Why Do Real Estate Agents Put Their Photo Everywhere?

Most of my friends on Facebook show themselves doing something they love as their profile pictures. Hiking, partying, sitting on a beach. But ones that are now real estate agents? I get the standard “Hey, I’m a real estate agent!” pose. You know, the one that looks like a mix between Glamour Shots and something you’d find in a yearbook. I swear, they all go to the same photographer. I even found this parody of the situation:

Is this required to obtain your Realtor license? “You must slap your picture on everything possible. Any house you sell, your business cards, your MLS listings, billboards, your car. Please consider tattooing your picture and phone number on your child’s forehead.” Yes, I know that familiarity supposedly breeds trust. But it still creeps me out. You’d think consumers would have a better way to pick a real estate agent…

Comments

  1. Because Realtors(R) are the most vain profession (arguably a profession) there is, consisting mainly of shallow, hollow souls, where your success is measured in how many face jobs you’ve had done and the mercedes model you chauffeur people in. it’s a business model that hasnt changed in a century to keep with the times, or else i’d imagine they’d stick their lexus suv picture next to their headshot on the card and only include their phone number and maybe 6% in gold letters

    unfortunately, i would think those that have adapted to the times, like ZipRealty, wouldnt include their headshot on the internet, but they do on each page.

  2. I think because houses are people’s biggest expenses, they HAVE and WANT to feel comfortable with the person who is helping them spend or receive hundreds of thousands of dollars. Real Estate is one of the biggest stressors in people’s lives, you need to feel as comfortable as possible

  3. I agree with john, I think it has a lot to do with easing a potential customers apprehensions. Personally I would love to get into real estate and if I ever do I will rely more on a solid network rather than slapping my picture on everything that isn’t nailed down.

    Another aspect to consider is that this has worked before… new agents are probably told this is how its done and what works and they simply mimic without thinking up new means of marketing.

  4. I’m gonna have to go with a little bit of John’s answer above, mixed in with a “well everyone else is doing it, so i must need to also!”. I find it does feel better associating a face to a name/business myself, but it really doesn’t need to be all over the place.

    I was a realtor for a bit, and one of the first things I noticed was that everyone in my office had their faces all over the place – so I figured I must need to do the same to fit in and get my business going.

    I only plopped them on business cards and letters, but I knew of many posting their mug on their cars, signs, and well, on their mugs!

  5. I was a Real Estate agent for 5 years. Turns out that the only ones who make money are the pushy, self-promoting, cut-throat type. I have to laugh at the image all of the agents try to promote. I wore jeans to the office on a Saturday, and was promptly sent home because I wasn’t wearning my matching polyester pantsuit with the floral scarf around my neck. Real Estate “professionals” have big parties for themselves at country clubs, and put on so many airs that I’m surprised the place doesn’t blow up.

    That was only one of the reasons I got out of it. You spend hours…sometimes days driving potential buyers around, using up your gas, and then they see a sign in a front yard and buy from someone else. The MLS dues and all the other fees can put you in the poor house if the market dries up. Mostly, I found people in the Real Estate field to always have an ulterior motive, and that is to make money from every person they meet. That makes them untrustworthy, and more than a little creepy. Out of the thousands of professionals I met, I only met two brokers who were worth knowing, and that’s not a very good percentage.

    I think people go into Real Estate with good intentions, just wanting to make some money and look at pretty houses. But the industry changes you into that person who puts their picture on every thing that moves (or doesn’t). I didn’t want to be that person, so I got out.

  6. Mark Forstneger says:

    It’s a relationship-oriented job. Each agent is his own brand, and his face is his logo.

  7. I am an agent and I don’t like to put my photo anywhere. The only place I put it is on my website because of what John said. I don’t put it on my card because I gave that person the card most likely.

    Most agents don’t look like their photo. One gorgeous agent had a photo that turned her from a 9 to a 6. Older agents often use pictures that are 10+ years old. Stupid.

    But I have been told by friends and clients that I should use my photo more because they do judge you by the way you look.

  8. Mike, I have been told all of my life that I am beautiful…long auburn hair with eyes that match, with a great smile. My picture would be good. That doesn’t make me a good person or agent.

    I am a decent and honest Christian person, but my picture wouldn’t show that. My picture would (and has) lure perverts and people who weren’t serious. In my book, although my picture could bring in business, it would be the wrong kind. This is about “judging you by the way you look”.

