Photo taken by Eniko Crozier
The Benefits of Using a Real Estate Photographer
When there are so many options for buyers to choose from and so little buyers to go around, what can help attract a buyer’s attention to your home? Proper real estate photography, that’s what!!!
Fact: Most home buyers today start their home shopping online. There are many websites to view homes on, from public ones like MLS to local site like MH&H to the realtor’s own website. As a seller, it is important for you that your home looks it’s best in every picture. When a realtor takes photos of the seller’s home with their cellphone, the pics are often too dark or too grainy for the potential buyer to connect with your home. This can cause them to completely skip over your home and choose to book a showing with the competition instead!
A seller needs a photographer that can connect with their home. One that can hilight all the benefits of living there, without distorting them. Whether it’s the special features or the little extras inside the home itself, the beautiful gardens & landscaping outside, or the outbuildings. A good photographer not only sees but feels those little subtleties in each property that makes it unique and special to any other property that is for sale. They recognize these features and focus on them to help make your property stand out above the rest!
With proper photos, when a potential buyer views your home online, they are drawn in because the photos help connect them to the property. Now they are booking that showing at your home, instead of skipping over it in favour of your competition!
Real Estate Photographer and Real Estate Professional
Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate
Sometimes loyalty is a bad idea.
Even to family.
And especially to the neighbor’s uncle’s cousin’s friend.
Like the woman whose loyalty is causing her crippling pain to continue.
She had been seeing a physical therapist to help her with the constant pain she was in. For all the therapy she’d been receiving, her condition was getting worse, not better. There were other therapists who were skilled at treating this very problem.
“Maybe it’s time to try another therapist,” I said.
“Oh! But I can’t do that! I know somebody who works there.”
I let her statement just hang in the air, hoping she’d hear the lunacy of it.
After a moment, I chided with my signature brand of sarcasm.
“Oh. Well, in that case, you’d better just stay in pain.”
She smirked. “Good point.”
I guess she felt like her leaving would mean the therapist would be out of a job.
Which, of course, is totally false.
Loyalty can be a bad idea in real estate too.
Too often people have hired a realtor because their face is on a sign (here’s why that’s a dumb idea) or worse, because their neighbor’s friend’s son is an agent.
Which apparently means you are obligated to hire them.
Let’s just let that hang in the air for a moment so we can hear the lunacy of it.
Imagine this loyalty applied to doctors. Using only doctors who someone knows, regardless of their skill level or expertise, would be stupid.
“Oh, you’re an OBGYN? Perfect. Because I have this heart condition…”
“Oh, this life-saving pill was made by Valeant? Sorry, I only buy from Pfizer because my dad worked there for twenty years.”
Do you hear the lunacy of it?
“Oh, you’re a realtor specializing in rural properties and digital marketing strategy? Sorry, my brother Bob always uses another agent, so I have to too.”
Your loyalty should not be treated so cheaply.
Don’t give it away.
Especially not just because someone thinks you should.
Loyalty is precious and should be earned.
When it’s not earned, it’s treated poorly. Then you get poor results.
What else could you expect from a doctor not skilled in your area of need? From a therapist that can’t help you? Please, at least find out about the services a real estate agent offers before you make a decision on who you will hire to represent you.
Make them earn your loyalty.
And if they can’t, they didn’t deserve it in the first place.
Recently I spoke with a woman who wanted to list her home with me. But there was a problem. She explained that they had attempted selling privately. “We have a dilemma – we already have someone interested in our house.”
I said, “That’s not a dilemma, that’s an opportunity!”
Then I did what many other agents don’t.
I told her to name those people as an exclusion in the listing contract.
That means if those people end up buying the house after all, my sellers don’t have to pay me. (Of course, if they want to hire me to write the offer instead of paying the lawyer to do the paperwork we could agree to a fee. Not a full commission. That would help me recover costs for investing time and money on their behalf.)
If you want to list, but have buyers possibly interested already, use this technique with your agent! List those interested buyers as exclusions. You worked hard to get them!
Many agents will not mention this to their clients.
Some agents will be angry that I even told you about this technique.
But you need to know. There is already provision for this in the contract.
