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The Dos and Don'ts of Real Estate Headshots

Your real estate headshot is key to your success in an increasingly digital world. As prospective clients search for agents online, your first chance to make an impression is with your real estate agent headshot.

The right headshot can make you seem friendly, engaging, trustworthy, and professional. That means it’s worth the investment to make sure you get your real estate headshot right, the first time. So how can you ensure your headshot puts your best face forward? Here are a few pointers to help you get the perfect shot.

Dos and Don’ts for a Real Estate Headshot You’ll Love

Do: look your best in your real estate headshot

Your real estate headshot should look like you on your best day. That means that you should do your hair and makeup with extra care, but definitely don’t go overboard. You don’t want to look fake in your real estate agent headshot. If a prospective client meets you after seeing your real estate headshot and you look like a totally different person, that could break their trust and drive them away from doing business with you.

Aim for a polished and professional look in your real estate headshot. Consider wearing a blazer, tailored dress, or suit in your photo. Even if you aren’t formal on a day-to-day basis, business professional clothes are ideal for real estate agent headshots.

Just remember, your professional headshot isn’t a glamour shot. Your headshot is about presenting yourself as a reliable and trustworthy real estate agent.

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Don't: strike a pose in your real estate headshot

The last thing you want is a cheesy, stiff, or overly posed real estate headshot.  Crossing your arms will make you appear closed off, and tilting your head too much can look unprofessional. The best pose for a real estate agent headshot is a natural and approachable stance like you would stand if you were spending time with your friends.

If you feel nervous or awkward about taking a real estate headshot, that’s totally natural. Most people feel a little awkward the first time they have a headshot taken. If you’re working with a talented photographer, they’ll be able to put your mind at ease. You could also bring a friend with you to help you feel more comfortable around the camera.

Look at the experience of taking a real estate agent headshot as something fun! The result will be a real estate headshot that shows off the real you: a person that’s friendly, approachable, and great at their job.

Do: say cheese in your real estate headshot

Did you know that a smile can make you appear more trustworthy? In your real estate headshot, don’t be afraid to give a huge smile to the camera. If you can laugh and bring a real smile to your face, prospective clients will be able to sense the authenticity in the photo. Ultimately, that means they’ll see you as trustworthy and someone they would want to work with.

Your facial expression can make or break your real estate headshot. A grimace, fake smile, or frown can make prospective clients say “no” to you and move on to agents who seem warmer and friendlier. To help you get that genuine smile, think about a funny story or watch stand-up comedy before you have pictures take for your real estate agent headshot. Whatever you have to do, just say “cheese” and smile pretty for the camera.

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Don't: complicate things

When it comes to real estate headshots, the simpler, the better. Keep your background simple. A simple gray or black backdrop inside a studio is always a good choice. If you want something less formal, though, going outdoors for a real estate headshot can also work. If you’re outdoors, opt for a simple brick wall or background of green trees, and make sure there aren’t distracting patterns or people in the background of your real estate agent headshot.

Props are also too distracting for a real estate headshot. Don’t sit at a knick-knack covered desk for your headshot, and don’t hold your pet in your photo. If you want to add personality to your headshot, try wearing your favorite color or posing in your favorite park. Ultimately, you should be the focal point of your real estate agent headshot, so simplicity is key.

Do: hire a professional

Hire a professional to take your real estate headshot. Yes, it might be pricier than asking a friend to take your headshot, but the investment will be worth it. Your real estate agent headshot is one of your most valuable marketing tools, which means getting it wrong could drive away prospective clients and make you look unprofessional.

A professional should have a high-end camera, an understanding of lighting, and a proven portfolio of impressive headshots. Allow them to help direct your stance, the way you style your hair, and if you want, even your outfit and makeup choices. The professionals know exactly how to get an awesome headshot, so splurge a little and let them take the lead. It will be worth it when you have an amazing, high-quality real estate agent headshot in your hands.

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Don’t: forget to do your research

You shouldn’t go into a professional photo shoot just hoping for the best. Take a look at other real estate agents' headshots to see what you like. Scroll through Pinterest, check out your colleagues’ real estate headshots, and do a Google search to look for ideas. Take notes on what outfits, poses, and backgrounds you like best.

Then, do your research to make sure you find a photographer whose both style and pricing work for you. Before hiring anyone, set up meetings with a few potential photographers to discuss what kind of real estate agent headshot you want. You need a photographer who can truly understand your vision for your real estate headshot. If you diligently do your research, you’re far more likely to end up with a headshot you love.

Do: communicate your brand message

Make sure you’re honest with your photographer about how you want (and don’t want) your real estate headshot to look. You are the representative of your real estate brand, and you need to make sure your headshot reflects what that brand is.

If your brand is more buttoned up, you know you need to look professional in your headshot. If you’re more fun-loving and use bright colors throughout your brand,you may want to communicate that in your real estate agent headshot by wearing a fun (yet still professional) outfit.

Consistency is key when it comes to your real estate headshot. Whatever your brand message is, with a little attention to detail, you can definitely communicate it through your headshot. You just have to make sure your photographer knows what your vision is. So speak up, and make sure you get a photo that you love and that fits with your brand.

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Don’t: keep the same real estate headshot forever

Lastly, keep your real estate headshot up-to-date. A photo that is too old will make you appear out of touch and careless, not to mention unprofessional. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to update your real estate agent headshot every couple of years. Clients are more likely to trust you if you look just like your real estate headshot, so it’s worth the investment to get a new one when you need it.

How do you know it’s time to replace your real estate agent headshot? If your outfit is obviously outdated, your haircut has drastically changed, or you just aren’t happy with the way the photo looks anymore, you should get a new real estate headshot.

Now, you’re ready for your close-up! Just remember these dos and don’ts and you’re sure to get a real estate headshot that you love. Good luck!


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