Today’s selling tip is about photographing the home. First, it’s important to understand that 66% of the decision to buy your home is not actually made “IN” the home. It’s made based on the photographs of your home.
Consider how the buying process takes place and you’ll be convinced of the absolute truth of this statement. First your prospective client browses hundreds if not thousands of photographs over the course of several months daydreaming about their purchase. During this time, they get familiar with what “nice for the price” looks like in a photo. The standard for competition is set looking at photos online many months before they ever actually set foot in a home.
When they’ve finally worked themselves up to the point where they’re ready to purchase, they review online photos ‘again’ to come up with the list of homes they want to actually visit. Undesirables are quickly filtered out, and then a “short list” of perhaps 10-15 homes is selected for their tour. If you don’t make first cut of the online photo competition you don’t stand a chance.
Once inside the homes, the photos are ‘still’ influencing the process. First, the ‘virtual’ home you presented sets the performance bar for the ‘actual’ home. If they walk in and the home is as nice, or better than the pictures, you’re in good shape. If it is a let down, you’ve just ruled yourself out. People remember their first impression, and they will associate it with your home forever. You do not want the first emotion they experience walking in the door to be ‘disappointment’. Second, and just as important, you have to remember that they are carrying printouts, often with photos attached. They will walk around the home looking for the areas they liked in the photos. Those photos serve as a digital catalogue they’ll review every area. If you don’t photograph it, they’ll forget about it.
With me so far?
Ok, great, NOW HERE”S THE KICKER!!! The decision has STILL not been made. After the first trip through the home, they have thinned the list again to get rid of the pretenders. That list of 10-15 now shrunk to 2 or 3. So how do they narrow down to the winner? Yep…you guessed it. They leave from the tour and back home to stew over the decision until the wee hours of the morning flipping endlessly back and forth between photos of the final candidates. They do a whole new search to see if anything else compares and flip through again. Over, and over, and over. The first impression is the photo, and the final decision is made from the photo.
You can see this in your minds eye pretty clearly, can you not?
Ok, so “big whoop” you say, right? Who didn’t know that you need good pics? Pretty obvious. Well yes, it is. But it’s what you ‘do’ with that knowledge that will make or break you. If you close your email with the idea that you’ll make sure the person who shoots your house has a big fancy camera you’re destined for disappointment. That’s NOT the take away here.
The take away is this:
All decisions about ‘staging’ the house need to be checked against the ultimate objective of photographability (is that a word?)
Get a cheap camera. Heck..use a cell phone. Walk through your home and take some photos. Don’t even take the photos to your PC. Look at them right there on that 2×2 in screen. That’s how buyers usually see it. See where you need to stand in each room in order to show the most possible space. Doing this will tell you what furniture is going to be in the way. What ‘stuff’ just crowds the photo. What tint of paint will be enough to show off your trim? Where is the light the best? All these things, and MANY…MANY more can be addressed with a few simple sample shots.
Now, if you want to know what to “do” about the challenges you uncover with your sampling you’ll need some professional help. Don’t be shy, give us a call. We can cover a lot over the phone if you like, or if you’re feeling like you need some extra help, we can have one of our marketing experts pay you a visit. It’s all part of the service.
If you’re interested you don’t need to do much more than reply to this email. Tell us what you need. We’re here to help.