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...
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...