Pro Photographers Understand How to Market Their Work, So Why Don't Realtors Get it?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes
http://actvra.in/yRF

 

Pro Photographers Understand How to Market Their Work, So Why Don't Realtors Get it?

 

Take a moment and visit the Photoshelter website, created for photographers who want to market and sell their work on the Web.  Photoshelter has great SEO and is one of the best-known photography websites out there.

Take a look at a couple of Photoshelter templates (both courtesy of Graph Paper Press and Photoshelter):

GraphPaperPress - Widescreen

 

Photo Workshop - Graph Paper Press

These Wordpress templates are clean, innovative and bold.  With big full-screen photo slideshows and simple navigation toolbars, the sites are remarkably uncluttered.

Compare these striking websites to some of the absoutely awful-looking agent and company sites out there. 

What's the difference?

Photographers know what they're selling.  They know you can't sell everything at once.  You can't sell your property inventory, your company and yourself, all on the same page, without making lots of compromises. 

Too many agent/company sites are copy-heavy, cluttered and look like a badly-made patchwork quilt of logos, blurred thumbnail photos and innumerable links.  They tend to require a lot of scrolling and upon entering the site, the viewer is forced to hunt all over the page for navigation and access to what they came to see in the first place.

Buyers don't come to your website to see a gigantic agent photo, nor do they visit your site to read all about your company history or your own biography. 

You have only a few seconds to draw a visitor into your site.  If the visitor has to run through a maze in order to get to the cheese, you've lost them.  Game over.

IN CONCLUSION:

Make your website look bold, clean and to the point.  Draw visitors in with striking, full-screen photos and simple navigation and you'll stand apart from the crowd.

 

 

 

Posted by

Contact Broker Eric Kodner with Wayzata Lakes Realty about Minneapolis & Saint Paul area properties, including Lake Minnetonka, Edina and the Minneapolis City Lakes area (Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet). We also sell on the Saint Croix River and on Lake Superior, including Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island homes.  With fourteen years experience marketing and selling waterfront properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we know Lake Minnetonka and Madeline Island real estate.

Wayzata Lakes Realty LLC (Minnesota) and Madeline Island Realty LLC (Wisconsin)

Real Estate Brokerage licensed in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539

EMKodner@Gmail.com  or

MadelineIsland@Gmail.com

Wayzata Lakes Realty

 

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 10/31/2011 05:29 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Groups:
Photography, Advanced
Photography
Tags:
graph paper press
photoshelter

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
570,050
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Eric,  You're preaching to the choir on this one.  Stunning pics !

Oct 31, 2011 12:43 PM #21
Rainmaker
187,626
Lyn Sims and the Blog Dog
Bartlett IL Real Estate & Homes - RE/MAX Suburban - Bartlett, IL

Well I'll agree that agents need to take better photos as the photos themselves 'drawn in' the buyers. Great shots = hits.  But ..... as to your presentation, you only have one thing to offer there. If it's not appealing to that one buyer then what? 

I think the vid on the right is too big & too over done. Kind of like socks you in the eye instead of your blog being the attention getter. 

I'm not going to agree that ALL template style sites are trash & can't attract buyers. I can prove otherwise with a few compadres in my area.  Buyers want search first, then great photos once they are there.  Don't put the cart before the horse.

 

Oct 31, 2011 01:16 PM #22
Rainmaker
339,089
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

Evelyn - Professional photography is good.  I have seen some work done by professional photographers hired by a company that was done in a hurry and which looked less appealing than one would expect.  Agents who want their photos to make a difference would be wise to take time to re-evaluate their Web presence from a visual and design perspective.

Valerie, I see the same "look" in templated agent websites that they were using twenty years ago.  A big agent headshot, a couple column inches of phone numbers, email and web addresses, some slogans, a company logo..all accompanied by a handful of tiny thumbnails and one enlarged photo, maybe 3 x 5 inches in size.  These sites have a predictable, cookie-cutter look to them.  They waste space with big borders, banners at the top of the page and page footers that are choked with ego-oriented "fine print".  And there are tens of thousands of them floating around in cyberspace.  To the public, these sites are nerve gas.

Bill, glad you approve!

Oct 31, 2011 01:28 PM #23
Rainmaker
66,555
Steve Roake
Nextage Realty Solutions - Plainfield, IL

good advice.  pictures are critical to getting attention

Oct 31, 2011 01:37 PM #24
Rainmaker
339,089
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

Lyn, what you're viewing in my examples above are screen shots, not the actual sites.

The sites make use of slide shows and virtual tours, with a variety of photos, not a single image.  It is possible to run multiple property views in such a slide show and take home page viewers through perhaps a dozen listings that way.  If they click on a photo, they can be redirected to a virtual tour of that particular property.  So your statement "you have only one thing to offer there" is incorrect.

The "vid on the right" has sold homes for me over and over again, primarily because of its size.  Yes, it does "sock you in they eye".  It's intended to do precisely that.  A blog is an article and there are a great many website and blog visitors who are not agents, visitors who come to our blogs and websites to look at properties.  If they wish to take the time to read my blog, I'm delighted.  But I'd much rather they'd look at my listings.  That's why I'm here in the first place.

