My Ideal (Female) Realtor® Shoe Wardrobe

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When I became licensed as a real estate agent years ago, I am embarrassed to admit that I actually worried that I would need an elegant wardrobe and expensive shoes to fit the image of the “ladies who play tennis in the morning and play real estate in the afternoon”. I didn’t and still don’t play tennis. I entered the real estate business as a full-time professional. BUT… after having a Ferragamo sucked off in the mud at a new construction site, getting countless stiletto heels caught and skinned on hundreds of wooden decks, and watching my leather shoes crack from repeatedly getting wet, I learned that practical footwear rules!

The ideal female real estate shoe wardrobe, all of which should be kept in the trunk of an agent’s car at all times for instant access and use would include:

1)     Sneakers, tennis shoes, tennis runners, athletic shoes or whatever you call them for previewing properties. Previewing is fast-paced – in and out of each property in five to ten minutes, covering dozens of properties in a couple of hours. Previewing ten homes equals running a mile; I’m sure of it.

2)     Hiking boots for walking land or previewing mountain properties (“Why, yes, I did walk all the way to the creek”).

3)     Designer four-inch stiletto heels for attending other agents’ luncheons and caravan open houses (“Why, yes, I always dress this elegantly and never break a sweat!”). These can also come in handy as weapons, if needed.

4)     Wedges, which can substitute for the stiletto heels from the front but give away the wearer’s faint-of-heart status when viewed from the side.

5)     Driving shoes or moccasins after leaving the swanky agent luncheon to avoid the dreaded “Realtor heel”, the telltale worn spot on the heel of the right shoe caused by friction with the car mat under the accelerator during the 40,000 miles you drive annually.

6)     Dressy and casual flats or low heels for actually showing properties to buyers/tenants. We always want to project a professional image but not necessarily intimidate our clients and customers by drawing attention to the dressiness of our attire compared to the buyer’s/tenant’s attire. My rule has always been to dress one or two levels above what I expect the buyer/tenant to be wearing. And I have advised the buyer/tenant to dress “comfortably” to view properties. HINT:  The higher the price of the property, the higher the heel.

7)     Waders, preferably chest-high, for showing new construction on rainy days. Seriously. Little rain boots or even Wellies may not provide the “protection” needed. If your shoe budget doesn’t allow for some good old reinforced hunting waders, ask the builder whose property you are showing to meet you at the curb with waders. 

8)     Snow boots are ideal if there’s snow on the ground.

9)     Golf cleats can really come in handy if it’s icy outside. They might help you avoid an embarrassing fall. I bet a lot of agents wish they had these in Atlanta’s ice storm in January.

10)  Flip flops or sandals for showing beach-front property (we wish!).

11)  Clogs = NO. No explanation needed.

Men, you can skip the stilettos if you prefer, but would substitute your most brilliantly polished dress shoes.

Needless to say, all of the above should be “slip on” models or use Velcro fasteners to facilitate slipping off shoes after entering a property, especially when the owner has posted a “Please remove your shoes” sign. This, in turn, necessitates that socks or stockings (does anyone still use this term?) be in good condition and MATCH. Slipping off your loafers to reveal your heel protruding from a threadbare sock undermines your credibility as a professional and objective agent.

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24 Responses to “My Ideal (Female) Realtor® Shoe Wardrobe”

  1. Carol Waldrop Says:

    Perfect advice! Should be required reading for new agents.

  2. Steve Adkins Says:

    Could have used some golf shoes this time last year while processing a new HUD assignment. There was a lot of snow and ice at the property and I found out I do not bounce like I use to! But my feet were warm and dry in my hunting boots!

  3. Sandi Rodrick Says:

    Very good, practical advice and what a wonderful excuse to start 2012 with a shopping spree at DSW Shoe Warehouse!

  4. Zann Palmer Says:

    What about cowboy/girl boots? Comfortable, stylish, rugged, waterproof and oh so fun to wear along with my pearl necklace.

  5. Mona Carpenter Says:

    Happy right now to be an Office Manager . . . where I can wear my “high heels” – on shoes and boots! Being short, most people “look down” on you, so I compensate – add 2 – 3 inches! But you wonderful agents out there, take care of your feet, and take Ann’s advise. She always gives the best advise!

