Does Sex Sell in real estate?

Real Estate Agent with The Alliance Group Realty SCREA #71766

I've just got to ask...if anyone is listening.  I'm going through the members list of Activerain and looking at the pictures.  Some people out there have some outrageous pictures that, IMHO, make them look ridiculous and completely unprofessional.

Do you get more calls or emails if you have a sexy picture?  I have to admit that my photo is of me and my son Matthew.  He is my reason for starting this business that gives me the luxury of working from home, and my proudest accomplishment!  I put this picture in for 2 reasons; (1) I adore my son and (2) my most recent head shot was taken 4 years ago and shows a different hair color than I an currently sporting!  One of the colors is natural...i'm not sure which one.

So back to my question:  If you are one out there who posts a "Glamour Shot", does it help? Or do you lose credibility?

I'd be interested in hearing about it...


Posted by

Wendy Harkin
The Alliance Group Realty
Hilton Head Island, SC  29928
(843) 290-0016 




George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN


In my opinion the best type of photo to use is an up-to-date professional business photo.  I believe that it lends credibility and professionalism to the person and gives a proper introduction.  I agree with you that there are "glamour" photos that are used by some people that, in my opinion, send the wrong message.

All that being said, I don't consider the photo of you and your son appropriate for a professional business photo.  I think you would be much better served to get an up-to-date professional business photo of yourself.  Don't get me wrong as my comment has nothing to do with how you or your son look.  Very simply and constructively, I think the photo conveys the wrong message, is poorly framed, and is cluttered with extraneous items.  It doesn't convey that you are a business professional.  My first thought when I looked at the photo was that it looked like an ad for a child care center.

Bottom line is that I agree with you that the photo we present to the public is important when it comes to projecting professionalism.

George Bone



Dec 15, 2008 02:02 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I think a recent professional picture is the best.  Should a twenty year old glamor shot be considered false advertising or puffing?

Dec 15, 2008 09:02 PM
Wendy Harkin
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC

George and Richard:

Thank you both for your replies.  I agree that a recent professional picture is best.  I just haven't had the time to get a recent professional head shot taken, which is why i had the picture of me and my son posted.

I have reposted the old head shot until I get a new one taken.

Dec 16, 2008 02:48 AM
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor


Personally, I think the beautiful pictures get the click. I can't say it gets the deal. You will have to ask a sexy lady that. However, if you have what someone wants, real estate wise, I think that will get the click.

I think as it has been said, a professional style picture, sets the right tone.

Sorry, this is a sensative subject. :)


Dec 16, 2008 04:40 AM
Carl Stars
Sutton Group About Town Realty - Burlington, ON

Sex always sells but it is a fact of life. However I know a very ugly Realtor who sells a lot more realestate than most agents. Dont get sucked in.. Offer Value to your clients. Its not about us it is about them. 

Dec 16, 2008 12:47 PM
Julie Nelson
eXp Realty - Austin, TX
Smart real estate.

And we can ask the reverse ... does a bad photo hurt your business?  I've seen quite a few.  I think your photo should reach out to your greater public and whatever audience that may be (your target) you should put it out there.  I have a feeling many folks have no clue if there photo helps them or hurts them. 


Dec 17, 2008 10:52 AM
Wendy Harkin
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC

Julie - I honestly never thought about  the reverse.  I initially wrote this post after seeing some of the AR pictures and wondering if these people were for real.  It's sad to think that those who I am referring to probably don't have a clue how foolish they look.

Carl has it right.  Offer value.  It is about them.  Too many folks in the real estate industry get caught up in their own egos.

Dec 17, 2008 02:48 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Like most things, presentation and first impression count. So we should all be very careful about the image we project, starting with a photo.

I do have to ask --- why is it a favorite pose to have arms folded and crossed across one's chest? I always thought this is an unapproachable look. The person may be smiling, but his/her body language says "keep your distance!"

Dec 17, 2008 07:42 PM
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

I think it's better to have a professional looking photo versus the glamour shot but that it's equally important to have an up-to-date photo, as well. I can't believe how many agents out there (and many in my company!) have photos that are clearly from the 70s or 80s. Yikes!

Dec 19, 2008 09:57 AM
Cyd Weeks Real Estate Corp - Palm Coast, FL
Realtor Palm Coast, Fl

I use one of myself and my granddaughter online.  I don't have my pic on my business card, I have a pic that creates conversation.   The pic I use online has also created dialogue and I've been told that it tended to make my customers feel like they could trust me.   IMO, using more than one pic allows you to appeal to different people, which is really kind of the point, isn't it?

Dec 20, 2008 02:29 AM
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

Looks matter, especially if all other things are equal. That having been said, an unusual look might get people to look closer, but not necessarily contact you. The best advice to appeal to a broad audience is to have a professional but approachable look.


Dec 20, 2008 05:59 AM
Dave Park
Advantage Inspection Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
"The Maverick Builder"


I love all women!  Your picture should represent your rep!  If a "tramp" then show some skin, if a professional then show your "pearly whites" and a well posed picture.  If you are a fun loving person, have fun with your shot. 

I like People who change their picture continously.  I want to know all sides of a person.  Even if it's just the legs!

Don't sweat the small stuff!  Just have Fun Sandy!

Maverick Rules!

Dec 20, 2008 07:33 AM
Kristina Zack
Keller Williams Realty - Enfield, CT
Real Estate Specialist in Enfield

Mine is not a glamour shot, but I had them angle the camera different. I was told my old picture was not doing me justice, so I went different, and it has help me get inquiries on my website& more people notice me because I stand out, but not in a sexy way, but in an indivudial way. I get tons of compliments because its unique. Hope that helps!

Jan 22, 2009 02:33 PM