Despite what our teachers and parents told us from an early age, appearances do matter. At least they do when trying to land high-end real estate listings.
If you want to win those high-value accounts, you need to look the part. That means spending more than you normally would or at least appearing to spend more.
Here’s why it works.
People equate status with success
When people look like they are well off, it’s just natural to assume that they earn a lot of money due to their job performance.
Although this might not be the most accurate way to judge ability, it’s one of the quickest and easiest. And that’s often more important.
According to Science Daily, “Confirmation bias is a tendency to search or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s perceptions, leading to statistical errors.”
Thanks to confirmation bias, we naturally seek out evidence to support our first impressions, while significantly downplaying or outright ignoring information to the contrary.
But that’s not the only reason looking the part can lead to larger transactions.
We like people who look like us
Projecting wealth and success works especially well with people who are wealthy and successful themselves. It’s not that these people are snobby or look down on others. It’s simply human nature.
If you can get wealthy buyers and sellers to see you as one of them, you’ll have a much better chance of winning their business.
So how do you do that?
Dress for success
In a blog post titled, “Why You Should Dress to Impress – The ROI of Fashion,” influential entrepreneur Neil Patel shares how upgrading his wardrobe increased his hourly earnings from under $100 to over four figures.
You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wardrobe like Patel describes in his post. He slowly scaled up, spending more as his budget allowed. That same strategy can work for you.
Choose a few items to start with, and wear them when you have the biggest opportunity to make an impression. If the investment pays off, use that to add more or increasingly expensive items.
Rent a fancy car
There’s been some debate over whether driving a fancy car is good or bad for a real estate agent’s business. When dealing with high net worth clients, the evidence suggests that it does indeed help.
“How a Ferrari Made Me a Million Bucks” is an interesting case study on the impact a fancy car can have on business. The most surprising part was that the Ferrari in question belonged to someone else. Just being photographed behind the wheel was enough to have an effect.
Buying a fancy car could be cost-prohibitive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drive one. If you show up at an appointment in a luxury ride, whether it’s rented or borrowed, people will assume it’s yours.
Choose marketing with highly perceived value
The first two strategies help you appear successful when meeting with people in person. But what about when you aren’t there?
Your marketing needs to support the image you’re trying to create. Cheap materials destroy that image. Fortunately, there are easy and affordable ways to do this as well.
For instance, you can use heavier card stock for your printed materials. The sturdier look and feel is worth the added cost when you consider the potential return on your investment. And it won’t cost you anything more in time or effort.
Another way to project a more upscale image with your marketing is to get your listing presentations professionally designed. Not only does it appear more professional than something thrown together in Word, but it also signals that you have a large staff or even a high-priced agency working for you.
Whatever specific tactics you choose, the key is to project the qualities that high-end clients seek: success, luxury, quality, status, etc.
Although these tricks won’t guarantee new business (you still need to actually be good at what you do), they will give you a distinct advantage in a competitive marketplace. And after a while, you won’t just look like an agent who commands high commissions, you have the chance to be one.