Dress for success, broker

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Whether it’s through the content we provide, the consultative approach we bring to each and every new customer situation or, quite frankly, the way we dress, our vision at SAFEBRIDGE is to redefine the traditional customer experience.

How we present ourselves in terms of our appearance and dress code is one of the easiest and most obvious ways brokers have of demonstrating our commitment to professionalism.

In an industry where the norm is not a suit and tie, why not separate ourselves from the crowd? As mortgage agents, we are helping our clients make the biggest financial decision that they’re likely ever to make.

With that comes a tremendous amount of responsibility, and we believe that we can clearly demonstrate our commitment and awareness of that responsibility in the way we dress and present ourselves to our clients, partners and colleagues.

Last year we hired an executive sales coach to come in for four months of rigorous training with our team and he recommended that even mortgage professionals working from home get up in the morning and dress for success as it has as much of an impact on their mindset as it does the clients' perception of them.

We believe once you are looking and feeling better, you live each day with a passion and purpose for what you do and why you do it.

It is not all about the dress code, but it is a piece of the puzzle for all of us at SafeBridge.

Once your clients and referral partners give you that platform because of your dress code, you show them that you can back that up by your passion, purpose, service and way you give back to your community!

Quite honestly, if we get paid as much – if not more than – accountants and lawyers, then we should dress and act as professionally as they do.

Every industry has a high-end player and we understand that, but what we are trying to do is raise the bar so that the whole industry steps up its game and participates in the responsibility we share when serving the needs of our clients.

We talk about mortgage brokers over bank specialists as if the only difference is we have more flexibility and access to various lenders and rates.

From a consumer’s standpoint, they also see many in the industry dress casually and not to the level that they would expect from someone handling and advising them on the biggest financial decision of their lives. That, in turn, affects all of us.

All that being said, it doesn’t matter how well you dress. Unless you deliver exceptional service and bring the right consultative approach to someone’s mortgage situation, you will never gain their trust, confidence and referrals from family and friends.

  • KJL on 2013-06-06 1:48:13 PM

    Really !!

  • Larry Gwynne on 2013-06-06 1:59:09 PM

    The old adage that you cant tell a book by its cover is the same for salespersons

    Just because they wear a suit and tie does not mean they are qualified and competent, it just
    means they look good

  • KJL on 2013-06-06 2:04:29 PM

    Right on Larry .. Attending CAAMP / IMBA and you look around .. I know there are 500 people in the right room who look great !Can they do a mortgage ? Ahhhhhhh "No" !!

  • Chris H on 2013-06-07 8:07:52 AM

    Dress for your clients...I have been at this 24 years...suit/tie intimidates majority of clients in my market, jeans/dockers & a logo'd golf shirt in winter, and nice shorts & golf shirt in summer...and agreed...experience and professionalism outweigh how you dress...if I was DT Toronto maybe a suit would be required...but not in the sunny okanagan!

  • Chris H on 2013-06-07 8:07:57 AM

    Dress for your clients...I have been at this 24 years...suit/tie intimidates majority of clients in my market, jeans/dockers & a logo'd golf shirt in winter, and nice shorts & golf shirt in summer...and agreed...experience and professionalism outweigh how you dress...if I was DT Toronto maybe a suit would be required...but not in the sunny okanagan!

  • Ron on 2013-06-07 1:27:56 PM

    Show me a mortgage broker in a suit and tie and I'll show you a broker that has no idea what he is doing. Flip flops are going to far, I would agree with you there.

  • Jessie on 2013-06-10 10:01:58 AM

    There is a VERY old saying in this world of ours, one that my grandfather was most fond of telling me growing up. “Dress according to how you WANT to be perceived by people, otherwise do not be shocked if their perception of you does not fit with your own self image.” If you want to deliver an image of professionalism and expertise, then dress accordingly. Given that mortgage brokers struggles to compete with banks and to shake off the image of being unprofessional, then we need to dress according to how we want to be perceived. That does not mean a 3 piece suit, but it does mean at the very minimum business casual. A lot of brokers have made comments on here about their clients being comfortable, etc. and in some cases that is very valid. Put it into perspective however… according to CAAMP we have 25% market share, which is pretty odd given that the numbers do not actually support that – but let’s use it anyway. That means that 75% of eligible mortgage holders DO NOT deal with mortgage brokers. - - Think about it folks – I walk into a bank and it is the image of professionalism. Clean spaces, nice offices, and the people in those offices – dressed as professionals, dressed for success. Now compare that to the average broker office… (yes there are exceptions, but I have been in a LOT of broker offices over the years and the nice ones are the exception to the rule) – disorganized, mismatched furniture, and some guy in jeans and a t-shirt, or a woman who is dressed like she is going to (or just got back from) the club. WHY would anyone entrust the largest financial transaction in their lives to you if you cannot even respect them enough to dress professionally? That is what it is really all about, respecting your clients enough to care about your appearance. You do not have to wear a suit and tie to look professional, but lose the jeans, shorts, and t-shirts fellas, and ladies… flip flops are NOT professional (even if they have a little heel and some bling), and a skirt 6 inches higher than the knee might be sexy at the club, but it’s unprofessional – the same applies to low cut tops. If you want to be respected, then respect yourself enough to dress like the professional which you claim to be. You never know, maybe some of the VAST MAJORITY of Canadians who won’t deal with brokers because of that longstanding reputation for being loan sharks might start to slip away.

  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2013-06-10 10:18:08 AM

    Jessie makes a valid point in some ways. As an industry we should be dressing for how we want people to perceive us. It does not have to be a shirt and tie, but at least put on a pair of khaki’s or slacks. If we want the image of mortgage broker to effectively compete with the banks, this is an area where they have us beat hands down – and that is the image of professionalism. Generally we have more experience and training than the branch staff, but then again – they all look university educated – and these days… most of them are. No matter what the argument might be, jeans and a t-shirt just do not convey that. My mother used to tell me much the same thing about work (I’ve pretty much always had an office job)… “Paul; dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have – people pay attention to that even if you think that they don’t.” She was always impeccably dressed, her career reflected her professionalism – she climbed the ranks to be a top executive in the Alberta Government. Even today a decade after retirement people always comment on how elegant and well “put together” she is. As a last thing to consider – companies that have a minimum dress code of business casual are proven to have higher productivity because their employees take their jobs more seriously when they have to dress the part.

  • John Dearin on 2013-06-11 6:40:56 AM

    Jeans and t-shirts are not condoned in our office. Had an agent that felt jeans, ripped jeans at that, was the style of the day. We suggested he open his own brokerage and set the style there. Don't know what he is doing these days.

  • Jay on 2015-10-15 1:21:48 PM

    I was a suit and tie guy every day for about 10 yrs. About 3 yrs ago I changed to a smart blazer, pocket square, dress shirt, nice jeans (never ripped) and nice shoes. Coming from the formal work office environment, I do find that my clients feel I am more approachable and are easier to open up with when I am sitting across the table a little less formally dressed. I know the right time to put a suit on (when I am meeting older clients or going into a downtown office to meet a client) but I don't think that my professionalism is tarnished in any way by not wearing a full suit. It looks way better than someone wearing a cheap suit that doesn't fit properly. It's all about the tailoring guys!

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