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More Proof That Professional Real Estate Photography Makes A Difference

Published: 05/10/2010
By: larry

Thanks to reader Jakob Nebeker for passing along this link to more significant proof that professional real estate photography makes a positive difference in real estate marketing.

Tim Ellis of Redfin figured out a clever way to identify listing photos that were probably shot by professionals: EXIF data that identified camera type as DSLR.

The analysis of Tim's data shows that listings that are shot with a DSLR:

  1. Receive an average of 61% more views than their peers across all price tiers.
  2. Have a 47% higher asking price per square foot.
  3. Have an increased likelihood of selling for homes priced above $300,000.
  4. Stay on the market an average of 10 days longer across all price tiers.

The WSJ Blogs had coverage today of the same data.

Number 4 is a surprise! However, with the long market times these days 10 days isn't all that significant.

A reminder that for real estate photographers, you should be collecting these kind of articles to use in your marketing. Particularly the one in WSJ just because it's likely to carry more weight with agents. Be aware that agents generally hate Redfin because it's a deep discount flat fee operation that is eating agent's lunches. Also, Redfin is making this case to prove the value of their company policy of shooting all their listings with professional photographers. Neither of these invalidate the data, they just effect the blood pressure of the agent that you are marketing so be aware.

I think this Redfin data and the data that Kris Bjarne Haug in New Orleans came up with make some pretty solid arguments of what we all knew- real estate photography makes a difference!

12 comments on “More Proof That Professional Real Estate Photography Makes A Difference”

  1. I just got an offer on a Bend home I listed a few days ago. I sold the home 6 months ago, and unfortunately the new owners needed to move. The home was on the market a long wile when I first sold it, and the photos by the listing agent were horrible. I spent 3 or 4 hours editing photos with a combo of HDR and traditional flash shots, (most a were a combination of HDR and traditional layered).

    The home hit the market for $20K more than they payed for it. The phone started lighting up right away, and an offer came in within a few days. Without professional grade photos, I'm sure the home would still be sitting on the market today.Photos are one of the most important aspects of selling a home in todays real estate market.

  2. I like this article a lot.

    Point 1. Is VERY interesting and useful. I think the FIRST picture is the most important since that is the one seen on all of the real estate search sites. That is why the aerial shots are so important. Point 2. Is less interesting because it probably means that higher priced houses are more likely to get better pictures. More possible commission will lead agents to spend more $$$ on the pictures. So this is kind of a reverse effect. Also higher priced houses often are in better shape and take better pictures--but not always. The Point 4 statistic does NOT mean what you think. When gathering data on SOLD properties you look at, what else, SOLD properties. Within that population this statistic seems to be true. But in studies I have done in my market (to be specific: single family houses, listed on Cape Cod MLS, located in Barnstable County) when 100 house go on the market during a given time (say the first 100 new listings as of April 15th 2009) then after ONE YEAR the number sold is about 40-45. Maybe 15 are still active and the rest are OFF THE MARKET. So Point 3 overrules Point 4. DSLR pictures help get the house SOLD period as opposed to all the houses that don’t sell at all--at least within a year.

  3. Great resource. Do you have a collection of all such data on photography increasing selling prices/sales rates? I am putting together some marketing materials and would like all the hard numbers I can to back up the pitch. Thanks for posting this, though.

  4. @David- Yea, I have a a collection of links to articles and studies like this going back several years at: http://www.delicious.com/lohrman. There's a link to this list on the right side-bar of the blog under "Other Links". Just click on the link "PFRE important links"

  5. Hey, sweet! I'm on the front page of PFRE twice! Glad you guys found this research interesting. I had a fun time putting it together.

  6. You had me at #1. We all "know" that our professional photos attract more home buyers, so it's great to have the proof. Great work Tim; and thanks Larry for sharing.

  7. I agree with the article. After the seeing the awful snapshots that the realtors took of their properties, I told my realtor that I was going to take the photos of our house when we put it on the market. Being a professional photographer I was not going to have it any other way. Our kitchen was not finished getting ready for sale, so I did NOT take shots of it. Guess what? After listing the house and posting shots that I took, the house had a multiple offers and we got full asking price within 9 days of listing. We had multiple compliments how everyone liked the photos of the house and had to come take a look at it.

  8. Great article! I'm just wondering though whether these statistics would be fairly close for the Australian Market? As I've just set up my business and I'm in Australia!

  9. @Bonnie- I think the big message in both the Redfin stats and Kris Haug's stats from New Orleans is not so much the exact percentages as it is the fact that the benefits of professional real estate photography are significant and can be measured.

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