According to a top realtor marketing expert, a professional headshot is a necessity for real estate agents. As the most fundamental part of your branding, it helps you make a presence in an overcrowded market. Your professional headshot should, as she said, precede you everywhere. Your realtor headshot should be the one constant element that appears on your business cards, bios, and all social media channels.
With so much stress on having an effective headshot, we thought we would share some tips for ensuring your real estate headshot makes you stand out from the crowd, look professional and get your more clients.
How To Dress For Your Real Estate Headshot
For your real estate headshot, you want to look completely professional. You wouldn’t wear workout sweats, a low cut dress or a t-shirt, no matter how stylish, to show a client a house or sign paperwork. Likewise you don’t want to wear casual clothing for your professional headshot.
Choose clothing that is suitable business attire. A classic professional look works well here. Avoid patterns, stripes, and prints. Solid colors are best. Think traditional colors like blues, grey, charcoal, tan etc. Women can probably get away with wearing a red suit jacket, but somehow that doesn’t work well for men.
Another important tip here is to hold the outfits you plan on wearing up to yourself in a mirror in good natural light (indoor lighting can skew the appearance of colors). The color of our clothing can dramatically affect our skin tone. You want to see if the colors you have selected bring out your skin tones an make you look alive and vibrant… or if it makes you look washed out.
Bring a few alternatives to the shoot with you. It provides you and your realtor headshot photographer options. Often as you work together you’ll discover a different outfit than initially planned works better. It’s also a good idea to get headshots in more than one outfit to provide options in your marketing.
As these are headshots, you shouldn’t need to worry about full outfits. It’s generally just from a little below the shoulders that will be seen in the finished images.
Posing For Your Headshot
A good experienced business headshot photographer will guide you through a number of different poses to discover your best angle and expression. Oddly enough, the position of your lower body can affect the appearance of your upper body. We will take some poses with you standing as well as sitting and talk with you during the shoot to help put you at ease and bring out your personality.
There is debate on whether you should smile or not. Some schools of thought think a more serious look is more professional looking. However a study by the Max Planck Institute found that smiling makes people perceive you as more approachable, easier to work with and honest. I think smiling wins the debate.
It’s possible to smile while also looking confident, professional and successful.
Consider Having Your Makeup Professionally Done For Your Headshot
This is mainly for the women. Generally men don’t need makeup for their headshot photoshoot. There are some exceptions to this, but if you are a man and feel you need makeup discuss it with us first.
As for women, while you know how to apply makeup and do it every day, a professional makeup artist can see subtle things you may may not notice that can make a big difference. Professional makeup artists are also familiar with tricks to make you look your best on camera.
This is a personal choice. If you feel the way you do your own makeup looks great, it probably does.
If you do decide to have your makeup done professionally, you can either have it done before arriving at the shoot or arrange with us to have your makeup done at the shoot. The former option is usually more economical. We can recommend one, or you can have it done at one of the cosmetic stores int the malls that do makeup.
Consider Having Portraits Done In Addition To Your Headshots
While your realtor headshot takes the starring role in your marketing as described above, there can be times where a portrait can serve you well too (see our post on the difference between a headshot and a portrait). These portraits, often called environmental portraits or lifestyle portraits, can be used to paint a picture of confidence and success by bringing other elements into the background. Perhaps of hanging a sold sign on the sign in front of a nice property or in an expansive office setting talking on the phone standing before the windows.
Location is everything in real estate and showing your location can be to your advantage. Portraits with recognized neighborhood landmarks in the background can establish you as an expert in that neighborhood in a glance. For example, a realtor specializing in Beverly Hills properties could have a portrait taken with the Via Rodeo/Rodeo Drive street sign in the background, by the fountain and stairs leading up to the Two Rodeo Drive Shopping Mall, or with the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in the background.
A money saving tip here too is to do the portraits at the same time you do your headshot You can generally get a discount that way.
Discuss your Headshot With Your Photographer
Take some time to discuss your headshot with your photographer. Ask questions. Tell the photographer about any special nuances about your agency that might make it unique. Talk about what you hope to project to your clients and what qualities you think your clients most value
As a final note, have fun. Many people dread having their headshot taken. There is nothing to dread. Photo shoots are fun and you should plan on having fun getting your headshot taken.