    I quit Real Estate because it is a sick business.

    Now I know how to write a contract on my own and take it to the title company, without the crap or the over-priced commisions.

  9. I agree. It’s entirely unnecessary most of the time. However, I was at a local grocery store recently and there was one picture of a real estate agent on the shopping cart that caught my attention. She was extraordinarily hot!

    It made me think that she probably gets a lot of calls that are unrelated to real estate.

  10. Our realtor didn’t had her picture on her business card. I thought it was weird when I saw the other realtors cards, ALL of them had a picture except for her. I should have asked. I only saw her picture on their company website.

  11. Rhonda,

    The queen protest to much, me thinks.

    Kidding! I agree withe MIKE 100%

  12. It is a simple marketing trick. People tend to trust more someone they can visualize. Jonathan, will we ever see your face on this blog?

  13. Michelle says:

    When I took the real estate license class the teacher asked how many people planned on putting his/her picture on business cards. Almost no one raised a hand. She then told us that some study was done and that 85% of people would pick the business card with a picture on it over one that did not have it. She asked again how many people were planning on putting a picture on his/her business card and almost everyone raised a hand.

  14. Michelle, my point exactly. You either become one of “them”, or you aren’t one of them. It is one of the most pier pressured industries ever.

    In my previous post, I didn’t mean to come off as being “all that”. I just meant that pictures can be good or bad, and for many different reasons. Now, I get Real Estate agents magnetic calendars in the mail for the fridge, and all kinds of other pictures, and I promise you I would never connect the name to the face…even with me using the pictured magnet to hang one of my kids pictures.

  15. Jackie Treehorn says:

    Right now, I trust that guy holding a tire and a plunger more than I trust any of you. This isn’t Nam, there are rules!

    Rhonda, you sound hot, what’s your phone # or email address?

  16. Assetologist says:

    At some point in life you need to decide whether you are an introvert or extrovert, private or public.
    Those who choose professions such as real estate have convinced themselves that they are public extroverts.
    I have bought several properties and the best agents are retired form something else – the very best was a retired lawyer of all things!
    The internet allows us private extroverts the opportunity to express ourselves under our own terms and conditions.

    I, for one, would never be a real estate agent. I really do not like being ‘out there’ despite recently starting a blog.

  17. youngsterz says:

    Funny comments. I’ve been a Realtor for about 7 years, and I started with a picture on my card, because everyone else did, but I always thought it pretentious and shallow, so I quit doing it about 4 years ago. Plus, I found that ALL of my business in the last 5 years is from repeat or referral, and it’s my actions that matter, and not my business card, photo, looks, or what I wear. In fact, I take some pride in the fact that I usually wear shorts and a t-shirt, even on multi-million dollar commercial properties.

    I will concur, though, that most Realtors are sub-human lower life forms. There is MOST definitely an 80/20 thing going on (and probably a 90/10) wherein 10% of the agents do 90% of the volume. Good agents are worth their weight in gold. Bad agents (most of them) unfortunately aren’t worth spit. Maybe that’s why I turn away most referrals, and even repeat business. I do a good job, but I can’t do it all for everyone, so I have to be real selective.

    Plus, I’m almost semi-retired at the ripe old age of 41, so I just don’t want to work as much any more.

    So back to finances: Make sure you include a healthy amount of investment real estate in your long term portfolio and wealth planning strategies. Wisely selected, real estate will far outperform the stock market.

    Best wishes all. . . . .

  18. Jackie, forget about it!

    I completely agree with Asset…I was told by a counselor that Real Estate wouldn’t work for me because I was an introvert. But that was my dream, so I went for it. Turns out, she was right. I hated being out there pusing myself on people, or even having to deal with people at all. If I had listened to her, I would have saved a lot of money and time. Here’s a hint…if you are thinking about going into the Real Estate field, make sure you are pushy and ruthless. You will make a lot of money. I was a marshmellow compared to the sharks.

    I learned a lot, though, and can write a contract and make sure everything is right in any transaction. Experience and education are a great teacher.

    Even though the market is crap right now, I agree that investing in Real Estate at the right time as an investment is the right thing to do.

  19. Dennis Anderton says:

    I believe it’s their way of saying that this is what’s at stake if they screw this up.

