Not All Real Estate Photography is Created Equal
Just as you would never hire a general practice doctor to perform brain surgery, or a financial advisor to design a skyscraper, you should not hire someone that is not professionally trained and experienced at photographing homes and architecture to photograph a house.
One of the most important tools a realtor can use in selling a home successfully is an experienced, professional real estate photographer. First impressions are critical to selling a home. Most people decide within 8 seconds whether or not they’re interested in a property solely based on the photographs that accompany the listing.
Suppose you’re a fairly successful realtor. You sell homes without too much trouble and feel that spending your hard earned money on a professional can be better used in other ways? For example, why not just spend several hundred dollars on some excellent photography gear, a good quality camera, and shoot those pictures yourself. Photo-editing software makes turning those pictures into a work of art very quick and easy. It might sound like a great way to save money, but think about this – how many hours do you have accumulated taking photographs of houses, interior and exterior and room-by-room? Do you know how to make a small, dark room appear bright and spacious? Do you know the best time of day to take pictures of the house for the best lighting? Do you know the absolute best angle to make that home look like it should be on the cover of House and Garden magazine? Perhaps the bottom line should be, do you want to sell the house for the most money possible and as quickly as possible, while being known as a realtor that provides top value services to their clients? Of course you do.
What does a real estate photographer have that a realtor doesn’t?
For one, hours of practice. Most realtors are aware of the “10,000 hours” theory – this states that until someone has 10,000 hours of practice at something they are an amateur. So, as a realtor you may know your way around a camera pretty well, you may have posted many of your own photographs on your listings and sold them just fine. But if you put the photo up side by side with a professionally done photograph of the same property you’ll likely quickly see the differences.
As a realtor you want to be known for giving your clients the best chance at selling their home quickly and selling it for the highest bid possible. If you’re not offering them the services of a professional real estate photographer, then you’re not offering the best.
What to Look for When Choosing a Professional Real Estate Photographer
So, whether you’re a homeowner about to sell or a realtor that has decided they want to provide the best for their clients, you need to know how to find the best real estate photographer.
Here are the things all realtors should look for in a real estate photographer:
How many homes have they photographed for real estate listings? This is important. You want someone that truly understands real estate marketing and has the ability to make your listing look like it should be in a home design or home décor magazine.
Are they solely a real estate photographer or do they dabble in other types of photography on the side? Be cautious about using someone that claims they can provide you a better finished product because they work in a variety of photography niches. You want someone that is truly specialized in this niche, like Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography. If they are successful at photographing homes for realtors, this should be the only thing that they specialize in.
Do they upload your photographs to your listing directly or do they simply send you a file or flash drive for you to load the pictures up yourself? A professional will edit the photos and offer to upload them to your listing, leaving you to focus on the important job of showing homes and getting new listings.
Are they able to provide a virtual tour? The Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area tends to have residents that have relocated from other areas. Many of these potential buyers do not have the luxury of visiting the home numerous times before they move in. In most cases they will not fly out to view a property in person unless they’re certain from online photos and virtual tours that this is a home they know they want to move into. For this buyer, not only are professional photos a requirement, but a virtual tour can go a long way to securing the sale.
Are they able to provide a floor plan? Floor plans are another tool that elevate your listing above your competitors and establish you as a more professional agent when sellers are considering who they will list their home with. A floor plan gives details on how a home flows and the size and layout of rooms that a photograph will just not be able to do. Most experienced real estate photographers offer floor plans as part of their service to realtors. Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography is proud to be able to offer this service, as well as virtual tours, aerial photography, video and many other marketing services to all of our clients.
What do other realtors in your area have to say about the photographer you’re considering? Other realtors can give great feedback on photographers they’ve used or worked with.
How have their other listings performed? Look at some of the properties that they have photographed. How long did each listing remain on the market and how much did it sell for?
Some other questions you can ask a photographer that you’re considering using include:
– How many photos are included in their quoted package price?
– How do they handle editing? How much editing do they do to your photographs?
– What is the timeframe that they expect to have your pictures loaded onto your listing or given back to you? If you’re setting up video tours and floorplans you can also clarify the timeframe for getting these done.
– Do they have testimonials to share?
– Do they have insurance coverage in the event something is damaged during a photo shoot?
In addition to what’s listed above, do not be afraid to interview potential real estate photographers. If your potential real estate photographer has experience in the industry they understand how important it is to your success in real estate to pick the right person to do this job.
To find out how Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography can help your real estate business call us today.
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography