In today’s competitive markets, it is more important than ever to make your real estate listings “stand out” from the crowd. Over 85% of buyers are now using the Internet to search for that home or property of their dreams. Whether you are an agent, a broker, or developer, quality real estate photography is quickly becoming one of our most important marketing tools.
As a new start-up in the real estate photography business, one person can a lot of the “heavy lifting” for their clients. By teaming with a web-based platform, you can now take professional quality photographs of property listings, and have the flexibility to offer different levels (or bundles) of services to your clients. This takes work flow to a whole new level of convenience without sacrificing quality.
Let’s face it – a lot of real estate listing photos are taken by amateurs with their point-and-shoot cameras. You’ve all seen them. And perhaps that’s your chosen method of marketing your properties. What sets the “pros” apart from the others is not only great images, but the ability to utilize an agency’s own “branding” in their virtual tours for a very reasonable cost (typically under $20). With unlimited high definition photographs, support for panoramas, and agent-specific branding, the web-based virtual tour platform offers the budding real estate photographer a fast and simple method to create and host quality real estate listings for the industry.
In addition, a self service client panel allows your customers to download images in multiple sizes (email to prospective buyers, use in print ads), edit names and descriptions (“ceramic tile throughout”), rearrange slide show wedding photo editing images, access live statistics, set up RSS feeds, and more. Clients enjoy syndication features which makes their virtual tours compliant with MLS and other major real estate portals and automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some virtual tour hosts even supports voice-over narrations and the ability to add your own music to slide-shows. How cool is that?
Gone are the days when an agent or broker can just snap a few photos and upload to their realty web site and expect to bring in prospective buyers. Today’s consumer is not only a computer savvy bunch, they have become so visually oriented that sloppy images usually get glossed over, while the really eye-catching photos tend to draw them in and keep their attention. Even a relative “newbie” can take this concept and make it easier for the agent or broker to show their properties to the world in the best possible manner. Consider offering premium packages with “High Dynamic Range” photos, also known as “HDR” images. HDR yields impressive results with little extra effort, and allows a photographer to deliver very high quality for a nominal fee.
According to recent Wall Street Journal article, at the closing table listings with nicer photos gain anywhere between $934 and $116,076-as measured by the difference between asking and final price-over listings using photos from point-and-click cameras. The data also showed that listings with nicer photos get more online attention. And yet, for all this, only 15% of listings incorporate higher-end photography. This is even true at the high-end. The WSJ also found that more than half of $1 million-plus listings were shot with low-end cameras. There is a niche there just waiting to be filled.
Sure, anyone can take pictures and post them on a web site. What can set you apart from all the others is the unique delivery of services at a competitive price level. Seems like a “win win” combination for real estate sales.