What Does Your Profile Photo Say About You?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Get It Done For Me Virtual Services DRE# SL641317

Your profile photo says a lot about you. 


Today we will go over the best practices for your profile photo. 


Communication online and offline is 93% non verbal ( body language) and only 7% the words you use. 


You should have a photo of you on your website, on your ActiveRain profile and on your social media platforms. 


Websites: People want to get to know you. They also want to know how to find the person they are meeting. Humans use face recognition every single day. 


Make it easy for people to find you when you meet  at the office, at Pinera Bread or Starbucks, or at a networking event. 


Buyers and sellers want to have a heads up on what to expect so first impressions are very important. 


On your ActiveRain profile you need to have a current photo of yourself, not your company logo and not your dog or cat. Members want to have a face with the comment. It helps us to know who we are having an online conversation with.


Social media profiles need to have your photo on them as well, as the main profile image. 


Again this is because people want to get to know you. You want to make a positive and friendly first impression. 


Here is a photo of Sandy Wallace, an agent in Santa Cruz California who sells beach front and ocean front properties there.


She is showing her true self and she looks amazing! 



Now, here are some best practices rules to follow when choosing which photo to use:  



  Update your photo!!! If you have not aged one bit in the last 10 years then you can keep your photo from ten years ago. Nothing wrong with that but be honest about it. 


  • Don't use your highschool reunion photo when you are 60 years old!  There is NOTHING more deceiving when you meet someone to find out they are not the hot chick or stud they saw on your profile! 


This also gives a subliminal message that you are not trustworthy. If you lie about how you look what else do you lie about? It sets you up on the wrong foot in a new business relationship. 


It also gives off the impression that you are ashamed of the way you are aging. Be gracefull, we all age, we all will change... be accepting of this and people will accept you. 


  •  Take a photo of you in a natural setting preferably outside next to green trees, flowers, or by some other natural setting, on the beach, at the river, etc. Match this to your niche. The days of the fake looking indoor portrait studio photos are gone. People connect with people who are authentic, unpretentious, and transparent. 
  • DUMP the glamour shots! You can't get much phonier than those! 


  • DO NOT CROSS YOUR ARMS in front of your body!!! I see SO many agent photos with arms crossed in front of their bodies and I just cringe. I want to shout out... take a body language class!  People don't have to know body language to be affected by it. We all as human beings subconsciously tune into body language. Pay attention to the signals you are sending to other people. 


real estate agent marketing and personal marketing Crossing your arms in front of your body means that you are defensive and have a negative attitude. It is a gesture people use when they feel uncomfortable like when they get in an elevator. This is universal across all humans not just Americans. Please change your photos if you are using arms crossed in front of you poses.  It is considered an "arm barrier". In the business of real estate you already have enough barriers , don't create more. 


  • If you are a couple- DON'T use those back to back phoney photos. They are so unnatural looking. But they also carry with them negative body language. That is double the effect of one person crossing their arms! Don't do this! Get rid of those photos pronto!  Keep it real and natural. No one naturally stands back to back and especially not with their arms crossed in front. 


  • Don't use poses where you have your face resting on your chin. This body language screams you think you are better than anyone else.  It is a negative pose because it comes across as very snobby. 


  • Throw out your photos of your hand on your hips! This one is the most obnoxious pose there is and I see so many agents using this pose, especially women.  The body language signal of hands on your hips is one of aggression and intimidation. Not exactly what you want to portray to new buyers or sellers! It also can come across as you think you are better than others. 


real estate marketing personal marketing Remember that first impressions are very tough to alter once made. Within the first few seconds of someone meeting you online or in person, they make the judgment call if you are their friend or not. If they like you or not. If they trust you or not. As a real estate agent you already have strikes against you as to the public's perception, don't make it any harder! 



It is a business decision whether to have your photo on your business cards and on your car and on your for sale signs. That is a discussion for another day. 



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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I'm shocked you don't have more photos on this great post.  Past photos included my arms crossed because I thought that was what we were supposed to do.  Finally somebody told me not to do that and I changed about 3 years ago.  It's so important to be seen as likeable and natural.  Great information!

