Updated: Aug 31
If I told you there is only one opportunity to hook potential buyers, would you put more time, effort and money into that? There are many components to a real estate transaction, but the hook (aka the bait) is the most important. If you haven't figured it out yet, we're talking about photography. The visual representation of the listing.
Humans have developed an online behavior in today's technological age. Just like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter we just scroll and scroll and scroll, and you guessed it, scroll some more. Occasionally, we click on something; not just anything though, something that captures our attention, like a home with beautiful curb appeal. What about this home? Would you want to see more of it?
The answer is undoubtedly, "Yes, please!"
We're going to break down the basics of preparing a home for real estate photography and how it will benefit the sellers and the agent. There are 5 mains steps to complete before your professional real estate photographer enters the property.
4 Steps to Preparing a Home for the MLS (A.I.R.S)
The first step is the most important; performing an honest assessment of the property and evaluating the seller's budget for potential repairs and/or updates. This part requires a tactful approach and should be part of the listing presentation. (Check out this article on how to crush this process so you can land the listing.) You must respect the seller's financial situation and also evaluate any current life events that would impact their ability to move forward with improvements. After this evaluation is made, you will have an idea on what feasible improvements can be completed. Break it down to the basics to make it easier; walls (paint), floors (carpet/wood) and repairs. Prioritize what would have the most significant impact on the photos in order to get more potential buyers through the door.
Now that the assessment has been completed and you know what improvements and/or repairs will be completed, you can reach out to your network of tradesman. You have a network of tradesman, right? This is vital to your success. If you don't have a network, reach out to fellow agents and your friends for recommendations. It's best to use contractors you've personally worked with, or that have worked with someone you know. Anytime you bring in contractors, your brand is on the line, so make sure they will do great work.
Often times, I see this process rushed in order to get on the market quickly and that can add unnecessary stress onto the sellers and yourself. Not only that, it can also lead to a drop in quality of work. The market is resilient and doesn't make massive shifts in a short period of time. Don't rush this process. Use the time wisely to prepare for the next steps. And please, pretty please, don't let the homeowners paint themselves, unless you are certain it will be done properly. Nothing screams "run away" like a poorly executed, single coat paint job.
It's so simple. Remove practically everything from the scene except furniture and decorative items. For whatever reason, sellers struggle with this concept. I would guess, it's due to time constraints. As the agent and driver of success, your job is to push the sellers to declutter their home in order to present a clean and organized home that potential buyers are looking for. Let's be honest, most buyers don't live this way, but the idea that they can buy themselves into this lifestyle is key.
Staging the home is often overlooked because of the cost and or time available to the homeowners. Staging has a 2 main benefits:
The agent can bring in a 3rd party to push the sellers to declutter/stage
This removes the agent from any uncomfortable conversations
Adding decorative items and properly staged items adds a final "pop" to the images
Buyers want to believe they can live a magazine style lifestyle
No matter the market, separating your listings from the competition is key to multiple offers and higher bids. Thus, putting more money in your pocket and creating career long clients who will refer you to all of their friends. Remember, a referral based business will net you more income and create longer lasting relationships.
Please contact Creative Light Studios to schedule your real estate photography.
Creative Light Studios is a full-service real estate photography company. We provide aerial photography, aerial video, real estate photography, real estate video, 3D Matterport scans, floorplans, twilight photography and virtual staging. Please visit our website at creativelightstudios.com to schedule your next photo shoot.