Posted by lulu on 4/26/06 8:56pm
How to Dress?
This sparked for me in reading the two message post about sub-prime loans and the type of borrowers and neighborhoods that might take us to.
Do you ever feel really out of place with our required business attire?
Do you ever go in jeans?
Sometimes I think about where I'm going to determine what to wear. I still always meet the guidelines of the companies I'm representing but sometimes feel out of place. I think the lower income people take offense to very dressed up people. I try to dress according to the area I'm going to. Other times I'm going to a regulated community. Those are the ones with covenants etc to tell you all your vehicles have to be in the garage overnight, what time you have to have your garbage cans in by after garbage pickup, what type of shrubs and trees you can and cannot plant etc. For those you want to dress to the hilt.
Is this just a fetish with me or do others think this way when preparing for the days appointments?
Reply by Regal/NC on 4/26/06 9:06pm
"The lower income people take offense to very dressed up people"
Business casual for ALL clients. If you feel you must "Dress Down", don't take the assignment.
Reply by lulu on 4/26/06 9:29pm
I never said I felt the NEED to dress down. I always wear business attire, sometimes total business sometimes business casual. I do it to make the borrower more comfortable. Sometimes a more down to earth person, such as a farmer might feel more comfortable if someone is not doating a dry clean business suit. You know I got to talking to my jeweler one time about how even in the banks the attire has gone down the tubes. She stated that she doesn't wear business suits but a little more dressed down business attire due to having so many clients who are in farming. She feels it makes her more approachable. I feel some of the more wealthy clients will be more confident in the security of their information and who is handling it if you are dressed in full business attire. Think about it if you live in a 2 million dollar home would you totally trust and feel confident in someone pulling up in a rusty old 70's vega with their documents in a paper bag. (ahahah. I have to laugh and use the paper bag from a previous post). LOL. Just my opinion and how I run my business. Just thought it would be interesting to see if others gave this much attention to detail and their customers.
Reply by Lee/AR on 4/26/06 9:09pm
SSDD: Same Suit/Different Day. Actually, I have about 5 or 6...different weights for different seasons...but they are all pretty much the same cuz I just don't care. Suppose you'll get as many different answers as there are Notaries... but it'll be interesting, I'm sure.
Reply by srnotary_CA on 4/26/06 9:11pm
I agree with the business causual. Just becasue some one livesin a lower income area doesn't mean they shouldn't get your all as a notary including your dress.
Reply by Anonymous on 4/26/06 9:39pm
I agree, give it your best no matter where you work. You respresent companies and that requires the utmost professionalism.
Reply by LkArrowhd/CA on 4/26/06 9:18pm
Re: How to Dress?Oh lordy don't get me started on how to
Reply by TitleGalCA on 4/26/06 9:39pm
***Sometimes I think about where I'm going to determine what to wear. I still always meet the guidelines of the companies I'm representing but sometimes feel out of place. I think the lower income people take offense to very dressed up people. I try to dress according to the area I'm going to.***
Actually I think you're being very sensitive to the borrower. But you better know the area really well before making that judgment call, or it could backfire. I think business casual is just an easy, simple solution, and doesn't offend anyone. There's been many times I think if I had been in dress jeans, I'd fit in more. But I didn't know that until I got to the Borrowers house.
Reply by JanetK_CA on 4/26/06 9:54pm
I may vary my attire a bit, but not much. I almost always wear slacks (never jeans), a casual blouse and a jacket, or on hot days another blouse with a jacket-type look. Nearly always business casual or my standby black pants suit with a casual T. Nice areas and meetings in offices, I wear business-looking heels. If I'm going into a lower income neighborhood/barrio, I might switch to flats and slacks with a simple blazer (nothing fancy) instead of a suit, but that's about it. I don't think we need to try to dress the same as our borrowers - even on a weekend. Business is business and I think it shows respect for our borrowers to dress professionally. 'Course, I don't have any farmers in my area, but I still think jeans are inappropriate in any situation.
People will subconsciously make a judgement about you in the first 20-30 seconds of meeting you and whether we like it or not, a big part of that (as much as 70%) will be based on appearance. Body language is another biggie. These things can actually influence how well the signings go with some people. Just one more area where attention to detail counts. Having said that, I suppose it's possible that appearances are more important in some areas than others - as much as I hate to admit it - and my area (south Orange County, CA) is probably among the worst in terms of being judgemental! [BTW, the stereotypes only apply to a *very* small fraction of the population, for you "The OC" fans... ;>] HTH
Reply by lulu on 4/26/06 10:00pm
Janet has the jist of what I mean by varying my attire. I NEVER wear jeans. Always a minimum of business casual. Slacks and blouse to full business suit. I very rarely wear a dress or skirt and no low neck shirts.
