As a professional real estate photographer I’ve worked with many real estate agents - and a common theme I often hear is:
“I don’t use a professional photographer for my listings - I just take the pics myself.”
Many real estate agents use their smartphone to take photos, and some even upgrade to an SLR camera to take their own photos. While the reasons vary, the fact remains that many agents don’t see the value of leveraging professional real estate photography. Here are 4 reasons real estate agents should not take listing photos into their own hands:
Out of Focus: Real estate professionals have many things on their plate already - getting new listings, closing existing listings, networking, business development...the list goes on and on. When real estate professionals decide to take listing photos into their own hands they’re putting yet another thing on their plate - and a critical one at that - in taking photos, editing them and using them to convey the quality of their listing. Ultimately they’re not staying focused on their core competencies which are getting and closing listings.
Longer Close Cycles: Simply put, professional photos move real estate more quickly than those taken by realtors themselves.. It’s not just me saying it, as a Realtor.com article cites that listings with professional photos close 50% faster and 39% closer to the original listing price than those not listed with professional photos.
Poor Quality: Almost all homebuyers look at online photos of the listing before they step foot in the door. Smartphone cameras are great for capturing moments throughout our lives, but the quality and resolution are simply not high enough to convey the quality of the real estate listing in online photo galleries. Consider a typical smartphone camera photo file is about 1 megabyte, while a professional photo is around 25 megabytes, which means that the depth, colors and vividness of the photos is much greater with professional photos over smartphone photos.
Increased Costs: Many real estate professionals embark on doing the photos themselves by buying an upgraded SLR camera, photo editing software and file sharing services. Inevitably they don’t have the time (see pitfall 1) to learn how to exploit the sophistication of the camera and editing software, so they drop thousands of dollars only to get a similar result to what they were doing before with their smartphone photos.
So the next time you consider taking photos of your listings yourself, consider the above pitfalls - and give your listing the best chance to sell by leveraging a real estate photography professional!
Leslie Lemons owns and operates Leslie Lemons Photography, a real estate photography firm based in Naperville, Ill.