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99% Of Australian Real Estate Agents Believe Nothing Beats Good Photography

July 9th, 2013

TopSnapSurveyA recent article posted on realestate.com.au (the equivalent of the US Realtor.com) reported on a recent survey. Property photography company Top Snap asked 600 Australian real estate agents about how they market properties, and a whopping 99% said nothing beats good photography.

As the article says:

It’s something most of us know instinctively, whether we’ve been browsing for homes, proudly showing off our own for sale, or just admiring and dreaming.

So what is it about Australian agents that they see the obvious and so many US agents don’t? There is little doubt in my mind that if someone did this same survey that 99% of US agents would not say that nothing beats good photography for marketing property. Yet I’ll bet 99% of home sellers WOULD say that nothing beats good photography.

I don’t have the answer to this question but if I had to make a guess the underlying reason is that a larger percentage of Australian real estate agents are making a successful business out of selling real estate than in the US.

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17 Responses to “99% Of Australian Real Estate Agents Believe Nothing Beats Good Photography”

  • Larry, where do I begin. AS a RE photographer in Oz I can tell you from 8 years of being in this industry there in no way 99% of Australian agents get it. Even if that did get the message about professional photography making a difference to marketing their properties many are not willing to pay for it. Like many surveys conducted by companies their main agenda is to promote their own services. They frame the survey questions to get the answer they want. My first question about Top Snaps survey would be “How many of the 600 agents were NOT Top Snap customers”? What do you think the % would be if the same question was asked of 600 agents who DO NOT use professional photography. To all my fellow RE shooters in the US and elsewhere the grass may seem greener down under when reading surveys like this but let me tell you our paddocks are just as brown as yours.

  • Dave you are 100% correct. This is the usual TopSnap Propaganda.

  • Ditto Dave & Ken

  • I’ll use all of the propaganda I can get in favor of RE agents using professional photos. In my area the agents using professional photography is around .1% (a figure scientifically pulled out of thin air). I try to keep up my spirits by telling myself repeatedly that I’m in such a large untapped market. More cold calls again today and a I should get my blog up and running on the web site.

  • +1. I’d like to see the methodology used in this survey. The mere fact that the survey was openly conducted by a real estate photography business would have been enough to influence the responses.

  • 100% of my clients would agree…. as they use a professional photographer… Thank you, my committed agents, for letting me apart of your team.. I promise not to annoy you with pointless surveys

  • Interesting. I actually bought and owned the very first Top Snap Franchise. (Since been sold) I will say there is a fairly high rate of professional photography being used in Australia but nowhere near 90%. Not that they are saying that. They are saying that they agree with the statement ‘Nothing beats professional photography’ – a bit ambiguous, and I also agree that this survey would have been on existing top snap clients – seriously skewed survey! Seems to be doing the rounds on the Internet though… Maybe it will help in some way, but basically the article is a thinly veiled advertisement for Top Snap

  • Meant 99%, not 90%. And yes Dave you hit the nail on the head alright.

  • As a Central Victorian RE photographer, I’d agree that nowhere near 99% subscribe to that statement. I still see $500,000 properties being shown with crap photos. The good agents use good photographers. The rest– FAR more than 1% try to take their own, despite education campaigns from we good photographers, and yet somehow keep their heads above water. I know their properties would sell much quicker with good pix, however.

  • +1 for Bruce’s comment. Here in Atlanta I see 1 Million and up properties with awful photography all the time. As someone who will be entering this business as my post retirement job from the airlines, maybe someday someone will explain to me why agents can collect tens of thousands in commission and can’t fine $200 so their listing photos don’t look like garbage!! It’s absolutely puzzling!!

  • The more pro photography is visible….. the more it is visible.

  • Wouldn’t part of the blame go to the home seller who hires a real estate agent that doesn’t use a professional or puts up with crappy photos?

  • Perhaps forming an association of professional real estate photographers would be helpful, and then marketing it nation wide explaining the benefits.

  • Here’s my take on professional real estate photography. True the vast majority of agents just “don’t get it”. After all if properties have been sold in this manner (agent taking photos), why change the way they do business…properties are being sold with the current status quo…why should an agent spend extra money on pro photography. There are two ways agents make commissions, being either a listing agent, or a selling agent. My game plan is to become a licensed real estate agent, and do the photography on every listing I get. What are you Mr. or Ms. average real estate agent giving your clients for the commission that they are paying you? After all every home winds up on the same MLS service. What promises are you making to get a listing? On the other hand if you list with me I will be professionally photographing your property. I’ll bet that if you search for listing agents that can produce professional photography you will find them to be high income earners. I know that not all photographers want to be agents, and not all agents want to be photographers, but maybe it could go the other way, meaning with this type of exposure, you may start doing more photography for other agents.

  • Matti, something like that already exists

    http://www.realestatephotographers.org

  • I am a RE photographer in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been in this game for just over 7 years now. No way do 99% of agents agree on good photography for their clients. Many listings here, even for $900 000 plus properties, have below average to just poor photography. Although many agents will sell their photography service they offer to their clients as professional photography, it comes down to the definition of what is a professional photographer? Any photographer earning an income full time from his/her photography, may be classified as “professional” and does not necessarily mean they can produce high quality photos.
    Many agents just can’t sell good photography to their clients and will do with sub-standard photos just because the photographer is prepared to offer a very cheap service which allows the agents a higher profit margin on their marketing fees. I don’t let myself be negotiated down to $77 or $110 for 15 plus photos.

    The good agents that do understand the value of good quality photos, never argue about the price and will always be able to sell the value thereof to their clients. In addition, once you offer them a price when starting out, most expect you to keep that pricing for years on end while they raise their marketing fees annually. When you raise your price, they just move on to the next cheapest “professional” photographer.

    I get to talk to vendors all the time and they are always surprised as to how little the photgraphy charges actually are. Vendors are put off by the high marketing fees, not the photography fees. Go figure.

  • Victor, I am not sure what the laws are in Victoria regarding agents making a profit from marketing but here in South Aust it is illegal for agents to charge any additional fees on top of marketing costs eg, photography, floorplans, newspaper adds, brochures, signboards etc. The only way agencies can make a profit from marketing is to hide it in their commission fees which are now around 2.25% and if they try to increase this percentage to say 2.4% they stand to loose the listing.

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