Reply by hcampersFL on 4/26/06 10:10pm
I am thinking of having a shirt made. Polo style with "Nichols Notary" on the left side were a pocket would go. I would wear this with khakis. Just haven't found the shirt I want yet. I'm going to have this by summer. It's just to hot here for suits and jackets.
Reply by lulu on 4/26/06 10:13pm
Awesome! A nice embroidered name would look really nice.
Reply by TitleGalCA on 4/26/06 10:22pm
You are so right
***Having said that, I suppose it's possible that appearances are more important in some areas than others - as much as I hate to admit it - and my area (south Orange County, CA) is probably among the worst in terms of being judgemental!***
Although I grew up in Santa Ana (when it was nice...think many years ago) and I go back often as my daughter lives in HB, but I don't feel very comfortable in Orange County. It's nothing to do with the dress...it's the attitude, not very warm, not very welcoming, judgmental is the correct word!
However, I find in my area - Ventura County - business casual is just universally acceptable.
I think the age of the notary is just as important. My (same) daughter is very a very professional sales rep, but can get away with a more casual look, just because...she can. A younger notary, in same said OC, can, IMO get away with a more casual look. It has nothing to do with professionalism as a notary but everything to do with the age. Most of us here are middle aged, it's just the truth, and we are very conservative.
Reply by BrendaTx on 4/27/06 8:20am
Re: You are so right
I agree that younger professionals (or younger looking) can do more casual and look just right for the job. I try to dress as I would for a job in a title co. or law office.
Let's keep the cellulite under wraps. (Not that I have any, of course.)
Reply by LawrenceOK on 4/27/06 9:17am
Re: You are so right
I guess the folks here in Oklahoma are more laid back. They could care less what you wear. They seem to care more that you know what your doing then what you are wearing. As for me, I'm old so it's a business suite every day.
I did a resign a while back for an older couple (Cattle Rancher) that were flabbergasted that I wore a suit, "you'll get that suit dirty round here son" they insisted that I take off my jacket and tie, "now we'll all feel more comfortable"
I can remember the old Santa Ana. I grew up in Garden Grove in the 60's early 70's era. Sure has changed since then.
Reply by Anonymous on 4/26/06 10:55pm
Business Casual no suit or tie. I stay consistent no matter what time of day or night I'm called out to.
I have my pants dry cleaned, Polo shirts laundered, Shoes shined, clean shaved, clean fingernails, non-smoker. Occasionally I will mix in a freshly cleaned and pressed Aloha Shirt from my collection but 6'2" 235 is distraction enough.
I have done ride alongs with women Loan Officers that were "Whew" very distracting but the borrowers didn't seem to care.
Reply by Joan Bergstrom on 4/27/06 2:05am
I think the notary should always realize the borrower expects us to dress like the person who handled their signing in the Lender's/Escrow/Title office when they bought their home.
Woman: slacks, blouse, skirt, dress, dress shoes.
Men: collared shirt, slacks, dress shoes.
The important thing to remember is never to wear, tennis shoes, baseball hats, flip flops, shorts, jeans, tank tops, nose rings, and cover up tattoos, etc.
I also think if you are in your twenties you need to dress very conservatively or the borrower(s) first impression of you will be the "you will need to prove your competence to the 40-80 year old borrower(s)."
Maybe if I lived and worked in a state such as Wyoming I would be expected to wear Jeans and boots to a signing but I can assure everyone in So. Calif. a Notary loan signer is expected by the companies that hire us to look professional at all loan signings!
Reply by LilyMD on 4/27/06 6:06am
I always wear business attire through the week. It's just the right way for the area. However, I would love to go a little less "severe" as some of the Southern Notaries have said they're able to. Last year Charm talked about the summer dresses she wears and they sound so cool and perfect for a hot day.
Reply by Kelly M Robertson on 4/27/06 7:36am
Don't Forget Sharp LO's May Call Client & Check Up on You
I know of many LO's that follow up with their clients after the signing to make sure the LSA showed up on time, was friendly, offered the opportunity for the B's to call him/her with any questions, didn't rush them and even asked if they were dressed appropriately.
If I sold money, I'd check up on the loan signer and if he/she was sharp and represented me in a professional manner, then I'd use them again - it could mean thousands of dollars in the long-run . If not, well ...
Reply by JinCA on 4/27/06 12:40pm
Everyone wears jeans around here. I often wear a nice shirt or sweater, nice jacket, and nice jeans. It is stylish, and around these parts, totally acceptable. A lot of people are dressed in sweats, so even in jeans, I look dressed to the 9's!