If you, or your friends or family members have tried private selling, and are now thinking of listing with an agent, please share this with them! They need to know too! It could help them potentially save tens of thousands of dollars!
They say word of mouth is the best source of new clients. I’ve said it too. And it’s true… to a point. But here’s the thing. Everyone gets referrals. Even the most unreliable, unprofessional business person will occasionally satisfy a client. Those satisfied clients will gladly recommend them, because their experience was pleasant. Try this – put out a call on Facebook or Twitter for a professional they’d recommend. (It will be more interesting if you experiment with a trade or industry where you know some of the professionals and their reputations.) You’ll get all kinds of names. The funny thing is, you won’t know any more about those businesses than before you asked. You’ll still need to look them up, do your research, and make a decision. As a business person, how will referrals set you apart then?
Let me share a story. I recently hosted an open house in Niverville, when this young couple came in. We had never met, but as soon as they slapped eyes on me, they said, “You’re Tina!”
It’s a weird feeling when people do that by the way. For a half second I feel like I might be in trouble. I said something clever like, “Yeah…?” and tried not to look too confused.
She smiled and continued, “You sold the house adjacent to our back yard. We see your name and face everywhere – and you blog too!” They were complete and total strangers, and are not on my list of Facebook friends. I wondered how they’d seen my blog posts. She said a friend of hers had shared a post on her Facebook page. “Do you remember the subject?” I asked.
“Yup – For Those Who Smoke After” she smirked.
At this point her husband piped up, “What?”
“I’ll tell you after…” she leaned over to him, and winked at me before continuing, “In one of the last posts you talked about working with crazy people”
The husband joined in, “I’ve seen your ads in the Property Guide. It seems like your advertising is more… upper class.” I thought about a recent ad I’d put out that had this picture of a shrub mooning a neighbor. The caption read, “Time to Move?” I wondered if he had seen it.
“Ah, thanks. It looks professional because I hire professionals to help me with my marketing.”
This couple was considering hiring me before we ever met, and it was not because someone referred them. It was because of what they’d seen in my marketing, and on my site. And this happens all the time. People come over from China and choose me. When I ask other clients – complete strangers who hired me out of the blue, “How did you get my name?”, they often answer, “I did a Google search.”
Here’s the deal – whether or not people are given recommendations, 68% research real estate agents online. When your potential client arrives at your site – and they will come – what will they find? What they hope to find is who you are. They don’t care about salesy photos and impersonal how-to tips. Tips, tricks and hacks can be found anywhere. They want to know about YOU. Are you trustworthy. Are you successful. Are you professional. Are you real. Will you treat them with respect. And they want to find this out online.
The most overlooked source of referrals is a real estate agent’s website. Most don’t have one, and of those who do, few blog. Nearly three quarters of potential clients research agents online. You need to be as personable and friendly and professional there as you would be in person.
Whether they’re coming to your site because of word-of-mouth, or because of Google rankings, potential clients are looking for you. …Are you there?
Real Estate is full of anomalies that would never fly in any other industry. It’s not just because of agents either – sometimes it’s the clients themselves who pull crazy things that would never fly anywhere else.
The buyers and sellers I work with are, for the most part, fantastic. I love helping them, working with them, and discovering who they are. But some people – you know, other agents’ clients – I don’t know what happens to their brains when they decide to sell their house. Suddenly they’re not acting like people who have something to sell, but rather like spoiled royal heirs to whom all others must bow. It’s bizarre. All I know is that their salesmanship would bankrupt any restaurant.
If Home Sellers Did This with their Restaurants, They’d Go Broke
We’re Open… NOT
You enter the restaurant, eager for the kind of sauce-laden burger you’ve enjoyed there before. A waitress rushes to greet you at the door, “Sorry, but we’re closed.” You argue that the open sign and hours of operation posted on the door suggest otherwise. She folds her arms and shakes her head. “We’re closed.” You point to the staff wandering about the restaurant serving no one, and to the chef who stands in the kitchen with nothing to do. “Well, I don’t care about any of that,” she argues back, “I have a headache and don’t feel up to this today, so we’re closed. Try again tomorrow.” She then proceeds to shove you out the door. Try again tomorrow? Fat chance.
