Why don't builders make better use of photo galleries?

By
Real Estate Services with Referral Builder LLC dba URBaCS
http://actvra.in/g9

Why don't builders make better use of photo galleries?

 

Each year Builder magazine does its top 100 list. Last week while going through the list, I visited the website of the top 15 builders. What I found, is that it is very hard to find a picture gallery of their homes. 

Over 78% of home buyers will visit a builders website before they visit the model home. We also know that the model home is one of the best selling tools in a builders arsenal. Make a quick visit to the Flickr or Picasa websites and you will see how popular posting photos on line has become. 

Some of the builders websites have nicly produced videos of a few of their homes. This is helpful, but still lacks the full benefit of a large photo gallery. There is something compelling about a "next" button that pushes us to click to see what the next picture is going to be. 

 

Here is an example of two photo galleries;

 

Centex photo gallery

Estridge photo gallery

Which of the two of these is more compelling as a sales tool? Centex has a nice slide show. No titles, descriptions or tags. Estridge has titles so buyers know which home they are looking at, tags so the pictures are easy to find by category, and descriptions so they increase page rankings by search engine's.  

 

The technology is available. Realtors have found the benefit of adding pictures to their listings. So I ask again... Why don't more builders make better use of photo galleries?

 

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Anonymous #1
Anonymous
Tish Addington

Hi Rob, I couldn't agree with you more. When I was a sales and marketing gal with a builder, the fact is that with the financial pinch the industry is going thru, there is just no money for professional photography. They don't want you to take amature photos either. I actually worked out a trade one time with a photography class to hold one of their classes in our model complex in exchange for professional photograph of some of our homes.  Its crazy to turn all your advertising to the internet and then not have photos! I am now working in the resale industry and I've got to say that pure laziness keeps agents from posting multiple photos on thier listings. Some people just don't get what marketing is all about.

May 26, 2009 08:46 AM
Rainmaker
971,016
Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

You know, Rob, you can take great photos if you have a good camera and flash - they don't have to be professionally paid to be professional quality if there is a talented person working for them. We take beautiful photos all the time. You just have to have a wide angle lens, SLR camera and flash w/ diffuser. You can get all that for under $800. Surely a builder could afford that to have their photos all over the internet to attract buyers.

Estridge has it over Centex hands down. Would love to have this capability to email individual photos of our listings. Great idea!

Sharon

May 26, 2009 06:20 PM
Rainer
50,794
Rich Rogala
Real Estate Marketing Coach
Consistent Clients

This is so true - it's a shame to see companies that don't realize their potential when marketing online, especially when they have a great product. So many people start their search online for nearly everything, you just have to have a solid presence.

May 26, 2009 10:01 PM
Rainer
12,515
Rob Wagoner
Referral Builder LLC dba URBaCS
Sharon, Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed looking at all the great pictures you have on your website. It is great to see that you have the ability to label your pictures. We have found that just by giving pictures a title and a description, it improves the search optimization of the entire website. Your website looks great. Good selling Rob
May 27, 2009 05:52 AM
Rainmaker
971,016
Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Thanks, Rob. It's very time intensive but the rewards will pay off in the long run.

Sharon

May 27, 2009 08:40 AM
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Rainer
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Rob Wagoner

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Additional Information

Just some random thoughts from the new home building side of the house