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Would you buy or sell a home with this agent?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

After reading a post by Lisa Hill, Does Your "Professional" Photo Look Like A Facebook Picture?  I really started thinking about it.

I see all manner of profile pictures in my social media travels...logos, avatars, casual shots, glamour shots...you name it...and as I read the post, I began to wonder whether or not my profile picture (which also happens to be my personal Facebook profile picture) might be considered unprofessional.

My business persona

I have a business page on Facebook, complete with my "professional" head-shot.  The very same shot that I use on my business cards and on our business website.  And I hate it.  Oh, it's not necessarily a bad picture...actually, it's pretty good.  My age has apparently diminished, and the zit that had, predictably, chosen that morning to put in an undeniable appearance...HA!  What zit?

The photographer was skilled, and before my eyes rendered the digital images "print worthy".  Included in the mix were several poses, including what I refer to as my own personal glamour shot.  Love that picture..it's the image I wish I saw first thing in the morning (bet hubby wouldn't put up a fuss, either) but it's just that...an image...and one that I couldn't possibly replicate.  Honey, there ain't enough spackle in the world, and handing out filtered lenses to all and sundry hardly seems practical, you know?

When I first joined AR, I actually used my glam shot...why not? Nobody knew me, so what difference would it make, right?

Kim's Glamour shot



Then I started to get to know people out there in the Rain...and they got to know me.  I began to feel as though the picture was a sham:

at worst, a misrepresentation; at best, a serving suggestion.


One afternoon a couple of years ago I decided I needed to find a more honest photo.  One that looked like me.  One that looked like I might look if I were actually in the same room listening to them...and since I tend toward snarkasm, a bit of skepticism wasn't completely out of line.  So, one day, whilst seated at my desk, I whipped out the ol' Motorola Flip-phone. 

I centered myself in the tiny fisheye mirror on the back and, with a digital <click>, the deed was done.

Active Rain and Facebook Profile Pic

But now I'm thinking...should I be even more honest?  I'm professional, but I want to be real.  I'm a tad weary of hearing "gosh, you don't look like your picture".  Um, I thought it looked like me...but since everyone else sees me more than I do, I suppose I should take their opinion to heart.

There are some other pictures of me floating around...like the picture of me when my youngest graduated from high school...that looks like me, right?  


 But then again, this was taken of me that same night...and, sadly, it looks like me, too.


I can't be the only person in the entire social media realm "faced" with this quandary!

Perhaps I should just go with this caricature a friend did for me:

Would you buy or sell a home with this agent?

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Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Madison & Co Properties

Kim- they are all you!  "The many Facets of Your Realtor"! LOL  I know what you mean, and I feel your angst.  I tend toward snarkasm myself, so I'm looking forward to more of your blogging.  Btw, I will keep my "glamour shot" profile pic for as long as possible, because you can only see one of my chins in it.

Keep smiling!

Aug 26, 2010 10:12 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

Keep 'em all. Let the public see all the sides of you. After all, the business is relationship driven. And, if you have a sense of humor along with a sense of business......

Aug 26, 2010 10:20 AM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I actually like MEAN KIM...that pic just cracks me up.

I have way too much photoshop time invested in my pic to give it up now!

Aug 26, 2010 10:24 AM
No Longer Active
Real Estate - Fallon, MT

It's tough to take a posed shot so I usually try to crop one out of a decent picture.   Relax and hopefully someone will capture an image you like.  Doing PodCamp in Portsmouth in October? 

My vote would be something like this  --->

Aug 26, 2010 10:35 AM
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I kinda like the flip phone shot myself. More power to ya!

Aug 26, 2010 11:08 AM
Christine Pappas - REALTOR®
eXp Realty - Willoughby, OH
When You’re Ready To Move, I’m Ready To Help

I like the candid shots,  I think people connect better to the "real" you and not the glamoured up and touched up photos.

Aug 26, 2010 11:23 AM
Heather Oberhau
Prudential Fox & Roach - Newtown, PA
Bucks County Real Estate, e-PRO

LOL DORK!  I don't particularly like any professional photos.  I had one where I was wearing a suit.  I think it might be the only time I wore a suit since I started selling real estate.   I like your FB and Activerain photo, but I,too, vote for Dan's submission (even though he did crop out a fellow REALTOR peep ;)

Aug 26, 2010 12:37 PM
Mykel Martin
(909) 476-9600 ~ WeLoveSellingRealEstate.com - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Realty Masters & Associates

I like the one you're using now - you look lovely and approchable and like a real person. :-)

Aug 26, 2010 02:19 PM
Ross Therrien
Prudential Verani Realty, Londonderry,New Hampshire - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Broker Associate

I haven't found a picture of myself that I like, yet.  Candids--no way.  After all we must be professionals???

