June 2021 Newsletter Look and Attitude

Look and Attitude


When you were growing up, your parents probably offered this time-honored piece of advice: “Never judge a book by its cover.” Even so, we all form opinions about people based on their appearance and attitudes.


“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” – Joyce Meyer


I recently gave a speech to a group of high school seniors. In it, I predicted that they would continue to be judged throughout their lives. Just as they have constantly been evaluated in school, they will also be judged in the business world. The good news is that each day they will have a new opportunity to put their best self forward. I believe that if we look the part, show that we enjoy what we do, and have a positive attitude, people will want to do business with us.

A new attitude about dressing for success was highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article that said a businessperson’s clothes should reflect their identity and personality as well as the image of their employer. What you wear is your business card, and your appearance will speak volumes about your company and what it will be like to do business with you.


“Dress how you want to be addressed”


Throughout my career in residential real estate, I have always believed that it is important to dress for success. I am mindful that often I will be helping people make the biggest investment they are likely to make in their lives. I believe that dressing like a professional demonstrates that I value and respect my clients. I also believe that my attitude should be extremely positive and that I need to show passion for my career. The more excited I am about helping my clients, the more receptive they will be towards me and the more likely they will be to trust my advice.

The concept of dressing as a reflection of your company is also embraced by the investors on ABC’s Shark Tank (one of my favorite shows). Recently they shared viewpoints on how to dress for success.

According to Daymond John, “Your look really needs to be true to your profession, head to toe… Always dress to what is accurate to who and what you are.”

Echoing that sentiment, Kevin O’Leary says, “You have to dress as your clients expect to see you, to their expectations.”

In these days of personal branding, we have come to expect CEOs to dress in a way that personifies their business.

According to Jennifer Peaslee, “One thing that has not changed is that people will still judge you based on how you look. Today it’s no longer just a dichotomy of professional versus unprofessional. This has opened up the ways in which you can dress for success in a professional manner while also giving off important clues about the personality of your business.”


“They say dress for the job you want…so I walked in dressed better than the boss

Each of us will face plenty of unforeseen challenges at work. Why create additional challenges for yourself before you even leave your house?

Can you be successful if you dress inappropriately and have a bad attitude? Yes, of course you can. However, if you do this I doubt that you will be seeing many referrals. When was the last time you referred someone and said, “Give John a call if you want to sell your house—he dresses poorly and has a bad attitude”?

I believe that if I look the part I am going to feel more professional, which means I am likely to be more productive. Isn’t that what going to work is all about—being the best we can be? The bottom line is that if you look the part that your career dictates and if you have a positive, upbeat attitude, you will have two fewer challenges to deal with. Nobody has ever had to apologize to a client for looking too good or having an overly positive attitude.

Another benefit of looking your best and acting the part is that you will encourage and inspire all the people in your daily life to do the same. You are going to be judged by your attitude and your look, so why not make your best effort in both?

If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?


What People in the Audience are Saying…

With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!

This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor