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Importance of Photography in a Down Real Estate Market

Published: 04/10/2008
By: larry

Selling things is all about finding a way to stand out from the competition. In a down real estate market like we have now, the competition home sellers face are those hundreds of other homes for sale in the same location and price range. The last thing a home seller wants to do is to have to lower their price to stand out from the competition.

Stunning photography is another effective way to stand out from the crowd at any given price point. Think for a minute what the few qualified buyers these days are doing. When they search online for a home in a given location and price range they end up seeing a list of homes with some version of the primary external photo along with a few other details. This list of homes has a link to get to more details and photos of each home.

This makes the primary external photo of the property enormously important! It's used to capture the buyers interest and get them to click a link to see more details and more photos. Once they get the page with more details and more photo of the property what do you think they do first? What would you do? They browse through the photos right? The more photos the better? There have been studies that document the fact that having more photos reduces market time and increases net selling price of a property.

So in a down market, here's how to use photography to stand out from the crowd:

  1. Make sure that primary external photo is a striking, effective image that grabs attention and creates interest. This will entice buyers to look in more detail at the property.
  2. Use the maximum number of strong images allowed by your MLS or local broker site.
  3. Use virtual tours, slide shows, videos or whatever you can to visually present the property in an interesting way.

In summary, strong photography is one of the few alternatives that agents and home sellers have to make their marketing of a property standout from the competition other than reducing the price.

13 comments on “Importance of Photography in a Down Real Estate Market”

  1. Larry, perfectly said! This, I think is says it much better and more to the point than what is in your BFREP ebook. I'm in the middle of designing my main marketing piece and I was wondering if you would give permission to use this. I'm sure others here may want to use it too. Of course I would give you credit for it.

  2. Jerry- Sure, no problem, use it in your marketing copy- that's actually what it's for. Photographers need to be explaining this to clients. Experienced agents that have been through down markets already know this but the agents that have only been in the business for the last few years think they can just do the same old thing (just put it on the MLS) and sellers will appear. Not any more!

    I've been trying to come up with a definitive statement or argument on why it's important to use great photography in real estate marketing, for sometime. I'm getting closer. What helped me refine this to where it is now is listening to Doug Heddings discussion of why video is important ( I turns out the argument is the same for still photography, video in any market. Yes, I agree, a version similar to this is going in the next version of BFREP.

  3. I have been in marketing for over 30 years .
    The scenario in the US is there are plenty of houses and not too many buyers.
    You will need to reach those buyers and connect, Great Photography is a logical answer. The thing about photography is it can be used in many mediums.Web, Brochures, Mags, Newspapers, Signage, Podcasts.Window displays.

  4. Larry,

    Thanks for your ongoing support with the site Larry. I will be using this in my next mailer to my agents and For Sale By Owner card that market with.

    I have also found that when I establish credibility with the agents I am working with, which takes a couple of shoots, then they utilize my photography for closing listings. One of my agents recently got two other homes partly by letting the owners or relocation company know what kind of quality photography she provides to the sellers.

  5. I couldn't agree more. As a photographer and real estate agent, I think photos are more important than ever. A stunning exterior picture is a must have in this market. Grab every potential buyers attention with photos, slide shows, and virtual tours.

  6. Great post, when the market is down.... Realtors need to pull out all the stops.

    I don't expect to list my home with a photographer and a home seller should expect that his Realtor will hire a professional to shoot high quality photos of the home for Internet and print ads.

  7. I agree photography is the way to go. Many clients don't even want me to send them listings without photos. Often times I search for an older listing on the CMLS to supply pictures if the current/new listing does not have any. Just some advice its great to showcase a property's special features. However, try to stay true to the home, size of rooms, condition, yard,etc... The worst is disappointed clients who fell in love with a home based on the photos and when you go to show, it does not deliver 🙁

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