Are you really taking photos of your listings with your iPhone? As Dr. Phil says, how’s that working for you?
You caution your sellers about the importance of curb appeal. You counsel them to clean up and maybe even stage the home’s interior. Then you come along, snap some quick photos on your smartphone and slap them on the MLS.
While curb appeal is your client’s responsibility, web appeal is yours.You have one chance to impress – a scant two seconds to grab a buyer’s attention without a photograph and 20 seconds with one. Do iPhone listing photos or those you take with a point-and-shoot camera make optimum use of those valuable seconds?
What Professional Listing Photographers Brings to the Table
According to a 2010 Redfin study, homes that are professionally photographed sell for at least $934 and as much as $18,819 more than homes photographed by an amateur. The study also shows that homes photographed by a professional garner 61 percent more online views.
Professionally-photographed homes sell for up to $19,000 more.
The key to getting these results is in creating inspiration, according to real estate photographer Jay Groccia. Effective marketing photos are inspirational. If homebuyers perusing the Internet get inspired by a photo, “they’ll click through to the agent’s website. If they don’t, they click “back” to view the next result in the search list,” Groccia explains.
“That was it – right there – that was your opportunity to grab that buyer’s attention, and if they clicked back, you’ve lost them forever,” he cautions.
“But I Own a Really Good Camera … “
Many agents fancy themselves photographers merely because they bought a high-end camera and taught themselves how to use it. There is an art, however, to good photography. The skilled professional knows how to use composition, color and lighting to make a photo more appealing. Owning a great camera makes one no more a professional photographer than owning a Wolf range makes one a professional chef.
Be the Agent – Not the Photographer
Deep down inside agents understand that they can’t wear all the hats in their real estate practice and still adequately serve their clients – especially while simultaneously trying to grow their businesses. It’s the agents who delegate that typically move to the next level.
Even if you fancy yourself a budding photographer and have all the high-end equipment necessary, your time is better spent drumming up new listings and growing your business.
Real estate agents are hired to sell homes, not take photos.
“I used to believe that a good product sold itself,” admitted Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman of Nike, Inc.
Lots of real estate agents fall into the same trap. A good house will not sell itself without your assistance. Even in the best of markets, advertising your listings is essential. Your clients expect it and they’re paying you to do it right.
The next time you’re tempted to pull out your iPhone to snap listing photos, ask yourself this: Would Phil Knight whip out his point-and-shoot and snap random photos of a pile of athletic shoes to be used in Nike’s print advertising?
Your main objective is to “make them dream.” Jaw-dropping photos do that.