I’ve heard the complaints from other appraisers that there are AMC’s out there that request that appraisers that work with them dress professionally. I’m not really sure why this bothers appraisers, maybe because they feel they already do dress professionally and they are offended to be asked?
Really, I don’t think it’s an outrageous request. You aren’t just representing yourself, you’re also representing the client who has a customer. You’ve been asked to perform a service on behalf of their customer so I’m not sure where there’s a problem with the client asking you to appear in a professional manner. When it comes down to it, you don’t have to meet their demands. You have the choice to move on and not work for that company.
Normally I don’t even give it a thought because, in my opinion, I already dress professionally. Most days I head into the office wearing a blue button-up dress shirt with a collar that I pair with khakis, blue socks and some knock-off Italian shoes. This has become kind of my professional uniform but it wasn’t always that way. Honestly, I used to have a wardrobe that was exclusively from Walmart, usually jeans and a polo shirt.
Several years ago I was driving down the road listening to an audiobook written by Napoleon Hill. If you’ve never heard of him, Napoleon Hill worked for Andrew Carnegie and he spent many years interviewing successful business men to find out the secrets to their success. Anyway, as I listened to this book, I remember a statement that hit me so strongly that I made a turn of action in my life regarding the way that I dressed.
I don’t remember the exact quote but it basically said that you become how you dress. Kind of like you are what you eat except Napoleon Hill says that you are who you dress to become. This principle really stuck with me as being true and I wanted to change my own life. While I wasn’t really at a place, financially, to make a huge change to my wardrobe, I decided to step away from my Walmart clothes.
This isn’t really something I felt I should put on credit cards or anything and I wasn’t going to try and fill my closet with custom tailored Armani, but I did feel like I needed to step it up some.
After talking it over with my wife, I pulled some cash out of the budget and hit the mall. I went to Dillards and JCPenney and bought a few pieces that were very similar to what I wear today. I can’t remember the exact amount I spent, $350 sticks in my mind, but I added a half dozen dress shirts, three or four pairs of nice pants, dress socks and those faux Italian shoes.
I kid you not, it made a huge difference. That year my net worth went up by 30%. It probably wasn’t just the new wardrobe but dressing better changed my attitude and that was most likely a factor. I feel differently when I’m in my dress clothes than when I’m in jeans and a t-shirt.
I wouldn’t recommend that you go into debt to do it, but I would highly recommend that you look at how you could do better about dressing professionally.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 454