Real Estate Headshots Tips
Have to get your realtor headshot taken? Not sure where to start or what to do? I’m Pat Nugent, a professional photographer in NYC who’s been doing headshots for business leaders for over 10 years. I’ve taken headshots for hundreds of real estate agents, actors, and business executives. Even many CEO’s of fortune 500 companies. I’ve seen first hand how challenging it can be for agents and brokers to get the right headshot that will help them attract more clients and win more business. That’s why I put together this essential guide to help agents to take the most amazing real estate headshots. Follow these tips, and you not only will improve your digital presence, but you’ll also start attracting more client’s impressions.
I remember when my wife and I bought our house, one of the first things we did when looking for a real estate agent was looking through realtor headshots and credentials – the headshot is always what stood out. I was amazed at the disparity between different real estate teams, some had a very consistent look, others were just a mishmash of photos, some taken professionally, some were obviously iPhone headshots. To me, the choice was clear that in our investment in buying a home, I wanted the most polished team looking after me.
A professional consistent look lends credibility to a team who should be working together to make life as easy as possible for everyone involved. In my career I have been fortunate enough to do headshots for real estate agents across the realm dealing with both commercial and residential property. I understand that they are often dealing with people during some of the biggest moments of their lives. Our goal is to help put your best foot forward when trying to attract new leads or clients. We want to help you make the best first impression possible, and in today’s constant fast-paced environment, the first impressions begin online with your professional headshot.
We specialize in delivering incredible Real Estate Headshots, contact us to get your session booked immediately!
1. Find the right photographer
At Camera 1 we have been headshot photographers for over 25 years. We specialize in the niche of making professional headshots look their best. Having your professional headshot done should not be a painful experience, a professional who does a lot of headshots for real estate agents has usually dealt with thousands of individuals and be able to make you feel right at home and deliver an incredible result. A wedding photographer or normal real estate photographer might be able to bootstrap and manage to make the final headshot look okay, but they will have limitations and a lack of knowledge of what is actually needed for a great realtor headshot.
2. Have the right setting and background for your headshot
• A great option for all real estate agent headshots is a simple studio background. A plain white or grey background is perfect for a New York real estate agent headshots because it is simple and allows you to be the star of the photo. Studio headshots tend to be the most cost-effective way of getting a great image as the studio is a photographer’s home base. There will be no additional fee unlike if they had to go on location to your commercial high-rise or home for sale in Scarsdale.
• An environmental background is great for both commercial real estate headshots and residential real estate headshots. The biggest difference, in my opinion, is that a residential realtor might opt for an airy, outdoor headshot with a more welcoming feel to it. Residential realtor headshots need to communicate with individuals, families and the general public. The look should be that of the everyday person with a polished and excited feel, who could just as easily be your neighbor.
• New York commercial real estate headshots often go in the other direction. We have shot plenty of great headshots on location in Midtown Manhattan with the city or specific buildings in the background. This type of shot works great for someone who is looking to lease out thousands(hundreds of thousands) of space to a commercial client. Commercial real estate headshots are more in line with that of a high-level banker or lawyer than of a residential real estate headshot where you are working one on one with many individuals.
3. Consistent headshots for real estate teams
When having your professional headshot done by one of our photographers in NYC it is always to keep the rest of your team in mind. You may be the driving agent, consistency in your real estate team headshots will be a force multiplier. When a prospective client looks at your website and sees that everything is clean and polished, it shows your attention to detail. There is nothing that turns a client off more than when they load up your team page and see all mismatched photos – this is the first impression your real estate clients have of you, make it a good one! Even better, your photographer will likely discount headshots if you book as a team.
4. Real Estate Team Photos are also important
Every weekend I open up my local newspaper in Northern Westchester and see a centerfold advertising the local real estate with an incredible real estate group photo. I’ve pointed it out to my wife before and explained to her how difficult a large group photo of a team can be. Fortunately, alongside headshots we regularly do team photos for all sorts of groups. We work with a lot of big bank private wealth groups for all of their photography needs but also handle many realtors and real estate team photos. The headshot is definitely most important, but a powerful team photo will up the bar if your next print advertisement or on the landing page of your website.
5. What to wear for your realtor headshot
- I have a whole long-winded post that is full of only headshot tips and how to best prepare for your headshot, if you have the time, give it a read. If you don’t have the time, below are a few of the main takeaways.
