Getting the Perfect Headshot That Matches Your Brand
Ever wondered why every agent out there loves to plaster their real estate headshots on busses, benches, billboards, and lawn signs? The answer is simple: personalized marketing!
People need to feel trust with their real estate agents.
Whether you’re buying or selling, residential or commercial, we put our trust into a person assuming they’ll do the best they can to make a deal worthwhile. That’s exactly why having a great headshot is so important to agents in the industry.
Adding a face to your brand establishes a sense of familiarity before your clients even meet you.
Anyone looking for a new buyer’s agent will feel most comfortable going with an agent they know, so real estate agent headshots are a good idea when attracting new clientele. If you want to get technical, this is actually due to a phenomenon known as the familiarity principle.
As humans, we tend to develop a preference for things that we see more often and feel most comfortable with. When you add a professional headshot to your brand, you’re showing that your business is more than just a business, it’s a person.
Having a professional headshot isn’t only good for attracting new clients, but it can also help keep your old ones too! That’s because staying familiar with your clientele is the best way to get more referrals.
We all love hearing about how our friends and family members are doing after they move into their new house, and smart real estate agents utilize their personalized marketing strategies to keep those relationships strong.
When you’re ready to get your headshots, you should be wary of the dos and don’ts in this industry. The balance between professionalism and approachability is fragile, and getting it right is one of the greatest keys to success. Lucky for you, we have some excellent tips and tricks when it comes to taking the perfect headshot to match your real estate brand.
Think about your market
You want to appeal to who you work with. The real estate headshot for an agent who sells single-unit homes to lower-income families will want to present themself in a very different way from someone who sells multi-family apartment buildings. There are a few ways in which you can incorporate different audiences in your headshot planning, and we’ll get to those in a moment.
Work with a professional photographer
Your professional headshots need to be high quality and well-lit, so it’s best to hire a portrait photographer. They will be able to help with lighting, posing, and facial expressions while giving you variety in your final choices.
Plus, you can get help with final editing and receive some guidance while shooting (which, if you’re camera-shy, can be really invaluable).
Be conscious of time
On-time is basically late, make sure you’re early for your photoshoot. Rushing through your headshot is a recipe for bad pictures.
Make the appointment with a photographer who specializes in the kind of shots you want to get done, either inside their studio or arrange a time when they’re available to shoot outside or at another location. Anticipate at least an hour for getting your headshots taken and ask the photographer how long the editing process will take and when you can expect the final images.
Think about the composition of your pictures
Make sure to tell your photographer ahead of time:
- If you want a variety of angles in your headshots
- If you want one or a few different facial expressions (laughing, serious, smiling, etc.) throughout your photos
- If you want to wear a different outfit for a specific headshot
- If you want all posed, all candid, or a combination in your headshots
- If you want a specific type of background for your headshots (studio backdrop, greenery outdoors, in front of a house, etc.)
- If you’re want to include your real estate logo in on some, or all, of your headshots, be sure to tell your photographer ahead of time so they can frame the shot appropriately
Choose an outfit that fits your brand image
If you want to present an extremely professional service that deals with high-budget sales and purchases, a fitted black suit or dress will help complete your brand image. If you’re hoping to present something a bit more approachable and maybe more budget-friendly, the expensive suits aren’t necessary, and might even have a negative effect. Looking natural, as opposed to very posed, might be a better look for you.
Your intention should be to set the tone of your business and any marketing that accompanies your real estate headshot.
Don’t go overboard with hair and makeup
Keep things simple and try not to detract attention from the excellent service you provide. Disheveled or over-styled hair can turn off potential clients from contacting you, and the same can be said for heavy makeup.
Give yourself the appearance of being put together, without letting anyone question your judgment. A real estate agent should be able to pick the right house, and the way you present yourself can have an effect on whether or not a potential client thinks you can.
Figure out where to use your headshots
Decide where you’ll be using each headshot.
Are these for your website or are you planning on buying a billboard or bus bench ad? Keep a variety of poses and shots on hand (physically and digitally) so they are versatile enough for any occasion.
Here’s a tip: Place a small headshot in your email signature and on your business card. It reminds your clients that they’re working with a real person and helps them to more quickly develop a relationship with you as their agent. Use the same headshot as your social media profile picture so you’re easy to identify online.
There are a lot of great options for your new photography assets – don’t be afraid to get creative!
Avoid gimmicks and theatrics
A lot of people mistakenly go for the wow factor and it doesn’t typically work. Unless you’re committed to using billboards as your primary marketing outlet, you should always stick to professionalism.
This is another reason why you should be well aware of your intended brand image; a gimmicky headshot may not give you quite the response you were looking for, even if it has shock value. The real estate industry is more about authenticity and trust than it is about glamour or pizzazz.
Don’t forget to smile in your headshots!
A headshot of you looking happy, energetic, and excited will help potential buyers feel the same when they are viewing your listing. And remember – like a logo, your real estate headshots should convey the most important aspects of who you are and what you represent.
Update your headshot or add photos to your marketing portfolio as soon as you can. They’re a great investment for your brand! 77% of sellers only contact one agent when choosing to sell, and adding a photo to your website or email signature could be just what gets you the job.