The main benefit of hiring a professional real estate photographer is not getting the home sold. Many thousands of homes sell every year with really poor photography. Rather, professional real estate photography is all about how quickly the home sells, and whether or not you attract enough buyers to the home who then compete against each other to push the price up.
As Melbourne real estate photographer James Wallis puts it when speaking with homeowners, "The only way to achieve a top sale price is with a great real estate agent and a fantastic marketing campaign! If you want to give yourself every opportunity to get a premium result, then you have to start with the one thing that impacts upon almost everything else in your marketing campaign – the photography of your home."
And of course, as a real estate agent you do it because you want more listings to sell, but more on that later.
First of all, what does the research say?
In a scientific study that tracked the eye movements of participants as they reviewed listings of a home online:
"Overwhelmingly (95.1%), participants first look at the picture of the home. After focusing on the photos, participants next turn to the quantitative property description section where the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc., are displayed.
Finally, the real estate agent’s open remarks section is viewed. Very little emphasis is placed on this section. In fact, over 40% of all participants (20% of homebuyers; 62% of students) do not even look at the real estate agent remarks section when viewing the first page of the home tour.
In our experiment, participants comply by viewing the remainder of the home, but in an actual setting, one has to wonder if the agent remarks would ever get read if the home searcher does not like the initial photo of the home."
Secondly, does professional real estate photography attract a higher sale price?
Redfin completed a study a few years ago and found that the quality of the photography could add anywhere between $934 and $116,076 to the final sale price. You start talking about those numbers to potential clients and they'll get pretty excited about what you have to offer as a real estate agent who delivers a top quality marketing campaign.
Thirdly, agents who use professional photography say it helps to bring more buyers and a higher price.
Does all of this help real estate agents like you?
Let's suppose there is a homeowner who is selling their house, and they've got two different real estate agents to choose from. One of the agents takes their own photos on their smartphone, and the other agent hires the best real estate photographer in their city.
When a homeowner is comparing the listings of those two agents, which one is the proud homeowner going to select? Remember, for this homeowner their home is their castle, so they have an emotional connection with it. Plus they also want it to look great so that they can make the highest possible sale price.
With that in mind, and assuming everything else is equal, the homeowner is probably going to choose the real estate agent who hires the professional photographer.
So it's pretty easy to see why agents who use high quality photography make higher commissions, as this study found out. How much higher is the average Gross Commission Income for those agents? According to this research it's twice the amount per transaction. That tells us that agents who use a professional photographer are selling more expensive homes, because owners at that level are used to things being done well and at a high standard. They would not choose to list with an agent who tries to do it all themselves because that's not how they do things.
If you want to be one of those highly regarded agents who have more active listings, then hiring a professional real estate photographer is essential.
WRITTEN BY DARRYL STRINGER