Professional vs. Amateur Photos of Real Estate Agents

It’s ironic, because there are real estate professionals out there who are camera shy.

They are marketing geniuses who can sell a client’s home for a profit in the worst of times, and help clients buy homes for a steal in the best of times. Yet they post sub-par images of themselves on professional social networking sites and marketing material.

So just for fun, and using myself as an example, I want to talk about the difference between amateur and professional personal photos. 

Professional photo


Amateur photo


The photo on the left was taken by a friend on a decent quality digital camera. Cost: Free. Many professionals, even high-level executives in real estate and other businesses, only have this type of image on file.

The one on the right is a professional shot. About a year ago, I spent a couple hours with a fashion photographer. I wanted images that were different from those taken by portrait studios, and ones that could be used for professional and social networking purposes.

Cost: $200 for five different shots in different locations. This is just one.

Now if you were looking to sell your multi-million dollar home, which photo is a better piece of marketing material for the agent? (Just to be clear, I am not a real estate agent. I am just using my photos as examples.)

Personally, I think the professional shot is better. It shows the agent invested in quality versus settling for convenience.

You might be one of those people who relies on “friend shots,” and ticked off at this subject right about now. But the point is not to knock your value as a real estate agent. You might just be camera shy and have overlooked upgrading your personal photos.

Ironically, I’m a publicist who did the same thing for a long time. One day a friend recommended paying for a formal photo shoot. I agreed and was blown away by the results. The photographer brought out multiple sides to my look, personality and professionalism that I never expected.

Those photos have more than paid for themselves.

Investing in quality photos is a way to put your best foot forward in everything from marketing a home to marketing yourself. And one of these days you might be interviewed by a local newspaper about the real estate industry. Wouldn’t it be nice to send the reporter a photo that shines?

By Eric Billingsley