Have you noticed that most real estate agents are frantic to get the photos from a shoot. Do you understand why?
Here are the underlying reasons that listing agents need the photos ASAP:
- It's foolish to shoot photos before seller signs listing agreement: Until an agent has a signed listing agreement the seller isn't committed to list with them. There are usually several agents competing to get the listing and the agent is never sure they've "won" the competition until the listing agreement is signed.
- Once the listing agreement is signed local MLS rules require the listing is put on the MLS within a very short time (usually within 24 hours. In Seattle the rule says "...by 5PM the next day"). There are varying degrees of fines for not complying with this rule. The reason these MLS rules exist is to prevent the listing agent from selling the listing to a buyer they are working with before it is on the market and getting both sides of the commission.
- Best marketing results when photos are present when a listing first goes live: Because the most interest in a listing from buyers is during the first week or so after the listing goes active. Photos are essential during this time to give the listing the best exposure possible. Also, when a listing first goes on the MLS, the photos are propagated to other local real estate websites. If the photos aren't on the listing initially sometimes it takes a long time for the photos to get propagated to other real estate sites (I've had cases where the photos never made it to some sites.
For these reasons, listing agents are desperate for photos once they've signed a seller up. When you understand and appreciate this facts of the real estate listing process you can turn this annoying issue into an opportunity by setting your real estate photography process up so you can guarantee photo delivery within 24 hours. Agents will love it and it will be a competitive advantage for you.
Easier said that done you are probably saying. If you are shooting many jobs a day, it's going to take some organization, planning and extra effort to guarantee 24 hour turn around. You'll need to keep your post processing as simple and fast as possible. But the extra effort will pay off big time in customer loyalty and competitive advantage.