I’ve Avoided The Topic…
I’ve thought about writing this for a while and didn’t have the guts until now. Mostly for fear of people misinterpreting my words – but here it is hopefully to stimulate some good conversation.
Everyone knows sex sells – provocative images of men and women can attract business but the question will always remain: Is it the right type of business?
I can’t speak for men out there but can surely speak for many women when I say, who doesn’t like to wake up in the morning and feel beautiful and sexy? – who doesn’t like that self-esteem that comes with feeling sexy?
In real estate, many use sex-appeal to their advantage. In Miami it is so common to see properties and their agents being described as SEXY – “that sexy interior space overlooking the ocean”…. But is there a fine line between sex appeal and a true professional business?
We see it in desperate housewives where ultra-sexy Edie Britt is known to sleep with her clients when visiting properties or even Sex in The City where Samantha Jones seduces her Realtor in a pricey NY loft.
Sex Appeal in Real Estate
I’ve never been the one to use sex appeal in my favor; it’s just not my style. On the contrary, when I’m working with husband and wife I make sure to dress “unsexy” (if there’s such a thing) so that the wife feels comfortable with me. I go out of my way to be down to earth and demonstrate my architectural expertise and my knowledge of real estate. But lately, I have been in extremely uncomfortable situations where I come home to discuss it with Rick to see what our next step will be. Recently I negotiated a deal with a good looking man where I could feel a strange tension but the business relationship always remained professional – when the deal closed he said to me “You are a hot looking woman and didn’t want to tell you and make me uncomfortable so I waited until the transaction was completed to tell you”. (WHAT? “Hot looking woman” has become a joke in my house now).
Are you prepared?
I am so thankful that I work with my husband because every time I’ve been in a similar situation, I pass the client over to him. But I wonder about others in the industry and how they handle these tensions. There’s also the question of safety and the amount of creeps out there that we need to watch out for. There are horror stories about stalkers and women being violated while showing properties.
My purpose with this article is to make you think of safety first, of the way we portray ourselves and our properties and the way we handle sexual issues that may come our way. I’m not saying using sensuality is wrong either; but if you use it, you better be ready to deal with what it brings.
I found a site called Realtor Safety 911 that gives all kinds of helpful information as well as points out scenarios some of us may have never even considered. Some of you are too sexy for your own good (yes that’s a joke) – so please have a plan, and use common sense – know that you can become easy prey if you are not smart.