I'm always the one taking the pictures so there's very few of me.  Just not into me, I guess.  I like all of yours.  Very approachable and thats what counts.  Keep up the good work.

Aug 26, 2010 03:16 PM
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

Jennifer--They are all me, to varying degrees, I suppose.  I love your pic and can't imagine there are that many chins!  I'm still trying to come to terms with the whole jowly thing...I look in the mirror and think "what the hell is that?".  Then I look down and realize that it's just my face trying to stay within shouting distance of other parts of my anatomy that are surrendering to the earth's gravitational pull.  The only way to maintain some separation is to keep smiling! :)

Mike--you're right!  If we don't keep our sense of humor in this business, the only place we might be driven to is the psych ward.  I'm a WYSIWYG kind of gal...so I guess I should keep 'em all. I think our customers and clients appreciate variety, don't you?

Susan--LOL!  Believe me, there are a few days when MEAN KIM rears her ugly head.  And I hear ya on the photoshop thing.  After the photographer finished working his magic on my pro shots, I asked him how much to have him show up at my house every morning to "put on my face".  His reply?  "Too much."  ouch.

Dan--I can't believe you picked that one!  I've actually used it as a profile pic in the past.  And since you're the only one to chime in who's actually seen me IRL, I may have to follow your suggestion.  RE: podcamp...what's the difference between podcamp and REBAR camp (which is being held in northern NH in Oct.)  And if I do go to podcamp, are you bringing your camera?

Julia--thanks!  I like that one, too.  What happened to your duck pic?  I LOVED that!!

Christine--I tend to agree.  Perhaps we should invent a biz card with some kind of slide show built in.  That way, we can choose a shot to match with our mood on any given day.

Heather--High praise from the BUCKS COUNTY DORK QUEEN ;)  I'm wearing a suit in my pro shots.  The only other time I've worn it was at my very first closing.  I was more formally dressed than the attorney!  Talk about a dork...<rolling eyes>  and LOL about our cropped REALTOR peep...do you think Ronda will mind? (ha! she's probably grateful beyond words)

Mykel--thank you!  I like to think of myself as being approachable, so I'm glad you picked that up from my pic.  I have to say that yours conveys the same thing! And, yes, I'm very, very real.  :)

Ross--I hear ya!  I'm usually behind the camera (it's safer!)  I think professional is as professional does, and a fancy-shmancy retouched photo may look professional, but is it a true representation of the real person, who happens to be a professional, or just a professional rendition of what a professional photographer determines is professional? (and could I use the word 'professional' any more in a single sentence??)  Do you think if I waltzed into your office some day, you'd recognize me?  You know, cuz it could happen.  And I might just bring my camera to snap a candid of you.  Just sayin'... 

Aug 27, 2010 04:01 AM
No Longer Active
Real Estate - Fallon, MT

Just saw a notice on PodCamp the other day but it was short of details.  Did see they are having sessions on both Saturday and Sunday so I'm assuming it will be pretty detailed.  As for my photo picking ability there are several AR people using my selections...

Aug 27, 2010 08:07 AM
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

Ironically, I decided that the duck-hat picture was too unprofessional. But perhaps I'll reconsider!

Aug 27, 2010 10:39 AM
"The Lovely Wife" The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I love this one:





It takes balls to have the balls :)


Aug 27, 2010 11:56 AM
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

Dan--I'll keep my eyes open for more details re: podcamp.  And I'm not surprised others have taken your photo advice to heart.  You choose well.  Perhaps it's time to make that switch...

Julia--hey, I recognized your name, even though your profile pic is a logo now because of your duck picture...it's fun and memorable!

TLW--I have been known, on occasion, to be ballsy. Probably due, in no small part, to the fact that I've been living with "ball bearers" for so long. The difference is they were born with them; I acquired them.  :)

Aug 29, 2010 02:31 AM
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Kim,  Fun read!  For now I only have the head shot thing...but I have been considering the same thing.  Food for thought, thank you!

Aug 29, 2010 04:48 AM
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

Deborah--thank you for stopping by!  I'll be keeping an eye out for a new picture of you :)

Aug 29, 2010 10:04 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think many of us have gone through this.  It was amazing at Rain Camp... since AR was giving points for new photos, I recognized almost everyone!  I think a current photo is the key... and then change it once and a while... maybe with each season  LOL..  I like the one you have now. 

Sep 02, 2010 10:55 AM
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

Joan--I recognized a lot of people from their AR pics, too!  And I agree that we should update them periodically.  Seasonally, though?  Not sure that would work for those agents who prefer to use out-of-season photos in their listings?  Nothing says "current" like snow in August ;)  And thanks! I like your updated photo, too...You were one that I recognized at RainCamp!

Sep 03, 2010 10:07 AM