Imagine a photographer shows up late for a shoot. He hurries through the house and misses some rooms, requiring a return visit. The photography is delivered a week later, much to the annoyance of the agent and seller.
Across town, a professionally dressed photographer arrives on time and engages the homeowner with a friendly greeting before expertly capturing every angle of the house. She opens all doors so she doesn’t miss a room and adjusts the lighting to portray a warm, inviting ambiance. The next day, the agent receives a complete media package. The listing posts, days before the other agent ever receives his pictures.
Which photographer would you choose? The answer may be obvious now, but in the preliminary stages of selecting a photographer, it can be hard to know which one will show up at the property. Here are some best practices to ensure your listing (and your client) are set up for success:
1. Do your homework. As listings linger on the market and home prices stagnate and fall, photography has never played a more pivotal role in the buying and selling of a home.
In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to ensure your listing stands out with a variety of high-quality photography and media.
Ask for referrals from other agents you trust. Then look at photographers’ portfolios and check for consistency, which comes with experience and training.
2. Stand out from the pack. In response to the pandemic, new technology has emerged in support of virtual open houses. Moving forward, agents will see more options in real estate media vying for the buyer’s attention during the home-buying process.
For instance, new AI-powered interactive floor plans by ShowingTime+ have transformed the static listing into a fully immersive client experience by providing an all-in-one virtual tour and floor plan that lets buyers click and view a room from any perspective on the floor plan.
You might also look to increase the variety of your listing media, including drone photography and other add-ons such as amenity photography and virtual staging, particularly for vacant properties.
3. Determine turnaround time ahead of time. As every agent knows, a photographer’s turnaround time can make or break a listing. To ensure efficiency, check referrals and review the company’s policy to see how long you can expect delivery.
While smaller one- or two-person teams might not have the bandwidth and operational support to ensure a fast one- to three-day turnaround, a larger, well-run operation equipped with editors, customer support, and a delivery team may be more likely to have the resources to guarantee your images as fast as the next day.
4. Test the booking experience. Real estate is a fast-paced business, so agents need real-time booking information that’s fast and easy to navigate. A great first question to ask when vetting photographers is, “What does the ordering process look like?” According to Abby Kopp, Manager, Photographer Network Operations for ShowingTime+ new Listing Media Services, her team is able to provide an open and flexible booking system to maximize photographers’ availability and give agents real-time scheduling visibility.
5. Prepare with a pre-shoot checklist. Another key to a great shoot is in the preparation of the home. Great photographers will help coach agents and clients on how to prepare the home including turning on lights, turning off ceiling fans, and removing cars from the driveway.
“Get that pre-shoot checklist done and have that house ‘showing ready,’” says Kopp. “So when the photographer arrives, your listing will look great!”
Click here for a free downloadable pre-shoot checklist to share with your clients.