The way buyers search for their new homes has changed drastically in 20 years. Statistics show that the Internet is the first place buyers go whether it is on their computers, tablets or phones. Great photos are a must for sellers and real estate agents hoping to make a profitable sale quickly. Some agents rely on their own point and shoot cameras or even their cell phones to get that shot they hope will bring in the buyers. However, there is no need for agents to add photography to their long to-do list. Professional real estate photographers can help you sell homes in a shorter time and for higher prices.
A study conducted by REAL Trends released last year listed some reasons why a real estate agent should invest in photography. Here’s a summary of those reasons, along with a couple of our own.
- Your website will get more traffic with high quality photos. The National Association of Realtors released a survey back in 2014 that showed 83 percent of home buyers thought that property photos were the best feature of any real estate website. Now that practically everyone has some sort of smart phone or a device with Internet access, getting traffic to your site and to the listings is more important than ever.
- A professional real estate photographer knows how to make a home look more attractive—even if it isn’t. Every real estate agent will from time to time get a listing that doesn’t really sell itself well. As a real estate agent your job is to make the home look its best to prospective buyers. Using a professional photographer makes your job easier since they have experience in bringing out the best in a property.
- Even those who know nothing about photography can tell the difference between a good photo and a bad photo. The truth is that the MLS is absolutely loaded with horrible photos. Websites such as terriblerealestatephotos.com have been dedicated to some of the worst of them. These pictures include everything from children and pets in photos, nasty conditions, mold, raised toilet seats, and my all time favorite, the agent in the mirror taking the photo! It is a disservice to your clients not to make your best effort to provide quality media for the MLS and Internet.
- Research shows that using a professional real estate photographer can increase the amount of money paid for the home. These numbers vary according to the price of the residence but can be anywhere from less than a thousand dollars to hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- Hiring a professional these days is very cost effective. In the early days of Internet photography it could cost upwards of $1,000 or more to hire a pro. Those costs have declined dramatically as more photographers have entered the market and technology has been created that reduces the time needed both at the property and post-processing. According to the Real Trends study, both agents and brokers say that the average cost for professional photos for a small property is around $160. Note that that number can vary greatly depending on the quality and any additional services provided, such as an included virtual tour or additional video.
Finally, don’t you owe it to the seller to give your best service? Of the 437 brokers and agents that responded, 94 percent of agents and 73 percent of brokers agreed that using a professional real estate photographer was important. Homes that have professional photos get more phone calls and showings, and will sell more quickly. Ultimately, a quick sale and the highest profit are the goals.