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Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's In A Shoe?

As a little girl I loved shoes.
As a big girl I still love shoes.

My mother made me wear black and white saddle shoes.  I remember as clear as if it were this morning a pair of shoes that set the course of my lust and desire for eye catching, show stopping, somebody slap me - gotta have them shoes!

I was in the first grade.  There was a girl (whose name I don't remember) in the lunch line wearing THE shoes.  Robins egg blue, patent leather, Mary Jane's.  I couldn't believe it!  I had never seen shoes like that.  And I coveted.

Even THESAURUS gets it
My mother was a practical dyed in the wool Yankee.  My shoes always tied, never buckled.  Once I was even forced to wear some grey suede oxfords (can you imagine the scarring to my psyche?)  I can't imagine how I might have behaved  had owned a pair of robin egg blue shoes!  I know I would have felt over the top special, whether anyone else thought I was or not.  Those shoes might have changed the entire course of my life!  I had worn leg braces when I was first walking but they were LONG GONE by the time I hit first grade.  That shy, runty child needed some confidence boosting style.

Ask anyone who knows me - those days are long gone and this woman has got the shoes!  I actually have a pair of bright blue patent leather flats (LUCKY BRAND) - look great with jeans.

Image, reputation, personal branding, and that ever important first impression are crucial to a REALTOR.  Being a REALTOR is a celebrity of sorts.  After awhile your name gets out there - people know who you are from magazine ads, the Internet, or whatever.  My daughter gets a big kick out of it when people ask 'are you Ms. So and So Realtor?'  (of course you kinda have to watch what you say and do sometimes).

So, in light of all that, a proper real estate agent must invest in appropriate footwear.  Remember the old fashioned thing about looking at the soles of a mans shoes?  It's become more persnickety now.  And I for one get it.  IMAGE MATTERS!  Do you portray success?  Do you look like you are in tune with what's going on?  Do you look like you even care what's going on?

Handbags must be included with the shoes.  These times necessitate a signature handbag the way the 1950's
Thank goodness for TJ Maxx
women were identified by their signature cologne!  I have enticed more than one reticent buyer to warm up and become BESTIES over my black COACH tote or my Michael Kors hobo (gifts from my daughters - Christmas and Mothers Day respectively ).  I was at a home inspection with the mother of one of my buyers and she broke the ice asking where I got my bag.  We ended up spending two hours bonding on the sellers couch for two hours.

With the men of course, it's my car.  I am not a car fiend.  I have learned that I DO prefer a fast car.  Doesn't have to be new.  My Mercedes is a 1999 - hand-me-down from my ex.  My son had the hood repainted when the miserable heat  fried the paint off poor Isabell. She wasn't used to this South Carolina sun.  But it's a conversation starter none the less.

We all portray a persona to the public.  Over time it helps identify you.  Anyone who says that is not so is lying or lazy and believes this business just lands where it lands.

On a particularly hot day last summer I met a buyer at a home inspection in a home with no air on.  It was HOT, averaging 110 degrees that week during the heat of the day.  I figured I would change thing up a bit and dress in a style untypical for me.  I wore shorts and flip flops.  Now the shorts were 'dressy', with silver shimmery threads through them.  Even had pleats and cuffs.  I wore a silk blouse.  The first thing my client said was, 'You off today?  Dressing down?' he said with a smile.  I spent as much on the shorts and silk blouse as I would have on a dress.  I didn't ever wear them when I was 'off' (those shorts are cut-off denim).  But in his mind that was NOT how his agent looked when she was 'working'.  And the flip flops?  They were really nice flip flops...they had glitter too.  You couldn't wear them to the beach or working in the yard.  Needless to say, that outfit is worn shopping or to the movies with friends now, the flip flops are gone.

It's a two edged sword.  It truly is.  The image you either select for yourself or allow others to choose for you, MUST be maintained!  I pledge to do my best for my clients, I have my eye on a killer pair of strappy sandals.  I shall not be deterred!  I do this for my clients.

Oh yeah, get this.  I tried on a pair of black & white saddle shoes at TJ Maxx to wear with my boyfriend jeans.  Who knew they could look cute?


Mr. So and So REALTOR in my office brands himself another way...with his VAN!  Everyone recognizes him.   Of course, makes it kinda hard to speed or commit other various offenses and go unnoticed.  That two old edged sword thingee...