Is a Property Photo Worthy?

I have had conversations with clients about properties that they think aren’t “worthy” of paid, professional photography. And I can understand where they are coming from. Sometimes the valuation of a property or the condition doesn’t seem like it will create a positive return on the agent’s investment in photography. But I’ve found that often looks can be deceiving.Here a short list of what I believe are the top benefits of employing a professional real estate photographer even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. 

Exposure – In a digital world content is king. And the best content is visual. So having excellent photos to market a listing is extremely important. If a listing has dark, unappealing images potential buyers will just scroll right past it and move onto the next. In addition, it is becoming more and more common to see interesting, well photographed, real estate listings picked up and distributed by a wide variety of content providers such as “Curbed Seattle“.

Activity – Great images of an interesting property can cause a buzz that increases the agents social media presence. This can result in leads that land buyers and create future listing opportunities.

Better Selling Prices – This ties directly into exposure and increased activity. There’s no shortage of articles and stats that clearly show that quality images sell houses faster and for a higher price.

Brand Building & Marketing – Stunning photos to help market the MLS listing are just the beginning. These same photos that help to quickly sell homes are an excellent way to market the agent’s website, social media presence and build a brand that promotes a quality service.

Adding Value to your Client / Seller – Many of the important tasks carried out by Real Estate agents occur behind the scenes and can be invisible to the seller. When we show up to photograph a house it’s a 2 to 4 hour affair setting up lights and maybe even a small amount of staging. Often the owners are present and get involved. They help stage, they review the shots on my iPad. But mostly they get to see their agent working hard for them through us.

Referrals – In our modern connected world, seller are quite savvy. Whether they are checking up on their mechanics or doctors or real estate agent they are online or checking with family and friends to see what’s what. In the past I used to bring a sample book of my work to hand out to the owners, but all too often they had already done their “homework” and knew what to expect.

Here is an example of a “not worthy” real estate listing. And yeah, this example is a mobile home. And not even a manufactured home at that. But it had a couple of things going for it. First it was very modestly priced for our Lopez Island market. And second, it had a motivated owner who had worked tirelessly to prep this property for sale and for its photography date.

So the owner and my wife and I spent a little over two hours moving furniture from room to room and photographing this little diamond in the rough. And this little “trailer that could” sure cleaned up well.

But this was only the beginning of the story for this property. This listing became quite the hit on social media and generated a great deal of exposure and follow on leads for my client. In addition, after the successful photo shoot and quick sale of the mobile home, the owner employed my client to list the “big house”, a stunning beachfront home on MacKaye Harbor.

So yeah, this one was definitely “Photo Worthy” and I suspect most are.

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