There are a lot of corporate no-no’s even though we are living in 21 century. Some companies have no rules at all, while others established such rigid rules that some may even think it’s a joke. No, seriously, some work fields do require you to maintain a professional appearance, but does that apply in the real estate industry?
Can real estate agents have tattoos? Maybe, piercings? Can they wear anything they like? If you are eager to find out what are the rules that apply for real estate agents, it will be very beneficial for you to read this article.
Are Tattoos Really A Burden?
The reality is that we are surrounded by people who have tattoos every day, and we may even not know it. If you ask me whether someone has a tattoo or piercing should not impact how hard working they are or how efficient they will be at their workplace. Of course, there are some boundaries that should be respected, but why should we judge a book by its cover?
I can’t miss out on a chance to mention how, in the past few years, it became quite normal to see graphic designers, waiters, baristas, and musicians with tattoos and piercings, but it was still not so normal to see a teacher, bank manager, or real estate agent to sport one of those accessories.
Official data shows that almost half of 26-40-year-olds and 40% of 18-25-year-olds have tattoos, and approximately 25% of 26-40-year-olds and 30% of 18-25-year-olds have at least one piercing. Those are quite high numbers, so we can safely say that people learned how to make their tattoos invisible when they need to.
There is one more thing I want to address, and that is a difference in opinion of men versus women having tattoos. Usually, men are allowed to be rebellious and sport that “bad boy” look, but when we talk about women, the opinion is much different. It is okay for women to be wild in private, but society thinks that they still should neuter a ladylike look in public, especially in the workplace. That means a visible tattoo is a big no-no for girls.
Most HR managers that I talked to claimed that they will hire more clean-cut employees and that visible tattoos in 31% will affect employee’s potential careers. This is ridiculous since none of them think how many great potential employees companies lose just because they do not fit in the company’s standards.
At the same time, young people are very much aware of how hard it is to get a job on a crowded job market, so they don’t want to give an employer any reason to reject them just because they sport a visible tattoo.
So Can Real Estate Agents Have Tattoos?
This greatly depends on the policy of the real estate company for which you work. Most major commercial agencies want their agents to maintain their appearance as neutral as much as they can so that clients can focus on the property rather than you.
That means no crazy hair colors and haircuts, no visible piercings, or any other body modification, and in some cases, the company will also strictly specify what you should wear and how. For example, some companies strictly forbid casual clothes like jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers and will insist on wearing a tie and jacket.
That leads you to conclude that wearing piercings and tattoos are not acceptable and that they will insist that you always remove piercings or cover tattoos when in contact with potential buyers.
On the other hand, some smaller real estate agencies do not have such strict policies, and they won’t condition you to wear a specific type of clothes or to cover up your tattoos (of course, if they are not offensive or something similar). So basically, it is all down to where you wear your tattoo and what you have tattooed on your skin.
One thing is certain large visible tattoos are no-go for most companies since they can upset your clients and draw their attention from the property you are trying to sell to them.
Essential Tattoos Tips
In case you still do not have a tattoo, but you are thinking about getting one, there are few handy tips that will significantly help you avoid risky situations at work.
- Avoid over-distracting and eye-catching artwork – Let’s put aside whether a client likes your body art or not. Some designs could be too much, even for people who do approve of having visible tattoos. This usually makes focusing on what you want to say a bit challenging for clients since they will be overwhelmed with your body art, especially if you have an excessive number of tattoos on visible parts of the body such as hands, neck, or face.
- Avoid offensive language or hate symbols – Of course, you have the right to express yourself a bit there would be some consequences in case you choose to put an offensive tattoo or hate symbol on the part of the body that will be visible for your clients.
- Spell check your tattoo – This is crucial since, first of all, you will wear that tattoo for the rest of your life, second if your clients see that you can’t even have the correct spelling on your body art, why would they trust you with their sales agreement.
- Know the meaning of foreign worded tattoos – If you decided to decorate your body with tattoos that are written in a foreign language, for example, Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, make sure you are well aware of its meaning. Many people make a mistake and do not check twice before getting it just because it looks cool to them, so they end up with a tattoo that does not have any point at all. This could be very embarrassing.
In case you already had a tattoo in a visible place before starting working as a realtor, you need to find a way to cover it up when needed. Some clients would feel uncomfortable around your tattoos, so they would appreciate it if you cover them up so both of you can feel comfortable while working together.
Depending on your tattoo’s place, you can wear long sleeves and pants, scarf, gloves, and glasses to cover it up if it is cold outside. When it is too warm outside to wear excessive clothing, you should reach out for makeup concealers and foundations that are specifically designed to cover up tattoos.
In the end, of course, you, as a real estate agent, can have a tattoo; you can even have multiple tattoos as long as they are not too offensive or overwhelming.
Luckily the public has become more open-minded, and people are slowly accepting this type of body art, but you still need to carefully choose the type of symbol and message of your tattoo and prevent offending people with it.
This does not mean I encourage you to go and get crazy with tattoos. I’m just simply telling you that you have the right to wear them, but they might lower your chances of getting hired in some companies. Also, some clients may refuse to work with you. Remember, you are working with people, and some of them will not approve your tattoos, and this might jeopardize the relationship between you and your clients, which will directly affect their decision and sale agreement.
You cannot please everyone, of course, but you can do everything in your power to minimize the damage. Find common ground with your clients, and they will, for sure, value your professionalism, real estate expertise, and work ethic.