The most important matter in any work environment is professionalism, and a large component of this is your professional appearance. Especially in property management and leasing, dressing conservatively and appearing well-polished will show your employers and customers that you are serious about your job, and will give you the confidence needed to lease an apartment. “75% of recruiters believe that how a person dresses for work affects one's job, salary, and possible promotions” says Wings for Success.
As a property management or leasing representative, you are the face of your company. That’s why learning how to maintain a professional appearance will be crucial in every stage of your career. The following guide will help give you an understanding of proper business attire for property management and teach you how to dress for success!
What to Wear
Suits - Get matching suit pieces (jacket, dress pants, and/or skirt) that will serve as your work wardrobe essentials. The best materials for comfortable suits are pure wool or a wool blend. Try to wear suits in neutral or simple colors such as navy, charcoal gray, or black. You want a conservative style that is versatile and works in any environment.
Blouses - This is where you have a little more freedom. Acceptable tops include button ups, turtle necks, shells, or other fashionable blouses.
Skirts - Make sure your skirt is no shorter than 2 inches above the knee. To test this, put on your skirt and sit down; your skirt should still fully cover your thighs when sitting. Skirts should be fitted pencil skirts but not too clingy; nothing flowy.
Jewelry - Keep it simple and minimal: i.e. post earrings, a modest necklace, and a ring or two if desired. Simple bracelets are also acceptable, but avoid noisy bangles.
Shoes - Your shoes should be clean and comfortable. Stick to heels that are no higher than 2-inches, this helps you maintain a professional look and your feet will thank you later. You should also wear closed toe shoes or pumps.
What NOT to Wear
What to Wear
Essentials- A white button up shirt, a dark pair of slacks (black or navy), dark dress shoes, and a simple black belt are the perfect essentials for your professional wardrobe.
Suits- Wear dress slacks with a matching suit jacket or nice sports coat. The best material is wool or a wool blend. Stick to neutral colors such as black, charcoal gray, or navy. Try to select pieces that will help you maintain a versatile and conservative style.
Shirts- Wear long sleeve button up shirts in muted colors and patterns. The best material for dress shirts is cotton or a cotton blend.
Ties- Always wear a tie. Your suit jacket should be buttoned and your tie should be long enough to reach your belt buckle.
Jewelry- Keep jewelry to a minimum. A wedding band and a watch are the maximum amount of jewelry you should be wearing.
What NOT to Wear
Hair- Everyone’s hair is different, for some it might be easier to maintain than others. Learn what works for you to keep your hair maintained and away from your eyes and face. If you have short hair, avoid spiked hair or any other loud hair styles. If you have longer hair, it might be more comfortable to pull it back in a simple ponytail or bun. Remember: keep it simple. Keeping your hair well maintained and out of your face will make it easier for you to speak to your clients without any distractions.
Nails- You must keep your nails well-manicured, clean and neat. This means clipping them regularly and using only professional color nail polish colors such as soft pink, crème, or light earth tones. While you might be inclined to go with the longest and craziest designs (trust me, we’ve all been there), these are distracting to your customers and do not look professional. It’s also important to note that nail decals are not allowed.
Makeup- Simple and natural is best. Save the deep red lipsticks and the dark eyeshadows for a night out and stick to neutral brown and pink tones. Keeping your makeup simple will be less distracting and will also make your morning routine quicker and easier! Need help finding a makeup style that works for you? Read the article “Business Makeup tips” for some great ideas.
Hygiene- Practicing healthy cleaning and grooming habits is necessary for every work environment, but it is especially crucial in client-facing jobs such as property management. You wouldn’t want to rent an apartment from someone whose hand you’d hesitate to shake, so you shouldn’t expect anyone else to. Hygiene goes far beyond your standard daily shower. Stay fresh all day by washing your hands regularly, brushing your teeth or using a Listerine strip after eating, and bringing deodorant and a hair brush with you for a bathroom touchup on those hot, humid days.
Fragrance- In property management, you are going to meet an abundance of people and many of them might be sensitive to fragrances. Fragrances include perfume, cologne, scented lotion, and anything else you wear with a scent. Remember, just because you love a smell doesn’t mean everyone else does. You don’t want to accidentally scare away any potential clients with an odor they can’t stand, so refrain from using strongly scented fragrances or over applying your fragrances. We recommend using unscented varieties of deodorant, moisturizer, and hairspray to avoid any fragrance issues or sensitivities.
Tattoos and Piercings- Visible tattoos are not permitted in the leasing office. If you already have small tattoos in visible areas, you can cover them up with heavy cover up. If long sleeves or pants can cover them, you should dress accordingly.
Clothing Maintenance- While wearing the proper attire is important, it is also important to keep everything in your professional wardrobe wrinkle and stain free. Keep your work attire in top shape by regularly steam cleaning it at home or taking it to a dry cleaner. Every material requires a different type of care so make sure to learn the proper caring and cleaning techniques for your clothes.
Overall, the most important thing to remember when it comes to your professional appearance is that quality is much more important than quantity. Keep your look polished and simple so you can focus on the personal interactions you are having with your customers, allowing you to be successful in the leasing office.