Why use professional real estate photography?

bad-interior-photo2Aren’t smartphone shots enough? 

We’ve all seen too many listings with dark corners, utterly blown out windows, walls that tilt one way on one side of the photo and the opposite on the other;  photos that are drab, colorless, out of focus and wholly unappealing by any stretch of the imagination.  

Not all smartphone photos come out like this but enough do that they cause a collective eye-roll from the global real estate marketing community.

So, again, why use professional real estate photography?  The answer seems almost self-evident, doesn’t it?  So why don’t all realtors use a professional photographer?

Herein lies the rub.  Professional Real Estate Photography costs precious marketing dollars.  Take the dollars out of that formula and there’s no question that everyone would prefer high-quality, professionally composed real estate photography, right?  Even in the mid-market towns of Eugene and Springfield!

Put the dollars back into that formula and we get to the real question.

Is professionally composed and developed real estate photography worth it?

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Well, who am I to say?  After all, I’m a real estate photographer!  So you’d expect my answer to be biased, right?  You’d think since this is my business I’d automatically find the highest point in the city to shout, “Yes!  Everyone needs professional real estate photography for their listings!”  

Of course you’re not that far off, I’m proud of what I do and my clients are happy to have the product I produce!  Underneath the surface, there are good reasons for that.

But I won’t short change you.  Instead, I’ll give you evidence from academic studies and from a few marketing experts no less.  

A study out of Old Dominion University (Seiler and Stanton, 2011) concluded, “We find that homebuyers… focus primarily on the photo of the home and secondarily on the quantitative description of the property. Real estate agent remarks are substantially lower on the list of priorities.”

So, the most important component of your listing is?  You got it.  The photographs.  What do you guess it means when those photographs either don’t exist or are poor quality?

According to a 2016 Redfin study, homes that are professionally photographed garner 61 percent more online views and sell significantly faster.   The study also shows that homes with photos from a professional real estate photographer sell for more than homes photographed by an amateur.

Back to that Old Dominion study— for the buyer, the most important part of your listing is the photographs.  They are making decisions on whether or not to call their realtor and/or view your listings in real life based on the quality of the photographs.  And, perhaps more importantly, buyers are paying more for properties that have Professional Real Estate Photography.

And none more so than from Realtors who work with the professional photographers at Eugene Real Estate Photography!  Then again, that’s just my bias shouting out.

And we haven’t even touched on the value proposition professional real estate photography adds when you’re trying to land those elusive sellers.  It’s no small thing!  But that’s fodder for another post.

Seiler, M., R. Stanton, 2011 “Toward an Understanding of Real Estate Homebuyer Internet Search Behavior: An Application of Ocular Tracking Technology” Old Dominion University

Ellis, T., 2010 “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars. True or False?” Redfin

Woellert, L., 2016 “Do Open Houses Really Make a Difference?” Redfin

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