I was having some thoughts over the last few days about the subject above and decided to write some of them down here...
Recently, I was contacted by a local couple who had found my website whilst doing a search for property, or real-estate, photography. They asked me if I would be available to photograph their home in order to provide them with high quality images which they could use to promote the sale of the property.
Of course, I said that I would be most happy to do this for them and after discussing the details we arranged a suitable time and date for the shoot to take place. After speaking with them to find out what they required, they told me that they were unhappy with the photographs that had been taken by their chosen solicitor/estate agent for marketing purposes and that they believed their home, which they had worked hard to make attractive and comfortable, deserved better!
On visiting the property they showed me the photographs and brochure that had been made up by their agent and unfortunately, I could easily see why they were unhappy. The images were dull, badly lit, poorly composed and not even level, thus the attractive, neat, light and modern home I walked into was certainly not represented accurately by those pictures. The most disappointing aspect was that when they queried this with their agent they were told that 'no-one had complained before', or words to similar effect, as if this was a valid reason to keep producing lacklustre, below par images and taking clients money! They were disappointed by this attitude, and relayed their feelings to me; feelings which I have come across before.
With all of the competition on the market, it is important to have professional photos because they are your first, and maybe only impression, to the majority of buyers who are searching for homes on the Internet. Using professional photos can draw more attention to your listings and result in more clicks by potential buyers. Now, although more clicks do not guarantee a sale, it does mean more potential buyers are viewing your listing. Reaching more 'potential' buyers with your listing only increases your chances of finding the 'right' buyer.
The benefits mentioned here apply not only to the Seller of the home but also to the Agents marketing the home. Such as:
- Your client will be pleased to see how well you are presenting their property which can lead to repeat business, as well as the potential referrals and positive word-of-mouth locally.
- Great photos and marketing efforts don’t go unnoticed. Neighbours of the listing property will keep an eye on how a property is marketed. If they’re impressed, they could well seek you out one day to help sell their home.
- If you’re competing for listings, making the commitment to represent your homes with a marketing strategy that includes professional photography could help you win the listing over agents who are behind in these respects.
- Once a home is priced within its proper market value, it then has to compete with (perhaps) tens or even hundreds of other similar properties. The key then is getting potential buyers to physically come and view the home. In the online search market of today, there’s only one way to do that….. make sure that your home stands out with professional, high-quality photography.
Taking proper exterior and interior photographs of houses takes time. Sure, you can turn up with a camera and walk from room to room talking a picture from the doorway, and get round the average house, finished, and on your way in 20-30 minutes... but that is not going to give you the best results. What is worse, is when this is what happens and people call it 'professional', and sell it as such to clients. When you're told by your agent(s) or whomever that you're getting professional photography for your property, what you should be getting is someone who considers many factors before even pressing a shutter button. Things like; the interior lighting, ambient light, reflections, camera placement and height, framing & composition, staging of the room/space, parallax distortion, when to go wide-angle and when not to.. all these things and more have to be considered and taken into account before taking an image. This is all before you get back to your office/studio and sit down in front of the computer to go through tens of images, processing, editing and adjusting each one until you end up with your final choice.
Considering these points, especially in todays more competitive housing market; with real-estate values fluctuating more than ever before, and competition for listings being so high, Sellers need to remember that simply uploading any old images of their property isn't necessarily enough anymore to guarantee a sale and maximised value. They should care about the way their property, their 'home', is sold and should not be afraid to demand better from their agents (whom they are paying after all !) to genuinely market their properties to the best of their abilities, even if that means outsourcing photography and/or video to experts, and not just to take the money from the client and then just settling for doing the minimum / what they've always done before!
It might be 'just a house', but it's also a 'home', and people can put a lot of love and care into their homes, so shouldn't you have someone take the same care and attention when they're photographing your property and giving you a memory of it.
Thanks for reading,