For over 25 years I carried various business cards, many of them for executive and senior management positions that I held in both Canada and the U.S. Never once was my photo on one of those cards. Seldom do you see personal photos on any business cards other than for real estate Sales Representative and or Brokers. Why? What makes real estate different than any other profession? As REALTORS® we like to think of ourselves as being professionals, on the same level as lawyers, accountants and other trained or licensed service providers that are also involved with the real estate transaction process. Does your lawyer have his or her picture on their cards? What about your dentist or your accountant?
Last week I attended a one day session sponsored by the Ontario Real Estate Association in Toronto. Part of this session included a panel of consumers, most of them younger that had recently purchased a home. I asked them whether a REALTOR'S® photo on signs, a billboard or elsewhere influenced them in any way? The answer..... absolutely not. When asked how they wanted to be marketed to the answer was, not at all. We'll find you was their answer. I asked my 27 year old daughter what she thought about REALTOR'S® photos on their business cards, or on the back windows of their cars etc. her answer....it's "tacky."
I believe through my own research and as confirmed by last week's panel of home buyers, today's consumers do not want to be "sold to." They want to be helped. They want you to engage them with meaningful and helpful information that will assist them in whatever it is they are looking to buy be it a product or a service. This blog is part of my brand as is my website, my newsletter, my Facebook business page etc. I follow the statistical results of our market very closely and publish those results online. That too is part of my "brand." Through all these various media, my goal is to provide meaningful information illustrating my experience and my expertise in real estate and community related matters. Hopefully this information will resonate with buyers and sellers so that when the day comes they are looking for a REALTOR® my name will be front and centre.
Do REALTOR'S® photos mean anything or influence you in any way? Should I remove my photo from this blog? I would appreciate your comments.