately for your location builds trust and confidence in your clients.

What kind of image does your real estate brokerage have?

If your brokerage has a specific style of dress, it makes sense to align with that style in order to present yourself as a professional representative of your brokerage. When in doubt, ask. Your fellow real estate agents and brokers might have tips for how to dress at the office and while with clients.

What is your real estate personal brand?

Ultimately, you are a representative of your brand and business while on the job. Think about how you would describe yourself and your brand to prospective clients in the third person. What kind of clothes would that person wear? How would they present themselves? The answers to these questions will help you dress the part. Your style and manner of presentation should make sense within the context of your personal brand.

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Appearance Tips for Real Estate Agents

There are a few things you can do to make sure your appearance is always professional and clean while working in real estate, regardless of your clothing choices. Staying fresh doesn’t have to be difficult while on-the-go, either. Take a look at these tips for always staying presentable, whether you’re hosting an open house or driving clients around to properties.

1. Pack a mini clothing steamer or wrinkle release spray.

A long day in the office can be a recipe for wrinkled clothing. But you don’t want to show up to client meetings looking disheveled. A mini clothing steamer or a wrinkle release spray can help you look more put together if you’ve been wearing the same outfit all day and don’t have time to go home to change or touch up with an iron.

2. Add accessories to upgrade your outfit.

A few well-placed accessories can add sophistication to a plain outfit. Try adding simple jewelry, a watch, a tie clip, a nice belt, or a scarf to make your appearance shine. Best of all, these are small things you can keep at the office or in your car so that you can add or remove them as necessary throughout the day.

3. Have mints or mouthwash easily accessible.

Having fresh breath will give you a boost of confidence while on the job with the added benefit of coming across as clean and professional to your coworkers and clients. Mints or mouthwash are better solutions to freshen your breath than gum, as chewing gum in front of others is sometimes considered rude.

4. Store hand sanitizer in your car.

Shaking hands is a very common way to begin and end conversations and deals as a real estate agent. Keep shaking hands, but make sure to carry hand sanitizer with you for those moments when you don’t have access to soap and water. Not only does it keep your hands clean, but it also prevents the spread of illnesses. Even if you are in good health and not worried about the potential of getting sick, that might not be the case for your clients.

5. Use face moisturizer.

You might experience a lot of late nights while balancing your commitments, especially as a new real estate agent. Moisturizing your face can make a big difference in appearing more awake and alert. If you want to take it a step further, use an eye cream to help reduce any puffiness and signs of tiredness.

6. Keep your nails and hands clean.

The appearance of your hands and nails speaks volumes about your personal hygiene. Shaking hands at open houses and networking events means that they will be on display more than you might currently be accustomed to. Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are neat. If you have the budget, you could make regular trips to the salon for manicures. Most nail salons offer grooming manicure services for men, as well.

7. Drink enough water.

Forgetting to drink water is easy to do when you are busy. Try using a large water bottle to help remind yourself to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will improve the appearance of your skin, keep you healthy, and give you energy—a must when you’re running from meeting to meeting.

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Many real estate agents are concerned with making the right impression on their clients and fellow professionals. Fortunately, it’s easy to successfully dress appropriately once you ask yourself the key questions in this article. Ready to make a good impression in the world of real estate sales? Find your state in this list to start preparing for your career in real estate.