  20. Jackie, that comment is crossing the line. This aggression will not stand, man. This is about drawing a line in the sand, you do not…Rhonda, seriously, what’s your email….

  21. Jackie Treehorn says:

    Rhonda, let me give you my business card, it has my picture on it. You might reconsider. With regards to RE agents, remember they’re still salesmen/saleswomen (albeit on a grander scale) and sales is a cutthroat profession irrespective of the product being sold. What does this topic have to do with finances or money anyway? I would like to hear more advice or info on investing in RE and how to take advantage of the current situation.

    BTW, I’m a publicly introverted confident pessimist. The meds help.

  22. Well, great. I’ve managed to bring out the financial pervs on mymoneyblog. Y’all are funny!

    Now let’s get back to the subject of money! (But thanks for the comps).

    Rhonda

  23. I agree with Rhonda. Let’s talk about money, and how much realtors ™ make ripping people off.

    How is it realtors can represent the buyer and the seller, who have conflicting interests? It’s sortof like getting into a threesome with another guy. Sure, you’re getting screwed, but you might as well pretend you’re ok with it until the transaction’s finished, thereafter forgetting it ever happened.

    Under these circumstances, the least realtors can do is provide their picture.

    Treehorn, I’m a nihilist, which is exhausting.

  24. Well….its this simple… There are crapbags in every industry and sterotypes to follow….anyone who has been a self-employed business owner and has overhead will d whatever it takes to cover that overhead and survive…its easy for one to criticize others when they haven’t the balls to step out on their own and do something vs. keeping their safe and steady jobs. Marketing/Advertising is plain and simple..”BRANDING” and the more people see your name/face the more they feel like they know you. The most sucessfull insurance agents/real estate agenst out there put their name and face on everything per recognition…again its just easy to criticize because its not something most people ever undertsand.

  25. Michelle

    “She then told us that some study was done and that 85% of people would pick the business card with a picture on it over one that did not have it”

    Do you know who did the study?

  26. Holy cow! I’m a Realtor, I have a photo on my card and I don’t live in a bubble. I work with ethical people and have never had a cut throat encounter with anyone. I deal honorably and in my client’s best interest, always. Yes, it’s a competitive business, but I have never run into the kind of sharks like you all describe. Why do I have a photo on my card? It’s personal marketing – I am my business. People recognize me, remember me, and hopefully will call me when I can be of service to them.

  27. I’m so glad I found this blog….I’ve been looking to find a place to vent regarding realtors and the industry. The picture on the card thing has had me disturbed for years and it is great see that I’m not alone. There are so many flaws with the existing real estate industry; commission structure, incentive alignments, the fact that inspection is done after the contract is written….(that would be like deciding on the price you will pay for a stock before doing the research on a company) For most, purchasing a home is the biggest purchase of their lives and realtors don’t help with the two most important parts of the process; 1. Can I afford it 2. Is the house worth what I’m about to pay. Someday, I hope we will see a realtor that has a financial planner and a inspector on staff…..I might pay 6% for that!

  28. Dan…..

    Actually that is our job as a Real Estate agent is to assist our clients in deciding 1. Can I afford it? 2. Is the house worth what I am about to pay? If you have ever dealt with an agent that has not assisted and guided you as to dealing with those very important questions, then you have not found a very good agent. I understand that most people feel that Real Estate is a very untrustworth industry and that we all are only out to make the most $$ we can off of people, and for some agents, that may be true, but for many of us who honestly enjoy helping people find their “affordable” dream home, it’s not fair to lump us all into the same category. There are scum in every profession, especially sales, but not everyone is the same!! And the financial planner should be the lending institution loaning you the money, and if they tell you that you can afford more than what you really think you can and take the deal anyway, then you are the dumbass for doing so. Thats why we are in the situation we are in today, people didn’t think about the long term effects of taking on such a large purchase that they REALLY couldn’t afford, and went on the banks “approval limit”. And unless you are BLIND, when you go to look at a house, it’s Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware. Inspectors are there to point out defects that aren’t noticeable to the untrained eye, and that is where, once a house meets your expectations after you have checked it out yourself is where they come in. If you have an inspection before you look at it, do you honestly think that you would look at ANY house after having an inspection done??? I think not. Even new builds have defects! Maybe you just haven’t had the opportunity to work with a great agent who is there to look out for your best interest, which is what we are REQUIRED to do by law. And for that I am sorry. Oh yeah, and if you are a buyer, you are not the one paying the 6% comission, the seller is.

