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Does a Picture Tell a Thousand Words?

July 18, 2012  |  by John Heithaus

We all know that pictures draw prospects into the “state of the possible” when it comes to real estate marketing. They may envision their family (or future family) hosting a BBQ in the backyard or image their peer’s/family/friends reaction to their new home when they pull up to the house for the first visit. Since one of the intrinsic benefits of homeownership is pride, I can only imagine the “visual” plays a major role. This picture does indeed tell a thousand words – and more.

And we also know that 90%+ of all home purchasers found their new home on the internet where, of course, photos make the first impression and set the stage for potential success for the seller.

So why is the state-of-the-art of real estate photography so dismal? Unfortunately, we see thousands of listings every day with either so-so or just downright awful pictures — and not just from MRIS territory; the issue is pervasive to the industry in my opinion.

With this in mind, I came across this great blog titled Photography For Real Estate: Helping Real Estate Photographers Be Successful. While the site is for professionals, there’s some great info for real estate pros as well. For instance, a monthly contest features submissions from field photographers’ work shooting specific real-estate friendly shots.

Sure, they feature the standard bedroom, living room and kitchen shots, but the creativity utilized by the experts makes all the difference in the world. As a result, whether you hire a pro or not for your listings, there’s a wealth of insights on how to use creative photography to market a listing more effectively by visually engaging prospects.

Also is a directory of pro photographers to find the right person in your area as well as info on leading edge tools like Pole Photography.

AOL Real Estate also posted a great feature (HERE) which offers guidance for a real estate pro on how to take pictures that sell, or hire a pro photographer. My fav section is a list of “train wrecks” in real estate photos that offers some great examples to avoid!

For example, someone went way overboard with lens distortion with this one … feels like we’re Alice in Wonderland!


Let’s work together to improve the industry and eliminate these pictures so our consumers (both sellers and buyers) benefit and we upgrade the power that a real estate professional brings to the transaction!


Posted in Blog, Featured, MRIS CMO Insights

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7 responses to “Does a Picture Tell a Thousand Words?”

  1. John Warner says:

    Great insight, John. Image IS marketing. And, first impressions are everything — the key to whether buyers will either turn (click) away or walk through the looking glass.

  2. MRIS_CMO says:

    Ah yes, the looking glass! Thanks for the comments, John.

  3. Cindy says:

    I'm frankly shocked at some of the photos in the MLS. It makes me wonder if sellers ever look at their listings on line to see how their being advertised.

  4. I believe in photos, but I don't believe in "unnecessary" photos. Like an ugly hvac system, or horrible looking garage. Also, I hate photos of the front of the home that are tilted, cut off, faded. If you're going to submit a photo it should be of good quality. Agents too lazy to retake photos for instance, when they re-list a previously listed home and "steal" the previous agents photos…that have "MRIS" stamped on the bottom and are grainy…not cool. It shows their laziness. I get mad when I take great shots of a neighborhood swim center, only to see other agents use my photos on their listing. I wish it were preventable.

  5. Arlene says:

    Keep in mind that there are houses that really have nothing to show no matter what view you take of them.
    Sometimes less is better.

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