Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Importance of Property Photos When Selling - Part 1

  In a prior post I ranted about REALTOR® photos and how unnecessary I felt they were from both a business branding perspective but more importantly they serve no real purpose in serving buyer and seller clients. The flip side of this argument is property photos and how important they have become in the marketing and sale of homes and other forms of real estate.

  When I started in real estate 15+ years ago, our MLS® system at the time allowed for a maximum of three photos with each listing.  Those were back in the days when a paper MLS® catalog was still in use by most agents and an Internet based MLS® system was gaining momentum. Subsequently the number of photos was expanded to nine then it jumped to thirty.  Thirty photos is not bad especially when a virtual tour can also be posted to a listing highlighting details of the property even further. As of this posting we are in the final stage of moving to an entirely new MLS® platform which has the capability of holding fifty photos per listing and photos can also be labelled.

Photos often make or break whether a consumer gives serious thought to a particular listing and or actually go to see the property first hand. Not only are the number of photos  important but also the quality. A recent study in the U.S. showed that listings with professional photos got on average 61% more views, yet many REALTORS® seemed more preoccupied with their personal photo versus those for their listing(s) which after all is where the money in this business is made. I know myself that when I go on a listing and see a lack of photos especially of the interior, right away I am suspect of how the property shows in person and typically it's poorly. The more ambitious and astute REALTORS are not only leveraging photos in their listings but they are talking it one step further on social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and others.

  Every house tells a story and photographs play a big role in conveying that story.  Both quality and the quantity of photos comes into play yet too often these are ignored.  Today there is no excuse for poor quality pictures or a lack thereof other than REALTOR® laziness.  Newer smartphones and tablets take good quality photos including panoramas.  Personally I use a Canon DSLR camera, often with a wide angle lens which does a better job of capturing an interior room without any distortion.  In addition a separate flash is a must and often a tripod.  My photo arsenal also includes drone shots which I have had done by a fully licensed and insured professional.  I do own my own drone which I have flown extensively for recreational use but until such time as I am licensed, I am not going to break Transport Canada rules.

  In my next post I will comment on photo quality.  In the meantime, for those of you that may be thinking of selling and are interviewing prospective REALTORS®, make a point of asking them about their use of photos in the listing.  Next to the correct list price, photos are the next most important aspect of successfully marketing your home or other property.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.