I Was Shocked
Here's the scenario... I was driving around one afternoon looking at homes for sale that could use updated pictures. I came across a beautiful home with a for sale sign in the yard so I pulled up the listing and which I've come to expect, the photos were bad. I noticed a car in the driveway and the door slightly opened so I proceeded to grab a business card and headed towards the home. I was hoping the person parked in the driveway was the listing agent so I could hand them my card in expectation that they would see the significance of what I do and how crucial it is. I got to the door and said "hello?" A soft voice replied back "hello." I began to introduce myself and asked if she was the listing agent. She said no and that she was the owner. I paused and thought this would be a great opportunity for me to speak directly to the one who has the most invested. I proceeded to tell her that I saw the listing online and I was there to drop a card off for the agent and offer my services. I also said I was going to snap a photo of the exterior and email it to the listing agent to show off my mad ninja camera skills (paraphrasing). I began to tell her that I didn't think her home was displayed as good as it could and should be. Her face began to change from a look of contentment to a look of concern. I was shocked that the listing agent took this woman's home in their hands and took some of the worst photos I've seen for a listing of this size. Just as I wrote about in another blog post, whoever took the photos thought they were good enough. The owner looked very interested in what I had expressed and her face began to change as if I was bringing her an answer to all of her life's problems. Now I know I couldn't do that, but at the very least I felt as if I gave her a little more hope. She didn't know there were professionals out there that specialized in such things as real estate photography and that she would talk to the agent right away. Now I'm guessing here's how that conversation between the owner and listing agent probably went down. I'm sure the agent listened to what the owner had to say but then assured her that the photos will have little or no effect on how the property sells or that it would be too costly or that I was just there trying to sell her something unnecessary. Here's the first Lie.... We know because of statistics that more than 90% of people begin the property search by looking online according to the NAR (National Association of Realtors). If your property is not properly shot or displayed it will get overlooked and more than likely people will swipe left.
Here's the second Lie.... According to The Wall Street Journal, people who hire a professional photographer will make a profit of $900-$3000. When you compare the profits with the average cost of Real Estate Photography, it's a no brainer. The cost to hire a pro for a home in the $150-$300k range is generally between $150-$400. (Please don't use the $50 special your cousin Joe who knows someone that knows someone who borrowed a camera from someone who is a photographer. You'll get what you paid for...)
It's not too late to update your listings with high-quality pictures taken by a professional. Quit making excuses why you don't use a professional and make the right and the best choice for you and your client.