Real Estate Photography: Worth The Expense?

Whether it’s a single-family home, an apartment, or a luxury property, the visual of the listing is what usually draws in potential buyers. It also makes the realtor’s job much easier.

A great photo creates a strong emotional response. The buyers can imagine the property as their future home, rather than just another listing. And this is one of the driving forces behind successful sales.

From the point of view of a buyer, there’s nothing more disappointing than to find a listing with the perfect location, the right price, and all desired features, only to find blurry photos, or worse, no photos at all.

For the seller, this might result in longer selling times, adding unnecessary pressure and frustration.

To See Is To Believe

A quick online research into the topic of real estate photography comes back with a unanimous verdict. In today’s fast-moving and digital sales environment, a well-executed and strong visual is a must.

Buyers now use an array of devices and digital platforms to click through the numerous listings, and realtors mindful of this not only create a lasting impression for the buyer, but also potentially secure a returning client.

A great visual is more likely to draw the buyers’ attention, build and retain interest in the listing, and result in a faster sale and higher asking price. Yet, only a third of all realtors hire a professional photographer for their listings.

On a side note, more clicks on a listing does not always equal more sales. However, it is a good indicator that potential buyers are interested in the property and more viewings of the listing will result in finding the right buyer and building a realtor’s professional reputation.

Competition, Branding, and Efficient Time Management

Real estate is a popular career choice, which leads to an increased amount of competition. Being a realtor in the 21st century means to create a brand for yourself and promote it. High definition photography is one way for realtors to brand themselves as professionals passionate for what they do and working hard for their clients.

And for those new to the world of listings, what better way to invest resources than great visuals to add to a realtor’s growing portfolio.

As a realtor, your weekly schedule is packed with viewings, phone calls, paper work, and so much more. With such a busy schedule, taking and editing your own photos can take a great deal of time and add stress.

If you happen to be a realtor with amazing photography skills and professional equipment, and can manage to put time aside for editing, go for it. A realtor is often a Jack of all trades and to have a strong knowledge of the visual medium is a definite benefit in the field.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Look at the example below, from The Inman Files. The photo on the left is taken by a photographer who charged $500 for the shoot, the shoot on the right cost $2,500, excluding the staging.

Staggering difference, isn’t it? The same room, yet the effect of right lighting, composition, angle, and post-production make the listing either look bland or stand out.

The photo to the right is most likely to evoke an emotional response from the potential buyers and result in a fast and successful sale. As the article correctly notes, ”a potential homebuyer will not be thinking about why they love a photo; they will only know they love it,” and that they love their future home.

As for advice on how to select the right real estate photographer, do your research on local photographers and their work, and inquire with realtors.

Keep in mind: paying more for photos does not always mean better quality, but great quality photos won’t be cheap.

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