With the myriad of tasks a real estate agent faces every week, taking new professional headshots probably isn’t high on the list. However, professional real estate headshots are an essential part of your marketing toolkit, whether you like it or not.
What is a Professional Headshot?
A headshot is a photo, typically only of your shoulders and face, that conveys a sense of professionalism and friendliness. Depending on your industry, your headshot can make all the difference between landing a high-value client and not getting the job.
Why Real Estate Headshots Are Important
Real estate is all about relationships. You establish a relationship with your client, with other Realtors, and with various industry professionals. While your initial meeting creates a first impression (which is incredibly important), the catalyst to getting that initial meeting could be as simple as the photo on your website.
Studies find that humans tend to make initial impressions in about 1/10 of a second. That is, if you have an unprofessional headshot – say a selfie in the driver’s seat of your car – potential clients will almost immediately make assumptions and conclusions based solely on that photo.
For many Realtors, your headshot is the first thing a potential client sees. Whether it’s on your business card or on your website, your picture conveys a lot about your professionalism, your character, and your overall demeanor.
Your professional headshot should signal to potential clients that you are professional, but you’re also approachable, down-to-earth, and friendly.
How Often to Update Your Headshot
You should update your headshot at least once every 2-3 years. However, every time you change your appearance – get a new hairstyle or hair color, lose or gain noticeable amounts of weight, or otherwise alter your appearance – it’s a good idea to get new headshots.
It can be jarring for clients to expect a brunette with long hair (thanks to your older photos) but then be greeted by a blond with a pixie cut. Keep your photos current, and update them regularly.
Even if you’re not one to change your appearance (I’m looking at you, men), it’s still wise to update your photos every few years. Refreshing our photos also gives us an incentive to update our website content, marketing materials, and other items featuring our faces.
Tips for Getting a Great Professional Headshot
If you want the perfect professional headshot, it’s going to take some effort. Here are a few non-negotiable tips:
- Hire a professional photographer.
A great headshot is about more than just a DSLR camera and a pretty background. A professional photographer can help you choose color schemes, coach you into natural poses and facial expressions, and find the best angles and lighting for your face.
- Choose several poses and outfits.
Don’t get stuck on one location or one pose. Take some shots sitting, standing, or maybe even walking. And have some fun with your wardrobe. While you want to convey professionalism, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t break out some fun colors or trendy outfits.
Besides conveying a message of “I’m nice! And approachable!” one study suggests smiling in your photos instantly makes the viewer trust you more than if you were stone-faced.
- Switch up the Locations.
Your photographer likely has some favorite spots for headshots, but get creative with your locations. Choose an indoor location, like your office, and an outdoor area, like the park or the city. It’s always good to have at least a few shots in front of an iconic structure or location from the area you serve.
- Consider Professional Hair and Makeup.
Once again, men, you can largely sit this one out, but do make sure your hair is well-groomed. Ladies, consider hiring a professional hairstylist who can make you look like a million bucks. A makeup artist – particularly one who works with photographers regularly – will know which shades and methods to use to make you look dazzling in your photos.
Want even more tips to get the ultimate professional headshot? Check out this article from our friends at The Close.
Get That New Headshot Out Into the World
Now that you’ve updated your headshots (and they look incredible!), it’s time to share them with the world. Be sure to change your profile pictures on your social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other places you regularly do business.
Secondly, update your photo on your website and marketing materials. This might be a great chance to send out some updated newsletters or add some new content to your website. Fresh photos call for a fresh new website, after all!
And finally, create new business cards with your updated photo. Feel free to share them with your past contacts.
When was the last time you took professional headshots? We want to hear about your experience! Drop us a line in the comments below.
Joe Hall says
It makes sense to get a new shot as soon as you really change your appearance, like getting your hair colored. My sister is trying to become a professional agent soon and she needs help getting started. I think it’s a great idea to reach out to a local photographer to help her get some shots that look really good.
Becca Stewart says
Thank you for your comment, Joe! We hope your sister’s business is a great success. Please have her reach out to us if she needs help along the way. We love helping agents become even more successful!