Bad photos irk me somewhere deep down inside; similar to that feeling you get when forced to watch another living body sustain unnecessary injury. Yes, some photos are so bad that they are somehow actually capable of causing me physical pain. The recent onslaught of online photo sharing (which, by the way, encompasses anything and everything a person could possibly take a picture of), has made public some of the most atrocious and/or boring images of all time. For instance, I once clicked through a friend’s online album containing 140 photos; 110 of which were blurry, underexposed, or redundant.
With all the information available instantaneously via the web, we have to learn to share the best of what we have and little more. The internet is now so massive, that the common person only has time to see the absolute best of the best. There’s now more sites than ever whose primary purpose is to surface the most intriguing content on the web. Here’s just a small sample: Reddit, Digg, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Propeller, Xanga, Furl – Damn… maybe even the best of the best is getting out of hand.
What I’m getting at is people are becoming conditioned to seek out only the best, and blur past the rest. The same is true when browsing real estate.
Potential buyers want to be impressed by their online, home-shopping experiences and deserve to be. I assure you that people will discredit a listing with no photos and limited information, even if it meets their personal requirements. Why? Because they have grown to expect more. It is imperative that your listing not be undervalued because of poor marketing workmanship.
Providing quality listing photos is statistically linked to the quantity of prospects generated. In layman’s terms, more photos = more prospects = more sales. So what can you do?
1) Learn how to take great listing photos, or hire someone to take them for you.
2) Keep the seller informed on when you plan on taking photos, what they need to do beforehand, and why it’s so important.
3) Never post bad listing photos, ever. When a new listing hits the online market you may only get one chance to make a good impression – then it’s old news. You want to be what’s hot and what’s new.
4) Never manipulate your photos to make a property look better than it actually is. You risk losing your trustworthiness, and may be setting buyer expectations too high.
One possible solution for #2 is to provide your client with a pre-shoot checklist. Here’s a freebie designed by yours truly: Point2 Photo Checklist. Feel free to use it as is, or design your own if you wish.