  29. Jen,
    I’m afraid you are missing my point……I do agree that there are good and bad fiduciaries in every type of business and I in no way intended to slander all realtors. My goal is in no way to make fun of the broken system….it is to modify the industry through constructive criticism….. Let me touch on a few of your “points”;
    1. The financial planner should be the lending institution;
    Jen that does make a bit of sense…you do realize you contradicted yourself…..we are in the mess we are in today because the lender was incentivized to sell products…nobody was there to help the buyer avoid poor financial planning decisions…..I’m not sure who the “dumbass” is, but when the foreclosure comes everybody loses….well, except the realtor.

    2.Caveat Emptor;
    Love the Latin Jen…nice touch…you should put that on your card. Seriously, you’re spot on that Inspectors are there to point out defects that are not noticeable to the naked/untrained eye. (That is my point) However, those defects can, in many instances be substantial. (new roof, plumbing, electrical, termites, structural, etc) Having that information in hand prior to writing a contract is only one thing…LOGICAL! I put it to you Jen…..Give me one good reason why the inspection is traditionally done after the contract is written? (I do realize it costs about $250-$400 dollars, do you know what $250 dollars is as percentage of a $250,000 thousand dollar home?) My guess is that your commission is tied to the number on the contract and it is not adjusted once inspection report shows massive defects. Therefore, if one wanted to maximize commission the inspection would fit neatly in at the end of the process.
    3.Oh yeah, and if you are a buyer, you are not the one paying the 6% commission, the seller is.;
    Now Jen…that sounds like something a 2yr old would say. I could care less who actually has to pay 6% ….I would rather challenge the amount of the vig and the nature in which it is charged (see #2) It would be my recommendation to convert the commission structure to a fee for service system. That would align the realtor’s incentives with those of the buyer or seller.
    You may be surprised how many of these suggestions would reignite respect and generate more consistent and higher cash flows for the industry.

  30. Dan and Jen,
    I think both of you should take a breather here because it sounds like tempers are getting ready to flare.
    I have been involved in the real estate market for many years, particularly in the Malibu area. Recently I sold a 7000 sq ft house on 1 acre in the Malibu Hills with a beautiful avocado orchard, but that is neither here nor there.
    The one thing I know is that when it comes to buying a house, it is all art form. Much like trading stocks some people have the touch and some people don’t. Pricing a home whether you are the buyer or seller is really dependent upon your needs. Sure when I first got into this business 30 years ago I was concerned about valuation, the gross income multiplier, ROI, and leverage but after a while I realized that an interior decorator provides more use than a calculator. As a matter of fact I don’t even think I have a calculator in my office.
    Jen, Dan is right the inspections should be done before the contract is written. Do you agree to buy a car and then take it to your mechanic?
    Dan, Jen is right buyers need to take responsibility for their own actions. Do you buy airline or train tickets online without accepting responsibility for the affordability or conflicts in scheduling?
    However, my own personal belief is that it boils down to how bad you want the house and how bad the seller wants to sell. If there are 5 houses for sale on the street for $200,000 then well your house is worth $200,000. You buy it for 190 then you got a good deal. Supply and demand my friends.

  31. I don’t know what state you folks are all in and how real estate is transacted there, but in the contract a contingency on inspection clause is most always included. That way you can work out the terms of the contract and still be protected against defects. This keeps the buyer from paying for several inspections while looking for property, and keeps the strain off the seller of always having inspectors over. I think most of you need to find better Realtors.

  32. Postah,

    I would refer you to point #2 from my 8/14 post above;

    However, maybe we can all understand better with an example; If I bid on a home for $200k…..I then find, throught the inspection, that the home needs 50k in repairs. (roof, ac, etc) Assuming that the seller agrees to make the repairs or pay me for the repairs….Does the 6% paid by the seller go off the $200k bid or the bid netted against the unanticipated repairs? (ie. $150k)

    Therefore, I would think it would benefit everyone to have the inspection done well before a value is placed on the asset. (except the real estate lobby)

  33. Dan,
    I’m a Realtor and I can’t tell you how often I ask sellers to have an inspection done on their home PRIOR to listing.
    That way, the seller has time to repair any problems so the home is in excellent selling condition.
    The buyer still has the right to hire their own inspector if they wish.
    Yes, it’s one more expense for the seller, but they have the peace of mind knowing that the home is in good condition and will hopefully not encounter any problems after receiving the offer.

