As everyone knows, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Since your headshot is often the first contact someone has with you, it’s vital that yours is sending the right message.
A professional-looking real estate headshot tells your colleagues and, most importantly, your potential clients several things: you’re a legitimate professional, you care about how you appear to others, and you pay attention to details. But if you get your headshot wrong, it can do more harm than not having one at all.
Taking a good headshot is trickier than it sounds, though. Not all slip-ups are as obvious as bad lighting or focus issues. And people usually won’t point out when you’ve gone astray, so it’s up to you to know what to look for. Here are five of the most common mistakes we see that you can easily avoid:
Not using a professional-looking photo
As cute as your children and pets may be, your headshot is not the place to show them off. It is meant to represent your professional brand, not your personal life. Unless you are working as part of a husband and wife team, you should be the only one in your picture. Don’t crop yourself out of a group photo. And we hate that we have to spell it out, but please, no selfies.
Using an image that doesn’t look like you
Focus on personality over any sort of glamour. Your photos should look like the best you, not a different you. They help build rapport by allowing the viewer to put a face to your name. All of that goes out the window when that face is different in person. So if you’re using an image from 15 years ago, it may be time to take a new photo. And we can’t repeat these five little words enough: easy with the Photoshop, already! More on that later.
Poor body language
Whether fair or not, people make assumptions about what it will be like working with you based on your picture. For example, if you’re not looking straight into the camera, you can appear shifty and untrustworthy. Potential clients will respond best to photos that make you seem approachable and genuine, so it’s important that you look natural and confident in your headshot.
Put down the props! We already know that you sell houses for a living. You don’t need to hold a sold sign, be busily talking on your cell phone, or sitting at your desk with piles and piles of paperwork to show you are a professional. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Nothing says silly or unprofessional faster than a photo of a real estate agent who feels like he or she needs a gimmick to catch your eye and earn your business.
Know the limits of Photoshop. While it can greatly improve a photo, it is not magic. Photo editing software is best used for light touch-ups or edits, but proceed with caution–and a light hand. If you find yourself looking at a picture where you have an entirely new hairline, blindingly white teeth, or an unnaturally thin waist, then you have likely gone too far!
As you review your headshot, think about context. You’re likely to use the same photos in a number of places, including for sale signs, social media profiles, your website, business cards, and if your a ReminderMedia customer, in the personalized magazines you send to your clients. Therefore, you want to make sure these images look good at different sizes across print and digital formats.
For a comprehensive guide to getting a professional quality photo for your magazine, don’t miss these tips.
Let Us Help with Your Professional-Looking Headshot
If it’s time to update or upgrade your real estate headshot, we can help. We look at each individual photo our clients submit for use in their magazines, and retouch them to ensure that they are projecting the best possible message. When you submit a photo to us, we will color correct it and touch it to deliver the best possible results. Take a tour of the magazine here, and contact a member of our team directly to make sure that your real estate headshots are sending the right message to your clients!