A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Home Experts


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. Don't judge a book by its cover. These are phrases that can and should be thought of when listing a property (NOTE: This is for agents as much as sellers).

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

It's obviously old news by now that the majority of buyers look at properties online. Knowing this, it astonishes me more and more when I, as an agent looking for properties, do not see any pictures of a listing on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)! And usually, when I do see pictures, they have poor resolution, poor lighting, rooms are messy, and the perspective is terrible (I love the pic of a wall with a big piece of furniture - WHAT IS THAT?).

To market a listing, the first line of fire is the photo shoot! I would estimate the majority of listing agents take photos either after they sign the listing or when they put the sign up. I would also guess they downplay the importance of the Photo Shoot! I like to get my sellers excited about the photo shoot, as if it were family picture day. This is a very critical part of the process,  and we want to demonstrate an impressive product from the start!

WHY I DON'T TAKE MY OWN PHOTOS:

Point 1: By education, I have a degree in Biology and by trade I am a Real Estate Broker. Nowhere in my past experience am I qualified to be a photographer. If the pictures are SOOOOO important, then why do so many agents opt NOT to hire a photographer? I get seller's attention by using a photographer. So not only should you have plenty of photos online, they should be high quality images and rooms should be staged. Can you imagine a builder having the sales agent running around taking photos of empty rooms with a $99 digital camera?

Point 2: It is impressive. A seller is putting the trust of their most prized possession in an agent's hands. It is much more professional to have a team of skilled technicians handling various aspects of the listing. Sellers love it!

Point 3: It really is not that expensive. Out of the gate, I expect to lay out between $200-$300 which covers photos, sign installs, marketing riders, etc... That does not include other online marketing.

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Actually, in the world of listing properties, many people do! Sellers need to be aware that a lot of buyers make a decision about a property after viewing it online. Some properties MAY NOT EVEN be shown after being viewed online. Buyer agents know what I am talking about. Make your listing impressionable at a buyer's 1st glance by putting some time, money and effort in the photo shoot. Then it's up to the seller to ensure the property looks as good on a daily basis.

             

 

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Rainmaker
159,361
Suzanne Gantner
Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate - Round Rock, TX
GRI, E-Pro, SRES, SRS, ABR

Don't you love the pictures of an open toilet in a small/tiny little bathroom?  Seems it is always dirty as well or the top of a bathroom vanity will have tons of makeup, prescriptions, hairspray, toothbrush, etal all over the top, snap...the photographer is always in the mirror.  Please pay a photographer it is worth the money...

Sep 26, 2011 02:18 AM #1
Rainmaker
170,083
Wendy Hayden
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO - Richmond, VA
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan

John, So very true.  Great photos get more people interested in seeing a property in person.  Getting buyers in the door is our most important job and great photos do that!  I was a professional photographer before I was a Realtor, but if that is not in your skill set, hire it done!  Realtor's don't do their own home inspections, but think they can do their one photos. 

Sep 26, 2011 02:18 AM #2
Rainer
215,416
Collette Sarmento
Cameron Real Estate Group - Wakefield, MA
781*258*9718--Your Agent For Life

Thank you for posting that.  I like to take my own pictures, this way if the Seller does not like certain pictures, I can swap them out.

Have a great day!

Sep 26, 2011 02:22 AM #3
Rainer
246,637
Daniel H. Fisher
www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544 - Charlotte, NC
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC

At a certain price point, we have professional photographers shoot our listings.  Excellent quality photographs require professional camera lenses and flash / lighting.  Videos are increasingly being used

Sep 26, 2011 02:31 AM #4
Rainer
100,501
Pamela Lauridsen-Bache
Century 21 Beachside, Mission Viejo Ca - Laguna Niguel, CA

My biggest complaint when I look on the MLS are the pictures the Agents take. They are small, dark or turned the wrong way. What I love even more is when I click on one to enlarge it and it stays just as tiny as the original one. Camera's do not cost much and alot of phones have great camera's.

Pamela Lauridsen Bache

Sep 26, 2011 05:30 AM #5
Rainer
33,952
John Benson
RE/MAX Home Experts - Philadelphia, PA
Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate

@ Daniel - I shoul've mentioned the increasing importance of video. YouTube is the 2nd most searched search engine behind Google (and when searching Google TouTube hits are usually on the 1st page).

Sep 27, 2011 01:13 AM #6
Rainer
33,952
John Benson
RE/MAX Home Experts - Philadelphia, PA
Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate

@ Collette, I understand your point. Most photographers will offer such an ample supply of images there should be plenty to choose from. Question? Would you allow yourself or a fellow agent to take your business profile pic?

Sep 27, 2011 01:13 AM #7
Rainer
33,952
John Benson
RE/MAX Home Experts - Philadelphia, PA
Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate

@ Wendy - a local agent here in the Philly area is a photographer as well and opened his own Real Estate Photography business and appears t be taking off. For me, when I get a listing, I like nothing more than to schedule the sign install, the photo shoot and marketing times (ex. open houses) with seller in one day, pop it in my iPhone and email the requests to the pros that handle that stuff. this way i am ensured professionalism, and I am able to move on to doing what I do - networking and selling homes.

Sep 27, 2011 01:16 AM #8
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Rainer
33,952

John Benson

Broker/Owner - Philadelphia Real Estate
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