How Important Is Real Estate Photography, Really?
Some Realtors think that quality real estate photography is unnecessary in today’s hot market, such as on Vancouver Island. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s why.
Respect and Integrity
Photos taken with a smartphone or tablet show little respect to prospective buyers and, certainly, the seller is entitled to better representation for their investment. Smartphone pictures are helpful to send a quick, specific photo from agent to buyer for some clarification, but they don’t have the same impact for the overall presentation as high-quality, truthful images expertly crafted by an experienced real estate photographer. Clear, sharp, properly lit photos that accurately display the property enhance the integrity of the listing.
Quality Photos Mean More Buyers
There’s no point in having only one buyer when multiple offers are possible. The greater the impact the photos have, the more buyers express interest. If a picture is worth a thousand words, high quality, professional images have immense value in marketing power.
Professionalism and Pride
High quality, properly lit, accurate photographs indicate the strong professionalism of the Realtor as well as a pride in the property from the current owner. Every listing is worthy of quality images.
Photos of the property are the “curb appeal” in today’s market. In most cases, the first impression the prospective purchaser has is the MLS listing sent by a Realtor. If the photos don’t impress immediately, the buyer will move on to the next listing. I reiterate. Ensure they are high quality, accurate, honest, properly lit and exposed.
Include photos of the lesser-talked about qualities of the listing in an online virtual tour. Show the new heat pump, the exquisite detail in the handrail, a close-up of the wrought iron gate or elaborate vanity taps.
Preparation and Staging
Photos of the property are designed to inform and attract buyers. As noted earlier, I’m a proponent of honesty, accuracy and integrity in the photographic depiction of a listing. Make sure the property is properly prepared, staged and that an appropriate amount of time is afforded to the photographer. The photography must be given priority in preparing the listing.
Keep in mind that the investment for professional photographs doesn’t only benefit the seller. It’s a long-term investment for the Realtor that provides substantial return.
As the listing agent, great photography helps develop your reputation for professionalism and excellence. By doing so, more listings will come your way. Offering the best in photographs of properties helps cultivate that distinction and is a great closing feature when discussing the listing with prospective sellers.
Another major consideration is the realization that nothing lasts forever. The market will cool at times. Realtors that take the time to impress today will be those who continue to attract clients when things are slower.
So, to answer the question, “How Important Is Real Estate Photography, Really?” I suggest it’s paramount to success, both for today and the future.
Norm Hamilton is a Real Estate photographer on Vancouver Island.