In this video by Tom Ferry called “Everything you need to know about real estate marketing” he outlines five things that real estate agents need to know about marketing:
There’s some great content there, and it’s only about 17 minutes long so it’s worth watching if you’re an agent wanting to up your game.
But there are two big rules that Tom mentions in the above video that I want to emphasize because they have relevance to what we do here:
Rule #3. You need to move from startup to growth immediately.
Tom says that the mistake a lot of real estate agents make is that they act like a startup company where it’s one person trying to do everything. That’s not good.
What they should be trying to do instead is manage for growth, where:
“Growth is a dedicated leader empowered to go build the business.”
So Tom goes on to ask about who does your email marketing, who converts your social media to appointments, who writes your Facebook ads and your direct mail, and who manages your photos and brochures?
A lot of agents try and do all of these things themselves, but what they need to be doing is outsourcing to experts that make their livelihood around producing results. So find the experts who make their livelihood from creating the best direct mail and the best Facebook ads and, of course, the best real estate photography.
“Stop trying to be the expert at everything. Be the expert going on appointments. Be the expert at negotiation. Everything else can be outsourced.”
If you’re a real estate agent who wants to get to the top of the game in your area then you need to bring in people with expertise in each field, because you’re making it a lot harder for yourself if you take your own photos. It doesn’t matter if the property is worth $1.7 million or $70,000, professional photography has to be a part of your game because that particular listing may not be worth much, but the people who see it will gain a particular impression about you and your brand.
And who knows, those people looking at that super cheap home might also be owners of a $1.7 million home, and do you think they’re going to hire you if you are sharing DIY photography?
So here’s my tip to follow on from the excellent ideas shared by Tom Ferry:
“Outsource your real estate photography to a professional who makes their livelihood from producing results for agents like you.”
The photographer that specializes in real estate photography lives and breathes for this kind of thing. They don’t know how to negotiate with a buyer. They don’t know how to bring a difficult contract together. But they do know how to create images that sell homes and that sell their real estate agent clients. Bring the right people in for the right job, including photography, and things will change for the better.
Rule #4. Always Be Testing.
Tom says that you need to develop a culture of testing so that you know what works best. This applies to your emails, and to your headlines, and to your Facebook posts, and everything.
And although Tom didn’t specifically mention this, I think this rule around testing all the time can be applied in many different ways to the photography side of marketing. For example:
Test different photos.
Will a photo of the front of the house from ground level work best, or do elevated shots work better?
Is a daytime shoot ideal, or do buyers respond better to a twilight shoot?
Try different images in different areas, and see if there’s a standout. Facebook ads are an ideal environment in which to test this out, because you can run multiple Facebook ads at once and find out which photo gets the highest amount of engagement.
Test different photographers.
What’s the difference in the number of enquiries you receive when you use a low-cost photographer compared with the enquiries you receive from a more expensive photographer?
What do you know about the number of listings you pickup from using average photos compared with using above-average photos?
It’s all about the numbers.
Test different photographers, because you don’t know if the cheap photographer you’ve been using for years and years is actually working out well for you. But then once you’ve tested different photographers, and you’ve found the winner, that’s when you stick with them.