You don’t Need to Shave your Legs to get the Client

10 years ago as a new Realtor I had a listing appointment that I was very nervous about. I researched the market, I printed my ultra-thick (totally useless) full color presentation. I double and triple checked the information, the address, I spoke aloud to myself all the scripts I was trained to handle possible objections. I packed my bag, I put my keys next the bag and I went to take a shower before the appointment. While in the shower I continued to speak my scripts. And then I took the time to shave my legs.

Out of the shower a few minutes later than I had hoped to be. I pulled on black pants, blouse, heels. Dried my hair ( partially). The 2 extra minutes I took in the shower to shave seemed like it had eaten up a huge portion of my time. I put on my makeup, I skipped the mascara, I raced to the front door. Grabbed my bag, hopped in the car. I did not have my coat and it was freezing out. My hair was damp. Back to the house to find a coat. The minutes ticked on.

The entire drive there I beat myself up, knowing I was going to be late. Wondering aloud to myself, “was everything I had done that morning preparing or procrastinating?”  I arrived 8 minutes late to the appointment. I wanted to die. I had worked so hard to prepare (so I thought) and I pride myself on always being early and here I was LATE! The husband standing in the doorway staring at the driveway waiting for me.  The appointment from the start did not go in my favor. The “new kitchen” they raved about during our initial phone call looked like the set of the Golden Girls. I was told it had “just been redone” when in fact as I stood there in 2006 the kitchen was actually redone in 1980, when their son graduated high school. They looked me up and down. They spoke about how they wanted someone with experience to represent them. I told them about my background in international business and the awards I had won awards during my first year of real estate. Then the wife asked me, “How old are you?” I was 28 I said. Married. The mother of a daughter. It didn’t matter. If they felt their kitchen was “brand new” when in fact it was 26 years old, then I was practically a fetus in their eyes.

I shook hands, left, followed up with a phone call that went unanswered and a handwritten thank you note. They called me a few days later to tell me they went with a more “established agent” (read: old white guy) He was an agent who was about 30 years my senior and who I knew had just gotten his license a month earlier, but it didn’t matter. He was older, and a man and they made the assumption was he was selling real estate for a long time. I bet they never asked him how old he was. And one other thing: I bet he was on time.

The thing about this experience that makes me still remember it all these years later is that I created a scenario where I was late, and because of that those homeowners could in good conscience dismiss me. Now I know they went with someone else because of my age and gender but they felt comfortable making that decision because I was late. I gave them the reason to not hire me. How I chose to prepare is what caused me in part to fail. I prepared with data, I prepared with useless facts about the broker that I was with at the time. I prepared with inauthentic memorized scripts that dulled my personality and didn’t allow me to share my own insight and ideas. What I didn’t do was prepare to present myself. The extra few minutes that snowballed into 8 and made me late were the result of SHAVING MY LEGS only for me to then put pants on!! What the hell was I thinking? The lesson I learned was that you don’t need to shave your legs to sell a house. And you don’t need to shave your legs to sell yourself. What you do need to do is know your value, be able to show up, ontime, showered or not, and still shine.

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