Aug 04, 2016 12:33 PM #9
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Lots of great tips on the importance of photos and what one may be communicating without even knowing it.

Aug 04, 2016 12:47 PM #10
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Uh oh! You have pointed out something that I am doing wrong. When taking a photo, I frequently put my hand under my chin. Always seemed natural. Guess that has to stop.

Aug 04, 2016 01:03 PM #11
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Thanks for the advice on having a great profile photo Nestor & Katerina Gasset.  Have a great weekend.

Aug 04, 2016 01:12 PM #12
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Great advice and keeping the photo updated is key.  So many times I don't recognize the face due to very old photo.  

Aug 04, 2016 02:55 PM #13
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Nestor & Katerina Gasset (Katerina)....I have an appointment at the end of the month for my annual photo.....I'm 20 pounds lighter than that photo and  a much longer hair....same tan though!!!  I'll have him take a business photo, a casual photo and one session at the gym lifting a barbell that weighs what I weigh...

Aug 04, 2016 08:10 PM #14
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Great advice. My current (and 2 previous ) were taken on cruises. That's the only time I get professional shots. LOL

Aug 04, 2016 08:39 PM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Good timing! I'm planning on getting a new photo in a few weeks - Mine's about 6 years old so it's probably time. I will have to keep these tips in mind.

Aug 04, 2016 09:19 PM #16
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Such great advice Katerina...your photo must identify you...people always say to me where are your sparkly red shoes but they recognize me.

Aug 04, 2016 09:52 PM #17
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Nestor & Katerina Gasset ,

What wonderful advice! So glad to see this post featured!! Your photo is so important. I have many people recognize me and always want to make sure my photo looks like me!

Aug 04, 2016 10:34 PM #18
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Thank you for the tips Nestor & Katerina Gasset, I've had my photo taken in a business suit which I never wear, I didn't look approachable, when they see my photo, I want them to see the way I am.

Aug 04, 2016 10:39 PM #19
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Nestor & Katerina,

Great post!  I want my target market to see exactly what my niche is.  When they see my photo with my horse, they know exactly who I am: a fellow horse person.  Even strangers have approached me at various events and know who I am.  That is a nice feeling.


Aug 04, 2016 10:49 PM #20
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing the great tips. I need to change my profile photo.

Aug 04, 2016 11:08 PM #21
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Mine says call me. I have something of value for you. I am yours until then....

Aug 04, 2016 11:34 PM #22
Scott Thompson
Columbia Mortgage Plus - Blue Springs, MO
Commerical Finance - Blue Springs, MO

Mine nails it all the way though. 

Fact is, I am so shot-out from years and years of hell it defies logic I can put one foot in front of the other.


Make it a Great Day.

Aug 05, 2016 01:25 AM #23
Mike Bjork
Pinnacle Home Loan - Redondo Beach, CA

Great job!  Very well thought out.  You're sooooo right about the non-verbal language that people portray with their body language and don't realize how they're portraying themselves.  Hopefully, more people will learn from reading your post.

Aug 05, 2016 02:31 AM #24
Tari Reph
Coldwell Banker Schmidt FOC - Westlake, OH
Designated agent for Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties

Good info, but I'm not sure that I agree with taking casual pictures at the beach, etc.  I think your photo has to portray you as person that is easily approached and that cares, but i also think it should look professional.  Some of the agents from my office have selfies from social events and i don't really care for them. 

Aug 05, 2016 04:04 AM #25
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

What does my profile pic say about me?  I'm due for a new one!

Aug 05, 2016 06:19 AM #26
Harry F. D'Elia
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I am sure all people check our web sites and about us to ensure we make a great impression before calling us.

Aug 07, 2016 12:24 AM #27
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

This is so timely! We just met an Agent on our Meet Up tour who has a photo showing him in is mid to late 20's. He is 50 if he is a day old, and grey sides of his hair.  I told him I was going to take a photo of him and send it to Bob Stewart to update.  He said he "liked" his photo.  So sad...

Aug 11, 2016 10:49 AM #28
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