Why photography matters when selling luxury real estate

Why photography matters when selling luxury real estate

Here’s an interview with luxury real estate market specialist Dusty Baker from Sotheby’s in Santa Barbara, California.

Dusty is asked about what’s important when selling luxury real estate in the $3 million to $20 million range, and he made this statement which I felt really summarizes a lot of what’s important in that niche:

“It’s not about selling real estate – it’s about selling a lifestyle.”

A lot of real estate sales comes back to selling the lifestyle that is possible within a particular property, but Dusty went on to explain that within luxury real estate the lifestyle is important because the purchase of a luxury home is all about discretionary money, and they’re deciding to spend it based on the lifestyle they see that home bringing them.

For a lot of people the purchase of a home comes down to necessity – a family has three kids, so they say that they need a four bedroom home, and it needs to be close to the right schools, and be the right size for them. That’s important for some people. But when we look at the luxury market those issues are usually less important, and instead it’s about a home that offers something extra, and it always comes back to the lifestyle that it gives the owner.

So how does a real estate agent get started selling luxury homes?

According to Dusty it comes down to this:

“Thrive in excellence. … Do the best you can every single time.”

In other words, focus on making yourself and your marketing look amazing. What does that entail? Here’s what Dusty suggests:

“Don’t even think about taking your own photos. Get a professional photographer, a professional videographer, professional floor plan, get amazing brochures. I do full 20 to 36 page magazine brochures for every single listing, I have a private website for every single listing. I mean just go above and beyond where people would almost be embarrassed and like, “Oh come on, this is just a small condo!” But you say, “No, this is the largest asset that you own so I’m going to make it look perfect!”

Whether you’re selling a $20 million home, or a $200,000 condo, your marketing should reflect where you want to be with your business.

Because other people when they walk into an open house, when they’re seeing your pictures online, everything you do to market a house markets you as well. Which is great! Which is why listings are key. But you’re marketing this listing and it makes you look good as well.”

I think that’s great advice! So why is it important that each and every listing look phenomenal?

“The better you make the listing the better you look, with phenomenal photography, videography, out of the box marketing brochures, it overwhelms everyone. The seller’s happy, and the other agents in town start to see you and see the way you’re marketing, your catering events, and they start to respect you. They see you as luxurious before you even are luxurious.

So it will quickly escalate. If you treat every single listing, buyer and client as if they’re a $10 or $20 million client, you will shortly be working with $10 to $20 million  clients.”

I hope you can see why this matters. If you treat all of your listings, regardless of price, as if they are worth millions of dollars, then you’ll know exactly what to do when you are actually working with those top end clients.

But why should you treat those budget buyers and sellers so well?

“Let’s be real – even if you weren’t trying to climb the ladder your clients deserve it. I mean, I had a friend buy a $550,000 condo recently and okay, that’s not a $20 million sale, but that’s the biggest asset that they own. They went all chips in and they deserve the best representation in the world because, okay, it’s not the biggest payday for me, but it’s a big step for them and we have to respect the human aspect of that. Everyone will grow if do it like that, and you will grow.”

The real value of those buyers and sellers is not in terms of how much money they have in the bank, or what car they drive, but in the fact that they are people too. For them, that budget home is their mansion, it’s their castle, and we ought to show the utmost respect for them on those terms alone.

Of course, you can’t quite go to the same extent in all of your marketing when dealing with a $200,000 home, simply because the margins aren’t there, but in terms of photography and marketing you can definitely afford to choose quality photography and create compelling, gorgeous, client-grabbing marketing campaigns. That’s how you move up the ladder towards the marketing of luxury real estate, and finding the best real estate photographer in your area is a great place to start. Give them a call, have a chat, and find out how they can help you. You’ll find your local photographer listed right here at www.bestrealestatephotographers.com.