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- 98 percent of buyers say that photographs are among the most useful features on real estate websites, so you must show the best photos.
- You can ask the sellers what made them fall in love with their home and use that to market to buyers.
- The purchasing cycle has changed, so agents need to establish relationships earlier on.
Emotions are powerful. They are primarily responsible for most of life’s major decisions, including marriage, parenthood and, of course, homebuying.
So many agents and brokers know the importance of communicating all the data of the property — four-car garage, in-ground pool, wet bar — in other words, all those things we’ve relied on MLS for so long.
But nothing is going to get buyers closer to “I do” than getting them to fall in love. And yes, you can create a love connection. Here’s how you can help buyers fall in love.
1. Love at first sight
First impressions are everything. They set an often unwavering and permanent perception of reality. Most of you have experienced the power of first impressions personally, whether in your career search or when meeting the love of your life. Homebuyers’ first impressions of properties are no different.
And since the recession recovery, buyers’ first impressions come from online listings instead of MLS printouts from agents and brokers. Now more than ever, it is critical that what buyers see online is brilliant and irresistible.
That means no poor lighting, grainy quality, inaccurate dulled hues and walls that appear bowed.
Bringing a professional photographer onto your project is the best money you will spend.
If 98 percent of buyers say that photographs are among the most useful features on real estate websites (according to the 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), why wouldn’t you hire a professional real estate photographer?
2. Hit them with your best shots
Marketing is a brilliant tool because it lets you tell the story you want to tell. Upon your first night out, did your date tell you, “I’m a great, normal guy, but I dress up like a Wookiee a few times a year”? Probably not.
Nor should you post a photo of a half-gutted basement bathroom as your first photostream image (yes, I’ve seen that happen). Start your marketing story with an impactful first chapter by getting to know the property’s best assets. Your best source is often the people who live there. Ask your sellers:
- What made you fall in love with home when you first saw it?
- How does the home make you feel?
- Where do you spend most of your time?
- What rooms do your guests comment on the most?
- What is your favorite room and why?
When you get the homeowners’ feedback, be sure to communicate with your real estate photographer where the most enticing features of the property are, and then list those shots first in your listing’s photo gallery.
3. Keep the flame alive
After you’ve made a great first impression and shown the property’s best attributes, continue to keep the love alive. One day, your buyers will need you to sell their home.
The purchasing cycle has changed, so agents need to establish relationships earlier on and pull buyers out of the market sooner and start conversations earlier in the life cycle.
Go upstream further than your competition, and ignite your client relationships and nurture them.
And just like falling in love, homebuyers stumble on the home of their dreams when they aren’t even looking. So, be ready.
Brian Balduf has been actively involved in marketing, technology and media for over 30 years. He has built VHT Studios into the largest real estate photography, video and multimedia company in the country. A frequent speaker at industry events, Brian received his B.S. in marketing from U of I Chicago and an MBA and master’s in information systems from Benedictine University.