Marketing: Are photos really necessary?

By
Real Estate Services with StoneHome Photo & Video

By this point, I'm sure we've all heard it countless times: "98% of homebuyers who searched for a home on the Internet found photos to be among the most useful features of REALTOR® websites, according to the 2008 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers." (source: http://www.realtor.org/library/library/fg903)

But beyond the fact, what does that statistic tell you?

Think about it.

After the initial "I'm not surprised", you might think, "Hold on--if 98% of homebuyers find photos to be among the most useful feature in their search, why would they find MY photos--my listing--any more useful than another agents listings? How are my photos any better than the thousands of others out there? And, ultimately, why would a prospective home buyer buy my property?"

And that's what you should be thinking.

How are you differentiating yourself from the 30+ thousand realtors in and around the GTA? If you are snapping your own photos, do you really thinking that the thousands of potential buyers are going to stop at your listing when they see it? If the photos are cheaply made, your property better be cheap as well because people unfortunately judge first visually. 

First impressions count--don't take chances with them. For under $100, you can have professional looking photos of your listing that WILL be seen by your customers. Hiring someone to shoot your photos professionally will also save you the time it takes to travel to the property, shoot it with proper lighting and composition, drive back, upload, edit, export to MLS size, email your admin and have them post to your listing. We also provide a complimentary web gallery for you to share with your clients. This not only impresses your clients and prospects, but also makes you look more professional.

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Stone Home Photo + Video is a real estate photography and videography company serving the Toronto and GTA real estate community. We offer: Property photos, HD video tours, MLS photos, Virtual tours, Panoramas, High-resolution photo, Head shots/portraits, Feature sheets, Brochures, Fliers, & general Real estate marketing.  

Email us. Call us (416) 488-3295. Follow us: Twitter  LinkedIn YouTube

 

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Ontario York Region
Groups:
Active Toronto
Live Toronto Live
Mississauga. Erin Mills. Eagle Ridge
Ontario Real Estate and Information
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Tags:
marketing
real estate
photos
video
toronto
ontario
media

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Rainer
32,552
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video

@Jean: Next time I'm buying in upstate South Carolina, I'll give you a call.  ;)

@Yvette and Dennis: So far I'm liking it.

@Omaha: Thanks for the tips Troy.

September 13, 2009 08:45 AM
Rainmaker
215,882
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.

Peter, It looks like you took the Active part of AR seriously.  Good posts.  I think the most important part of the process is the editing.  The other is when an agent takes a pic of a room, shooting out to the light outdoors.  This makes the interior so dark.  If you prefocus you can meter the interior and the light will be adjusted in the room. I don't think enough agents know how to do this, from all the dark photos I see on MLS. 

October 04, 2009 03:40 PM
Rainer
32,552
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video

Hi Marcia: Thanks. Unfortunately for many, metering is an alien concept. I think that most people expect their cameras to magically determine a proper exposure in any given situation. And while many times the auto setting does an OK job, there are times, for instance like your example when shooting from dark to bright areas, that the camera does not know what to do and so relies on the operator to make that choice. Yes, one tip amongst many is to learn how to meter your scene properly. But, again, that is just one factor.

October 04, 2009 07:38 PM
Rainer
106,684
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design ~ www.homestagingdesign.ca

Excellent post. We always tell our clients that the photos of their home online need to showcase their home so that buyers who are shopping online will be motivated to make an appointment to see it.

Here are some things we tell our clients:

1) Ensure the home is staged prior to pictures so that each space shows beautifully and get a professional photographer to take the shots - by using pros you ensure that the finished product looks great

2) Make the beds, put away the laundry, take all the everyday "stuff" off countertops and table tops

3) Toilet seats should be DOWN

4) Blinds up, drapes open - make each room look airy and bright

5) Don't let anyone get photographed in the pictures

6) Don't just show pictures of the yard!

7) Be choosy with which pictures go online - main floors and bedrooms are critical - if there is one room in the house which either wasn't ready for photographs or didn't photograph well then don't put it online

You only have between 5 - 10 seconds to make an impression on someone online. They shop fast and are brutal in their selections. To get a "first date" you need to make a great impression!

November 19, 2009 10:39 PM
Rainer
32,552
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video

Great points, Heather. I agree with all your points. I typically tell my clients to clear absolutely everything from kitchen and bathroom counters, but beyond that I leave it up to them. Yes, before I knew better, I made the mistake of photographing a washroom with the toilet seat up. I was very embarrassed and I was ready to return without charge just to reshoot the bathroom. :)  I used to have a list such as yours to give to clients. Maybe it's time they to implement another. 

By the way, I also do portfolio shoot of staging work. ;)

November 20, 2009 07:33 AM
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Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video

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Additional Information

Stone Home Photo + Video is a Toronto based real estate photo and video marketing company focused on serving Toronto and area real estate professionals.