Here’s looking at you

grayI used to work at the Roanoke Times, sitting next to the real estate reporter. At one point she thought it would be a fun story to compare the photos REALTORS® put in their ads with what they really look like. (One in particular had been the butt of jokes from others — “She hasn’t looked like that since 1972” or some such.)

Not surprisingly, she didn’t get much cooperation.

It got to the point where she was thinking — briefly — about waiting outside offices for agents to appear and snapping their photos from the parking lot. But she was too nice a person for that, and she decided to drop the idea.

And thus we get to the subject of the current quick poll, over on the right….

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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12 Responses to Here’s looking at you

  1. Jim Rake says:

    Doesn’t this fall under NAR’s new “truth in advertising” SOP? Hmmmm…probably not, but certainly should. How about, photos used by Realtors have to be recent. “Recent” meaning within the past five years. For that matter, within ten years, would be a major step!

  2. Jeremy Hart says:

    Andrew, I loved this post – and I’d bet that I could pick out some of the same agents you and this reporter were talking about.

  3. No photo. Some of us are just not photogenic. But when I finally put a pic on, there will be tweaking.

  4. Jennifer, you’re kidding, right? I’ve seen your site!

    For those of us who really aren’t photogenic, another option is a caricature. Not a lot of folks use ’em, but it’s a good way to get a pic on a card. :)

  5. Andrew, my best picts are at Balls and on Crusies! LOL! I plan on getting a caricature this summer from Kings Dominion.

  6. Cindy Jones says:

    Real Estate is one of the few professions where faces are plastered all over business cards and ads. I don’t have my face on my card and no I don’t think my business suffers in any way because of it. I would personally never go to a caricature either. I want clients and prospective clients to think of me as respected professional and certainly I don’t think a caricature represents professionalism. Just my opinion.

  7. caricature issue – it depends on who you are advertising to and when. I would not put it on my business card that I know of, but I might use it at the 4th of July picnic or fun activity. My clients are mostly families. So I try to make my business professional, yet family friendly.

  8. Tina Merritt says:

    The only reason why I have a picture is because I was told that I would not be eligible for a Realtor’s Assoc. award if I didn’t have one (this was 10 years ago). I really don’t see the point at all in putting a picture on a business card. I have a logo instead.

  9. L. J. Dorsey says:

    when I first got into the business 9 yrs. ago, I was told I should put a picture because of what I look like. I remember saying that if a person picks me just because of my photo, I don’t know if I would want them as a client. To this day, I still have two cards…one with and one without a photo.

  10. Julie Emery says:

    I have to admit that I am not always sure of the wisdom of all of us having photos on everything. Sure makes it look like this is more about us than the clients!
    That being said, I’m as vain as the next guy and hired a great digital professional to make sure I looked my best in the photo. If I’d given him another hour I’d have looked so good my own mother wouldn’t have recognized me!

  11. Jeremy Hart says:

    I had a client ask me once why agents put their pictures on cards. His father had been in the car business for years and years, and you’ll notice that most in the car industry DON’T have pictures on their cards. I have no idea why, that’s just how it is.

    I’m not sure that photos are the best thing to put on cards. The transaction is not about how we dress, or what we look like, it’s about the client. My personal favorite isn’t the out-of-date photo … I think that just means they bought way too many cards at the 1983 Expo. My favorite is the “I’m too busy to take the phone from my ear!”, with the “These are my dogs” running a close 2nd. Apologies to those that may have one of those photos, I’m going to bust on myself in a minute so I’m fair game too!

    Julie said it, it’s not about us, it’s about the client. What can we do for the client? How can they get a hold of us, find out more, etc. Nothing else matters …

    That being said, I’ve got TWO photos on my card, one on each side. I wish I could say it’s because I’m an overachiever, it’s probably just because someone told me too. Boo, peer pressure – I’ll need to revisit the idea.

  12. Andrew — at some point, can you run a poll on the sidebar to measure what percentage of respondents have a photo on their cards? I don’t, and thus couldn’t reply to the poll, but would be interested to know whether most do (I assume), and if so, by how much of a margin….

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