A picture is worth a thousand words – or at least between $1000 – $18,000…

Home in Greenacres Scarsdale NY
Photography and your listing…..
February 20, 2013
130 Hillside Ave - Mount Vernon NY
2 Family Home For Sale in Vernon Park – 130 Hillside Ave – Mount Vernon NY
March 9, 2013

This is a topic that I have brought up in the past.  In 2010 Redfin did a study that got a lot of people riled up.  It was about the impact of professional photography on home sales.  I think it riled up agents and brokers because at the height of the housing recession, the last thing they wanted to hear was that they needed to fork up precious marketing dollars for professional photography.

Real Estate Photography Matters!

However, let’s be honest here:  the study was pretty much stating the obvious.  It was something that I had intuitively known for several years and had been preparing for.  The internet changed everything.   Eye candy was ruling the day and fine photography  had become the centerpiece of any smart agent’s marketing plan.  That agents were slow to respond is understandable.  They had been doing Poleroid shots, followed by point-and-shoot for years.  What they were underestimating was how much buyers were letting their fingers do the walking online.  With thousands of listing photos online, buyers were eliminating inventory before even leaving the home or contacting an agent.

The Argument Over Data…..

Agents argued the validity of the data.  I personally have never been a big Redfin fan, but in this case they had really tried to find a way to measure something that was very difficult to quantify. The method was somewhat indirect.  They had to quantify the use of professional photography by the use of camera type.

So the naysayers  argued that you couldn’t tell who was doing the shooting. A rank amateur could be shooting with a $1000- $3500 DSLR camera body.   That’s true. However, in that case the study may be underestimating the impact of the professionals.  Granted, many people with DSLRs do not know how to use them.   I can easily see a well-heeled agent with no knowledge of photography heading out with a Rolls Royce camera and doing a very ho-hum, or even terrible job of it.   On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that a professional would ever show up to a shoot for which they are being paid with a point-and-shoot camera!  I simply can’t imagine that at all.   So its fair to assume a very much larger percentage of the point-and-shoot photos were done by agents or other amateurs, than DSLR shooting by professionals.

The above scenario means that the impact of true professional photography is even greater than the study indicates. Lending credence to that fact is that the higher you go price-wise with respect to listings, the bigger the payoff percentage-wise.  It could be that its because the higher the price-point, the more likely an agent is to outsource the photography to a professional – even if they happen to own a DSLR. 

Its simple math…

Buyers are letting their fingers do the walking online.  They are eliminating homes before stepping outside the door!

  • Good photos = more showings for your home. 
  • More showings = more eyeballs
  • More eyeballs = more offers
  • More offers = a better price

Agents who are also pro-photographers do offer an edge…

Now there are agents who are also professional photographers.  I am such an agent…and am employed by other agents to photograph their listings.  As such, I can offer a distinct advantage for my sellers.   It means I can do the following:

  • Marketing $$$ that would  be spent on photography can be allocated elsewhere to improve the home’s exposure. 
  • Agents who are photographers can offer  “extras” like twilight photography and extra slide shows for free.  
  • Agents will hire a photographer to come in once  and only once.  Agents who are professional photographers can  tweak the listing photos when needed.  For example, if you list on a snowy day in March, I can come back in April and change out the photos.  If you decide to add new appliances in your kitchen, I can come back and change out the photos so the new appliances shine in the listing. 

Infographic Courtesy of RuxtaRealty.com  

© 2013 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – https://thewestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.










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