Inman’s new lifestyle reporter, Jennifer Riner, will cover basic how-tos for the real estate lifestyle. Here are her top quick grooming tips for confident client meetings.
It’s noon on a Monday, and you just finished a quick lunch before running off to meet your next client. Sure, you cleaned up before your first showing, but by now, you’re starting to look a little disheveled. The 80-degree weather certainly isn’t helping you maintain that morning fresh face, either!
As agents know, appearances matter – especially for positive first impressions. Tidy up in between (and well before) clients with these four fixes.
1. Brush your teeth.
Are you constantly checking your teeth for debris in your rearview mirror? Don’t pick at gums with your hands. Instead, invest in disposable, finger-sized brushes to slough off food particles and freshen your breath simultaneously.
Speaking of fresh breath, don’t be ashamed of halitosis, the medical term for chronic bad breath. You’re one of 80 million people, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, who suffers from a stale mouth no matter how many mints you pop. Assuming it doesn’t stem from a serious internal issue, you can fight a stale mouth. Use mouthwash containing chlorine dioxide and buy a scraper for your tongue to use just prior to your regular brushing routine.
Although not a quick mid-day fix, consider whitening your teeth for an extra vote of confidence. A bright smile is always charming, but avoid going to the dentist or performing an at-home treatment directly before a big showing.
The active ingredients in many teeth whitening pastes and gels are intended to temporarily resurface enamel. When that happens, the dentin, full of nerve endings, is exposed until the enamel is restored. Cold air and icy beverages can cause a lot of pain upon contact during the rebuilding period. It’s best to wait a day or two in case your teeth are extra sensitive, rather than risk a painful distraction during work.
2. Trim your fingernails.
No client wants to be scraped with a jagged fingernail when they shake your hand. Keep an emery board or pair of clippers in your car or bag in case you break a nail during the day.
If you frequent the salon and prefer manicured fingernails, clear coats and neutral shades are best for a put-together, cleanly appearance. Finally, regularly apply lotion on-the-go to soften calloused hands — but not too soon before introductions, or else you’ll end up with an awkward, muggy handshake.
3. Style your hair.
Yes, you may go to the salon each week for a fresh cut or blow-out, but that doesn’t mean your hair maintains that perfect shape. Keep it manageable with a few light products. Men and women with short hair can use pomade, which adds hold without the crusty finish of many hair gels. Alternatively, agents with long, wavy hair can maintain their professional appearance by keeping locks pushed back with bands or clips.
If you have long or fickle strands, always check the weather. Spending an hour blow drying and straightening curly hair is a waste of time if it’s humid or raining. Instead, pull hair back into a sleek bun to keep in place throughout the workday. A prominent face implies certainty.
4. Conceal blemishes
Wearing makeup doesn’t have to be obvious. While mascaras and bronzers are designed to accentuate facial features, concealers do the exact opposite. Creamy cover-ups work wonders on under-eye circles and unsightly pimples while translucent powders set makeup in place.
Keep a travel-sized tube or compact if you need to reapply throughout the day. Whatever brand you choose, it’s best to consult a makeup professional to match your skin with the right shade. Often times, obvious concealer looks worse than a bare face with a few imperfections.
If anything, feeling put-together can help boost your self-assurance. And, in a client-facing role, maintaining your confidence is a vital component of securing the deal!