The age old argument for a vendor goes something like this:
“Are professional photos of my property really that important? Will it really help to sell my property?”
Selling your home can be a costly exercise and with an average of 15 “in-between” services, hiring a professional photographer is just one more expense right? Why use a professional photographer for real estate when you can DIY the job?
According to research and experience, professional photography for your property can translate into tangible benefits and more dollar bills. Let me explain why.
The way people purchase properties has changed
This crazy thing we call the internet has the power to deliver a plethora of content directly to you in a matter of seconds – and it’s changed the way we buy, sell, research and make those big life decisions.
Over 88% of prospective buyers turn online for their property purchase.
Taking into consideration that over 88% of prospective buyers turn online for their next property purchase, the first point of contact that a buyer will have with your property is through its images. Therefore, creating the right perception of your property among prospects is crucial in preparing your property for sale.
This reality of today’s property market shapes the whole ‘professional v.s DIY’ argument – let’s delve deeper into why DIY photography can end up costing you far more than just a couple of hundred dollars for a professional service.
We’ve seen a rise in popularity of smartphones that have the capability to take amazing photos. However, the convenient access to tool capable of amazing photos doesn’t turn us all into amazing photographers.
Being a professional photographer isn’t a skill that’s learnt overnight. It requires both experience and the eye to position ourselves in the shoes of the buyer, in order to capture emotionally compelling imagery that will ultimately lead to a sale.
As the CEO and founder of a company called Real Property Photography I have seen far too many beautiful properties passed up by prospective home buyers purely due to their lack of visual appeal.
Preparing your property for sale, so it gets noticed
Truth be told, going the DIY route may cost yourself and your vendors perhaps thousands or even tens of thousand off their potential sale value.
Eight seconds is the maximum amount of time that you have to capture the interest of a prospective buyer.
It seems like a pretty short amount of time right? Not necessarily. In the span of eight seconds, that prospective buyer has seen your photos, read the header line and has already made the decision to keep scrolling or to look further into your listing. With such a small time frame, poor imagery risks the opportunity of a greater sale price and passing up the opportunity to create greater interest for your property.
Your listing must first engage that prospective buyer and prompt them to take further action, generally through an open home or inspection. The emotional connection must first be transmitted through your photos – this is just how important great photos are!
Undoubtedly, the passionate, experienced local agents out there are almost super-heroes. They employ incredible people skills, work extremely long hours, and connect with a wide audience to create incredible viewings and open home experiences. Quality photographs that echo the true value of a property are the essential first touch for drawing in potential buyers.
Examining the difference: how professionals nail picture-perfect photography
Buyers are rightfully picky and the smallest of imperfections can be enough to turn away off, so having an eye for what details should be captured and displayed in images is of extreme importance.
A professional photographer will ultimately position themselves in the shoes of a prospective buyer. They’re an enormous asset when preparing property for sale.
The mark of a good professional real estate photographer is often seen through how they:
Factor in the preparation and styling of the home.
Moving, removing and basic styling a property are all things that your professional photographer should take into account prior to even getting their camera out of the bag. This ensures that what will reach the public as the first point of contact is used to draw in your prospective buyer through emotion.
Believe it or not, even things like personal photos can be a deterrent to viewers, hence why professional staging or virtually staging a property is highly regarded as one of the greatest ways to create ‘sale’ appeal – buyers are able to clearly vision themselves in the property without the distraction of personal items and furniture belonging to the current occupant.
Factor in time of day, lighting and composition.
Whilst ‘pro-sumer’ photography equipment has become more attainable than ever, it’s not always the type of equipment that you or your agent may have lying around. Typically used by real estate photography professionals, is a wide-angle lens used to showcase ‘space’ and also to portray the liveability of a property through imagery.
Treat the process of retouching while staying true to the subject.
Photos should also then go through a retouching process, allowing you to fully unlock the potential of the property’s appeal, without misrepresenting the property. Additional services such as digital de-cluttering are all fantastic ways to increase your listings click rate, while also helping to get the viewer engaged in your listing.
Over to you
Today, we are now more visual than ever and content is all around us. Whilst photo and video content remains some of the strongest, the way in which it's delivered has evolved dramatically, creating a shift in the way we make purchasing decisions. Real estate is certainly no exception to this.
So whether you’re a ready-to-sell homeowner considering DIY, or an agent communicating with a vendor who’s asking “why use a professional photographer for real estate”, then picture your viewer scrolling right past your listing. Think of yourself and how you would feel when looking for your next property. I can tell you right now from personal experience that any listings with visually unappealing images – whether it be rentals or sales – are too often ignored. After all, you have just eight seconds to leave an impression.