A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words...

Real Estate Agent with Reece & Nichols

Ok, so I've been reading everyone's blogs and comments regarding all sorts of things around the world of real estate and the effects of pictures.  All sorts of pictures have been discussed- Realtor pictures, profile pictures, pictures in MLS and the pictures created in virtual tours too.

As a Realtor AND a Virtual Tour Provider, I can totally relate to what this is all about.  So, if a picture is truly worth a thousand words, and in the world of the multiple listing service and the limited amount of space you have to comment, why in the world wouldn't you want to have a few great photos?!  And I can only imagine that along that same concept, that a virtual tour, with panoramic images and 360 spins; that must be worth a million words alone.  Or don't the sellers want people to actually take a peak inside?  I assumed that's why they have their house on the market in the first place?  To get people inside, to take a look around, to fall in love with it and BUY IT?!  I saw a comment that one real estate agent had made that said, that she only put one picture on for her listings and then if they wanted to see more, they'd make an appointment- OR NOT?!  HELLO!?  Buyers have sooo many choices on the market right now, at least in KC they do, and that right there, is just one more way to help them narrow their search and eliminate some of their choices.  First, they'll go through and eliminate those without any photos, then those without interior shots and the ones with bad interior pictures and then if still overwhelmed, heck, they'll choose to sort them by choosing ONLY those with virtual tours all together!  Why in the world wouldn't you want to do all you can to promote your listing?!  I just don't get it?!  But then again, I don't get the virtual tours that are simply just a slide show of the same pictures you showed in the MLS?  Whoever is making money selling those tours is either ingenious or just plain ripping you off?!  But I get sidetracked.... what I'm trying to say is that if your marketing a home and want to get the maximum exposure for your sellers or for yourself for that matter, why not take the pictures, post a tour and put it out there?!  If you post it, they will come!  And it's like holding an open house 24/7!  Now what seller wouldn't want this?  Without the headache of cleaning and presenting the home in tip-top shape and having tire kickers and lookers poking through their things at all hours of the day inside their house?!  This way only the serious buyers will be the ones to actually set up the appointments and walk through their house, bringing you one step closer to a sale!

So, that's my 2c as far as that goes...  but I'm not done.  There's still the problem with poor quality photos posted online.  It's not necessarily the matter of buying a more expensive camera, but in knowing what to do with the one you've got.  The digital world is not the same as film.  Your printed quality and your cyber quality are not equal.  It took me a long time to understand this one as once you have the basic understand of pixels and megapixels and how that works, you would think that it really shouldn't make any difference on the computer, and in most aspects it doesn't- but there's a trick to it.  Although I have a great digital camera with 8 megapixels and a 15x zoom- this does me absolutely no good for real estate.  I take all my pictures in the lowest resolution setting that I can and use that.  Unless these pictures are going to be printed in any size larger than a 4x6, this setting is perfect for the computer and internet usage and for most flyers and brochures that agents are printing, I have yet to come across the need for an image to be printed any larger.  The problem is that when the mls compresses the higher resolution picture in order for a faster loading time online, all those pixels are compressed and moosh the image causing wavy siding and roofs.  And then if you go and try to copy those pictures, they're such a low resolution that they're not worth printing anyway- at least your originals aren't bad and they're not too big to email or print either.  Now as for the crooked pictures, the blurred ones and the bad lighting- those people really have no business behind a camera.

Of course, I could go on and on- but I'm not going to subject you to that.  You can rant and rave all you want regarding profile pictures and Realtor photos, I've got better things to do.  It all goes back to first impressions and which one you're trying to make.  I think Cheryl's post summed it up well, so if you haven't had a chance to read it, she had a lot of great points to make!  Thanks Cheryl.


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William McCauley
marketmedia,llc - Lawrence, KS

Couldn't have said it better myself, but the reason I think you "get it" is because not only are you an agent, your a tour builder too and then there is the age thing too, your young and under 50 so many agents who are not computer savy or don't understand the direction the market is headed or just don't care. I have a few of these "older agents" who don't get it, they order a tour but then don't want to get the tour out to the many sites that one could host it.

I did a test one such agent to prove a point to her and improve my SEO, and after my test she called to say thanks, she had no idea that a simple FREE ad on craigs list not only drove four qulified buyers to her open house who told her they saw the ad, it still to this day is out performing the brokers, MLS, & realtor.com sites combined, so you agents out there who don't understand that the ways of doing things have changed and the places you think people are looking for real estate are not the same as it was two years ago, let alone ten years ago. So you can change with times or get left behind, lets face it people the internet is here to stay and 80% or more of todays home buyers are bypassing the agents today to shop on line and if your online marketing of less then todays standards then they skip your listings.

Many of you might be surprised to learn just how many shoppers are doing searchs for listing with virtuals tours only and skipping the rest, that's because people want to tour the home with out the travel or dealing with a realtor, I hate to say it but realtors are being viewed today as the new "used car sales person" by a large percent of todays shoppers and there for want as much info and detailed images as they can get, such as VT's, & making up a list of property's to go see & many times doing a drive by of them way before picking up the phone to call an agent.

Mar 06, 2008 10:45 AM #1
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO

Amen brother!

I'd love to hear more about your test and posting to Craig's List!  I'm still not hip with working real estate on there.  It's a curve I just haven't traveled. 

As for the "older agents," that's a tough one....  I wish they could just see what they're missing and how absolutely worth every penny it is to even hire it out if need be.  The part that really scares me, is when I'm there and and it's all done via I-phones and texting and whatever the next trend will be.  Hopefully my kids will keep me hip in the interim and until then, I'll keep blogging and working on the SEO and whatever else it takes to stay young, keep up to date and hopefully understand it all too!  Or at least enough to be able to fake it till I make it....  bad joke, I know.

Mar 06, 2008 01:11 PM #2
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville
It's the details that set the good agents apart from the bad.....and lazy. One photo in this market is ripping off the client.
Mar 07, 2008 07:42 PM #3
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate
Some agents just don't get it and some can't afford to get it.
Apr 12, 2008 10:05 AM #4
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