Putting on Your Professional Suit


Sometimes we all trip up and pull a Rick Perry. Regardless of the fact that it was just a slip up, we should never forget that perception is everything. That is true especially in our business where our primary contact is with the public. There are many ways that our customers and clients can become offended by what we say, wear, write, and display. Here are some examples of behaviors that you should avoid if you want your customers and clients to take you seriously.

I am going to start with something I did to offend. Several years ago I had a bumper sticker that said “God BlessAmerica”. Innocuous right? Wrong, I actually had another driver pull up beside me and Say “What do you mean? Why don’t you have a sticker that says God BlessFrance?” I swear that is exactly what he said and he shouted it at me. I no longer have any bumper stickers on my car AND neither should you. It’s not professional.

Don’t have voice mail recordings that are musical, or a joke, or a blessing, or a catchy phrase. Keep it professional. Let the caller know who you are and that you are with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. Let them know you are helping another customer right now and that you will return their call within a certain time frame. That’s it.

Your signature lines in all correspondence should remain professional; don’t add cute language or phrases. I see many agents with references to their interests and lifestyles and I cringe.

Always maintain a professional demeanor when speaking with your customers and clients both in person and on the phone. Unless they’re a lifelong best friend, don’t talk to them like a buddy. They are not your buddy. They are your customer, client or associate. Never use profane language of any sort with anybody connected to the business. It is extremely offensive.

The social network is a tricky place. Be sure you keep in mind that if you post pictures on Facebook of you at a bachelor party, you probably want that on a Facebook account that is separate from the professional real estate agent that you are. You don’t want to be thought of as goofy, wild or maybe even dangerous.

Manners never go out of fashion. If you are thinking of doing something that you are not too sure about, ask yourself “Is this unprofessional?” If you want to let it all hang out, do it in an empty cave in the middle of nowhere. Remember perception is everything.

Is there anything else you think I should add to this list?

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6 Responses to “Putting on Your Professional Suit”

  1. Sandi Rodrick Says:

    “Manners never go out of fahsion.” Such a simple statement full of advice for all ages. Some things are timeless and priceless. Very good article with lots to think about.

  2. Bob Morrison Says:

    Great advice, Dana. The key is to remember it’s not about you, it’s about the client you serve.

  3. Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR® Says:

    Great post, Dana! Another is to keep emails and correspondence professional. Proof read emails and use spell check. Also, don’t email your clients with abbreviations such as you might use with a text message. Your correspondence is a direct reflection of you and how you do business. You don’t want your clients looking at the keyboard to see how close the letters were that you misspelled! Thanks again, Dana, for the great advice!

  4. Katie Milling Says:

    A couple of phone etiquette blunders I’ve noted running amuck in our business are: 1) Answering the phone “hello”. Please identify yourself, you are a business, I shouldn’t have to ask if I have the right number. 2) If you have kids screaming in the car with you or you’re in a noisy place, please let me leave an voice mail and call back when you can hear me and I can hear you. Great post.

  5. Bridgette Freeman Says:

    A continuation of Katie & Ed….. Send a text message, if you can’t answer immediately, text on another call, will call you back, which gives you time to get to that quiet place. Also, keep your text messages professional, as they can be forwarded to email and printed. To Sandi, spoken like a Proper Southern Belle!

  6. Jody Steinberg Says:

    Good grammar never goes out of style, either. As Ed said, check your emails – twice – before you push SEND. Make sure your words cannot be misconstrued or seen as unprofessional. Check the grammar, spelling, choice of words and punctuation of EVERY correspondence and be consistent in your usage. I have seen some amazingly bad grammatical errors on flyers and in advertisements. Many grammatical errors are becoming so common that people do not recognize the error; for example, using apostrophes for plural words or acronyms, and using compound words when the phrase calls for two words, such as back yard [Those words only combine as an adjective – as in, “lush backyard oasis].
    Our clients deserve the best, most professional marketing we can provide. Strive to get it right or get it edited by someone who can!

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