Agent Photos... the good, the bad, and the "are you sure about that?" - PART III

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate

Hello!

Here is the much anticipated (lol) part III in my very own series "Agent Photos... the good, the bad, and the "are you sure about that?"

In my earlier posts, I got comments/questions about the type of attention that a good photo can get.  I never really thought about who was looking at my picture until... 

In one of my real estate classes, there was a single guy that sat next to me, and I had the picture that I was going to use for my cards in my notebook.  He looked over and saw it, and told me it was a really great picture.  I thanked him, and the convo got started.  What difference does a picture make? Everyone had an opinion, but his stuck with me.  He said, "As a single man, I'll tell you how we choose a real estate agent.  We look through the home buyer's journal, real estate magazine, etc., and we look for the prettiest picture, and call that agent.  We figure, whether she is married or not, who would we want to ride around with for hours and hours looking for a house? We decide and call that one."  Now what's funny is, I saw his ad in the grocery cart at the safeway 4 years later, and his picture is the biggest thing on the ad.  He's a pretty attractive guy, and I guess he has used that to his advantage.  He found what worked and went with it!  That is easy for a man to do, but how safe is it for a woman in real estate?  We are in pretty dangerous situations sometimes. Do we know why a particular man called us?  Was it because he liked the photo like this agent said? Did they seek us out for a particular physical characteristic they saw in our pictures? There are too many crazies out there for us not to at least THINK about it for a second.

I put my picture on my cards because that is what everyone did.  My manager said that was what I should do. I was new, I didn't really know any better.  One day, as was customary, I left my card in a house that I had shown.  I didn't think twice about it, until I got a call from a male agent who said something like this, "I saw your card in the listing on 123 ABC Street, and I just wanted to call you and tell you that you are absolutely beautiful." At that point, the first thing to run through my mind was - "@#%$! Why didn't I let this go to voice mail!  What the %$#@ to you say to something like that?" So I just said, thank you and got off the phone graciously.  So did he take the card with him? Did he put it in his wallet?  Why was he so compelled to CALL me and tell me that?!? Does he know how creepy that is?  I am dramatic, so I had a picture in my mind of some sweaty freak licking my picture on the way home from showing 123 ABC street.  My husband wasn't freaked out or anything, he said - "If I wasn't married to you, I'd have called you too!" That is fine, but my husband isn't an agent.  Agents, so I thought, were supposed to be professional all the time, thinking professional thoughts about professional stuff. 

I didn't stay creeped out for long, but I did start using the cards WITHOUT my picture on them when I was leaving it in a house after showing it. 

When I was doing a mailing to my listing farm, my husband said - "Don't put that picture on the magnet." I asked him why not, and he said that if it goes to a married couple, the guy will put it on the fridge, and the wife will take it down and throw it away. She's not going to want to look at you every day.  I hadn't thought of that.  I asked him if I could put it in the letterhead.  He said if the wife caught him reading it, she would swear it was because of the picture, not the information in the letter.

I can't wait to read your comments... share your stories about what weird things have happened to you because of your picture.  Some of you already have in Agent Photos... the good, the bad, and the "are you sure about that?" - PART II and Agent Photos... the good, the bad, and the "are you sure about that?" - PART I

For those of you who didn't know there was so much to say about a picture... so much to write about anyway... there is more! Don't miss part IV...

:)

Eva

Oh, and I think I am going to change my picture soon.  It is 4 years old now and even though I hate to have to admit to the world that I look nothing like that anymore, I must.  I'll be sure to let you know how it goes...

 

Comments (8)

Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
Eva.. nice series.. I'm taking my photo off my card and putting a house where the picture was.. and may do it in other places as well.. truthfully the nrew card looks much sharper then the one with the photo
Apr 23, 2007 03:51 AM
Laura Reed
RE/MAX NorthStar - Clarksville, TN

Eva,

I have been following and commenting on Parts I, II and now III. My husband sounds a lot like yours. I had another agent actually tell me on the phone the other day that I sounded prettier than my picture? I didn't know whether to be offended or not, it was kind of funny. The thing with me is this, I HATE ANY PICTURES OF MYSELF!!!!!!!!  When I was Property Manager for Keller Williams in Clarksville a few years ago I liked my business cards but that a Glamour Shot, they looked good. The one thats on my profile here, looks nothing like me, and I get told that all the time, but what can you do?  By the way Eva, from your picture I think you kinda look like the actress Nia Long. Anyway, lloking forward to part IV.

-Laurie

Apr 23, 2007 03:57 AM
Eva Wilson
Long & Foster Real Estate - Camp Springs, MD
BS, GRI - DC Metro Area - Home Marketing Specialist: The DVD Lady

Laurie -

I get the nia long thing all the time.  Not so much now that only 3 /4 years later I look like her mom, but oh well...

:)

Eva

May 10, 2007 03:42 AM
Photo Photo
Chicago, IL

Interesting thoughts...I would say that there are pros and cons just as you have pointed out. The personal portrait sends the friendly, personal, welcoming message. Although the alternatives (logos, houses, etc...) do not necessarily discourage the friendly real estate agent attitude, it does directly represent it. From a looking back in time standpoint, the picture of the agent for advertising is cliche, it is what I have come to  expect to see. In all cases, judgements will be made by individual customers. What is your key demographic?

Here is a terrible stereotyping generalization of major buying groups...please no hate mail for this one. :-)

First time buyers(the younger crowd) - would probably gravitate towards the young attractive, vibrant, glowing agent.

The successful stockbroker/lawyer/entrepreneur upgrading to that palace on the water - This man or woman is definitely looking for the "good" pictures. 

Upgrading buyer/seller(growing family) - This would be the insecure group...jealous wives/husbands shredding your advertisements. 

A downsizing buyer/seller(baby boomers) - would probably look more for experience and age in an agent. I also see the spouse sexism in this group too.

 

 P.S. You have a very nice, but also very professional picture.

Haseltine-Photo

May 12, 2007 12:49 PM
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate

I'm homely enough to get by with a photo on my card, and it helps me remember humility.

I don't think I would be crazy about my wife having her photo on her card, but heck, it would be on the internet all over the world anyway.  I just think that women are more vulnerable to issues from photos than we guys are.

May 12, 2007 01:35 PM
Denise Sproull
Century 21 Prestige Real Estate - Prince Albert, SK
Prince Albert, SK Real Estate
Eva: This is something I wonder about too.  I'm just in the process of getting my pics done, so I'll be making them very professional; but I had kinda planned on putting my picture 'out-there' so that people would recognise me as an agent.  I was going to do magnets too.  Maybe if I put my pic on my card and other ads, but not on the magnets,...what do you think? 
May 13, 2007 09:01 AM
Eva Wilson
Long & Foster Real Estate - Camp Springs, MD
BS, GRI - DC Metro Area - Home Marketing Specialist: The DVD Lady

I think it is good on a card, so that people can remember you, the magnets... not sure.  I am sure your clients will love you, but will they want your photo on the fridge with their beloved cats, grandchildren, and recipes? Not sure.  Ads... sure, why not. Magnets.... probably not.  Can't wait to see the photo!

:)

Eva

May 20, 2007 01:51 PM
Kenny Layton
Roots Real Estate - Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins Real Estate Agent

Nice post, some great stuff to think about

Mar 01, 2010 02:01 AM