  34. Cat,

    I completely agree that you should recommend your sellers have an inspection done prior to listing the home.

    That being said, my concerns are with the buyside. The buyers does not have the inside information that the seller has to make an informed bid on the home. You should require your buyers to have an inspection done prior to submiting the bid to the seller. As you wrote above “it’s one more expense for the seller (buyer), but they have the peace of mind knowing the home is in good conditions”. It has to work in the reverse!

    Maybe your real estate experience can answer the question I posed in my example above. If one bids 200k for a home, and then finds 50k in repairs (paid by the seller), does the agents commission go off the 200k or the 150k?

  35. Dan,
    I’m pretty sure this is not what you want to hear, but here’s my answer.

    1. No one can “make” a buyer have a home inspection before making an offer on a home. You may choose to do so as a buyer, but what’s the point if you don’t know if you’ll ever get to the point of having an accepted purchase agreement with the seller? I’ve never had a buyer ask for that opportunity; nor would I suggest it.

    2. The commission would still be the amount that was negotiated at the beginning of the contract, which is a signed legal document.
    I was hired to sell a $200,000 property, which I did. The buyer’s agent entered into a contract to find a $200,000 property for his buyer, which he did.
    All of the efforts on the buyer’s and seller’s agents parts up until this time were done free of charge (at least in most cases in our area) and we fulfilled our obligation.

    Everyone will feel bad that this has happened to the seller; however, it’s not our fault and we shouldn’t be expected to help the seller pay for the cost to repair the home. I have, in fact, been that seller to the tune of $10,000 as a young couple with a new baby. It took every bit of our savings to repair a septic we didn’t know was bad. It never occurred to us that someone else should assist in the cost in order for us to sell.

    I have many, many fees that come due annually, quarterly and monthly that I’m required to pay to remain in this business…whether or not I sell a home. People are always assuming the person who works on commission should give up a portion of it for one reason or another and it’s frustrating.

    If I show you 30 homes, using my gas, my time and paying the fees that allow me to show those homes and you then decide to buy a house from your friend who just got into the business, I don’t get paid.

    If I try to sell your home for 6 months, advertising, doing open houses on weekends, marketing, paying the fees that allow me to put your home on the Multiple Listing Service and it doesn’t sell so you choose to end your contract with me and the next day someone brings an offer directly to you, once again, I don’t get paid.

    That’s the risk I take by being in this business. Much like home ownership…you take a risk for the opportunity to own your home.

    We provide a service; some of us do it honestly, modestly and well; yet we don’t get rich doing it. The beautiful thing is, we all have choices and you can choose not to use my services.

    I hope this made some kind of sense for those reading it.

  36. Cat,

    Your right, that’s not what I wanted to hear…but I knew the answer.

    It sounds like you are a bit frustrated with the real estate business as well. It is not my intention to reduce your commission, it’s to fix what I believe it is a illogical process. I know you can’t force a buyer to have an inspection, but I find it interesting that you would not suggest it for a buyer but would encourage a seller to have one. Of course, I would only recommend a buyer having an inspection done once he had narrowed his search down to a few serious candidates. The small cost of the inspection in relation to the cost of the home, and the clarity it provides, make it a no brainer in my book! Please help me understand what other reasons you would have to discourage a buyer from having an inspection done. (other than the small cost) Do you encourage your friends to consult with a mechanic prior to buying a used car?

    Cat, we are still feeling the pain from the deleveraging of the housing market. New and existing home sales have not yet picked up and they probably will not for some time. We are re-regulating most of the players along the food chain of the housing market. (lenders to securitization market) For some reason the Real estate industry is being overlooked with regard to new/improved regulation. We blame Wall Street, loan officers, CDO’s…but we always seem to look past the real estate agent/industry. There is plenty of blame to go around and I would love to see the industry at least address some of the existing flawed protocols. I’m sure your aware that the National Association of Realtors Lobby is bigger and more influential than the financial lobby which makes reform virtually impossible, but you can try to make a difference. (http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/index.php)

    Good Luck Cat!

