Though headshots originated in Hollywood to woo casting directors, real estate agents were some of the first professionals to use them to market their business. With approximately 80% of home buyers starting their search online, an agent’s perfect headshot has never been more important. It’s your chance to make a great first impression before potential clients ever meet you!
In a field where success is tied so closely to personal service and trust, your image is integral to your branding. The following tips can help you take a headshot that highlights your personality and professionalism.
Keep it Current: Was your last headshot taken before the fall of the Berlin wall? If so, it's time for an update. Styles change over time, and so do real estate agents! The Connect Realty brokerage recommends updating your professional photo every two years. If you've got a few more fine lines or grey hairs, don’t sweat it—home buyers and sellers recognize the wisdom that comes with experience, and they will appreciate being able to recognize you when you meet in person.
Be Professional: When you consider how much money you'll spend over the next five to ten years on marketing, the amount you'll spend on a professional headshot is nominal. Prospective clients will notice the difference between a professional headshot and one taken by your spouse—even if they only notice the difference on an unconscious level. Trained photographers know how to capture you at your most flattering angles, using lighting to your advantage and making you look your best.
Choose the Right Clothing: Horizontal stripes, bright colors, and loud designs are distracting in photos. Choose solid, neutral colors that make you the focal point. Also, be sure to choose a background that allows you to stand out—otherwise you'll end up looking like a floating head. Wear what makes you comfortable, but consider your market when it comes to your style of dress. If you deal primarily in luxury homes, you might want to lean toward formal business attire versus business casual.
Be Yourself: Don’t strike a pose, as it can come off unprofessional and silly. Don’t pose with anyone or anything not related to your business. Use a makeup artist for the shoot to reduce the need to retouch the end result—this goes for men, too. Excessive editing could make you look like someone else. There's nothing wrong with clearing up blemishes and smoothing down stray hairs, but you should be recognizable in your photo.
Team Photos: If you're part of a team, ask your photographer to capture a variety of images in different positions so that you have more to choose from. Plan your clothing to match, but don't wear identical outfits... unless “real estate twins” is an integral part of your branding.Want some unbiased feedback on your headshots? Upload them to Photofeeler and discover how you come across in your photos.