It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, we are all guilty of making a judgement call within about 3 seconds of that first glance. A date, a book, a person, a house, an image, Take a look around you and you will see just how much impact a visually articulated photograph or piece of artwork or furniture will have on your emotions, and you too will see just how important first impressions really are.
The internet today is a haven for new and exciting visual experiences. Think Gumtree in Australia, Carousel in the Asian market; transforming the way we buy and sell our now “unwanted” goods, and generally the first thing we see is that hero image of the item seeking a new home. Within three seconds we make a decision based off what we see, if we will enquire or continue to scroll. So, is this the same case when we look for our next property purchase or home to rent? I will let you make your own mind up by the end of this blog.
It is no secret that everyone is turning online to browse property- whether we are a potential renter or looking to buy, online is the place to turn. Companies such as domain.com.au and realestate.com.au have transformed the way we search for property in Australia, but are property sellers and agents really giving us (prospective property buyers & tenants) the best opportunity to love their listing within the first 3 seconds of viewing? Are they providing potential buyers and renters with the most eye-catching visuals to ensure that cursor doesn’t scroll a second more? Some, yes but there is a significant amount of listings within both these online portals that have terrible images that do not showcase the property at its full potential. We ask you to spend just 10 minutes viewing the overwhelmingly large number of listings on these property portals and you too will see many underwhelming visuals. A blank wall, a light bulb, the corner of a dining table, agents keys and paperwork on the bench, blinds not evenly open/ closed, shoes in the middle of the image, images that are so dark you have no idea what you are even looking at – and they are all taken from a smartphone.
Generally speaking the first point of contact that an online property browser will have with your listing, is through its photographs. From here you have just three seconds to make that first impression count before that prospective buyer moves on to a more visually appealing listing. Why? Because a picture can tell a thousand words and if your hero image on your listing (generally the first image in a listing) is 50% agent branding, terribly composed, crooked, unedited dark unattractive image then there is a fair chance that you have lost the interest of that browser before you even had it!
A bedroom taken on a smartphone – dark, angled down, curtains not opened/ closed evenly, half the windows are cut off, the left of the room cannot even be seen, not straight, nothing to be seen through the windows, unedited, terrible composed and overall just a very unattractive image (I would 100% scroll right past this!):
So what can you do to capture and KEEP the interest of browsers? You need to give browsers visually appealing visuals (clean, clear, bright, edited, straight, well-composed, high quality) by using a professional to capture the home. Each second that passes with a poorly advertised listing online, can be a lost sale or lost rental income, with uninterested viewers scrolling to something that captures their attention and gives them what they are looking for.
Same space, taken by a professional property photographer, bright and vibrant colours, straightened, edited, beautiful view through the window, curtains opened evenly, full window showing and the left side of the room can be clearly seen.
With the rise of online property browsing and the increase of available properties, why aren’t you encouraging your clients to give their prospective buyers and renters the best opportunity of clicking on their listing? If it’s a cost thing, let’s start by stating that “time is money”. Redfin, one of America’s top real estate sources quoted that “properties with professional photographs will tend to spend less time on the market then those that have just an average point-and-shoot photo”. Now, if that isn’t enough of an argument, you need to consider the sale price. What if professional photographs could actually help to yield a greater sale price? That may just be a hypothetical, but it’s certainly not too far fetched.
With so many new and exciting digital experiences available in the palm of our hands (yes, your smartphone) consider whether that device is best used to create the assets that are generally best viewed on or should they be used to simply view professional works?
Yes, in fact I am talking about not using your smartphone to photograph that next property and to enlist the help of a professional property photographer so that you can focus on doing what you do best as a property professional.
With customer expectations continuously increasing and the demand from prospective home buyers and renters to be provided with a more meaningful and informative browsing experience, it’s time we give the browser what they want (and ultimately need) and that is to be absolutely wowed by your listing through that first impression.