Every property manager wants to make a good first impression, but when you’re already thinking on your feet, it can be challenging to get a consistent reaction. By utilizing what you wear to work, you’ll be able to not only create a lasting impression, but dress your way to success. You just need to use these factors to your advantage.

How your Applicants Process what you’re Wearing

Before you decide what to wear, it’s important to try to understand how your applicants perceive what you’re wearing. By the time your applicant has met up with you, their brain has already processed thousands of pieces of visual information. As the average person sees over 3,000 ads every day alone, the brain utilizes fast thinking to categorize what you’re wearing and prompt an appropriate response. For example, if you saw someone in a police uniform, you’d assume they were a policeman and react based on that knowledge. AsapSCIENCE explains that your brain’s 2nd processing system (slow thinking) can understand whether or not the uniform is actually a Halloween costume and override that categorization, but fast thinking is the dominant system. This makes deciding what to wear when showing even more crucial.

We know through our article, Marketing your Properties through Body Language, that it takes just 7 seconds to make a judgement about a person when first meeting them, so having open body language when first meeting is a must. Manou Messmann goes a step further in her TED Talks to argue that clothes are an extension of body language. What you wear when showing communicates intent and your applicant’s brain can instantly pick up on that.

So, What Should You Wear?

While the idea of what is proper business attire is changing rapidly, Manou Messman urges that you should wear your future. In her words, “you should dress in a way that shows what you want in life”. In this situation, you want your applicants to feel comfortable but also see that you’re capable and trustworthy. You want to build a memorable first impression. By wearing clothes that communicate these three key areas, you’ll be able to stand out amongst all the other information your applicant has to process:

  • Confidence

Whether it’s a pair of heels, a nice watch, or clothing that’s well-tailored, wear something that you know makes you feel confident.

  • Comfort

Don’t give into the phrase “beauty is pain”. Ultimately your applicants will be able to tell if you’re uncomfortable in your new shoes, and their responses might reflect that.

  • Intent

This is where you customize your outfits to align to your goals. Think about what type of applicants you’re trying to attract. Would what you’re wearing make them feel comfortable? Do you feel like you look like a successful property manager?

Personal Branding through Clothes

A good way to stay memorable is to develop your personal brand through your clothes. In the long run, personal branding can help distinguish yourself with your residents and while networking. Over time your residents and peers will even associate who you are with the item of clothing. You’ll no longer wear your future; you’ll be your future. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are the most famous for creating a personal brand through their work uniform, but, according to Forbes, politicians and fashion designers utilize this strategy as well.

As seen by Refinery29’s Connie Wang, wearing the same thing every day isn’t for everyone. Depending on the occasion, weather, and your company’s dress code, you probably won’t be able to wear a black turtleneck and jeans every day. Instead, consider picking a color (like wearing all black or black and white), accessory, or silhouette to stick to. This way you can market yourself and your intent without breaking any rules.

While your showing skills are unquestionable, reconsidering how you appear to your applicants can not only reinforce those skills, but advance them. By physically wearing what you want professionally, you psychologically take on those traits. You become what you wear. What better way to make a good impression and fill those vacancies?

What do you wear to impress applicants? How do you create a lasting impression? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe!

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About the Author

Author Becky BowerBecky Bower is the Communications Executive here at the Resident Screening Blog. She holds a degree in English, with a focus in creative writing, from CSU Channel Islands. Her biggest weakness is cake and favorite superhero is Batman.

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