- Make sure you like the outfit you are wearing and that it fits well and is timeless. For the same reason, we recommend not changing your hairstyle (or facial hair) just before your headshot appointment. The reality is that your headshots will likely stick around for a while, that is why we need to make it last.
Look at yourself in the mirror and practice some expressions. People who don’t have their realtor headshots done often will need to practice a little bit, your photographer will also guide you and help, but having a baseline for yourself will be very helpful.
- Keep your neckline clean and simple. Headshots get cropped and use in all different shapes and sizes. Keeping things clean and simple will help ensure that you look great regardless of where the photo is cut.
Your clients are hiring you to help them succeed in finding their perfect house – an ultimate life goal. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the kind of realtor you’d want to work with. The buzzwords that come to me are – Friendly, Excited, Energetic, Confident.
The agent they are working with needs to come across as a friendly and approachable person. Someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do, but can also sit down to chat about the realities of a home purchase. Look in a mirror, practice your smile, find something to chat and laugh about with the photographer during your headshot session. I like to have a natural conversation with my clients as we go through the shoot, I do my best to zero in on things that will both keep them relaxed, but also raise the mood and energy so that even when they don’t have a huge smile, you can still see the friendliness in their face and eyes.
7. Do I need retouching for my realtor headshot?
In short – no one ever actually needs retouching, but everyone benefits from it. The normal rate for basic retouching a headshot is anywhere from $30-100. This highly depends on the person and what changes they would like to see. I think that everyone could use the basics though.
We like to keep people looking realistic, our basics are pretty simple, they entail:
- A quick lighten up under the eyes to give you a little extra sleep
- Going around and cleaning any flyaway hairs
- Evening out the skin tone there they may be unflattering highlights or shadows
- Zapping away any temporary or unwanted blemishes
- Fixing any glare that might be in the glasses
- Lightly whitening the teeth
You do not have to decide immediately whether or not you would like retouching. The photographer you work with should archive your photos indefinitely so you can always come back in the future. There may be fees to access the archives depending on how long you wait though.
8. Review your images during your headshot session
Something that we have been doing for years is making sure to always have our camera tethered to a computer when possible throughout a headshot session for real-time review. This doesn’t mean stopping after every frame, but once in a while stop, make sure you are happy with what you are seeing and that no hair or jewelry is out of place. Your photographer should also be looking over the images closely and making sure the light looks great and watching for anything that may be out of place.
9. Know what you need as a final result
Headshots come in all shapes, sizes, and crops. We wrote the ultimate guide to headshot sizes, but also have a quick conversation with your photographer before your headshot session, let them know if there is anything in particular that you are trying to match. Often headshots for real estate companies tend to be pretty consistent if you need to match the rest of your team try to communicate it with your photographer when you are booking your shoot. Cropping is also on a use by use basis, we tend to send over high res portraits without a crop to allow for maximum flexibility. If a specific crop is needed we will also supply a version of the headshot that conforms to those standards.
10. Your Real estate headshot is an investment
People always wonder much do real estate headshots cost? There is a great post on the photography site slrlounge about why headshots are so expensive. The reality is that they don’t have to be. The range of pricing is wide, often you can spend as little as $225 for a very basic studio real estate headshots session, though depending on the circumstance or what is wanted, the price can easily balloon up from there. The thing that we try to help people understand is that a professional headshot is an investment in themselves that they can capitalize on for years. The return on investment of a great headshot is incalculable, but studies have shown that social media profiles with professional headshots are viewed 21 times more than those without, and are 9 times more likely to help you make a new connection. Whether you need commercial real estate headshots in NYC or residential real estate headshots in the suburbs, an excellent photo could make a big difference in the clients that you land and leads that you generate.
At the end of the day, in 2020 anyone who makes a living off of their network needs a professional headshot. Most of our life has moved to an almost completely digital medium, deals are worked out via text and email. Your first impression is now your headshot, so having the best one possible is a way to give you a leg up on your competitors and bring you to the next level of your career. People always ask how often they should get a new headshot and while we would prefer you to update them quarterly (or even monthly…) the answer really depends on the person. I would say on average you can get by on the same headshots for 4-5 years, but if anything seriously changes(hair, clothing style, weight loss) I would definitely recommend doing them sooner as you want to promote a realistic version of you and not confuse people when you arrive to show them a new space.