When I speak to prospective customers as a real estate photographer, I sometimes hear agents lament that they would like to use my services, but they need to get better listings first. I believe that how you market your smallest listings determines the kind of listings you will get.
Like you, I work with a limited budget and make careful calculations when determining where and how to spend money marketing myself. Hiring a professional to do your listing photos can be a hard decision when you are putting down your own money with a risk of never seeing a return.
You probably already know the usual arguments in favor of hiring a pro; over 90% of buyers start their home search online, and listings with virtual tours attract 75% more attention than those without. What other simple step can you take to increase your chance of having your property seen that much? Regardless of the price point and potential ROI, more views of your property can sell the property faster, and time is money. As I like to say, nice pictures alone don’t sell the house (you matter!), but ugly pictures don’t sell anything. The difference between a potential buyer contacting you for info or moving on to something else could be in those pictures.
A better argument is to think of every picture of your listings as a picture of you. What qualities do you convey to sellers that would lead them to choose you over another agent? If you are still waiting for that million dollar listing to call me for pictures, what is stopping you from getting that listing? If your current listings are smaller, less immaculate, out of style, etc. are they not still a reflection of your salesmanship? Maybe a new seller of a similar home thinks about calling you, but sees your current listings as proof you won’t try very hard to sell hers. Or that million dollar seller would use you, but shoddy photos in your current listings indicate a lack of attention to detail. Are poor pictures hurting not just your current sales, but future ones as well?
I don’t believe that there is a bottom price point for considering hiring a professional photographer. My best and busiest clients hire me for their one-bedroom condos as well as their estates. Sometimes they are already fielding multiple offers when they call me, because even if they don’t need the help to find buyers, they understand how their listings reflect on them as professionals. Stop waiting for that big listing to come to you. Step your game up and earn it.
Cross-posted at CALoanSource.com.
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