Posts tagged #marketing

SOLD: 1214 Weatherspoon in Morton :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Real estate photography - 1214 Weatherspoon, Morton, Illinois :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Real estate photography - 1214 Weatherspoon, Morton, Illinois :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

On the heels of the PetaPixel article I recently mentioned, I received word from listing agent Cilla Williams that a home I photographed in Morton last month went under contract just three weeks after it was listed.

The buyers’ agent told the listing agents that the professional photographs played a significant role in capturing her clients’ attention.

Prior to Cilla and fellow broker Laura Behrens taking the listing in February, the sellers had worked with another agency and had attempted to sell the home themselves. One key difference: Cilla and Laura know the value of professional real estate photographs.

This isn't the first listing I've photographed for Cilla that's sold, in part, because she chose to showcase it with "exquisite photography."

Professional real estate photography is a smart marketing decision. It's helping Cilla get her clients' homes sold and it's helping her build a solid brand in the Peoria/Morton/Delavan area.

Posted on March 25, 2015 and filed under News.

News: Professional Photographs Help Sell Home in 8 Days

This home was photographed by Orlando, Florida, photographer Harry Lim--it sold in 8 days. -- Image via  PetaPixel

This home was photographed by Orlando, Florida, photographer Harry Lim--it sold in 8 days. -- Image via PetaPixel

What's the purpose of real estate photography?

It depends on who you are:

  • For a seller, it's to get buyers interested in your house
  • For a buyer, it's to entice you to follow-up with the agent so you'll go see the home
  • For an agent, it's to build your brand reputation so you'll win the listings you want

A recent article on PetaPixel highlighted the difference professional photography can make in the selling process.

Orlando, Florida, photographer Harry Lim made pictures of a home that had remained unsold for 224 days. A new realtor took on the clients' home, hired Harry, and the home sold eight days later. The article shows before/after photos that tell the story.

Did the photographs sell the house? It's impossible to know for certain but this much can be said: Harry's attractive photographs did a better job of enticing a buyer.

Posted on March 20, 2015 and filed under News.

Property Photographs for 1214 Weatherspoon, Morton :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Exterior home photograph  for real estate  in Morton, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior home photograph for real estate in Morton, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

It was cold outside but waves of warm sunlight flooded through the windows of this expansive central Illinois home.

Yesterday I photographed 1214 Weatherspoon in Morton, Illinois, for Laura Behrens and Cilla Williams at Maloof Realty in Morton. It features a spacious open floor plan (dining/family/kitchen areas), a sun room with a hot tub, a glass-walled shower in the master bath, and a ginormous basement. A lovely garden patio will make this a wonderful home for entertaining in warmer months. You'll find more details on the listing at Realtor.com.

Are you an agent in central Illinois (Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington/Normal)? I can make attractive pictures like these for your listings. Your sellers will love them and you'll attract more buyers. I'm happy to help--feel free to contact me.

Kitchen interior photograph  for real estate  :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Kitchen interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Kitchen interior photograph   for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Kitchen interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Master bath interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Master bath interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Sun room interior photograph  for real estate  :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Sun room interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Bedroom interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Bedroom interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Bedroom interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Bedroom interior photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Posted on February 24, 2015 and filed under Photographs.

Two Quick Stories and Two Quick Thoughts About the Impact of Good/Bad Real Estate Photography

Story 1

Last week I ran across a friend (who has no connections to the real estate or photography industries) at my daughter's junior high school volleyball game. We had this quick conversation.

Friend: Hey--are you working for [local real estate agent]?

Me: I've photographed a few listings for him lately.

Friend: Nice job--they look really good.

Me: Thanks!

Story 2

On Sunday I was browsing through local MLS listings on my computer, reviewing pictures posted by agents. My 12-year-old son sat down beside me and watched as I clicked through one particular home's pictures.

Liam: Did you take those pictures?

Me: Nope.

Liam: Good. Because they look bad.

...and then, less than 30 minutes later, my 10-year-old daughter sat down with me, watched as I clicked through some listing photos, and gave her perspective...

Maura: Did you take that picture?

Me: No.

Maura: 'Cause that's really bad lighting. Seriously. You could take better pictures than that.

Thought 1

If you think people can't tell the difference between amateur and professional photographs--even in real estate listings--think again.

Thought 2

If you think those photographs aren't affecting the way people perceive your brand and your business--good or bad--think again.

 

Posted on February 18, 2015 and filed under Advice.

