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After reading a news article about Brooke Astor, a great philanthropist and the grand dame of New York society for over 50 years, I was struck by something she said. When asked why she always dressed up, even when visiting poor neighborhoods, she said that the public expected Mrs. Astor to be dressed like Mrs. Astor, not some dowdy old lady. Her photo showed her on her 100th birthday. Now she's 104.  

What does our public expect when dealing with a real estate agent. Are they impressed by someone wearing a suit or does that make them feel like you are looking down on them?   If we show up in capris and a tank top for a listing appointment, do they really care? I saw one agent's card where she has on blue jeans. Have we gone completely casual or are we still at the business casual level?  Some agents in our office conduct business in shorts and flip flops.  

Am I just an old fuddy duddy or does the public really care?  


Comment balloon 5 commentsShannon Moore • August 03 2006 09:10PM


I'll turn off the Bay Vista Realty Web Cam. 

I spend too many days in Shorts and Flip flops.  But I have an excuse, I am stupid!

I always have a suit in my office and can change in minutes to something more Mrs. Astorish (within reason)  but I can't dress down as quickly if I need to do something icky. ( not my 1st word choice)

 The reason is my office is under construction.  I painted my new sign today and tomorrow I will be cleaning the hallway.  I am the consumate do it yourselfer.  I love doing it and take great pride in my creations.  But you are right.  Dress for the task. 

I would never go to a listing in shorts.  Even though I do have some damn sexy legs! 


Posted by Gary De Pury, ESQ. (Bay Vista Realty) over 13 years ago
I think you are right, agents should dress the part.  A male agent in our office was going on a listing appointment last week and said that his potential client had requested that he not show up wearing a tie.  Of course, he ditched the tie and got the listing!
Posted by Brandi Hollerich, Fernandina Beach, Yulee & Amelia Island RealtorĀ® (Watson Realty Corp.) over 13 years ago

I am in the southwest. It's hot and dusty and the governor only wears a suit when he has to. I think a lot of how you dress has to take into account where you live and the clientele that you deal with. A lot of my investors wear shorts and flip flops in the summer and jeans and cowboy boots the rest of the year. They wear tuxedos and suits when they need to.

We all need to be able to put on our "Banker's blues" when we need to and to dress in a way that is comfortable for us and our clients. I think business casual is a good middle ground for most of us (like when I have floor duty and don't know who might come through the door) but if I'm going to be out driving through sagebrush in my 4x4 showing ranches I'll be in jeans thank you very much.

Posted by Deb Hurt, ABR, e-Pro,Green, TRC (Realty Pro Albuquerque) over 13 years ago

I agree with the other agents..... dress for the situation....

BUT you WILL NOT find me in a T-shirt and flip flops going to a home showing...... NEVER.......we are professionals....right?

Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) over 13 years ago
I agree with Ms Astor.  I think we must dress the part.  I would never go to a listing presentation in flip flops and shorts or show houses dressed that way.  But after the contract is secured and closer to the closing, ususally to an inspection, I will dress down usually in jeans and clients seem to relate to the "real" person side of me also.
Posted by Norene Williams (ReMax Affiliates) over 13 years ago