Did you know? One of the most important things you can do for your business and your reputation is making sure you have a great headshot. As such, you need to explore what your headshot is saying about you, especially given the fact that this photo will often be the first impression of you that your client encounters. Specifically for real estate agents, “Surveys show that 100 percent of respondents feel more comfortable hiring agents with a professional photograph.”  While your track record, skillset, and other tangibles are the more important factors for landing clients, this is what could tee you up for success.

As we’ve mentioned before regarding the importance of professional MLS photos. While amateur listing photos make for the best kind of punchlines within real estate, they make for the worst selling point! (I like dolls as much as the next person, but this is a bit much.  Guaranteed to scare away buyers… literally).

The same applies to an agent’s professional photo. As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. Extensive research showcases a data-driven correlation to this notion: 60,000 ratings across 800 profile pictures, all ranked on Competency, Influence, and Likability.

Another such study by the University of York drills it down to 65 different factors, ranging from eyebrow length to jaw size. Basically, all of this research simply quantifies the notion that your picture says a lot about you and even your brand. Are you approachable? Trustworthy? Competent?  

Note, however, that it also has the power to drive your business away.  

Clearly, your photo (and as a result, your brand) deserves a professional touch. Though oft-times hilarious, an amateur or low-quality photo can yield disastrous results.

The worst thing you can do for your business is turn it into a punchline. After all, before selling houses, an agent must sell themselves.

So here are some photographic pro tips – especially designed for real estate agents!

SMILE!

Smiling is well researched as making you more approachable and trustworthy – 2 important traits when attempting to solicit more business. In fact, one of the aforementioned studies indicated that smiling was “the most impactful characteristic” when determining an individual’s Likeability, Competency, and Influence.

The same study delves deeper, determining that a smile showing teeth improves all of these factors significantly, as demonstrated by the gentleman above. Furthermore, slightly squinching your eyes conveys confidence TOO Much of an open mouth, however, improves Likeability, but had an adverse impact on Competency and Influence. The picture below demonstrates what to avoid.

Keep your Photo Updated

Make sure to update your every couple of years, as suggested by Connect Realty. Additionally, they go on to state that “it is no secret that 80 percent of home-buyers begin their search online, so a real estate agent’s online presence is crucial with the headshot playing the most important role.” Therefore, anything too outdated will make you seem out of touch and unreliable.

Pro Tip: Your headshot should AT LEAST be from this decade. The last thing
a client wants is to get catfished by their real estate agent.

Dress for Success (but go with what’s most comfortable)

Regardless of the impression you’re looking to create, professionalism should always be a constant. But this piece of advice stems from a situation we’re all too familiar with – dressing for an occasion but feeling out of place as a result. It could be a new suit/outfit, or a style you’re not accustomed to sporting. Go for what you know – it will convey authenticity. More importantly, if you’re uncomfortable, it will show on camera.

Your Background Matters


I’m not talking about that misdemeanor for public indecency in college. Instead, it’s the background for your photo that you have to concern yourself with. Choose one that’s recognizable to your audience. It’s a nice and subtle touch that will definitely impress itself upon future clients. Work in a rural market? Have a background with more foliage and nature. Urban? Then go with a city background, as you can see above. This article contains advice geared towards photographers, one of which being “know what your client is looking for”. Do you know what you’re looking for? What story you’re looking to tell with your headshot? Choosing the appropriate setting will go a long way towards achieving your vision. Of course, a plain background is fine, as some Adobe® Photoshop® magic allows you to manipulate and replace it with a color/background of your choice.

Choosing The Photographer

Finally and most importantly, it comes down to picking the right photographer. Thankfully, this process is easier now more than ever, with websites designed to help you locate photographers in your area. Better yet, there’s even an app for it (as there is for everything else)! Photosesh is your one stop shop for all of those needs, giving you the chance to locate and book a photographer, all from the comfort of your phone!

Either way, regardless of who you decide to go with, make sure to select a photographer that you’re going to be comfortable with. This is the best way to achieve the best shot for you.

With these tools in hand, you will be well-equipped to win even more success. Remember, “a professional, flattering, appropriate headshot … is crucial in creating a memorable first impression and building your brand.” After all, real estate is a face to face profession, so apply the same logic to your headshot. Build your business and look good while doing it.

Raymon Lacy

Raymon Lacy

A San Francisco native and UC Berkeley grad, Raymon recently made the move to Sunny San Diego. When he's not being a Marketing Magician, you can find him exploring San Diego or nose-deep in anything that relates to tech, sports, video games, fantasy, music, beaches or craft beers. (And lists. He really likes lists)