  37. Being a successful Realtor is all about putting yourself out there, and being persistent. Think about it, which Realtor would you rather have working for you: the one who isn’t too pushy and just lets whatever happen happen, or the one who might annoy some people but gets the jobs done by never backing off? Realtors need to market themselves 24/7, it has nothing to do with narcissism… it’s done to be successful in an industry that is chock full of competition.

  38. Also great parody picture, I laughed real hard at it because I’ve seen so many Realtors show up looking awfully dressed, yet their business card shows them in a high quality suit.

  39. Homeslice,

    Really? Being persistent or annoying or vain are not value adds in any business!

    However, you should know your comments have made it to my realty wall of shame!

  40. Again I think tempers are about to flare I think both of you should take a time out.
    I am an agent here in the finer areas of Los Angeles. I just grabbed a listing out in the Canyons near several prominent Hollywood stars. I am excited about the prospect of 3% on well over a million dollar sale. Do you realize how many Chai tea latte’s with soy that will buy? In any case I can tell you that that listing didn’t just fall in my lap. You have to be aggressive in this business. Why I once hammered a 72 year old lady on a condo for 20 minutes until I knew she was going to walk away with the fear that there will be no other place in the world as good as this unit. However there is a lot of hand holding and it’s not so simple as just being aggressive you also have to learn to stroke an ego or two.
    Back to the topic at hand and real estate valuation. I am a real estate agent and value is not my concern – that’s why I hire appraisers.

  41. Your name is your brand. Currently there is a high inventory of Realtors (many not qualified) so each agent must present themselves in a positive light in order to stand out from the rest. Hopefully the requirements to become and stay a Realtor will increase so the inventory will decrease soon. Real estate is hard work. You can wear jeans and still be a millionaire in real estate. The most important part is to be able to relate to clients and truly want to help them. When you care about your clients and behave as a professional, the success and money will come. You don’t need to wear a suit to successful in real estate. That is “old school”. My broker is strict on “no jeans”. I do not follow this rule and myself and my team bring in over 25% of my entire office of 75+ agents volume/sales. I do think if you market yourself, it should be accurate and not from 10 years ago.

  42. Dan,
    You are probably an engineer of some sort..
    Any sales person around can tell you that you have to have “thick skin” to be in this business or sales in general and make a good living. You have to motivate yourself, generate your own leads, give excellent customer service, stay up to date on new laws forms etc. and sometimes pray for your next pay check. We also have to be careful about what we advise on, we are not lawyers, we are not loan officers, we are not inspectors or engineers- and we often get sued for working outside of out scope

    It really does kind of hurt my feelings that you think so little of us. I know people that are at their computer at 11pm still working most nights. People that may allow themselves 1 day off per week -maybe not.

    Do you understand that 6% is split between two agents most of the time.
    Lets say I sold that 200,000 home – I will earn 1/2 =3%
    for me and my broker. Thats 6,000
    Now I will split this with my broker -lets say I have a 75% split
    I have earned $4,500.00

    Do you hear me.. I have EARNED my $4,500.00

    after that I will pay taxes on this
    my MLS dues
    pay for the colored flyers
    the multiple websites that I advertise on
    my cards (with my picture)
    my gas
    and I wont even factor in the hours I logged putting all of this together

  43. I don’t understand why people think real estate agents do not work hard for their money and they make a lot of $$$. Well, factor the fact that they pay a lot of dues to the MLS, office due, gas, taxes, supplies, time wanted with clients that has no idea where they want to be, sales that falls through and so much more sleepless nights. They work hard for their money folks! Think of all the crap they put up with array of different personalities of their clients and all the paperwork. They wear different hats each time they meet them. They make money but they sacrifice a lot as well. The only way to understand it is to be one of them and you will really appreciate how hard they work.

  44. When I give a card to a person I have just met, it is easier for them to remember who I am if my picture is on my card. That’s it. It’s almost impossible for most people to remember who’s card is who’s without a picture.

  45. Matt,

    Shhhsssssss. Are you crazy? Don’t let the general public behind the marketing secrets of the Realtors association! You are right, it is impossible for the average person to remember the face behind the name on the business card. Can you imagine if other business people began carrying business cards with their pictures included. Soon everybody will have that advantage and the pictureless card will become a thing of legend. For years I have wondered why i’ve accumulated so many worthless cards in my business travels….they are just faceless names and email addresses printed on lamenated paper for me to ponder as I struggle through my day.

