Pro Real Estate Photography – Making the Story!

Once Upon a Time

Ok, so studies have shown that using pro real estate photography and videos will garner more views (61% more), sell homes faster and net more $$$s for everyone.

But that’s not the goal.  Those are the results and we love them, yes we do!

Before any of that can happen, though, one all-important event must take place.  

The potential home buyer must call their realtor and ask to view the home.

That’s the goal!  Get the home buyer to pick up the phone (or write an email) and contact their realtor to see the home in real life.

That’s it!  Then you, the realtor, can sell, sell, sell. And the pros at Eugene Real Estate Photography have done their job.

We, therefore, let those ‘ends’ dictate the ‘means’; that is, what photos we make are intentionally made to get the views and, all else being equal, do what we can to get the home buyer to pick up the phone and call their realtor.

That’s called Making the Story.  

Now, we’re governed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Code of Ethics too, so we’re not going to materially alter the property via Photoshop, but, we do set out to tell the story of a wonderful family living joyfully in their wonderful new home.

In that context, there are maybe a couple of thoughts to cover here.

Is it possible that some photos of some areas of the home might detract from Making the Story?  That might be a detractor from the quest to get the home buyer make that all important call?

The answer is YES!  (and it’s also why we make sure ALL toilet seats are closed and if we can, skip the toilet all together!)

As a pro photographer, it’s in my DNA to want to tell a story with my photography.  And the story I want to do my best to tell a potential home buyer is, “Just imagine how wonderful it’s going to be to live here; to have your friends and family over; to share that glass of wine at the end of a long day; to turn down the lights and be at peace in your comfortable, secure environment.”

Professional Real Estate Photography and Video should be about making the photos that tell the story and nothing else.   I’ve been in dozens of homes where 8-12 photos would tell that story perfectly and everything else will add nothing or even worse, injure the story.  

I’ll give you an example:  The photo of the tiny, empty bedrooms with blank off-white walls, barely 10×10 with a single window in one of the walls.  

There’s no story there.  None.  It will not help the home buyer think, “I want to live here!”  At best, they will graze right by that bland, nothing photo, or if they’re the optimistic type and the rest of the photos tell a bigger story, they’ll still want to see more.  Ok, not really, they won’t care at all.  I stand by my original statement at the beginning of this paragraph.  There’s no story there!

And yet, realtor after realtor wants ALL 16-24 shots because they paid for it.  And that’s OK.  We’ll make them, just, PLEASE DON’T PUT THEM ALL UP ON MLS!!!  

Tell the Story with the photos we make for you.  And don’t give it all away.  Think of the photos as if they’re a resume’.  A good resume’ tells just enough of that wonderful story to get the potential employer to set up an interview so they can find out more.

That’s what you’re trying to do with this bit of real estate marketing— tell just enough of a remarkable story to get the home buyer to pick up the phone and schedule a viewing.

Other places in the home I’d suggest passing up when telling the story:

  • the cluttered garage.
  • the beat up outbuilding (shed, shop, greenhouse, whatever.)  Let the home-buyers imagination roam when they get to the property and see those things first hand in context.
  • the 1st, 2nd or 3rd (or any) tiny blank room (there’s no rule anywhere that says the photos you show MUST perfectly align with the description you make.  Instead, be creative and allow both section of the listing compliment the other— this is good marketing!)
  • the dark, spider-infested ‘sub-basement’ or attic (great storage right?  yes, so put it in the description section of the listing, don’t put up a photo of it, please!)
  • the long shot of the home from the field out back that is filled with out of control blackberries, chest high grass and the thistles of my nightmares.
  • the ‘creative’ shot of the grand dining room table centerpiece your best friend made just for the showing, with the rest of the room blurred out in the background.
  • any and all of the cute yard ornaments, gnomes included.

Remember, all we want to do is have the home-buyer pick up the phone and set up a viewing.  To do that, we make photos that tell a story.  Use those photos that tell the story and nothing more.

To do that, we make photos that tell a story.  Use the photographs we make that tell the story, and you’ll have home-buyers knocking on your door.

Do it often enough, and you’ll have home-sellers knocking down your door too because you tell good stories that have home-buyers coming in droves!

Eugene Real Estate Photography – Making Your Listings Work for You.




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