Debbie Glickman is a real estate agent with Baird & Warner in Chicago, and in an interview with Chicago Agent Magazine she talks about how much she relies on her real estate photographer to help her develop her marketing campaigns:
“When it comes to selling, Steve is the first step in the marketing and selling process. As a realtor, I only have one chance to make a first impression. If a prospective buyer glides over the listing photos online, I lose them fast. That’s why Steve’s role in helping me market and sell homes is so vital to my success.”
It’s good to see a real estate agent who really understands the vital role that a professional real estate photographer plays in the success of their listings, and indeed in the success of their own career or business. I’ve met a lot of real estate agents in my time, and the most successful agents all seem to have a great working relationship with a trusted real estate photographer. It would be interesting to see some more data on that to find a stronger correlation (I’m sure that having a regular photographer for all of their listings has to be a reliable indicator of success for an agent), but in the meantime comments like these from agents that are doing well are great to see.
So Debbie is absolutely right – she has one chance to make a first impression, and those photos are the difference between a potential buyer reaching out to the agent listing that particular property, and that buyer just moving straight on to the next home.
Debbie goes on to say something similar a little further down:
“Today’s buyers are so savvy. By going online, they quickly go through listings and stop to look at the homes with the best photographs.”
The homes with the best photographs get the most attention from buyers, regardless of price point and whether or not a home is at the top or the bottom of the market. Buyers everywhere want great value, and when they see a home that looks fantastic that’s when they’ll contact the agent.
I think the key word in that quote above is the word ‘quickly‘. Buyers are moving fast – they either want to buy a home immediately, in which case they will madly scroll through listings to find one that has the most appeal to them, or they just don’t have time to deeply investigate every possible home that comes on the market and even remotely meets their desired needs. They don’t want to have time to open up every single listing and read through the description and try and interpret what is actually being shown in the poor quality images.
So yes, buyers do “quickly go through listings” and if that main photo of a home gets them interested then they will check it out further, but otherwise they will often move on to the next property in their online search results.
Towards the end of the interview Debbie says:
“When clients work with me, no question ever goes unanswered. Having help with the marketing and sales tasks, including real estate photography, gives me more time to focus on client communication. Ultimately, partnering with other professionals helps me focus on client happiness.”
We’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog the benefit for real estate agents who hire a professional photographer when it comes to time management. When an agent hires a brilliant photographer who knows what they’re doing they can focus more on their clients and their needs, rather than worrying about the technical aspects of photographing the home (assuming the agent is even concerned about the quality of the images – many simply give up and will post anything at all). Does that result in “client happiness”? Absolutely.
Taking all of this into consideration, if you’re a real estate agent, do you want to be focused on your clients and be available to answer their questions?
I’m sure you do, and having more time to focus on delivering superior communication when a buyer or seller needs it is guaranteed to have a positive influence on your career.