Saturday, November 18, 2017

Are REALTOR® Photos Really Necessary?

  One of my pet peeves about the real estate profession is the proliferation of personal photos that seems to be more important to the individual REALTOR® than the degree and quality of service they provide to their clients.
  Perhaps I am being just small minded and or unnecessarily picky but I know of no other profession where the mugshot of the person in that line of work is so prominently displayed on business cards, for sale signs, vehicles, bus shelters, bill boards, community garbage bins and more.  My looks are not enhanced when someone throws their unfinished Tim Horton's coffee in the trash container with some of the residual coffee dribbling down my face towards the pavement.
 Prior to real estate I held a number of senior management positions in both Canada and the U.S. often dealing face to face with large corporations such as Caterpillar, General Motors, Ford, John Deere and even Walmart.  I could not imagine handing them my business card as Vice President with my face on the front.  Nay, my company would not allow it.  Would my picture on the card reflect the company's brand and or image?  Would it be of value to the client?  The answer to both of these questions is no so why is real estate any different?
  I especially like the real estate cards with photos (which seem to be the most prevalent) where the REALTOR® is standing there with their arms crossed.  The psychological message being interpreted by many with this pose is that both arms are folded together across the chest as an attempt to put a barrier between the person and someone or something they don't like.  Great, that's just the message you want to send to attract clients.
  Many REALTORS® will argue their photo is their brand but in my opinion if that is all your brand has to offer it is little wonder consumers think we are over paid.  As REALTORS® we are dealing with clients helping them to complete the purchase or sale of what for many is the most important and valuable asset they will ever own.  That process takes knowledge and a variety of skills not the least of which is negotiation and in my opinion, our brand should reflect the varied skill set needed to successfully get the job done.  I have some particular clients (husband and wife) with whom I have done a lot of real estate business.  She is a prominent lawyer and during one transaction said: "Rick, we pay you for your knowledge."  That is my brand.
  In addition to being of little brand value, I feel that for female REALTORS® having their photos out there is dangerous.  There have been numerous incidents where female REALTORS® have been assaulted and even killed while on the job.  Meeting some stranger at a house at nine o'clock at night because he liked their photo is not necessarily a good thing.
  Perhaps at some point in the past, photos on business cards and for sale signs served a purpose in real estate but I feel those days are gone.  Consumers today are more sophisticated and the process of selling and buying real estate transaction is more complex.
  A couple of years ago I asked my twenty-nine year old daughter what she thought of real estate business cards with the REALTOR®'s photos?  Her answer, its tacky Dad.  Yes my photo is on this blog site but it will never be on my business cards or signs.
  I would love to hear your opinion on this topic and I invite you to comment and to weigh in on my poll to the upper right.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.