Scott Hargis, a major name in the world of real estate photography, wrote a post with the rather provocative title: “The purpose of real estate photos is not to sell property“. It was a tad misleading, because Scott doesn’t deny at all the ability of a professional photographic presentation to sell a home more quickly and for more money. He confirms this fact, but was trying to create a bit of a “stir” while pointing out the importance of photography in agent branding.
Listing is Lasting:
There is a saying in real estate: “if you list, you last.” Whereas I’ve met several exclusive buyers agents that have a great track record, they are few and far between. For the most part, it is true that getting listings is the key to agent survival.
How does hiring a professional photographer factor into getting more listings? The advantages are probably two-pronged:
First, as sellers have become increasingly aware of the importance of photography, they have turned more and more to the web. Instead of just relying on their Aunt Mabel or their friend across the street for a referral, they are taking those referrals and looking online to see how well these agents manage their listings. Sellers are paying particular attention to the photography. Don’t get me wrong, the referral is still an agent’s lifeblood, but sellers are taking less and less at face-value. Sellers want to see a quality presentation.
Second, buyers are very often sellers. More often than not,they comb the web looking for their next home before listing their current home. They are naturally attracted to homes that present well and they are also attracted to agents who make sure their listing presentations are top-of-the-line.
According to Scott Hargis:
My best real estate clients, the ones who listed the multimillion dollar houses all the time, would do the exact same thing even when they had a $150,000 condo to sell…(these agents) knew that (they) would be sitting on a couch in some living room next week, trying to land a bread-and-butter listing, and the sellers would want to know that they were not going to be treated like an afterthought. (The sellers) would be doing their research, looking to see what this agent really did on her listings, and they would not be disappointed.
Getting ahead of the curve…
The truth is, as someone who has been an agent and has worked with buyers and sellers, I think a lot of agents underestimate the role of photography – from both the buyers and seller’s perspective. They subscribe to the concept that “good enough” will do the job. But more and more that’s not enough to land the listing. That’s really good news for agents who are willing to step up to the plate. It creates a big void in a very competitive field which can become a tremendous opportunity for agents who do “get it”.
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