Real Estate Agents Need Professional Photos Even In A Hot Market
This might sound a little strange but hear me out. Real estate agents who hire a professional real estate photographer to shoot their listings don't do it to sell their listing, they do it to sell themselves.
This concept is what underlies the need for real estate agents to hire a professional photographer for every listing, even when homes are selling ridiculously fast.
There are three main reasons why:
Reason #1: Your Brand Is Defined By Your Marketing.
A real estate agent's brand is the way they are perceived by their potential clients.
Amateurish-looking photos might not have an impact on how quickly a home gets put in escrow in today's market conditions, but when the neighbors - potential clients - look online to see the listing agent's marketing of the home, what assumptions are they making about the agent?
If all they have to go off of is the marketing material for that listing, the marketing has an important role and certainly impacts the assumptions they make about the listing agent.
Now, how do those assumptions compare to the agent who uses magazine-quality photography?
Listing a home is a stressful and emotional time for a seller and they are going to choose the agent who make their listings look as amazing as possible.
Reason #2: The Market Will Not Be Like This Forever.
Real estate is a cyclical market and while homes are selling for well over asking price, with multiple offers, in only a few days of being listed, that will change one day. When will this change happen? That is anybody's guess. Could be a slow change or interest rates may spike and bring everything to a rapid, grinding halt. But the market will return to normal and when it does, homes are going to take a lot longer to sell.
When that day comes, home sellers are going to be much more selective about which agent they hire. Sellers are going to want to work with the agent who gives them the best change as selling their home in the first 60 days and not drag the process out for the next six months.
Where do sellers go to find an agent? They search online for agents in their area.
What do they look for? First they look online for current listings that stand out from the rest. Then they will look at the recent sales history in the area for that agent. While doing this they are looking at the photos and media the agent used to sell their listings.
Most home sellers will stop here. The question of, "Given how that agent has marketed homes in the past, do I want that agent treating my home the same way?" has been answered.
If the photos do not look good the answer will probably be a decisive 'no!'
With all things being equal, home sellers will choose the agent with the better marketing plan. This is where the quality of the photos matter the most. In a normal market, if you photos look undesirable compared with the other listings in your area, you very well could lose your client to another agent.
Reason #3: People Talk.
Imagine this conversation happening between a home seller and their neighbor:
Neighbor: Congrats on the selling of your home! How did things go for you?
Seller: It was great! I mean, obviously the market is super hot at the moment so it was no surprise we sold our house the first weekend. Even so, we were really impressed with our agent.
Neighbor: Wow, that's fantastic! Which agent did you use?
Seller: We with with Agent A and she was wonderful right from the start. Even though it would be easy to cut corners in this market, she went all-in, even spending hundreds to hire a professional photographer to shoot the photos and do a video for our home.
Neighbor: Agents still do that?
Seller: Some do and some don't. I looked at some other listings in the area and they were obviously taken by the agent, but I was really impressed by the photographer Agent A used. They quality of the photos was amazing! But again, it was Agent A's willingness to hire a photographer to present our home in the best possible way that really impressed me. I'd recommend her to anyone.
Alternatively, can you imagine how things would have played out if the agent had taken the photos?
Sure, Seller would have most likely sold her home, but the focus of the conversation would have been on how hot the market is rather than the quality of the real estate agent. In fact, the agent might not have even been mentioned.