We all have been told “not to judge a book by its cover,” but who doesn’t? It’s not like we don’t care about the content; it’s that we are visual beings, and first impressions matter. When we bring this human trait to the digital era, that first impression happens online and through headshots. That is why the importance of realtor photoshoots has multiplied in our time.
Our digital impression happens through photographs and descriptions. While we can elaborate extensively about our brand, our image is doing most of the heavy lifting. Our photos take the lead because human brains can process photos 6 to 600 times faster than text. In other words, according to our minds, judging a book by its cover is a perfectly natural first step.
As a professional realtor, there are a couple of steps to capture that right look. We must clarify what we want to say and who is at its receiving end; how is that message contained in a photoshoot? And what can we do to make sure the intended message gets through? We will answer all these questions with a comprehensive “8 what” list!
Table of Contents
What Is Your Personal Brand?
When selling a product, it’s easier to define what it is and who’s it for. In the service sector, it gets a bit harder. You are offering your expertise and capabilities; therefore, you are the face of your brand. Factors shaping your brand can include:
- Unique selling proposition: What sets you apart from other realtors in your area? Is it your approach to customer service or a niche you specialize in?
- Personality: What makes you, well, you? Your personality can be a tremendous asset in building your brand and attracting clients who appreciate your style.
- Appearance: This includes your clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and any accessories you wear when performing your job.
- Communication style: Do you have a particular way of communicating with clients, such as using humor or being very straightforward?
- Reputation: Your good name in the industry and among your clients can be crucial to your brand.
- Values: What do you stand for? Honesty, integrity, or community involvement? Your values can help define your brand and attract like-minded clients.
- Market niche: Are you an expert in a particular neighborhood or type of property? How do you make a difference with your expertise?
- Brand story: What’s your origin story as a realtor? That provides the context of your brand.
Sharing the answers to these questions with your photographer can ease the photoshoot. When you have a clear image of what you stand for and your clientele, the setting for your photos can be chosen accordingly.
What Are Your Active Social Platforms?
Each social media has its visual requirements. For instance, you’d only need a headshot for your LinkedIn account, but diverse images are your primary language for Instagram; since storytelling and creativity shape the structure of such platforms. Due to that, your profile photo can be more creative and eye-catching, showcasing your unique style and personality.
So, before scheduling your photoshoot, clarify your visual needs and communicate them to your photographer.
What Headshots Do You like?
That is the perfect starting point for deciding on your look. You have a clear image of your brand and can now check out how individual elements are reflected in images. What catches your eye when browsing through different headshots and portrait pictures, and why? Take note of poses, clothing, and backgrounds that are commonly used, and consider how you can differentiate yourself while still fitting in with industry standards. Take note of the photos that stand out to you and identify what makes them effective.
What Kind of Photographer Do You Need?
When choosing a photographer, looking for someone specializing in headshots or portraits is best. You can ask for recommendations from other realtors or industry professionals. Check out their portfolio to ensure their style aligns with your brand. Some professionals offer personal brand photography; They interact with you prior to the shoot and try to know you to capture your brand in the best possible way.
Discussing copyright and usage rights is essential so you can use the photos across all of your platforms.
What Should Your Appearance Be?
Your appearance is reflected in the following:
- Pick clothing that reflects your style while still being professional and appropriate for the occasion. If you never wear a suit to work, don’t go for it in your portrait.
- Avoid loud or distracting patterns or graphics, as these can detract from your overall appearance and message.
- Consider bringing a few outfit options to the photo shoot, so you can try out different looks and see what works best on camera.
- Ensure your clothing is clean, pressed, and well-fitted, as wrinkled or ill-fitting clothing can detract from your professional appearance.
- Choose accessories that complement your outfit and style, but avoid going overboard.
- For women, consider wearing understated jewelry and simple, classic pieces.
- A watch or tie clip can add a nice touch without being too flashy for men.
- Avoid distracting or trendy accessories, which can alter your overall message.
Hair and Makeup
- Do a trial run of your hair and makeup before the photoshoot to ensure you are comfortable and happy with the result.
- If possible, schedule a professional hair and makeup appointment to enhance your features and boost your confidence.
- Choose a hairstylist and makeup artist who understands your preferences and the message you want to convey.
