At least 88% of prospective home buyers use the internet as an informational resource during their real estate search (Realtor.com). With popular real estate syndication sites such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com as well as social media networks, consumers are able to proactively find properties on their own. It doesn’t stop at the computer. 63% of online searches result in a property walkthrough.
What do these developments mean for real estate photography? The pressure is on. Real estate agents need photography that stands out and appeals to the ultimate decision makers, home buyers.
The buying process starts with the click of a mouse and can result in the largest purchase of a lifetime. The first, primary exterior photo is absolutely critical to the sale of a home. When using real estate search engine websites, the buyer usually narrows the search criteria with elements such as price, location, number of rooms and lot size, so their next click action is based on photography. After clicking on a specific listing, the following interior and additional exterior photographs need to validate the initial click through decision and motivate the viewer to schedule a visit.
Real estate photographers specialize in capturing and editing photographs that provide warm lighting and ascetically pleasing angles, resulting in increased click through rates and home interest. In fact, 61% more clicks occur on houses captured by a real estate photographer, using a DSLR camera verses a point-and-shoot as reported by Redfin.
Social media’s involvement in the real estate industry is growing and it’s increasing the importance of real estate photography. According to Realtor.com, 90.5% of Realtors use social media to some extent. It’s proven that out of all the posting formats (photos, text, videos, links) on Facebook, photographs generate the most “likes” and by far the most “shares” as reported by socialmouths.com. Not only will high quality home photographs increase click through rates on traditional MLS and real estate syndication websites, photographs posted on social media networks with share-worthy appeal can spread virally. Social sites such as Instagram and Pinterest exist for photograph sharing. Agents and sellers should take advantage of these growing social networks and make use of their real estate photography investment by posting beautiful, unique and high quality home photos that will extend their audience reach.
The real estate industry has quickly progressed online, and with that change, home listings are at the finger tips of buyers. On some websites, buyers can sort property results by number of photographs available, proving that real estate photos are an important aspect of their search. When real estate search engines show a multitude of homes based on buyer criteria, photographs can win their attention. The importance of real estate photography is clear and it continues to gain value with the digital evolution of the real estate market.
Written by our guest author, Ashlee Hall. She is a real estate photographer based in the Bucks and Montgomery County, PA area. Visit her website at www.PARealEstatePhoto.com and email her at email@example.com.