A very successful real estate broker in California, accepted a position in Boca Raton, FL, to manage another high-end real estate office. Now this was a talented, successful manager with lots of management experience and a very strong resume. But, there was a problem.
You see, in many places in California, jeans and cowboy boots are proper business attire. The manager recognized that no one else in Boca wore cowboy boots or jeans, but he wanted to brand himself as being different anyway. Besides, he was a really good manager. So, why should how he dress matter?
Needless to say, this talented, successful manager was never accepted in the Boca real estate community. Less than 6 months after moving to the east coast, he was terminated and replaced by another manager with a much more polished look consistent with the Boca market.
Most of us like to believe that what matters most is our knowledge, experience, and preparation. In reality, when you first meet people, what matters most is what they see, then how they feel, and finally, how much you know. Consider the pie chart below. Prospective buyers and sellers will decide to do business with you based on:
- What they see– how you dress relative to their taste (55% visual).
- How they feel– not based on your knowledge, but rather on their interpretation of your tone or delivery of a message i.e. do you sound sincere (38% vocal).
- Your knowledge– the information and data you can present (7% content).
Once they’ve sized you up and like or trust you, that’s when your knowledge becomes important.
Don’t be a fish-out-of-water like the cowboy booted California manager who moved to Boca, and failed. Recognize that 55% of the reason people do business with you, is because of what they see. ADAPT, and remember, “WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS DO.”