October 12, 2011

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Agent Strategies: Property Photos Still an Issue

We’ve been blogging about how to take great real estate photos for some time now, but as realestate.co.nz CEO Alistair Helm recently pointed out, quality listing photos remain something of a rare commodity.

Another real estate professional who thinks property photography could be improved is John Lynch, CEO of real estate software company DwellAgent, who has previously worked as an agent in the US. Lynch says he continues to be surprised by how many listings he sees represented by poor photos.

“I see photos that are too dark, out of focus, no lights on, strange items in the photos, and countless other issues,” Lynch explains, advising that agents take some time to stage a home before they take out their camera.

“What might look good in person might not look good on film,” Lynch adds. “We certainly have moved our fair share of toasters off kitchen counters for a photo shoot. With even more options for affordable photography equipment, there is no excuse - you can have great photos.”

Lynch argues that one to three photos per listing isn’t nearly enough, and says that agents should remember that selling a home also involves selling a lifestyle.

“The best marketing plan for a home will consider the image and lifestyle that the buyer will achieve when making the purchase,” says Lynch. “Staging, photos and marketing collateral should help capture the lifestyle.”

Another tip Lynch has for agents looking to make the most of their listings is to steer clear of abbreviations that might not be obvious to every home hunter. “People who do not live and breathe real estate do not refer to stainless steel as ‘SS’, hardwood floors as ‘HW’ or master bedroom with master bath as MBWB,” he explains.

Lynch says video and QR codes - scannable bar codes that bring up websites on a smartphone - are two real estate marketing approaches that have impressed him recently.

“Virtual tours can get people a bit dizzy, but video can be a nice way to view and tour a home,” Lynch says. “Agents can talk about their markets, provide videos of their communities, and more. It’s a great way for people to really become sold on an agent before the clients even meets with them. Plus, the benefits from SEO are tremendous.”

Lynch adds that when QR codes are used properly they can really boost an agent’s marketing. “They do not belong on websites,” he explains. “They belong on marketing collateral, signs, and other fixed objects. This is an opportunity to communicate with a buyer when you cannot tell them more about a property. Stand in front of a house, scan the QR, and see the video of the home. Or on the listing sheet, add a QR code that directs the user to market data for that given area.”

Do you agree with Lynch’s assessment of current real estate marketing strategies? Let us know in our comments.

DwellAgent is a Boston Massachusetts-based software firm that helps real estate agents and brokerages publish and maintain listing websites, a blog, and their own website.

[Image: lovelylisting.com]


Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Tips for Property Photos
  2. zillow.com: Photos Make a Dramatic Difference
  3. Agent Strategies: A Different Model in NZ
  4. Agent Strategies: Narrowing Your Focus
  5. Agent Strategies: Reaching the Community via Facebook
  6. Property Search by Lifestyle
  7. Agent Strategies: Optimise Those Landing Pages
  8. Agent Strategies: Video Blogging for Visitors
  9. Agent Strategies: When Portals are King
  10. Agent Strategies: Real Estate Blogging that Works


  1. Fred Light says:


    It’s SPOT ON. But it really doesn’t matter. 90% of real estate agents still don’t get it. They just don’t.

  2. debra says:

    I have had such good photos taken both myself and professionally of properties. I see photos as mentioned which are blurry, dark or have odd objects and feel for the owner that their agent is not really working hard enough to present the property. The old saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression really applies to residential property.

  3. Graeme says:

    I work in the marketing dept at a large real estate firm in NZ - I’ve literally worked over tens of thousands of images in my time and I’ve seen some shockers. I think that salespeople should stick to doing what they do best - winning business and selling homes. I’ll always recommend they get a professional photographer in every time.

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