Pictures are worth a 1,000 words or are they

Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Real Estate

What is it about the pictures we all tend to put on our cards and advertising! I know that we are suppose to put our best foot forward and present a respectable and professional image. We all know that you can never make a second first impression or take back something you said that got you 2nd place when working to get a listing. What I would like to know is what are your feelings or opinions when it comes to seeing a picture of someone who is a professional in a not so professional setting. I am not talking about those candid shots of me being pushed in the water while sunning at the beach with people screaming "he'll die if we don't get him back in!" what I am talking about is maybe during an outing or doing something recreational. Let's say a casual picture that represents you as a real person not just another pearly white smiled salesman in a sears sucker suit.


Comments (29)

JD Castanon
Prudential California Real Estate - La Habra, CA

Hey Brenda, you calling me fat!! I'm just short for my weight :)

Nov 19, 2009 10:13 AM
Jesse Skolkin
Independent New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser - Fresh Meadows, NY

I've always wondered why RE Agents need a photo of themselves on their business card to begin with.  I would estimate that over 90% of the agents whom I've met had a photo of themselves on their business card. 

Most other professionals I've dealt with don't practice that particular form of advertising.

Nov 19, 2009 10:31 AM
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

This was rejected as my business card pic. (i liked it, but the wife flagged it) I lost.

All I can say is remember the sunscreen

Nov 19, 2009 10:37 AM
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

JD, it might work for some but not for others. I have the buttoned up suit lady photo, but then my clients get to know me and they look at me funny when I am wearing one. They understand why the photo though!!!

Nov 19, 2009 10:51 AM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi JD~ Just about all of us have our photos on our business cards.  I guess it just depends. The photo can be detrimental in some ways!  I think you should use your photo at the beach, LOL!!

Nov 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Jd~ oops sorry- Claude should use his photo at the beach.....

Nov 19, 2009 11:13 AM
Lorna Presswood
Elite Texas Properties - Galveston, TX

I've had this debate with other professionals on why the RE profession likes to use photos so much, everywhere...I personally have gone back and forth with using a photo and not using one at all. Here in the beach/resort community where I live and work, it's popular to use a beach/outdoor photo at times. I don't use a photo on my business cards, I just keep it simple. I don't honestly think it's necessary to use a photo of ourselves, but if we do use one, I think it should reflect the market in which you work. If you're target market is high end and upscale, go for a more formal photo...if you're market is beach and resort, you might consider an outdoor shot. I think it's all relative~ Nice thought provoking post!

Nov 19, 2009 11:44 AM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi JD...Like most things you can give it a try and see how it works for you.  If it does, great.  If not scrap it fast!

Maybe all you folks that say no pictures still have memories but I auctioned mine off years ago before I got into real estate and needed money.

My philosophy is if there are any folks out there in my condition I want to give them all the help I possibly can to remember who I am.  I plaster my photo every place.  If that makes me unprofessional than I am unprofessional but at least I'm recognizable.

Keep smiling!


Nov 19, 2009 11:48 AM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I don't think you need a jacket and tie, but t-shirt and jeans does not look professional.  I also don't like when pets are in pictures.

Nov 19, 2009 11:58 AM
Monique Combs
Royal Shell Real Estate - Bonita Springs, FL
Royal Shell Real Estate - Monique Combs

I am always the picture taker and I don't like my picture being taken much, because all I ever hear is that's doesn't look like you, you are prettier. What do you you want me to do about it??

Nov 19, 2009 12:30 PM
Trisha P Realty Group
Realty Executives - Leavenworth, KS
"Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home"
I have mixed feelings on this. I think it helps and hurts. I'm in my twenties and I do use my picture of my cards. I think it's great for people my age. But for older clients looking for a realtor, I think it hurts. They don't want a young "inexperienced" realtor. It's a catch 22. What do you do?
Nov 19, 2009 12:37 PM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

People identify with you as a person too.  But some may be turned off if you are too casual

Nov 19, 2009 12:53 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Depends on the niche you are after...depends on how comfortable you area..especially with video..if you are a Beach Boy tshirt and sneakers guy selling properties where you need a surf board..that's the look. Leslie Helms sells horse properties and has the hat, horse to go along with it. There are so many of us that being distinctive, unique and noticed is part of the rise to the top. Getting your voice, product, community put on the map. Don't do what the rest of the real estate herd does, do what you feel comfortable with, that works.

Nov 19, 2009 01:34 PM
Mike Weber
Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado - Fort Collins, CO
40+ years in Northern Colorado

It is interesting I should run across your blog this evening, just after uploading a new profile photo to AR.  I replaced my formal suit photo with something considerably more casual.  As I look through the many responses to blog posts, I find myself more interested in the less formal, "real person" photos, that give me a glimpse into the personality of the person posting.

There are valid arguments for having a portrait on the card, and for not doing so.  However, I find that many agents who have their photo on their card do not update it often enough.  On many occasions, I have struggled to find a resemblance between the agent standing in front of me and the business card image from 30 lbs and 10 years ago.

I hope my branding conveys the right amount of professionalism mixed with the casual nature of our market.

Mike Weber Logo

Nov 19, 2009 01:49 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Some one once told me that only Realtors can afford to have their pictures on business cards. I have often thought of having a set of cards without one.

Nov 19, 2009 01:55 PM
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

I have had and still have card with and card without pics. I couldn't find a place to put them in a few of our card designs so I left them out! Haven't notice any difference other than the cards stand out in the crowd without the pic too. ~Rita

Nov 19, 2009 02:17 PM
Nancy Milton Holtzscher
RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs - Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR

Having no picture is better than using something so old it could be a high school graduation photo.

Nov 19, 2009 02:21 PM
Mark VanBuskirk
Cassidon Realty - Lehighton, PA
PA REALTOR Specializing in Carbon & Monroe County

Well this blog says it all! Void of words brought an awful lot of action! I like a good photo..put a name with a face. Jog my poor memory!

Nov 19, 2009 03:10 PM
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

You make a good point, people just love pictures, especially pictures of other people.

Nov 19, 2009 04:31 PM
Rich Cotton
Rich Cotton The Waterfront Specialist EXiT Preferred Realty - Chesapeake City, MD
Waterfront Specialist Cecil and Kent Counties MD

I agree with Mark. Pctures jog the memory, but they should be current.

Nov 19, 2009 10:32 PM