Photography rules. Just look at any social media network to know that pictures get the most likes and shares. Instagram is one of the hottest platforms and it keeps growing while Facebook seems to be flat-lining. Although there have been numerous studies about using professional photography when selling real estate, REAL Trends and Virtuance just definitively linked its use to better sales and higher commissions for your business.
REAL Trends surveyed 437 top-producing real estate brokerages and agents from across the United States, requesting their 2014 data. They just released their white paper with the results which clearly demonstrate the value of professional pictures.
Surprisingly, one of their findings was that not all of the brokers that were surveyed were using professional photography to drive sales. Only about half of the agents always used professional pictures.
The white paper states to practitioners that “You have a duty to your seller” to have the best pictures on the MLS listings.
Seems obvious, but it’s not for everyone
One of the reasons behind using professional photography was to present a good first impression, which seems to be one of those “duh” moments. Everyone understands the importance of curb appeal, and in today’s technology that begins with the listing. One of the other reasons behind using a professional photographer is that it uses the agent’s time more effectively. Consider how long it takes you to take pictures that do what you need as opposed to someone who does it all the time.
The study also found that professional photography drives online traffic, which makes sense, and 75 percent of the agents felt that it shortened the time a house spent on the market.
What happens if photos are the focus?
One brokerage makes professional photography a focal point in their marketing plan. They were in the top 10 in their market, so they have a point. Professional pictures not just make a good first impression of the house, it also makes a good impression for your brand. When sellers are looking for a Realtor, they are going to look at one that gets results and presents their home well.
Agents who consistently used professional photographers made about $8600 per transaction, which the reports states is 100 percent more in GCI than those who don’t use it. Agents who only used it intermittently still averaged about 46 percent more in GCI than those who didn’t. Bottom line, it pays to invest in a professional photographer.