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Coming from a person that owns a marketing and media company you might be surprised, initially, by my answer, YES!
Agents should handle their own photography if they have training in real estate photography, they have the time and if they want to. That's it! Only three questions an agent needs to ask themselves.
The trouble is most agents have no training, they find the time, quickly, at the time of the listing and the only reason they want to is to save money.
The result, usually, is substandard hurried photography in a home that wasn't properly prepared. I find some of my leads by going through local listings and looking for bad photography. Leads are plentiful! You would probably be surprised at the number of Agents/leads I talk to who tell me their photos are "good enough". Good enough for you maybe because they were free but for buyers who are comparing your listing to hundreds of others that are great photos and make a positive first impression, your photos may not be good enough.
Photography prices are coming down drastically! New companies, like mine, are springing up all over the place. As a result of the competition, customer service is going up and prices are coming down. A Photography/Videography company should have your listing completed and syndicated within 24 hours.
The internet has really done the sales person and real estate agents especially a disservice. Now we have to make two first impressions, our online impression and our "in-person" impression. If either one is off we have to work twice as hard to achieve our goes. The other side is that if both first impressions are on, well that makes our job easier. Ypu will not get a chanvce to make a good "in-person" impression if your online impression is bad or substandard.
I know some of you probably aren't worried about your online impression. Well let me remind you that much of the time you are dealing with people that are making the largest purchase of their lives and need someone to count on to walk them through it. If you don't exude competence and success in real estate online you'll never get the chance to do it in person.
Also, when an agent tells a seller that they to market their home by having it professionally photographed including multiple virtual tours with a professional voice over, panos/360's and maybe shoot video along with a micro site of just their home, as well as mass syndication on a multitude of websites and have it all done within 24 hours of listing, who do you think the sellers are going to trust to list their home? Not the guy posting on the mls and his $30 /month nonoptimized site. To a seller, this sounds like you are going to spend a lot of time and money marketing their home. The sellers will be astounded that their property is going to be marketed in what seems to be such an elaborate way. They can actually see and share the work that you're doing for them. In most markets an agent can have all of that work done, except video, for less than $100.
So is photography worth doing yourself?
Below is a great video I found on YouTube by St Louis Realtor Sid Cameron, explaining why professional photography is so important.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.