A study just confirmed what everybody already knew: that attractive residential brokers make more sales.
In an industry known for blowouts and stilettos, a study published in the current edition of the Journal of Housing Research found that the attractiveness of the broker and their use of “pathos” — defined as subjective words used to describe the property – affected how a potential buyer responded. That may seem obvious but there were some surprises.
The study asked 1,594 potential home buyers from across the U.S. to rate the appeal of a property after taking an online tour with an agent. A separate group of subjects rated the attractiveness of the agents prior to the tour, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It found that attractive women using pathos were most successful, but surprisingly they were more effective with homosexual men than heterosexual men. Married buyers seemed to prefer attractive male brokers, the study found.
But the most interesting aspect of the research is that it flies in the face of “homophily,” the theory that buyers prefer agents most like themselves. For instance, Caucasian and non-Caucasian buyers responded similarly to Caucasian agents.
“Similarity for the sake of similarity we did not find to be significant,” Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William and Mary and a co-author of the study, told the Journal.