  46. Alex Palacios says:

    Well, I must say that I am a seasoned realtor and there is indeed a very good reason for “slapping” our pictures everywhere. I know that for someone who has no idea what it is to be in sales, it must be difficult to understand. We want everyone to be familiar with our face. The more places a picture of you attached to your name is exposed, the more people see it, the more houses you sell. Simple. And I must say that we make a damn good living doing it. I started 12 years ago, simpling by posting my picture everywhere I could and stating that I was a realtor (called networking) and here I stand as the executive broker at a company that grosses over $19 million in sales each year since 2006. Thats why I post my picture everywhere, so that I dont have to work in a set-salary position. Posting your picture everywhere is simply thinking outside the box, which sets aside people like the incompetent person who wrote this from people like me who succeed from it.

  47. I can see we are not making much progress on this blog.

    Alex, I’m pleased to hear of your success and truly hope you have weathered this mortgage crisis without a hitch. However, as you can note from the title of this blog, “posting your picture everyone” is far from outside the box when it comes to realtor standard operating procedure. I would also hope that your success as a “executive broker” has come on the back of; knowledge of the local market in which you operate, relative value analysis, healthy negotiation skills, and has very little if anything to do with your aggressive, photo centric marketing campaign. Or, maybe it is, just as you say (# of pictures = # of sales)

  48. so being an auto mechanic in the town i live in, i should have a photo of my self on all the cars i repair. it comes out of greed and ego. real estate agents are nothing more than glorified key holders. i could show the house to my self if i had the key. they just regurgitate the mls listing paper

  49. I would like to add to this that you get what you pay for. Everyone complains that realtors are overpaid. So you hire one, talk them down on commission rate, then complain about how terrible they were.

  50. Y’all are funny. Awesome blogging going here. Agent and photographer. over a decade. No photo of me on card… =)

    Heres a “why” for those asking why Realtors do it..

    Brand and Memory.

    Yes it builds a brand. A brand is difficult to achieve…The branding perspective will make sense of what an agent is out to do with their image. Ever find a business card from someone and forget the hell it was, and what the scribbles on the back meant??? After you had a conversation with them??

    Bet that wont happen on a Realtors.card.. Any news is good news to a guy with a tiny marketing budget.. To all you haters.. What single cheapest single thing do you do for your business that communicates your business to people in another state or country? Cards are $50 for a 1000..

    And, Finally. I card without an image is a card. A card with a professionally dressed, confident or friendly person is a “marketing piece”. If an image wasn’t so important then why do you choose the hotel, internet honey, or ebay item with the better photos? Image is important today, nevermind the facts anymore..

  51. Jason Wood -Vancouver BC REALTOR says:

    Hi there, Jason Wood REALTOR with RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside) in Vancouver BC here.

    At first I didn’t have my picture on my business cards simply because I didn’t think people cared. I soon found out however, that people actually do care, especially if we are being referred to friends and family members of past clients, as well as by other agents.

    Image is everything when you are selling the most expensive asset that most people have in their lives and when the Vancouver Real Estate market is listing homes that basically start at $1,000,000 for an old shack, Agents better look good both on and off their cards and marketing material if they’re serious about finding a buyer willing to trust them with such a large transaction.

    I do understand peoples frustration with this topic however, it’s just part of the business, as we are marketing businesses as individuals or Personal Real Estate Corporations which are in most cases required by our Real Estate boards and governing bodies to in fact display our picture when representing ourselves as public figures.

  52. Jason,

    I’m so very tired of the “image is everything when you are selling the most expensive assets” line. I truly hope you understand that “image” is referring to your empirical actions, service and relative value analysis and not a actual “image” on a card. Please tell me you understand that difference?

    I would appreciate some clarification on the following hint from your post at a a legal requirement for the photo on the card mandate:

    “I do understand peoples frustration with this topic however, it’s just part of the business, as we are marketing businesses as individuals or Personal Real Estate Corporations which are in most cases required by our Real Estate boards and governing bodies to in fact display our picture when representing ourselves as public figures.”

    What does this mean? You say “in most cases required”…can you expand upon that?

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