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Chicago Tribune: Quality Photos Make All the Difference in Marketing Your Home

Chicago Tribune: Quality Photos Make All the Difference in Marketing Your Home
July 31st, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve added any significant newspaper articles to my list of real estate photography links on my Delicious page but Dave Williamson sent me a link to a recent article By Mary Umberger in the Chicago Tribune and I added it to the list of important links.
Mary asks a key question:
Companies that sell products tend to be meticulous about the photography of the merchandise they’re advertising — the pictures are almost always crisp, detailed and attractive. So why is real estate photography so bad?
She suggests some reasons and solutions and points out that things are getting better:
You’re starting to see more progressive real estate firms saying this is important, and they’re having their listings professionally photographed. But it varies a lot, regionally, and the number of professionally shot houses is small, maybe 10 to 20 percent of the market.
I think she is partially right, there is much more and better marketing for homes than there was just a few years ago just because there is more exposure of the benefits. But “real estate firms” are not the ones making marketing decisions. Individual agents make their own marketing decisions. That’s how this industry works. The real answer to why is real estate photography so bad is that real estate agents are all independent contractors and they each get to make their own marketing and spending decisions themselves and there’s nothing forcing them to make good marketing decisions except their home owner clients. It’s like expecting to get a bunch of cats to do the right thing. Some will, but most won’t and it’s impossible to make the do anything as a whole.
The message for real estate photographers in this is you need to convince each one of your agent clients individually. Except for a few minor exceptions there is no “real estate firm” you can go to market. Of course there are also
some strategies to educate and market to home owners.
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