Client Testimonial: "Exquisite Photography" Sells My Listings :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Cedar Street home in Delavan, IL -- SOLD with photography by Michael Gowin, Illinois Home Photography -  http://ILHomePhotos.com

Cedar Street home in Delavan, IL -- SOLD with photography by Michael Gowin, Illinois Home Photography - http://ILHomePhotos.com

I've been preaching the value of professional real estate photography here, both for selling homes and building an agent's brand. Then Saturday one of my clients, Cilla Williams in Morton, IL, sends me this unsolicited email:

Here's a true story you can share when you're having a conversation with an agent about the merits of using you: 2 of the 3 homes you've photographed for me are in difficult markets in central Illinois, Delavan and Hopedale. In Delavan, the average days on market is 140. Hopedale is similar. [Note: Delavan has a population of 1680; Hopedale is 867.]

When I market homes in these communities, I have to overcome concerns about location, home value, etc. A strong internet impression by means of excellent photos makes all the difference in my marketingI have to get buyers at least intrigued by what they see online in order for them to consider these small rural communities.  

The outcome? Both the Delavan AND the Hopedale homes have sold. Delavan: full price, multiple offers, 77 days. Hopedale went into contract last week. It took a while for the Hopedale home; 160 days... [But] we were able to sell the home for 98% of the list price.

Also important to note here is the fact that in both cases, buyers came from out of townThey started their search on the internet, and your photos were their first exposure to the home they eventually purchased. There were other factors involved, but the photos were exactly what was needed to get buyer attention. (By the way, the Cedar Street in Delavan home [pictured above] wins the prize for most expensive per square foot in Delavan sales last year!) 

For me, exquisite photography is not a luxury; it's a vital marketing necessity.

I'm happy to help Cilla sell homes, grow her real estate business, and build her reputation with great photography. If you're going to sell a home in central Illinois near Morton or Peoria, you should get in touch with Cilla.

If you're an agent, imagine what professional real estate photographs could do for your clients and your business.

Posted on February 9, 2015 and filed under Clients.

Agents: Here's the REAL Purpose of Real Estate Photography :: Springfield, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Peter Drucker :: The purpose of your business is to create a customer :: Illinois Home Photography, Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Peter Drucker :: The purpose of your business is to create a customer :: Illinois Home Photography, Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

As a real estate agent, you might think that the singular goal of real estate photography is to sell houses. That seems natural: buyers need to see the product as they enter the buying process.

And as long as buyers are still buying properties that are shown with average photographs, it's hard to make a case for spending good money on better photography.

But: while showing properties for sale is a purpose of real estate photography, it's not the only purpose. In fact, there's something significantly more important at stake for your business.

You want to think differently about your marketing photography.

In his 1954 book The Practice of Management, legendary management consultant Peter Drucker (pictured above) offered this insight:

There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer... Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two—and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.
— Peter Drucker

If that's the case (and I think Drucker is right on this point), then whatever helps you stand out in your market helps you create customers. Couldn't the way you showcase your listings with photography help you differentiate your business?

Instead of thinking about pictures for listings, then, think about the impact those images have on your brand and the way both buyers and sellers perceive your business.

Scott Hargis, a well-known architectural and interior photographer based in San Francisco, recently put it this way:

The point is to be forward thinking. My best real estate clients, the ones who listed the multimillion dollar houses all the time, would do the exact same thing even when they had a $150,000 condo to sell. That crappy little condo got painted, staged, photographed, and marketed like it was a trophy listing. Why? Because my client could not afford to have ANYTHING with her name on it that didn’t look like a million bucks. Better yet, FIVE million bucks. She knew that she would be sitting on a couch in some living room next week, trying to land a bread-and-butter listing, and the sellers would want to know that they were not going to be treated like an afterthought. They would be doing their research, looking to see what this agent really did on her listings, and they would not be disappointed.

The REAL purpose of real estate photography isn't to sell houses. If you want to continue to stay in business, to serve customers the way you think they should be served, then you have to market your business to create more customers like the ones you want to serve.

The pictures you show in your listings are part of your marketing approach. As Scott Hargis mentioned, you have to be "forward thinking" so you continue (or start) to win the customers you want to win.

Here's how you can take that "forward thinking" attitude with your listing photography:

First, use beautiful photography to feature your clients' homes. Your listings will immediately stand out from the crowd, attracting more attention for your sellers (and making them feel special when they see their homes online).

Second, those attractive photos will move prospective buyers. Buyers will be intrigued by your listings and follow up because they'll want to know more.

Third, you'll be building your brand as new sellers see your listings and seek an agent who will go the extra mile for them.

And that's the real purpose of real estate photography.

 

Photograph of Peter Drucker via Wikimedia.

Posted on February 4, 2015 and filed under Advice.