Stylist and keynote speaker Joshua Heath has a simple message for agents: how they present themselves influences how much business they win.
“People judge in the first three seconds of meeting someone new; we judge on what we see first, not on the knowledge they might have,” he says.
Mr Heath says agents who don’t present themselves properly run the risk of losing sales through loss of trust and lack of client engagement.
“What you choose to wear has a powerful effect on how people view you,” he says.
“We all have our personal style, however, we need to remember that our personal style is likely not to be the style of our business or the company we represent.”
Mr Heath says agents should consider their target market when deciding how to present themselves – agents in affluent suburbs would probably need to dress differently to those in working-class areas.
He also stresses that presentation encompasses more than what clothes an agent wears.
“It all comes down to the details and effort that you put into your overall appearance,” he says.
“It is the small details like dirty shoes, cracked nail polish, bad breath and the pen you hold that lets most people down.”
Joshua Heath’s style tips for men
“Shine those shoes, men. It takes little effort but adds so much to achieving a polished look.
“For men, appearance can be a bit more relaxed, so make sure that your hair is trimmed and tidy every four to six weeks.
“Make sure you’ve got a style of haircut that you can maintain yourself. You want to have something that’s clean and sleek with a nice style.
“No five o’clock shadow; either clean shaven or you’ve got a beard. It does come down to the company that you work for. A lot of them will just say no facial hair at all, which I lean more towards. If you’ve got a beard, it needs to be trimmed and it needs to be clean.
“Also, book into a men’s salon and have those unsightly ear and nose hairs removed.
“Keep your nails short and clean. Ninety-nine per cent of people look at a person’s hands during a conversation.
“Buy clothes that fit you. It sounds like a no-brainer, but I see so many guys with suits that are too big or shirts that are too small. When it comes to suits, look at made to measure; it’s more cost-effective than you may think.”
Joshua Heath’s style tips for women
“I always say to the ladies, ‘You’ve got hair, so brush it’. A lot of women have long hair, but if you’re going to have long hair then you’ve got to maintain. Wake up that little bit earlier to do it; don’t have wet hair and don’t throw your hair in a messy ponytail. Choose a hairstyle that you can maintain easily while still looking well groomed.
“The same goes for ladies’ nails; if you’ve got nail polish on and it’s chipped, take it off or reapply it.
“Avoid revealing clothing: low-cut tops and short skirts are not appropriate. Wear tailored or structured clothing that flatters your shape rather than flaunts it.
“Make-up is a huge thing. Keep it simple and keep it time appropriate, so think about what time of day it is. Most of the time, you’re going to be working during daylight hours, so keep the make-up to a minimum.”