Profile picture for Realtyman1

Why do Realtors continually use pictures of themselves that we taken????when??

Why is it that Realtors do not update their personal pictures on their websites and business cards.  If you are 60 and you have a picture on your advertisements that was taken when you were 30....that is called deception in advertising.
  • December 13 2013 - Manito-Cannon Hill
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Answers (18)

Best Answer

Let me give you 3 reasons for this, the last being the most important.

You might not believe this, but some Realtors are ashamed of their appearance.  Especially if they've put on weight.  Life takes a toll and the typically over-burdened scheduled of a Realtor can lead to significant weight gain.  Our society values thinness and multiple studies have been pointed to by the media indicating that young and attractive people can glean a significant business advantage because, whether they want to admit it or not, people who vote with their dollars will often choose someone who is not as experienced and doesn't bring as much to the table but is young and attractive to do business with instead of a person who is not as attractive but has a solid reputation, strong team, and a better ability to get the job done.  Realtors are not stupid and they know this.  If they perceive that current picture is going to work against them, then they will stick with the older one hoping that they can establish a face-to-face contact with a prospect and win them over by their kind, professional, and bubbly personality vs. their physical attractiveness.  They typically are not willing to put this line of thought into words though and admit it.

Psychology of Self-Image - I studied psychology at the University of Michigan and the concept of self really weighs heavily on the mental workings of human beings.  In regards to this question, a LOT of people feel YOUNG inside.  They feel like they are the same person that stares back at them from the business card, not the person that they see when they went to get photos taken last month.  So they pay the photographer but send the order in to the business card printer to just stick with the old photo.

3) The Personal Brand - hands down, this is the most important reason why photos can take years to be retaken and republished.  Real estate agents, more than any other profession other than acting and modeling, rely heavily on a concept of a "personal brand".  Their face is their advertisement.  It generates familiarity.  When someone buys a billboard in town and keeps the same picture on the billboard, on their yard signs, business cards, websites, etc...it creates a huge sense of brand awareness.  There is a valid fear on the part of agents that the years of continuity that is pounded into the minds of the local public will be disturbed if they change pictures every 5 years.  That they are, in essence, "starting all over again" every time they change pictures.  

Where breaking continuity is concerned though,I think that this actually works the other way around in the real world though.  If you keep your picture up there and then change it, people notice, "HEY!  That guy's still on that billboard...but he just changed his picture.  Interesting."  So they actually "thought" about the face vs. just driving past it and having it become part of the scenery like they did for the previous 5 years.

Finally, the expense attached to changing the picture of your personal brand can be HUGE.  It's not just hiring a photographer and then ordering business cards with the new picture.  The agent may have purchased as many as 100 signs to put in the front yards of the homes they promote.  At $50 for a photo-quality sign, that's a nice, fat $5,000 check to write.  Not a small sum for anybody.   But the new photo means that they HAVE to buy 100 NEW signs with the NEW picture in order to maintain continuity with the new image of their Personal Brand.  Same goes for website (and all the social media sites) and everywhere else that their picture showed up.  Many agents think about that, think about how they don't have time for ONE MORE THING, and just let it go another year.  One more year turns into 2, then 5, and then a full decade has passed and the same picture is there.

  • December 14 2013
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That's an actual Donatello, no doubt!
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
None of my cameras worked very well in 1349, but I did know some very good portrait painters.  They were not very cheep though.  But clothing style in that picture is all wrong for 1349, and that definitely is not an oil on canvas.

The shroud of Turin did exist at that time though, and may have predated 1200 AD.  And that seems to be a combination of photo-process, blood, and various additional enhancement pigments.
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for Beth Traverso
Mack, I must say that you have aged amazingly well for being 1300 ish years old! And you are not using a portrait chiseled into stone for your business card : )
  • December 19 2013
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I will say that anyone has the right to advertise as they wish. A Realtor can use the picture of the mighty duck as well and that will not deceive. If that is an issue for the client, the client will not hire the realtor after the Listing appointment and the realtor is the one that will waist the gas.
 Let them be!
Good Luck!
  • December 19 2013
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Having met Beth Traverso in person, I vouch for the fact that her photo is recent. Mine is from MCCCIL, when I went to Rome to look for real estate deals after the earthquake that took out part of the Colosseum #OlderThanDirt 
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for Beth Traverso
I should add that I don't believe it is deceptive advertising, but I don't think anyone is doing themselves any favors by using a dated photo.
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for Rebecca Marvel
I think plastering your face on everything isn't really effective and personally I hate the tradition.. it's old fashioned but ingrained into some agents.  They feel that it's some kind of branding or that people will recognize them and possibly give them business --- REALLY?  Can this be proven?  Don't know.

I have never put my actual picture on my business card or advertising; instead I use a character of a "super hero" agent playing on my last name.  It's cleaver, cute and gets me many compliments.

  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for SteadyState
In direct answer to the question ....
Because wise/experienced agents do not wish to be ruled out because of age discrimination. We should not discriminate on the base of age but there are those who may. Why allow fools to rule out an agent before they know the agent - once they talk to the agent on the phone and can evaluate their competence and experience, of lack thereof, age, looks, etc.  will take a backseat.
Only a shallow mind would think that not updating pictures for an REA  is deception in advertising.
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for Beth Traverso
I see some piling on here, W Michael Keller, but I am with you on this one!
  • December 19 2013
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Profile picture for Dennis Evans
I think Realtors are always looking to make themselves different from other Agents. We are all very competitive and we are all going after the same clients...
With that said, We want to put our best foot forward, But I do agree, That the pictures should be very close to present day appearance. I guess many Realtors just dont want to admit to the public or maybe even our selves that we do age.... 
Last thought for some of us doing some soul searching right now is that with age comes experience and maybe... just maybe, thats what your new client is looking for!
  • December 14 2013
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If there's a major change, like shaving a mustache or losing more hair, I could see the point of a new picture.  Otherwise I don't see the point.

Of course, one alternative in the situation of losing hair is to crop the top of the picture!  ;-)

  • December 14 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Great Rant.  Lots of good feedback.  We must always remember we can only work on ourselves in our own troubles.  
  • December 14 2013
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Our portrait is 6 yrs. old.  We still wear the same suits every now & then.  If people still recognize us from our portrait picture, "why fix what ain't broke?"  Having a yearly portrait is a waist of marketing dollars.

  • December 14 2013
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
And all those people on TV use tons of makeup and maybe even friends or your wife, so what is that?

Bottom line is Who Cares and why do you?
  • December 14 2013
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Profile picture for daveskow
Who cares ????????
  • December 14 2013
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
There was some discussion on the topic of why Realtors® even bother using a photo at all a few years ago on this site.  Nobody cares what an Realtor® looks like!  You are not being promoted as a mоdel nor as an аctor.  Any photo on any card is completely "useless".  It doesn't even prove that you are who you say you are, as anyone can go to a local stationary store and have cards printed.  They can even print them on their home printers.

Besides, why does multiple State DMV's not bother taking new photos for decades for the driver's licensе when renewed by mail?  You would think that would be more important for highwаy patrоl and pоlice еnforcement of trаffic lаws...  but it appears that no one really cares.

No, it is not "false аdvertisement".  One is not selling their "appearance" unless they are in a mоdeling or аcting profession.  The photos on the cards are simply a nuisance and unnecessary extra expense.
  • December 13 2013
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So?
  • December 13 2013
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