How Realtors Should Dress to Close Deals

HOUSTON – (By Michelle Leigh Smith) – Women Realtors who are ready to close today on a mansion sale, or even a three-bedroom bungalow, here’s an ensemble tip: WEAR WHITE.

A white outfit gets you the best change getting a favorable nod of agreement and a signature on a contract, says image consultant Helen Perry.

Men – The Right Shoes Result in Signed Contracts

For men, the secret to selling lies in lacing up the right shoes.

Perry delivered an image training seminar at the request of Walter Bering, top producer at Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty where he closed more than $100 million last year. He recently sold a $16 million home in River Oaks. So he brought in Perry to up the game for his assistants.

Bering is also springing for a generous shopping spree for each of his assistants under the leadership of Ms. Perry.

Dressing to Close a Deal

“In dressing to close a deal, for women, white gets the most agreement,” says Perry. “If you are petite, the power outfit is a red jacket, white blouse and a black skirt or pants. This combination is a powerful tool.  I can teach you how to dress with “sprezzatura,” a studied nonchalance.

“For men, wingtips dress up a suit. I often take my clients to M. Penner first, where they are able to see top quality first hand.  We may end up at Jos. A. Banks, but this gives them the bar to shoot for.

Helen Perry and Walter Bering. Photo by MIchelle Smith. Copyright 2022 Realty News Report

“People judge you on your behavior, not your intention,” she says. “Everyone, regardless of their position, can be at the top of their game. Whether you’re a full-time parent, an executive, a student or volunteer, sharpening a diverse set of skills will optimize your efforts and, therefore, your life. My clients receive promotions, invitations, proposals—it’s really gratifying to see!”

“The dynamic of an outside consultant addressing employees about personal topics like appearance, etiquette, behavior, speech and customer service works well. It’s difficult for a manager to tell a subordinate her skirt is too short or that he needs to lower his voice or pay closer attention to grooming. Encouraging guidance on how to consistently bring your A-game goes a long way,” explains Perry.

A native Houstonian and LSU graduate, Helen is now in her 39th year of consulting.  Her coaching executives and training in Fortune 500 companies. Her column, Sage Advice, is published in the Houston Better Business Bureau Newsletter.

Perry opened with Table Manners & Impression Management. “Fine tune your speaking voice. In answering the phone, instead of saying, `Just a second,’ say “certainly, that’s come up before. Let me see what I can do.”

Don’t say “I don’t know.”

Don’t say, “I don’t know. Try, “I don’t have an answer now but I’ll be happy to check and find out.”

Instead of `We don’t do that,” say, “While we can’t do X, we are happy to do Y or Z.”

It’s `May I place you on hold’ instead of `Hold please.’”

“Style without authenticity comes across as a façade,” she says. “Just as you should be impeccable with your word, dress with that same attention to detail.

She spoke about the importance of “Delighters” as creative, fun unexpected mementos that help a client remember how you made them feel.

Bering took the group for a day of training at The Coronado Club at 919 Milam (formerly the Bank One building and before that, Bank of the Southwest) and was joined by Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty President Robin Conner and Chief Financial Officer Paul Kilian. The big day ended with a night with the Astros and a stay at the snazzy Marriott Marquis.

Sommelier’s Wine Tips: Avoid “Smell Like a Hippie”

The Coronado Club’s master sommelier, John Mason, shared with the Realtors some dos and don’ts about ordering and sampling wine.  “There is an etiquette to choosing and drinking wine,” Mason says. “I often ask them to name three producers they like. Wines from Sicily and Mt. Etna are really trending, as are some of the natural wines.  I don’t generally recommend the natural ones because they smell like a hippie might have concocted them.”

“Also, sniff tests are not for all occasions, I don’t recommend it.  And, don’t hold the top of the glass.  The stem is where your hand should be.

The Coronado Club is an elegant private dining club located in a landmark building in downtown Houston. Established in 1956 as a place for the city’s business leaders to meet in convivial surroundings, the Coronado Club offers luxurious comfort, exceptional dining and highly personalized service. For generations of Houstonians, the Coronado Club has long been a gracious gathering place for friends and colleagues – a welcoming retreat in the vibrant heart of the downtown business district.

Bering credits his team for his notable record of sales.

“I didn’t do that alone – the credit goes in large part to my assistants, an amazing group working behind the scenes to make sure it all comes together,” says Bering.

In the political arena, Perry is a consultant for speech diction for candidates seeking office.  She dressed former Houston mayor Annise Parker, a woman who finds shopping a bore.


July 8, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

Photos by Michelle Leigh Smith. Realty News Report Copyright 2022 

Group caption: Paul Kilian, CFO at Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty Houston, Robin Conner, President of MTSIR, Walter Bering, assistants Gary Wilbanks, Brittany McCann and Mary Grace Sullivan, Walter Bering’s Director of Wow

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