The importance of real estate photography and marketing
Special to the Tribune
Good photography and marketing strategy is a very important piece of the selling puzzle. Since most buyers are searching on the internet, having excellent photos/videos is the best way to showcase your house or condo and generate interest.
With the prices of properties for sale in the Lake Tahoe Basin relatively high, it behooves sellers and agents to use a professional photographer and a well thought out and planned marketing strategy to brand your property. Agents generally consider photography expenses to be just one part of the many marketing costs associated with selling properties.
However, just having high quality photos of the interior and exterior is not enough when it comes to marketing your property. Choosing the right types of pictures is absolutely critical if you want to put your best foot forward.
The first photo that buyers see on the MLS or anywhere on the internet should be either a great exterior picture or a superb interior shot that will grab their attention. A picture that shows just the front door (or maybe even just a toilet or a light fixture) and nothing else really doesn’t cut it if you want buyers to take a closer look at your property.
It’s also important that the professionals you choose depict an accurate representation of what you’re selling. If your deck needs to be painted, the pictures should show that. The last thing you want to do is set a buyer’s expectations of a picture perfect home only for them to come to the property to find out the deck needs to be replaced.
The goal of photography and branding is to tell a story and show off the best features of your place. Pictures of an interior stairway, fence or a yard gnome that looks like it’s been on the ground for three winters will merely invite buyers to skip to the next property.
Capturing that remodeled kitchen or elegant stonework around the fireplace will entice a buyer to seek out more information about your property. Shooting pictures at the right time of day so you don’t get shadowing across the room or other defects is equally important.
High-quality video overviews and 360 tours are extremely valuable when it comes to marketing your home. While still photos are nice, they don’t really capture the flavor of what it is like to walk through or look around a room. They don’t capture the snow falling outside, the flames flickering in the fireplace over the glimmering crystals, or how the sun reflects through the etched glass in a time lapse.
You’re not really showcasing your property or making it stand out if you are simply putting a series of still pictures on a website.
Videos can give the impression that a buyer is actually in the home, roasting s’mores on your fire pit, cooking in your high-end kitchen and relaxing on the lakeview deck while a hawk soars over. The 360 virtual reality tours allow buyers to go room by room and get to know the floorplan as though they were walking the property, all while sitting on their couch at home or in the local hotel lobby on their phone.
These can be done either with special photographic equipment or using the virtual reality software (new staples in the real estate industry). At this point in time, it’s expected that each property be showcased in multiple fashions over many different platforms. It has become mainstream in the world of real estate photography and helps your property stand out.
Many properties need to be photographed at two or three different times of the day to capture the best images due to the angle of the sun. The best photographers are always willing to accommodate agents and their sellers and do the photography at the optimum time for each property.
It’s important that properties are photographed each season. If a home has photos taken in winter with snow on the ground and you still see those winter photos on the listing for the property in the summer, it makes a bad impression on potential buyers that the property is not desirable or has been on the market too long.
Each property has a story to tell that is the key component to its branding and its online presence. When hiring an agent, make sure to hire professionals who do more than take vertical iPhone photos of your home. Agents should work with professional marketers, videographers and photographers to brand and position your home to get the most exposure, sold at the greatest value, in the least amount of time possible.
Print and web ads and social media marketing are no longer subjective but mandatory for marketing any and all properties in every area at every price point.
Sabrina Belleci and Don Kanare are the owners of RE/MAX North Lake. Read their blog and find weekly stats on their website at http://www.InsideIncline.com.