What to Wear to Work for a Real Estate Job
Are you starting your new career as a real estate agent and not sure what to wear to work? Dressing in an appropriate manner is important for almost any job in which you work with clients in a professional setting. What you wear to your real estate job may vary depending on what you plan to accomplish that day and where you will be working, but you should always dress in a neat, clean, and professional manner.
Location, Location, Location
The way you dress may depend a lot on the area where you work. If you work in a larger metropolitan area, you’ll want to dress in more formal business attire on a daily basis, compared to working in a small rural town, where you may dress in a more relaxed fashion.
For example, in a highly visible position in a larger city, you’ll need to dress the part even if you have a light schedule. Although you may not be meeting with any clients on a particular day, your colleagues may be, and it's important for the entire staff to project a competent but conservative image.
For realtors in smaller towns and in locations that are vacation destinations, more casual attire is definitely appropriate. In fact, dressing too “professionally” may be off-putting in some areas – you may not want to show farmland while dressed in professional attire. If you’re not sure how much to dress up, you can ask your new boss or check around with other people who work in the same area.
What to Wear to Meet Clients
If you’re meeting clients, or showing properties, you’ll most often choose to dress in business attire, although it depends on where you’re working. For men, this means a suit or dress slacks and a jacket, button down shirt, tie, dark socks, and dress shoes. Make sure your shirt is pressed and your suit or slacks aren’t wrinkled. You may want to invest in a clothing steamer for easy wrinkle removal, which will save you money and time compared to taking your suits to the cleaners constantly.
For women, a skirt or pantsuit, conservative dress with a jacket, or dress skirt or slacks with a blouse or sweater, and coordinating jacket, hosiery, and closed toe pumps are appropriate. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum and match the clothing you wear.
If you're in a vacation resort area more casual attire is the norm. For example, if you're showing condos in a ski or beach town, business casual or even casual attire is more typical.
In a small rural town, khaki pants and a plain shirt might be fine – especially if you’re showing farms or wooded areas where business type attire might seem to be uncomfortable and not functional. However, when you’re in the office you may need to dress up a bit more.
Of course, even if you work in a small town, rural area or resort area, you want to look neat. Business casual or casual clothing should be clean, well-matched and in good condition. There’s never a good reason to wear clothing that’s in need of repair.
What to Wear in the Office
If you’re spending the day in the office doing paperwork and making follow up calls, you can often wear business casual attire. Business casual for men encompasses dress slacks or chinos, button-down shirt, dressy polo shirt, jacket optional, dark socks, and dress shoes.
For women, business casual means wearing a skirt or dress slacks, blouse, sweater, or twin set. A jacket is optional, but hosiery and closed toe pumps are always acceptable. In some cases, wearing plain dress pants, a shirt or blouse, and flat shoes is fine.
No jeans, no sneakers, and no sweatshirts, unless you are specifically told that they are acceptable, and even then, it's better to wait until after you’ve been there a while and have noticed how predominant that kind of dress is. For the most part, it’s almost always better to dress up rather than dress down.
Whenever you’re not sure how to dress, it’s best to ask your manager or co-workers so that you dress at the appropriate level for a real estate agent.