Revisiting Visible Tattoos and Piercings in a Multifamily Community

What are your thoughts on visible tattoos and piercings on your multifamily employees?

jfiur thumbnailBy Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor

It seems like everyone and their mom now has a tattoo. (Well, not my mom. As far as I know.) Tattoos are not not shocking anymore. In fact, they’re actually pretty mainstream. And that’s perfectly fine. Personally, I’m not a huge fan tattoos for myself, but I do appreciate them if the person who has them is on stage playing an electric guitar (Leather pants optional. Bass players need not apply). It’s just a personal preference. But just because I wouldn’t get a tattoo doesn’t mean I’m shocked when I’m in a professional setting and see people with them.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog asking if multifamily communities had a policy for visible tattoos and piercings. And in a recent Multifamily Insiders blog, the author suggests that multifamily communities should have an employee dress code that addresses this, because prospects want employees at the community to look professional.

I agree that it’s probably beneficial for multifamily employees to have a dress code, especially those who interact with residents (leasing agents, etc.). After all, they’re representing the community. They wouldn’t necessarily need a uniform (although that would cut down on the time it takes to figure out a good outfit every day), but they should look neat and presentable.

But in this day and age, does having a tattoo or crazy piercing take away your professional credibility? I guess it depends what it’s depicting. A skeleton riding a flaming motorcycle is pretty bad ass, although it doesn’t necessarily say “I can provide you with a beautiful and safe place to live.” Unless you add a thought bubble to the skeleton that says that, of course. Do you think your residents care either way, as long as they get a decent rent and access to a package-storage amenity? tattoo

Some companies might have a policy where people with visible tattoos need to cover them up, either with clothing or with make up or with Band Aids. Is that a sustainable solution though? What if you have a hand tattoo, and then are forced to wear gloves all the time, like a deranged Mickey Mouse. That’s certainly more distracting than a tattoo that a resident or prospective resident might notice once and then not care about after that. As long as they get the toilet issue fixed, who cares what they look like, am I right? Plus it might make your staff happier to know they can express themselves, which would allow them to perform better. And a happy staff leads to less turnover. On the other hand, some residents might still be a little uncomfortable with it.

We all agree that multifamily employees need to look professional. But do tattoos and piercings make you look unprofessional? What are your thoughts?