what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by al

Posted by SusanL.–FL on March 08, 2001 at 13:19:04:

Look at Bush, for instance. He wore a red tie practically every night of the debates. It almost got to be a joke in the media after awhile.

what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by al

Posted by al on March 07, 2001 at 22:34:48:

What should I wear when I meet at a home to talk to the seller?

Tie, jeans, khakis/nice shirt??

Is there any psychology to this game??


Re: what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by Eduardo (OR)

Posted by Eduardo (OR) on March 08, 2001 at 12:50:51:

Actually, this is a very good question. Although Michael’s answer below is on target, more needs to be said. Studies have shown that people relate and react most favorably to people who they perceive are closest to being just like them. When I go out to talk to blue collar workers, I dress like one and drive my old pickup truck and talk their language and use their body language. In other words, you are going to be most successful when you make an effort to be perceived as “one of them” and not an “outsider.” With the opposite sex, dress clean and neat, smile, nod, try not to be perceived as a threat. Now I don’t waste time on unneccessary conversation, but when talking to Republicans try to be perceived as one, when talking to Baptists, try to be perceived as one, and so on. Just be businesslike and don’t let yourself be drawn into conversation on these topics. Talking to doctors and other professionals is a different ball game. These people are often arrogant and want to control the situation (blanket statement based on my experience). My thing is that although I’m pleasant and low-keyed at all times, I want to be firm in my position and in control of the deal. So I dress up, drive the new car, and talk their language. Anyway, you get the idea. One size fits all doesn’t work as well as tailoring your approach to their psychological space. If you are only comfortable dealing with a certain class of people, deal only with that class. People pick up right away on whether you are comfortable with them or not and they tend to trust those most who they are most comfortable with. And if you are not comfortable with them, they are not comfortable with you. Hope this helps. --Eduardo P.S. Some naive people say that this approach is phoney because you should always be the real you (whatever that means). However, professional negotiators (diplomats, hostage-negotiators, bargaining agents, politicians, top salesmen, etc.)are all taught to use it and do use it. Why should real estate deal-makers be any different?

Re: what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by Michael (tejas)

Posted by Michael (tejas) on March 08, 2001 at 12:03:32:

Human nature is an interesting thing. When I was in high school, I had friends whose families belonged to
an exclusive country club where we occaisonally played
golf. This club had a $60 green fee for non members,
and I certainly couldn’t afford to pay that as a kid.

So my friends would go sign in and get a cart while I
practiced on the putting green, and then casually strolled over to the 1st tee box and joined up. Got
nailed everytime I tried it.

I wised up. Next time I went in the pro shop first,
shot the breeze with the guy and just acted like I
did this a million times. Never got questioned again.
He assumed I was a member, because I acted just
like a member would.

Corollary? Attitude and confidence is paramount. Until you are a known quantity to them, people
do not take you for who you are, but who you appear
to be.

You can be successful in this business wearing shorts
and a tee shirt. David Alexander is proof.
Having said that, clothes do make a difference. This
has been proven scientifically with psychological testing.

Read Dress for Success, it talks about how
different socioeconomic groups and races react to
certain clothes and colors. It also speaks to sales
made in the prospects home. (applicable in RE)

Michael (tejas)

The psychology is your attitude… - Posted by ken in sc

Posted by ken in sc on March 08, 2001 at 07:52:35:

If you think that a suit will work best, it will! If you think that beat up jeans with paint splattered on them works best, they will. You just have to have a confidant attitude that when you go see them, you can maybe help them and yourself at the same time. People will pick up your attitude and confidence - so be sure to have that right when you get there. The clothes really don’t matter.

Good luck - Ken

Re: what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on March 08, 2001 at 06:29:30:


I wear whatever I have on. In many cases that ends up being a pair of work pants and a work shirt. The only exception is when I visit people in foreclosure. Then I will put on a pair of casual pants and a button down shirt.


Re: what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by Jay

Posted by Jay on March 08, 2001 at 24:40:41:

You’re a business man/women now, you must look like it???

Re: what clothes do you wear to talk to a seller? - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on March 08, 2001 at 14:23:24:

Except that, in reality, it doesn’t really work that way.

If I’m going out to make an offer to a farmer, I’m not going dressed as a farmer. Farmers don’t go around making offers on properties (at least the ones I know) and wouldn’t expect a real estate guy to drive up in a pickup truck and blue jeans. A real estate investor should meet their expectations of a real estate investor, not simply mirror what they’re wearing. Sure, perhaps they’d be more comfortable chatting with people who are just like them, but that comfort level is more than offset, I suspect, by the incongruity of the investor’s appearance. Additionally, when it’s time to get down to business and I take off my sportscoat, remove my tie and roll up my shirt sleeves, guess who’s just connected. I’m now where he expects me to be.

The difference, I suspect, is that we’re talking about financial responsibilities here. We’re often talking in numbers that aren’t normally day to day conversations. If I’m in trouble and need a solution fast, do I trust the investor who shows up looking like a blue collar worker, or the one who shows up looking like a banker? Sure, I’m more comfortable “talking” with the blue collar guy, but I’m more comfortable “dealing” with the guy who looks like he’s got his act together.

Finally, keep in mind that this really is one of those “nth degree” things. If you do things correctly, it won’t matter much what you’re wearing, but if you do things incorrectly, no amount of the proper clothing will save your deal.