If you’ve landed here, you might be wondering: “how can I brand myself as a realtor?” Maybe you’ve been stuck with the same, boring headshot for years. Or maybe you’re looking to differentiate yourself from the sea of fellow realtors in your town. Whether you’re new to the real estate game or you’re looking to rebrand yourself, I’m here to get you started.
In this post, I’m sharing the top 3 essentials of real estate branding photography: location, wardrobe, and process shots. These are the keys to elevating your personal brand, attracting your ideal clients, and exploding your real estate business with your brand photos. To illustrate what each of these components entails, we’ll look at my recent shoot with real estate agent Maggie Lux!
About Charleston Real Estate Agent Maggie Lux
First, a little background on Maggie! Maggie is a realtor with Carolina One in Charleston, South Carolina. She works with clients all over the tri-county area, helping them buy and sell homes in a fast-paced market. Charleston is no stranger to real estate agents, considering Travel + Leisure names it a top city in the country every year. There are literally thousands of agents working in the area. No matter where you work, I’m guessing you can relate!
To avoid getting lost in the shuffle, Maggie came to me to expand and elevate her personal brand. She had one headshot and a small collection of stock graphics and real estate listing images to start out with. But, she wanted her marketing efforts to go beyond cookie-cutter collateral. Keep reading to see how location, wardrobe, and process shots took center stage in the planning process of Maggie’s shoot.
1. Select 1-2 client-centric locations
My best advice for real estate agents looking to rebrand is to focus on your location first. Spend time finding the perfect location before outfits, color scheme, or even your shot ideas. Location is everything in real estate, so it should be the main focus (besides your beautiful face, of course!).
One of the first things Maggie mentioned in the planning process was, “we can always use my office, but it is just bland and not fun!” I immediately had her take a look at home rental sites and rack her brain for available client listings. We settled on a gorgeous condo rental in downtown Charleston. The rental company had already styled the rental with modern furniture and accessories that we could utilize for the photos (and it had amazing light)! The condo also had all of the rooms we wanted to shoot in, including a kitchen.
erThe style of this particular rental was the perfect mix for Maggie’s goals as well. It bridged the gap between her current clients’ budgets and future higher-end listings she hopes to work with. Consider your ideal client and what type of homes you love selling to them to guide your decision-making process about your shoot location. Be sure to ask (or have your photographer ask) the property owner if it’s okay to do a photoshoot in their space before booking and you’re golden!
2. Hire a wardrobe stylist
My second favorite piece of advice for real estate agents (or any small business owner!) looking to rebrand is to hire a wardrobe stylist for your shoot. One of the most difficult parts of the shoot planning process for my clients is deciding what to wear, and I get it! While you might know what you love wearing in your everyday life, you might not be unsure of what looks great on camera.
Maggie was totally unsure of what to wear for her shoot, so I connected her with a local stylist, Carissa Hamblin of Ensemble Consignment. Carissa asked Maggie to provide examples of the styles she’s into, and the types of looks she was hoping to have for the shoot. In just an hour together, Carissa helped Maggie find 4 complete outfits that worked not only for the shoot but also for her everyday life!
Your photographer may already work with a stylist, or you can seek one out on your own. There are so many affordable virtual styling services out there now as well. Book one for your shoot, and you’ll show up on shoot day feeling confident and in control of your real estate branding photography.
3. Include your process
What makes you unique? This question is especially important for real estate agents to consider when rebranding. It’s true that most of the time, the real estate process can be repetitive across the board. Dig a little deeper as you plan your shoot to discover what makes you different. Ask yourself:
- If I were working with my ideal client, what would the entire process of working together look like?
- In what ways do I provide my clients with support or education beyond what other agents might be doing?
- What parts of the process do I enjoy the most?
Let these questions guide you and your photographer as you plan your brand shoot.
Before Maggie’s shoot, we mapped out her client process and brainstormed process shots to illustrate it. First, Maggie brought along a co-worker that was willing to stand in as a client. She also brought props, such as a welcome basket, champagne bottle, and “Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale” guide that she might give a client as a resource.
Even if a part of your process with clients seems commonplace, highlight something that makes you unique. It could be the resources you provide, a congratulatory bottle of wine, or the blue bag you wear to every meeting.
There you have it! My top three essentials for real estate branding photography: location, wardrobe, and process shots. You now have the tools to book and plan your branding shoot with confidence! If you’re looking for more branding shoot inspiration, check out my posts 4 Essential Traits to Look for in a Branding Photographer and How to Pose for a Photoshoot. Until next time, I’ll be cheering you on along the way!