7 Reasons Why Realtors Should Invest in Professional Real Estate Photography
1. Most home buyers are researching online before buying a home.
In 2013, 83% of home buyers searched the Internet when looking to purchase a home. Four years later, in 2017, the percentage of home buyers that searched the Internet when looking for a home jumped to 92%. Consumers are purchasing and becoming competent with more devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These consumers are home buyers, and they want to shop online. Their trend is showing us that they recognize how useful technology is and therefore they are going to be better at noticing professional real estate photography as opposed to point-and-shoot or smartphone photographs.
It is necessary to have professional real estate photos not just to stand out from the competition but because they are your first, and sometimes only impression to the majority of potential home buyers.
2. What percentage of homes sold were sold with photos from a professional DSLR camera vs. a point-and-shoot or smartphone?
The Wall Street Journal recently published a graph to show that in the majority of price brackets, more homes sold that had photos from a professional photographer and camera compared to photos taken with a point-and-shoot or smartphone. A professional camera can affect how a buyer looks at a listing, and the benefits can be seen starting in the $275K price point. This data was obtained in bulk, and therefore the image data was examined to see if a professional camera was utilized to take the photo. No consideration was made to determine if a professional photographer was controlling the camera. Most likely if the data represented photos taken by a professional photographer, not just an image taken with a professional camera, the benefits would be even more significant.
3. How many more clicks do professional real estate photos receive?
Using professional real estate photos can draw more attention to your listings and result in more leads by potential buyers. Through our own research, we have consistently found listings that utilized professional real estate photos generated an average 139% increase in clicks compared to similar listings in closely located zip codes.
We realize that more click-throughs don’t necessarily lead to more sales, but reaching more buyers with your listing betters your chance of finding the right buyer.
4. Should a realtor always opt for professional real estate photography?
If you are listing a home in a higher price bracket, you need to use professional photos to match the rest of your competition. If you are listing in a price bracket with little professional photography being used, take advantage and stick out from the competition by embracing professional photography.
5. Professional photography should be part of your real brand.
As a realtor, you may have to compete with your competition to obtain listings. Professional photography is an excellent way of improving your portfolio when meeting with potential sellers. If a seller has to choose between a realtor that uses professional photography versus a realtor that uses a point-and-shoot, they are more likely to go with the realtor that uses professional photography. A home is a significant investment, and they want it marketed to the best of your ability. Using professional photography, you are solidifying your marketing and showing the seller you mean business.
6. Hiring a professional real estate photographer to handle your photos can save you both time and stress.
Taking photos takes time. As a realtor, you have to drive to the property and go room by room taking photos. Unfortunately, the work does not stop there. You have to pull the images off your camera and place them onto your computer to upload them to the MLS. Sometimes this can be a stressful and time-consuming process. If you happened to take a blurry photo, you have to decide to discard it or go back to the property to retake the shot.
A professional photographer will not only take the photos, but they will re-size them, do any necessary color correction and deliver them to you over email or through their website. All you need to do is download the image files and upload to the MLS.
Some shots also benefit from tools that real estate photographers carry with them, such as tripods for higher shots or HDR images.
7. A professional real estate photographer might be your best all-around marketing teammate.
A well rounded professional real estate photographer might also be able to help you with additional marketing needs and material. Ask if they can help you print brochures or fliers. Having them design and print marketing materials gives you a unique product to represent your listing, allows you to spend your time on something more essential, and guarantees the photos you paid for are going to be crystal clear on your print materials.
It is also important for sellers to know you use a professional photographer. Ask them to give you brochures that showcase their work and show examples of their photos. Include a brochure in your marketing materials and leave it with the buyer so they can see the excellent product you are about to deliver if they choose you as their realtor.
Think outside the box and take your business to the next level. Ask your photographer if they shoot video. 79% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a realtor offering to do video, yet only 12% of the real estate industry currently have YouTube accounts. Video is a powerful tool and can act as the first walk-through for a buyer. If they call to view the property, you know they are serious and interested in the property.