I didn't write that "all template style sites are trash & can't attract buyers" in my post.  What I did express above is that many one size fits all real estate templates are out-of-date, lack imagination and style and are generally not designed to attract and hold the interest of site visitors. Drawing visitors into your site and keeping them there is far from "putting the cart before the horse".

Buyers won't even stick around long enough to "search first" if they have to hunt all over the homepage in order to do so.  They also won't bother to use the site's search capability if the thumbnails they are peering at are so small that the viewer cannot tell whether they are looking at a photo of a kitchen or a gazebo.

 

Oct 31, 2011 01:45 PM #25
Rainmaker
679,519
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

I agree that most websites for real estate professionals are "junked up" with WAY too much distracting clutter!  Especially if it's on the home page, buyers can't find a restful place for their eyes to rest ... and they leave.  I much prefer a site that is simple and more tailored looking.

Oct 31, 2011 02:26 PM #26
Ambassador
1,294,888
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I like clean and uncluttered which is why I don't have a templated site. I have a custom built one. And I"m redoing it again right now to make it even sleeker

 

Oct 31, 2011 07:36 PM #27
Ambassador
1,321,650
Tammie White
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN, South of Nashville

While I'm not particularly fond of template sites, they do provide a reasonably priced option.

 

Oct 31, 2011 11:07 PM #28
Rainmaker
298,269
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

I'm a Photoshelter fan for the reasons you stated. It's a great place for ideas and inspiration...quality photography is an art, and it is a shame when it's lost among the clutter of thumbnails and links!

Nov 01, 2011 07:13 AM #29
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Steve, thank you.

Maureen - I see agent sites with forty lines of their own resume on the homepage and maybe a handful of tiny thumbnail photos that tell the site visitor nothing about those properties and do nothing to invite further curiosity about them.  I also see agent sites that are choked with company hype (somehow I doubt that site visitors come to an agent site to watch a rah-rah video claiming that all XYZ company agents are "experts"). These canned Web solutions are still in use by unimaginative agents and their companies who have decided their templated site looks and works "good enough". 

Nov 01, 2011 12:32 PM #30
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Erica, as you can tell from what I posted here, I dislike most site templates.  The Graph Paper Press templates are an exception.  And there is some great stuff being produced by UltraSavvyAgent right now, although most of their demos are single-property websites (I believe they will adapt a single property template to use as an agent site).  Custom is great, but I understand that some agents find them too expensive.

A custom site also requires (1) that the designer has some design skills, and not just SEO or code writing skills, and (2) that the purchaser of a custom site has some idea of what they wish to accomplish.  Without both of those requirements, one is probably better off with a template.

Nov 01, 2011 12:39 PM #31
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Tammie - I agree that a templated site may be the best option for many agents.  That doesn't mean that companies which market these templated sites couldn't do a much better job.  Just because a site is templated shouldn't mean that it should look mediocre or out of date.

Nov 01, 2011 12:41 PM #32
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Charlie, it's great to run into a Photoshelter fan on ActiveRain!  I went searching for something like Photoshelter because I became tired of photo sites that didn't offer decent SEO and didn't present photos in large format. 

You hit the nail squarely on the head.  Photography is art and that artistry is essential if you're going to present architectural or real estate photographs to their best advantage.

Nov 01, 2011 12:46 PM #33
Rainer
421,810
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

I will definitely check this out. I too am drawn to clean websites and tend to avoid too much clutter.  Nice post. Thanks,

Nov 01, 2011 01:36 PM #34
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Peggy, thank you.  These simple but elegant widescreen websites are a refreshing change from the kind of site design that has dominated our industry for decades.

Nov 01, 2011 11:35 PM #35
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Russel - I'll have to check it out.  Thanks for the link!

Nov 03, 2011 11:49 PM #36
Rainer
62,369
John Wingate
EXIT Shore Realty - Salisbury, MD
Salisbury MD Real Estate, 302.339.5185, Salisbury, MD Homes

Being professional is what all business minded people do. The photos are awesome and with the technology today even not so good photographers can make their pictures look like a million dollars.

This is what I woke up to in SAlisbury, MD yesterday.

 

Nov 05, 2011 09:32 AM #37
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

John - Exactly. With the photography tools that are available to real estate professionals today, there's no excuse for bad marketing or so-so photography.

Nov 05, 2011 10:22 AM #38
Rainer
57,445
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Thanks Eric, I have already bookmarked this post. There's no use of having great photos if we can't display them corectly.

May 02, 2012 08:55 PM #39
Rainmaker
391,045
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Wayne - I like Photoshelter, but there are other options for displaying large, dramatic photos, such as the single-property sites available from UltraSavvyAgent.com.

Photoshelter was designed for professionals who hope to sell their photographs.  I simply adapted a Photoshelter site to allow the display of some of my listing photos.

.

 

May 05, 2012 08:28 AM #40
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
339,089

Eric Kodner

Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
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