- Discuss your desired look with your hairstylist and makeup artist, and bring inspirational photos or references.
- Aim for a natural look that complements you, and avoid anything that distracts the audience.
Your facial expression can communicate much about your personality and approachability, so it’s essential to get it right.
- Aim for a friendly yet confident expression that conveys approachability and competence.
- Avoid forced smiles or fake expressions, which can appear insincere or untrustworthy.
- Practice different expressions in front of a mirror before the photo shoot to get a sense of what looks best.
Your body language can tell your story regarding your confidence, interest, and engagement level, so you must adjust it to deliver the right message.
- Stand up straight and avoid slouching; good posture conveys confidence and professionalism.
- Make eye contact with the camera or photographer, which can help convey trustworthiness and approachability.
- The big dilemma is what to do with your hands. Generally, crossing one’s arms or legs can signal defensiveness or disinterest. However, it is a favored pose among realtors. You can opt for a loose version of it. Also, you can hold a relatable object in your hands or go for one hand in the pocket pose. In a seated setting, you can rest your hands on the table.
What Gadgets and Props Can You Use?
What you carry in your hands or are on your table must be relevant. Make sure that any technology or equipment you feature in your photos relates to your realtor’s work and adds value to the portrait. For example, featuring a tablet or smartphone in your photo could be effective if you specialize in smart homes. However, if you don’t work with technology in your day-to-day work, it may not be necessary to include it in your photos.
Consider using props that reflect your job, such as a sold sign, keys, or a clipboard, or with home listing details like a floor plan.
What Poses Should You Use?
It’s all about you and what fits. Your poses must portray your brand while keeping you comfortable and confident. So, try experimenting with different poses and angles and ask your friends or colleagues for feedback.
- Seated poses: They can convey professionalism and authority, making them a good choice for realtors who want to show a sense of trustworthiness and expertise.
- Walking poses: Walking poses can be more dynamic and convey energy and movement, making them a good choice for realtors who want to showcase their personality and approachability.
- Leaning poses: putting your back to the wall or leaning on the side of the table could provide a more comfortable pose.
Nevertheless, you should try them on like clothes and pick the ones that fit perfectly.
What Surroundings Should You Choose?
While you are the focal point of your photographs, your background can speak a thousand words. The following are the points you must consider regarding the captured surroundings:
- Personal brand: Your surroundings should align with your brand as a realtor. If you specialize in luxury homes, choose a location that reflects that, such as a high-end property or an upscale office. If you’re more focused on the family market, consider using a cozy and welcoming setting.
- Neutral background: Using a plain, neutral background can help keep the focus on you and your message. That can be achieved using a solid-colored wall, a seamless paper backdrop, or plain fabric. You can also have a faded house, office, or outdoor background.
- Avoid distractions: Ensure that the surroundings do not steal focus from you. That means avoiding cluttered backgrounds, bright colors or patterns that may be too distracting, or any elements that do not align with your message as a realtor.
- Use related settings: Typically, an office space, indoor and outdoor of a house, or a view from the neighborhood you work in can be a good option for background. You can also go for a mountain or beach background if listings in such places are your expertise.
- Lighting: Having the shoot in a well-lit space or using proper lighting equipment is necessary to ensure high-quality photos.
- Other people: a big part of any agent is interacting with clients. So, it could be beneficial to include a portrait while chatting with some people, perhaps in an office or while showing a listing.
Regarding realtor photoshoots, there is no “one” formula fitting all. Besides, you cannot appeal to everyone; your face or expression can remind someone of a person they have a history with, perhaps not a pleasant one.
The important thing is to portray your identity as a realtor properly. You just need to dig deep to clarify who you are and what you’re selling to paint the proper picture through portraits – the “8 what” questions elaborated in this blog can be your guideline on this road. Keep in mind that in all this, you are aiming for that unique and original image that shows the best of you.
Establishing yourself in the market takes time and effort. In order to become a successful real estate agent, one must take the essential steps, including:
- Doing the proper research.
- Planning ahead.
- Setting your marketing strategy.
- Picking a mentor.
- Becoming an expert in your field
- Building, expanding, and keeping your network.
- Keeping up with the changes and the trends.
- Leaving room for mistakes and learning from them.
- Making it joyful to persist.
- Assessing your progress and setbacks as you go on.