Posted by Mel | Wednesday July 7th, 2010
While doing some research on how to reach more potential clients, I ran across some interesting internet search statistics. In the last 30 days, 90,500 people in and around Columbus have searched for keywords like “to sell house” or “house for selling” or even “sell house prayer”, not to mention the big hitters like “home sale”, which had over 20 million hits in the Columbus area alone last month. It’s obvious that people are searching for ways to differentiate their homes from the thousands of others available in this saturated market. Who doesn’t know someone who’s got a home for sale right now?
According to a 2008 NAR survey, 87% of home buyers use the internet to research their next home purchase. Of the buyers who used the internet, those surveyed rated photos as the single most useful element in their search for a home.
Being in the photo business, it was inevitable that a couple of our family photography clients would eventually approach us about doing real estate work for them. In the interest of serving our customers better, I started researching real estate photography around the country. One of the things I found was a fantastic article by Gar Benedick of RIS Media which explores some the reasons that real estate photos hold high value (at a very reasonable price) in the marketing of your home.
The photograph is almost always the first element in any ad that connects with the buyer. It is the handshake, the first impression, the thing that cuts through the visual clutter to capture the buyer’s attention. Everything in the marketing campaign to sell your home relies on the quantity and quality of the photographs of your home. Photographs are needed for the MLS listing on the web and in print, a website, brochures, flyers, photoboards, newspaper ads, possible magazine articles, real estate preview guides, blogs, etc. Many times, buyers will decide if they will visit a home, and agents will decide if they will show a property based on the strength (or weakness) of the photos accompanying a listing. Quality photos can and do make a difference, a big difference.
Additionally, Benedick examines the research findings on the specific impact photos have on listing traffic, days on market, and final selling price.
Point2 (point2.com) conducted a study monitoring listings over a 30-day period which clearly showed that properties which featured just one photo generated approximately five views and 1.37 leads, while listings displaying 21 or more images received over 77 views and close to 11 leads. Clearly, the listings that added 20+ photos generated nearly 10 times the number of leads and over 15 times the number of views. Another study relating to the number of photos a listing posts compares photos to the number of Days on Market (DOM). The findings show that listings with more photos sold faster.
Keep in mind that none of this data speaks to the quality of the photographs, and in most cases, the realtor is the one behind the digital point-and-shoot snapping the pictures and uploading them to the listing site. However, Benedick goes on to write,
Good quality real estate photographs are difficult to achieve and it should be clear that a real estate agent can’t be expected to have professional photographic skills. Agents should, however be able to recognize the difference between good and poor photos and refrain from posting poor photos where prospective buyers will see them. With that in mind, it is amazing to find all the substandard photos, which agents and sellers seem to be willing to accept when it comes to posting photos of your property to the MLS listings and into some of the advertising.
We couldn’t agree more. Our real estate clients saw an immediate and obvious upswing in traffic to their property in the first week that our photos were added to their listing, even when there had been realtor-taken photos with the listing before.
Interested in reading Benedick’s entire article? You can find it here.
Or click here for more information on having LightSwitch photograph your home.