  6. Melissa Stephens Says:

    Ann, absolutely love this article! It’s so funny….and true!

  7. Pat Viohl Says:

    I agree with all of this, but I’d be the agent minus the stilettos…. at a recent family wedding, I bought and wore the first pair of “heels” [probably 3 inches high] I’ve dared to try in years…… I looked like a wobbly 10-year old playing dress-up, and could barely walk after 2 hours in those things! BUT I do have some pretty nice low pumps!

  8. Valerie McDonald Says:

    Good advice. I will add that I was told early on that it is good to wear shoes you can run in when showing homes to someone you do not know, just in case you need to get away.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Very cute article with great advice, thanks!

  10. Linda Mock Says:

    My Harley Boots have become a part of my “ Realtor Shoes Wardrobe”. Sometimes, my Buyer clients like to ride up to the Lake on their Harley to look at Lake Lanier properties. Oh, what fun! My hubby drives our Harley, and I navigate on the back with the GPS and my Property Folders tucked in the saddle bag. My Harley Boots have come in oh so handy when walking down to the dock to check the water levels. I too, have watched them sink deep,deep into the soft mud at the shoreline. I actually wore them once to walk a foreclosure lot over in Cherokee County, where the previous owner had left a donkey and a horse to roam the land. This info was of course not posted on the listing, “Beware of Roaming Donkey and Horse” and when I came face to face with the donkey in the woods, my Harley Boots came in oh so handy when running from the donkey to jump the fence! You just have to love it! Shoes are ever so important in Real Estate!

  11. Sandi Rodrick Says:

    If anyone is looking for comfortable, flat shoes, think Toms Shoes [tomsshoes.com] You buy a pair and they [Toms] give a pair to a needy child. It’s a wonderful program!

  12. talani casariego Says:

    Nice one, Ann. I hang onto everything… except threadbare socks. It doesn’t hurt to keep your peticure up to date too. You never know when you are going to have to take off those shoes.

  13. Crystal Brumfield Says:

    Awesome article!!!! Very funny, but oh so informing!!! Thanks Ann!

  14. Alison Trevor Childs Says:

    Good job, Ann, on the article. You generated more interest and comments that most blogs in recent past.

    Here’s my problem: I would have to purchase a new vehicle with a trunk large enough to house all of those shoes! This is getting expensive…

  15. Ann Bone Says:

    Alison is funny! But maybe this is why Realtors have a reputation of driving large luxury cars. It takes a Cadillac or Mercedes to house the needed shoe wardrobe!

  16. Tammie Carpenter Says:

    I need a Cadillac Limo to haul all those beautiful shoes around! LOL

    My pretty Cowboy boots (worn with slacks) have been the best investment I made for showing property. However… They are alergic to mud. 😉

  17. Melissa Stephens Says:

    Like Talani said, it is so important to have your natural shoes aka…pedicure…in order too. If not a pedicure, be sure to have on decent socks because you never know which listing appointment or showing is going to have that nice laminated “please remove shoes” sign waiting on you. I learned this the hard way a time or two. Haha!

  18. Donna Pollard Says:

    Great article. I am off to get a pedicure and then go shoe shopping. Ha!

  19. Jody Says:

    popular article!
    No way I can do the stilletos – ever! But a decent heel and polished shoe – that is my goal. I appreciate the appropriate style synopsis – it is helpful!
    However, call me old-fashioned or stuck up, but I do not think the flip flop (not even a leather sandal-styled one) ever has a place in business – even if I were showing beachfront or lakefront property.

  20. Kristell Scott Says:

    I love the comment… The higher the price of the property, the higher the heel. Very true indeed! Definately gotta keep the pair of sneakers as a back up though in case you get worn out or a pair of flip flops and icy hot for when you’re all done!

  21. Nathalie Medina Rauch Says:

    Ann, I think it is time for me to understand that I need to keep my high heels in the closet and get some flats. This post has been so helpful!! being in South Florida I can play with a new wardrobe. Thank you thank you thank you.

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