Carey Larsen of Citi Habitats says, “It’s a lot of fun to dress to match the kind of property it is. You can guess which kinds of people will be drawn to different kinds of properties and it’s like talking in somebody’s language. You want to relate to them in as many ways as possible. Recently I threw an art party to market a loft and I wore black boots, black pants that were oversized with a dropped crotch, a button-up blouse with a black blazer that closed with a pin and a hat. It looked really loft ready in a way. I do very androgynous clothing, but it’s diverse. I like velvet smoking slippers and I have bright yellow tennis shoes that I’ll wear with a purple suit.
“ I try not to look too overdone or expensive because that can be very intimidating. I’ve never had that problem, but I’ve seen other people make that mistake. If I had to describe my style it would be comfort. If it’s not comfortable I won’t wear it because I need something I can move in.
“ Additionally, I have a team and we have a style. When we’re out we tend to dress alike which works for us, because people say ‘what a stylish team.’ We tend to look like we belong in Brooklyn and we know Brooklyn and we’re loft experts. I don’t want to look like everybody else because it helps you sell yourself if you’re above the edge.”
David Palmieri of Citi Habitats says, “I have a light grey, peacoat-like jacket that has a black collar, and I wear it over my suits. It’s from a place called Saturdays, a small shop in the West Village, where I live. Whenever I wear it, I have 4-5 people that say something to me about it.
“When showing homes I’m always in a suit or at least a blazer with dark jeans and a tie and Cole Haan shoes that are dressy with a sneaker bottom. I wear them because I take as many as 20-000-25,000 steps a day around the city if I’m taking a client around for several hours. Before I wore shoes from a French shoemaker on my block and they got destroyed three months later. So I learned my lesson about needing more versatile shoes.
“I also wear a white shirt that’s monogrammed with my initials. I just like the details and other people like the details and they think you’re detail-oriented. It’s nonverbal communication that says you’re thoughtful and you care.”
Lauren Schaffer of Triplemint says, “When showing a luxury apartment in downtown Manhattan, I will wear an outfit that looks expensive, creative and trendy. When showing brownstones in Brooklyn, I will dress more casually in order to capture the borough’s down-to-earth vibe. And when showing co-ops on Park Avenue, I will always wear heels and a nice pair of tailored work pants.
“When showing apartments, it is all about matching my outfit to the overall feel and aesthetic of that neighborhood. It is important to give off the impression that I’m a local expert who intuitively understands the consumers who live — or would like to live — in any particular area.”
McKenzie Ryan of Compass says, “As an agent, I think it’s imperative to create a memorable experience for a potential buyer or seller, and fashion plays a key role in that. I like to dress myself to the aesthetic of the home while adding a dose of my eclectic fashion style. Not only do I feel most happy and my best when I’m dressed up, but it also positively alters the clients’ mood. The ability to alter someone’s mood in a positive way while showing an apartment increases the likelihood of the sale! I don’t believe in boring or plain outfits, every showing deserves something exciting and sometimes, over the top.
“ I also like to dress to my clients’ profession or general aesthetic. I’ve shown properties in everything from velvet pants to silk dresses, sequence, denim, florals and a lot of vintage. If it makes someone smile, then I’m doing a good job. If I get compliments, I am doing a great job because they are impressed and found the experience memorable.”
Ian Slater of Compass, says, “This completely depends on the day. Early in my career, I would be suit and tie every day. Then, I heard from one of my Goldman Sachs clients that I should dress to reflect my client. That resonated with me.
“I have business at every price point and across neighborhoods from Brooklyn to Upper East Side to Harlem – so I try to look at my day in the morning and dress the part. If I am showing $10m+ apartments, certainly it’s a suit. If it’s downtown rentals, you don’t want to come off as too ‘high end’ so you may tailor it differently. But by and large I want to be comfortable during the day – we are walking 7-10 miles per day and constantly in and out of everything from construction sites to top-end apartments – so it has to be durable!”
Darryl Nipps, agent with Compass who also runs a fashion event production business, says, “When showing apartments, it is my personal preference to dress professionally but stylishly. Personally, I feel at my most comfortable and confident when wearing a suit or pants and a blazer, but being in real estate and not in a corporate office job, I am able to incorporate some personal flair. I also firmly believe in the importance of appearance and the key role it plays in making a good and lasting impression when meeting people for the first time.”
Phillip Salem, a Triplemint agent who also publishes a style report on his personal website, says, “Coming from a background in the fashion industry, the majority of my clientele appreciates the fact that I am not the typical suit-and-tie agent. I don’t even own one suit or tie for that matter and I rarely wear a shirt with a collar. When I go on appointments or meet with clients for the first time, the impression I give them is 100 percent my authentic self and I want to be 100 percent comfortable.
“ My usual go-to is shorts, until it goes below 50 degrees that’s when I usually start wearing pants, a long, thin Rick Owens long-sleeve tee and a long jacket. The jacket is usually my statement piece, and it always has texture or flair to it with a pop of color, as most of my wardrobe is black. I finish the look with a high-top sneaker, usually a big chunky one like my go-to Stella McCartneys.”
Elias Marte of DJK says, “During fall and winter I wear my wool robe and my waxed cotton bucket hat. My waxed cotton bucket keeps me dry when it rains when I’m walking between buildings with clients. I’m not the biggest fan of carrying an umbrella because I have to carry keys along with my camera. My wool belted coat is perfect. It’s not too heavy. A lot of the prewar buildings have the cast iron radiators that really warm up the apartment so I try to avoid my heavier coats. During spring and summer if I have a meeting or lease signing I would wear a Tobacco (Fresco fabric) linen suit. Also this fabric breathes well for warmer, humid weather and doesn’t wrinkle easily.
“I have noticed a lot of prospective tenants say I dress differently from most realtors and they like it. I usually end up talking about the apartment and telling people where I bought my leather folder or jewelry pieces. Most clients remember me as the realtor with a lot of jewelry that wears a turtleneck. Apparently it’s my trademark. Some have asked me for style advice. Usually the prospective tenants that are in the fashion industry have given me referrals to other clients with similar interests in style. They find me more personable.”