Super Price Me
Still salivating for a big, saucy burger, you see a diner across the street. It’s an unheard of hole-in-the-wall place, but they have a burger on the sign, so you go in.
You open the laminated two-page menu to discover a wide selection of burgers. Prices start at $50 each, fries are extra. You summon the waitress, and explain there must be some mistake. You have never heard of such burger prices in your life. Others sell for $8. “People can sell their burgers for whatever they like. Mine start at $50.”
You scratch a dried ketchup stain from the menu, and ask what makes these diner burgers so special. “I made them from a recipe handed down to me through four generations. I have great sentimental attachment to each burger I make, and that’s what makes them so valuable.” You really, really wish you could eat a burger, but cannot bring yourself to pay obscene prices. Alas, you must move on and leave the woman with her beloved burgers.
Do You Have The Time?
Wondering if you’ll ever get to eat a burger, you discover another restaurant and try once more. The place is, in fact, open, and the prices on the menu are reasonable. Hope sets in as you wait for your server to arrive at the table. Other customers at tables crane their necks, searching for the server who is nowhere to be seen. Finally, she bursts in and dashes table to table. She takes no orders, she delivers nothing. She only leans in, says a few words, and moves to the next table.
She approaches you, breathless, “You wouldn’t believe the day I’ve had. Between the traffic, meeting the banker and returning calls, it’s tough to find time to work!” She ignores your attempt to get a word in, “So anyway, I have to bring my cat to the vet and pick up some groceries, but then I’ll be back to take your order. Thanks for understanding my demanding schedule.” Her swift exit leaves you puzzled, infuriated, and realizing you may never again taste a restaurant burger.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but these are actual attitudes and behaviours agents and buyers must endure. Please help spread the word that the kinds of numbskullery illustrated here help no one sell their house.
As a buyer or agent, which of these situations have you encountered in your attempt to buy a home?
Every seller wants top dollar, and every buyer wants to avoid paying top dollar.
Your agent – whether buyer’s agent or seller’s agent – wants the best dollar for you and them.
Is it win-win-win, or does someone have to end up being the sucker?
If you’re the sucker, would you know it?
You Might be a Sucker if… (4 Ways To Tell)
If you think “Market value” is a fanciful figure plucked from thin air that is greatly affected by nostalgia, sentiment or greed-inflated estimates… you might be a sucker.
Market value is a calculation based on factual research – this is about real numbers and trends in a specific locale. Think fact, not fiction.
If you think your house is worth more than everyone else’s just because you’re you, and if you don’t mind your family, friends and neighbors seeing your sky-high price… you might be a sucker.
You have been made a fool by pride, and everyone can see it on your price tag.
I have done this next one and not only did I not get a sale, neither did my sellers so it didn’t do anyone good.
If you are an agent who, desperate for a listing, agrees to list a house way above market value just to appease a client who will not heed the voice of reason … you might be a sucker.
People don’t just see your client’s sky-high price, they see your reputation on that sign too. Keep it real, folks.
If you hire an agent because they promise you a higher sell price than any other agent… you might be a sucker. Market value is market value. Not even agents can change that. Price is only one small factor when hiring an agent.
…Have you been a sucker lately?
As business owners, we expect a lot of our marketing, don’t we? We imagine this perfect, seamless, one-time event that requires no money, no time, and yields astounding results. Perhaps we have watched too many documentaries about how some people managed to somehow bumble into success. Maybe we’ve seen too many blogs and Pinterest posts that showcase all the best moments, and have begun to believe these to represent reality. Or maybe we’re just impatient or cheap.
Whatever it is, business owners seem to treat marketing like a fling instead of a long term relationship. That’s an interesting thought actually. If it were a relationship, what kinds of love letters do you suppose business owners would write to their beloved marketing campaigns? I imagine Miss Marketing Campaign would have many suitors…
Dear, Sweet Marketing Campaign,
After we met at the conference last weekend, I can’t stop thinking about you. In our brief time together, you won my love.
Your mystery intrigues me, and my heart flutters at the thought of your broad reach. I melt in the warmth of your powerful
sales content. I hesitate to confess it, but I am a simple pauper. I offer only my love and the few farthings in my marketing
budget to gain your hand in marriage. Can you see, dear, sweet marketing campaign, how merry our match would be though?
