The luxury real estate market is highly competitive. To set yourself apart from other real estate professionals, you not only need to be great at your job, but you also need to come off as personable and approachable. Your professional headshot is a big part of your brand, and whether you like it or not, appearance does play a considerable role in a real estate professional’s successful career.
Your professional headshot featured on your website, business cards, and other local media promotions serve as the first impression for potential clients. An excellent real estate headshot will make you look friendly, confident, and approachable — compelling prospective clients to reach out.
It might be tempting to cut costs by taking a portrait with your smartphone, but it might cost you a few potential clients in the process! Looking for some guidance as you prepare for your headshots? Here are five great tips to follow for the perfect headshot.
1. Hire a Professional
First and foremost, do not attempt to DIY your real estate headshot. You wouldn’t try to take your own listing pictures of a luxury home on your cell phone, so why would you sell yourself short by not hiring a professional photographer for your headshot? A professional photographer will have the equipment and experience necessary to deliver an exceptional shot.
Take your time researching local photographers to find one who specializes in professional headshots. If you can find one who has worked with real estate professionals before, that’s even better because they know what works.
2. Set Expectations
If you choose the right photographer, you’ll generally be able to rely on them and their expertise to deliver the best possible shots. However, if you’re looking to achieve a certain “vibe” with your headshots or certain poses that you’d like to capture, be sure to discuss these with your photographer ahead of time.
It’s a good idea to schedule a quick consultation with your photographer before your shoot to ask questions and share some of your vision and expectations. Be sure to bring along some samples of their previous work you’d like to try or any special instructions, so when it’s time to take the photos, you’ll receive the best product.
3. Dress Confidently
Dress to impress! Although it’s a headshot, you still want to show up in your best outfit. Remember that your headshot should capture and reflect your best traits as a luxury real estate professional. With this in mind, there’s nothing wrong with wearing the same type of outfit you would typically wear to a client meeting or a closing appointment.
Still, it’s a good idea to keep some standard tips in mind as you choose your outfit and accessories from a photography standpoint, such as solid colors instead of distracting patterns. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from your photographer, as they can probably offer some guidance based on your shooting location, lighting, and other factors.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it still bears repeating. You should be smiling in your professional headshots! After all, smiles build trust and confidence, which you want to earn as a luxury real estate professional from your clients. At the same time, your smile must appear genuine; if it looks forced or dishonest, your potential clients will be able to tell. After all, the camera doesn’t lie! Practice your smile in front of a mirror daily.
5. Take Multiple Headshots
More than likely, you’ll be publishing your headshots across a wide range of platforms. Your image will be all over the place, from your website and social media pages to magazines and print advertisements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of options. For example, the photo you use for your website may differ from what you use in a print ad.
By taking multiple headshots, you’ll be able to get the most out of your session. Talk to your photographer about shooting at a couple of different locations or using different backdrops to create unique sets of photos. Likewise, you might want to consider incorporating an outfit change into your session. The more options you have to choose from, the better!
Take Your Career to the Next Level
Something as seemingly simple as a professional headshot can help set you apart from your competition in the luxury real estate industry. Share your experiences with fellow real estate professionals by becoming a member of The Institute and earning the CLHMS™ designation. Contact us today to learn more!