As a real estate agent, it’s no secret that your image is your brand, but have you put a lot of thought into how your headshot is affecting your business? You should. A recent poll by Transactly, of potential home buyers and sellers from across the United States, shows that image matters when it comes to choosing an agent. So much so that 73% of respondents said that an image would impact their decision to hire. Sound superficial? Maybe, but perception typically takes precedence over reality. Especially when most introductions to first-time clients are being made over a computer screen. So, what should you consider when looking at your headshot?
How You Want to be Seen
We’ve all seen them- the Realtor headshots that are cartoon drawings, the three-chin selfie, the glamour shot, and my personal favorite, the headshots involving props like for sale signs or dogs. If fun-loving or still loving the ‘80s is the image you’re trying to convey, great. You nailed it. However, the Transactly survey shows most potential buyers and sellers are looking for a real estate agent that looks competent, likable, and is a real person. That’s right, use your actual face.
When you’re looking to get a new or updated headshot, consider wearing professional attire, using a professional camera, and use a flattering angle. If you’ve ever used BoxBrownie to touch up your listing photos, you’ll be happy to know they do faces too. You can get the background light you were looking for without taking 100 pictures. A picture can say a thousand words, so make sure the message your picture is sending is the one you want your potential clients to receive.
Ryan Michaelis, Managing Broker and Business Development Specialist for Worth Clark, a leading St. Louis brokerage agrees, “First impressions are one of the most important things for a real estate agent to be concerned with. It’s no different from when a home is listed. If a potential buyer searching homes on the internet isn’t impressed initially, they move on and never schedule a showing. It’s the same with agents. Headshots allow us to present ourselves in a professional manner, and make it appear (at least) that we’ve got our you know what together.”
Your Winning Smile
Potential clients want to know that you are a real person, not just a real estate robot solely focused on closing as many deals as possible. Which is probably why the majority of potential clients want to see you smiling above all else. When you are smiling, you are presenting yourself as a personable, which is an extremely attractive quality in any service-oriented industry. Anyone about to make a large investment wants to know they have a trusted friend on their side when approaching their real estate journey, and it is your job to ensure they feel that way about you.
Be Where the People Are
This will not come as a shock to anyone who has been following the industry trends, but it is clear that potential buyers and sellers want to see your headshot on social media. Many aspects of the real estate industry can be seen on social media now, and searching for and vetting a potential agent is no exception. Social media is definitely on the rise and it is not going away anytime soon.
When respondents were asked where they were most likely to hire after seeing a headshot, social media came in on top. So if you’re currently using all your marketing money on bus stops and park benches, but you don’t have a Facebook page, it may be time to reevaluate. It’s time to use all the major social media platforms to your advantage, rather than stay stuck in increasingly outdated business practices.
The Power of Recommendations
Recommendations and referrals are the one exception when it comes to the impact of your headshot. An overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that they would still consider an agent with an undesirable headshot if the agent was referred to them. This result speaks volumes about the power of referrals and recommendations, even in a world where a person’s image is everything. Therefore, the service you provide to your clients should be your main priority and focus. It is apparent that word of mouth marketing has the ability to make or break your business, significantly more than your headshot ever could.
To ensure you are getting the most business possible, it is vital to effectively utilize the power of referrals and recommendations. You should be actively reaching out to your past clients about their level of satisfaction, and interacting with them on social media to continue to foster a positive relationship with them, even after their deal is closed. When a client thinks highly of you, and how you conduct business, they will recommend you to their friends and loved ones. In the end, recommendations have the power to establish a glowing reputation for you that is sure to attract clients for years to come.
The Bottom Line
While making sure your headshot is in tip-top shape may not be at the top of your to-do list today, don’t discount it’s importance when it comes to getting more (or losing) business. It is a crucial component in effectively establishing both your image and brand. To acquire the most business possible and continue to be successful in the real estate industry, it is necessary to put a sufficient amount of time and consideration into both the image you present and the service you provide. Having your image and brand draw clients in, and then allowing your service skills to impress them so they recommend you to others, is the best course of action to take when working to be a top producing real estate agent.
View the entire poll here.
Madison Clifton is a part of the marketing team at Transactly. She spends her days working with social media, and writing blog posts for Transactly. She loves learning and writing about real estate, and business. In her free time she loves to dance, read, and go exploring. Madison loves to learn new things and can often be found doing just that.