With your infinite supply of free advertising, and my undying affection, I just know we would have all the sales, brand
awareness and consumer loyalty one could ever want! Say yes, my love – and I will forever adore you and your immeasurable,
boundless abilities to get massive results with a single effort, even from these few farthings. There is no other campaign for me.
I need you and you alone.
-Your devoted pauper
Marketing is not some fling, it’s a commitment – a long term, continual investment.
If marketing were a relationship, there would be a whole lot of business owners out on the curb…
The local market has slowed a bit, and it’s making people nervous.
Real estate agents are leaving the profession.
Sellers are nervous. And cautious, fearful remarks are being made about people not being able to do in this market what could be done last year. Some plan to spend less on marketing to weather the year.
May I suggest an alternative? Whether you’re a developer, REALTOR® or an investor, this could actually be your best year yet. Know why? Because while others are busy being afraid, you can play your power card.
Consider what you were awesome at last year:
Did you invest in marketing your business?
Did you learn new ways to serve your clients well?
Did you market for your clients like crazy?
Did you deliver high quality service?
If you’ve got all those (or even some of them) you’re ahead in the game already.
Here’s the deal. You are the same business person you were last year. (maybe even better!) And no matter what the market, two things are sure: people are always buying and selling, and they want high quality, professional service.
Your power card is your unique offering. I’m not talking about ‘sell with me and I’ll give you a free widget’. I’m talking about what you do better than anyone else.
If you’re a trained ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative), that’s something unique to offer in a buyer’s market.
If you’re specially trained to serve seniors, (you have a SRES® perhaps), that’s a niche market you can serve too.
In a seller’s market, being highly trained in Seller Representation (SRS® designation) can be an asset too.
Maybe your edge is that you are highly mobile or an authority in your industry.
If you are continuing to learn, and striving to serve your clients excellently, you have an edge.
There is something you have that others don’t. That’s your powercard. And when everyone else is cowering in their boots, holding back and hunkering down, that’s the time to play it.
Play that power card, baby.
What’s your power card?
After attending a conference recently, I am back and brimming with energy and ideas. See this face? This is the face of a happy, refreshed woman. If you’ve never invested in your own business education, you really should. I can’t say it strongly enough – DO IT!!
It’s hugely energizing to be surrounded by people from all over the world who are passionate about their work. We were all there to learn, grow, and even… *gasp* share! People hold their cards pretty close to their chest around here, as though the pie isn’t big enough, but it was not like that at the conference. People shared information. Strategies. Ideas. What works for them. How they deal with different challenges. It was awesome.
I came away encouraged, and equipped. For one thing, it’s refreshing to benefit from others in your field. I even hear the same thing about this blog. I’m told what I say and do, and my openness about it all, is refreshing and encouraging to those who read it. I get it – that’s how I feel when others are open with what they know too.
Need to be reinvigorated in your business? Attend a conference. Go to a seminar. Invest in your education. (And for goodness sake, get out and meet other professionals! The pie is much bigger than some would have you believe!) You won’t regret it. If it does nothing for your business (which is near impossible) it will definitely do something for you. And that’s an investment worth making.
If you would attend a seminar or workshop, (work related or not) what topic might interest you?
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Even if you love your job and the people you work with, sometimes it becomes a grind, doesn’t it? Sometimes work is… well, work. And it’s especially tough in a service job, where you’re working with people. How do you give when you’re empty, and serve when all you want to do is hide under the covers for a week? Admit it, you know what I’m talking about.
When work becomes a bit of a grind, it’s high time for refreshment. Sometimes all I can fit in is some social media unwind time before bed, or meeting a friend for coffee. In summer, the moments I spend in my garden are richly rewarding. Sometimes though, I get to break away completely for a day or even more, like the conference I went to recently in New Orleans. Now I know why they say a change is as good as a rest. I came back brimming with energy and ideas. (I can’t wait to implement those fantastic ideas by the way!)
How do you recharge when work becomes a grind?
What has refreshed you lately?
Be brave – share in the comments below.
We could all use some ideas, especially in the cold days ahead!