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The 'perfect' storm of excessive inventory, low market values and interest rates professionals detect is not necessarily what buyers see. The 2009 economy has given many the jitters. Countless have lost their source of income and are either floundering or scurrying to reinvent themselves. Less prestigious sources of employment have become viable and many are resorting to creativity in becoming self employed. Not able to predict their financial future leaves a gut feeling of uneasiness. It is no wonder the plunge into home ownership can be an uncomfortable thought. The media coverage of countless foreclosures only accentuates the failures of others which can be likened to the divorce rate and marriage!

REALTORS ® are typically a professional bunch in appearance, attitude and knowledge. Dressed for success and driving a pricey vehicle are signs your efforts have afforded you. However, in the current economy, when so many are hurting financially, it may appear intimidating or even selfish. I'd like to suggest a dash of humility into our presentation as professionals. Without talking down to anyone, consider being able to relate to their status. Minor changes such as elimination of jewelry, driving an economical vehicle and dressing business casual may ease the pain of someone who is struggling to reestablish themselves financially.

However, if your objective is to scare buyers then I suggest you drive your Lexus, Beemer or Caddy and wear your power suit/tie and expensive jewelry. It won't convince the average buyer of your expertise. It will likely convince them they are out of their league to consider a home purchase at this time. It will likely convince them you are pompous to suggest they purchase when so many before them have failed recently. It may likely increase their belief that you were part of the problem and capitalized on the situation as merely a commission grabber. It may scare them into thinking they should not even consider a purchase until they can aspire to your greatness. In my humble opinion, it is too early for Halloween.

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Comment by Linda Landry on July 27, 2009 at 12:31pm
Thanks Terrence; I was not meaning to invoke agitation; merely making a point that todays market includes a different type of buyer and it may be wise to 'walk a mile' in their shoes.
Comment by Terrence Cook on July 27, 2009 at 12:22pm
I drive a BMW and wear business casual. I don't need to make excuses for the car I drive or the clothes I wear. My clients choose to work with a real estate professional who is sucessful at what he does. My BMW is very comfortable and a joy to drive. I also enjoy working with clients that enjoy nicer cars and homes. If you want to drive a Camry, knock yourself out. Also, to each his own.
Comment by Linda Landry on July 27, 2009 at 10:53am
Touche' Robert! I agree with you 100% A flash in the pan can impress once; a true professional can impress over and over again by providing accurate assistance, information, resources and service.
Comment by Robert Young on July 27, 2009 at 10:00am
I have always dressed business casual. A few colleagues have questioned my golf shirt and dress pants approach, and I tell them. "Some agents need to impress with their clothes, I prefer to impress with what I know".
Comment by Linda Landry on July 24, 2009 at 10:29pm
Hi George; thanks for the comment. All I am really attempting to convey is that this is an unusual real estate market. With lots of blame to share for the downturn I think it behooves a real estate agent to keep a low profile with most clients and specifically with first time home buyers and REO properties. Why? Because this is ground zero and because for most of us unchartered territory. That includes homebuyers who hear mostly negative things about the current economy and housing market.
Comment by George Kenner on July 24, 2009 at 10:17pm
I agree with much of what you said. However sucess can be shared, it is an attiude. Are you suggesting that a CPA with a rolex watch is not the CPA to go to because he is rich. If you can not apply the comment to all professions maybe it is a thought to be reconsidered. I am every bit the professional that a CPA or Ins. Agent or Engineer or banker is.

I agree we don/t have to use Fear and Greed to drive us either to or away from our clients. Just being a conserned and good person has always served me well in all the jobs I have had.
Comment by Linda Landry on July 22, 2009 at 4:59pm
Touche' Robert! I am just starting out and I drive a Camry! Today's market is no place to showcase! Today's buyer is or at least should be cautious not only in what they purchase but who is assisting them. Thanks for your insightful words.
Comment by Robert on July 22, 2009 at 3:12pm
Know your audience. When in Rome act like the Romans do. Dress according to your specific market and buyer. I have never really quite understood why realtors try to impress their clients with the type of car that they drive. Instead realtors should impress their clients with outstanding service, underpromising-overdelivering, selling homes, integrity and followup. Save the Mercedes for the Country Club, date, or your next high school reunion. I have known of many realtors, especially new realtors just starting out, who put way too much focus on what they look like and drive than on trying to establish their careers. Too many realtors drive more expensive car than they can afford or does not fit their actual income/lifetstyle ( I should know, I use to sell cars). Instead realtors should impress their clients with a professional attitude, interpersonal skills, excellent customer service, communication, and truly trying to fullfill the clients needs-Selling their property or helping them buy a property. One of the most successful realtors and business men I have known drives a Honda Accord. His employees typically drive "nicer" cars than he does. He feels he owes his success and prosperity to his work ethic, skill, persistence, knowledge, service to the client, and luck. Impress with your track record.

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