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3 Reasons Realtors Need Professional Photos Even When Homes Sell Fast!


Your personal brand is defined by your marketing.


When we’re talking about a real estate agent’s personal brand we’re talking about the way they are perceived by their potential clients and their current and past clients.

As an example, when a potential client sees what the agent did to market a home in their area, what assumptions do you think they make about that agent? If all they have to go off is the marketing material for that particular listing then don’t you think that the marketing campaign has an important role to play? Using photos that look amateurish and not professional might not have a huge impact on the sale of a home in a hot market, but they certainly will impact the assumptions that potential clients make about that agent.

Now let’s compare those assumptions with the agent that uses professional photos by hiring a professional real estate photographer which produces magazine-quality photography. It’s not hard to see that a seller that’s looking for an agent to sell their home will choose the agent that made their listings stand out and ones that look as amazing as possible given what they had to work with. They will not be impressed with the agent that took their own photos.

Professional Photos Nice kitchen in a home


Plan for the future, it’s not about now, but for later.

Currently in Austin, homes might be selling within days or even hours of hitting the market with multiple offers, which is ridiculous as we all know, but how long will this last? There is a very good chance that the market will change one day. It might be a slow change or it could be quickly grind to a halt, who knows, but change is down the road and when that happens homes are going to take a lot longer to sell and listings will dry up. I was a full time real estate agent for 6 years and I have been involved in the real estate market in some form or fashion for a very long time, and I have seen the market change and change quickly.

Imagine that we have reached that day in the future where the listings take longer to sell and it is not as crazy as it is today. Home sellers will be much more selective about which agent they hire because they know they need a good one that is if they want to sell their home within the first 60 days, let alone within the first 6 months.

Where do sellers go to find an agent? They either ask for referrals from family and friends or often they start their search online and they look for agents in their area.

What do they look for in an agent? The first thing they probably look at is the sales history for each agent. They will typically scroll through previous listings look at the photos and the videos and whatever else the agent includes.

For some sellers that’s as far as they will get. Their decision as to which agents they speak with can be decided in those lists of past sales where they ask themselves this question: ‘Given how that agent has marketed homes in the past, do I want that agent marketing my home the same way?’ If the photos don’t look good, then they’ll probably answer that question with a decisive ‘NO’. You will not even get the opportunity to go on a listing appointment.

Now some homeowners might go further than that and they’ll dig into the numbers, looking at the agent’s sales history, how long do they take to sell a home and what price do they get. In a hot market those numbers for each agent can all look similar, so the seller will go back to the marketing approach taken by each agent.

Do they want to have their home sold this way by this agent, or that way by that agent?

That’s where the quality of the photos matter. If you get it wrong and if your listings look undesirable compared with your competition then you can easily lose that seller to another agent.


Sellers Talk

Imagine this conversation happening between a recent seller and their neighbor:

Jennifer: Congratulations on the sale of your home! How did things go for you?

Ashley: It was great! I mean, obviously the market is super-hot at the moment so it was no surprise that we sold our home in three days. Even so, we were really impressed with our agent.

Jennifer: Wow, that’s fantastic! Which agent did you use?

Ashley: We went with Bill Jones and he was amazing from the beginning. Even though it would be easy to cut corners in this hot market, he went all in, even spending hundreds of dollars to use professional photos and hire a professional photographer to shoot the photos and they also did a video for our home.

Jennifer: Agents still do that in this market?

Ashley: Yes, some do and some don’t. I looked at some other listings in our town and they were obviously taken by the agent or an agent’s friend with a camera it is was obvious. However I was really impressed by the photographer Bill used, and the quality of the photos was amazing! But again, it was Bill’s willingness to hire a photographer to present our home in the best possible way that really impressed me. I’d recommend him to everyone.


Professional Real Estate Photography - Sellers Talk - Man talking on a cell phone


Conversely, can you imagine how things would play out if the agent had taken their own photos versus hiring a photographer  to take professional photos?

Yes, Jennifer still would have sold her home quickly, but the focus of the conversation would be on the speed of the market rather than the quality of the real estate agent. In that scenario our real estate agent Bill Jones would most likely barely get a mention.

So a big question to ask is after the sale of your listing, will your sellers boast about your willingness provide professional photos and  hire a photographer even in a hot market, or will they only talk about the speed of the sale?

If you decide you need professional photos for your listing there are plenty of real estate photographers based in Austin, Texas. Take a look at my real estate photography portfolio and give me a call if you like what you see.