adBlockCheck

As Real-Estate Agent, Area Man's Appearance Crucial

Top Headlines

Recent News

The Arguments For And Against Bernie Sanders Staying In The Race

Bernie Sanders is ramping up his efforts in the presidential race despite long odds, while sharpening his criticisms of a Democratic Party increasingly focused on the general election with Hillary Clinton as their presumptive nominee. Here are the arguments for and against Sanders staying in the race

Report: Nobody Fucking Cares

NEW YORK—According to a brief but conclusive report released Monday, nobody fucking cares. “Doesn’t fucking matter,” read the report in part, which went on to inform readers that no one gives two shits, so fuck it.

Mom Sleeps In Past Sunrise

WOBURN, MA―Noting that she had somehow managed to sleep through both the dawn chorus of birds and her neighborhood’s early morning garbage pickup, 53-year-old local mother Laura Maloney confirmed that she did not awaken Monday until after the sun had risen.

Facebook Clarifies Site Not Intended To Be Users’ Primary Information Source

‘No One Should Really Be On Here More Than 15 Minutes A Day,’ Say Executives

MENLO PARK, CA—Addressing concerns about the site’s alleged bias in how it displays news stories in users’ feeds, Facebook executives held a press conference Thursday to clarify that the social network was not intended to serve as anyone’s primary source of information, and that its 1.6 billion active users should, at most, be spending 15 minutes on the platform in a given day in the first place.

Heart Attack A Real Wake-Up Call For Man’s Insurance Provider

HARTFORD, CT—Saying the incident had forced them to completely rethink their past decisions about the man’s coverage and how they would approach his policy from here on out, Aetna executives reported Thursday that the recent heart attack of longtime plan member Michael Burns was a real wake-up call for the 163-year-old insurance company.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Dad Locks Into Elaborate Chess Match With Lawn Mower Salesman

TACOMA, WA—Intermittently shifting his gaze between his opponent and the product brochure in his hands as he shrewdly calculated his next move, local father Thomas McCabe became locked into an intricate chess match Thursday with riding lawn mower salesman Keith Porter, family sources reported.

How To Prepare A Will

Writing a will ensures the proper distribution of your assets upon your death. The Onion takes you through the steps of preparing this important document
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

As Real-Estate Agent, Area Man's Appearance Crucial

GRANGER, IN–Looking good is an essential component of Gregg Rafalski's success as a real-estate agent, the 35-year-old RE/MAX employee asserted Monday.

Gregg Rafalski, who understands the importance of a good first impression.

"As a real-estate agent, my appearance is crucial," Rafalski said. "On any given day, I'm interacting with a large number of people: clients, property owners, business associates. It's of the utmost importance that I convey professionalism to my customers and colleagues at all times."

To this end, Rafalski said he always wears a freshly pressed shirt, a "smart-looking" tie, well-polished shoes, and a minimal amount of carefully chosen jewelry, usually a watch and one ring. He also makes sure that his fingernails are clean and neatly trimmed.

"Buying a home is one of the most important decisions a person can make–many are sinking their entire life savings into it," Rafalski said. "That's why I need to project an air of confidence to my clients. Rumpled khaki pants and an untucked polo shirt are simply not going to cut it when you're looking to say, 'I am fully in control of this situation.'"

Though he graduated from high school with only a C average, Rafalski "aced" his subsequent 54-hour real-estate pre-licensing course at Michiana College in nearby South Bend. After completing the course, Rafalski passed the Indiana Real Estate Commission examination and gained his licensure in 1984. He has spent the past 17 years in commercial and residential real-estate, including the past six at RE/MAX.

Rafalski said he learned the importance of looking good early in his career.

"I attended quite a few [Indiana Commercial Board of Realtors] conferences during those first few years on the job, and I was lucky enough to meet some tremendous salespeople to serve as my role models," Rafalski said. "Because of the way they looked and carried themselves, these guys could walk into a room and, within two seconds, all eyes would be squarely on them. They could sell a drink of water to a fish."

It was at these early conferences that Rafalski learned "the true meaning of sales."

"Many people mistakenly think the success of a salesman is determined by your knowledge of the product," Rafalski said. "Sure, you need to know how old this house is or what the property taxes are on that one, but that's what briefcases are for. It's not the house, it's you that you're really selling to a customer."

Added Rafalski: "Speaking of briefcases, this one is imported Italian leather."

To look his best, Rafalski keeps abreast of current fashions. Two Fridays a month, he leaves work early and drives down to Glenbrook Square Mall in Fort Wayne, nearly 70 miles away.

"The Marshall Field's at University Park doesn't always carry the Hugo Boss shirts I like," Rafalski said. "So, every so often, I like to take a little trip down to Fort Wayne. I know that sounds crazy, but, believe me, when a potential home buyer is on the fence, the right shirt can turn an 'I'll pass' into an 'I'll take it.'"

Unlike his less successful colleagues, Rafalski doesn't waste his office hours keeping track of property values or brushing up on zoning changes. Instead, he browses online for hard-to-find items from his favorite brand names, including Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren.

"If you dress cheap, you are cheap–it's that simple," Rafalski said. "Same thing goes for houses: Cheap houses, cheap commissions. That's just not my mindset."

In addition to his wardrobe, Rafalski's choice of transportation plays an important role in the impression he makes. He drives a red 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible, which sends a strong message when he arrives for a house showing.

"What would a potential home buyer think if I pulled up in a dinky little Honda?" Rafalski asked. "Would that instill confidence in my abilities as an agent? I don't think so."

Rafalski also puts care into the appearance of his office at RE/MAX, which he keeps meticulously clean and decorated with silver curios and framed art prints.

"When someone walks into my office and sees the Waterford vase and Nicoletti leather chair, they know I know what I'm doing," Rafalski said. "Why would you entrust your search for a home to an agent who doesn't even care what his own office looks like?"

Rafalski's attention to detail has not gone unnoticed among clients.

"Gregg always looks so nice," said Adrienne Bauer, whom Rafalski is helping find a larger location for her Wicks 'N' Wax store. "I wish my husband would wear some of the newer tie styles, but he won't. He always says, 'I'm a pediatrician, not Regis Philbin.'"

Rafalski's coworkers are equally impressed.

"The clients really seem to like Gregg," said Granger RE/MAX senior real-estate broker Jonathan Quirk. "He's not necessarily our best agent when it comes to knowing his way around the neighborhood, but he still gets a heck of a lot of referrals and repeat customers. I think it might be his hair or something. He's got real nice hair."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close