MortgageBrokerNews.ca recently ran a story about whether the flashy image portrayed by Realtors was hurting the profession. Readers echoed that sentiment and argued that focus should be placed more on the business than mere appearances.
“Haven't we learned anything from Warren Buffett or Richard Branson? Wear what you want, drive what you want, be … good at what you do, do good in your community and clients and business partners will respect that, and probably remember you a heck of a lot better than just being another guy in a suit or driving a Mercedes to ‘fit in,’” one British Columbia-based broker wrote. “This is such old school thinking and if a client or business partner wants to judge me by what I drive or wear I wouldn't want to work with them anyways.
“Be confident in yourself, your abilities and knowledge and live by your own rules, not those of others.”
However, there are still some in the mortgage and real estate industries who espouse luxury items with the belief that they will impress clients.
Broker Alana Stockholm told our sister publication, REP, “I used to drive a Toyota – great gas mileage, cheap to run, and I thought it showed that I wasn’t overcharging. I had a long-time client who one day I found had appointed someone else to sell their home. Of course I wanted to know why, so I asked them. They said, ‘Alana, I really like you but you know, you just don’t look successful.’ I went straight out and bought a Lexus.”
Still, there are some who believe thriftiness actually works to brokers’ advantage.
“As financial professionals, it almost seems backwards to be promoting driving brand new vehicles with payments of $500-$1,000 per month instead of following our own advice and putting that extra money towards our mortgages to become mortgage free faster,” an anonymous commenter wrote on MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I would sooner trust a financial advisor that drove an older vehicle and was mortgage free rather than one who had the latest greatest everything and was in debt up to their eyeballs.”
Brokers may view material flashiness as an outdated requirement for entrepreneurial success, with several contradicting what was once a popularly-held belief.