The Real Point of Online Photos

Real estate photography, as it’s currently practiced, reminds me of the joke about two hikers who encounter a Grizzly in the woods.

The first hiker thinks he has to outrun the Grizzly. The second, smarter hiker realizes that his task is to . . . outrun his companion.

So, too, the object of online photos of a given property is not to get you to buy the property. Even at the peak of the housing market, in the hottest locales, very few people were buying, sight unseen, purely on the strength of online marketing materials (and 100% of those likely regretted it).

If the point of marketing photos isn’t to sell a home, then what is it?

To get you in.

It’s axiomatic that if you don’t tour a property, you’re not going to buy it. And if you don’t see it in person, there’s no chance for you to fall in love with the amazing built-in’s, the cozy Kitchen nook, or the lovely gardens in back. (And no chance for the listing agent to engage with you — or your Realtor — about what you’re looking for, your budget, time frame, etc.)

Unfortunately, simply getting prospects in to a home only to be disappointed once they get there is to win the battle, but lose the war.

In my experience, the single best way to sell a home is to exceed a Buyer’s expectations.

Getting a prospect in to a home using borderline false pretenses is guaranteed to sow disappointment (if not anger).

That reaction is the opposite of the mindset that leads to a deal.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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