Real Estate Photography Tips

In terms of closing a big deal and earning your livelihood, photography is one of the most important areas of real estate to get right. It is not just a matter of snapping a few shots for prospective buyers or renters to flick through—it is a skill that must be mastered in order to show a property in its absolute best possible light and to attract the most interest.

Most people have a horror story that revolves around viewing a property that looked impeccable in its portfolio of images, only to be faced with the harsh realisation that it is falling apart at the seams. Alternatively, maybe you took a chance on taking a look at a place that didn’t look that impressive in its photographs, only to be pleasantly surprised by what you saw in person.

Real estate photography requires the perfect mix of capturing a property in the best way possible, whilst also being realistic about its potential.

Even if you are a real estate agent or broker, and not a professional photographer, these handy hints and tricks will help you on your way to creating an impressive portfolio of shots.

Neat and tidy is key
It is extremely off-putting to look at available photos of a property, either online or in hard copy, and not be able to see through the areas of mess or clutter in every nook and cranny. Many listings make this fateful mistake, often due to the residence being occupied at the time and having to work around current tenants and their belongings.

Even if a space is still being used, this isn’t always to your detriment. Spaces with furniture already in them often do well, as a potential buyer or renter is able to get a better idea of how the area looks when it is furnished. Just make sure to tidy up any clutter and have clean surfaces with well-organised furniture. Remove odds and ends that will crowd the space and you may be on to a winner.

Lights, camera, action!
You may think that an overhead light is too bright and garish for real estate photography, but you’d be wrong. Open up all blinds and curtains and turn on lights in the property to capture effective interiors how they truly appear. If you have access to a camera with a great flash, make the most of it, or if you are working with a particularly dark property, portable light stands are the way to go to get a professional finish.

Steady on
A tripod is crucial in the creation of stable, steady photographs that don’t look like they have been taken on a hand-held camera or smartphone. Even the slightest movement of the camera will compromise the quality of your shots, leaving them with an amateur feel. Pair this trick to a wide-angle lens camera where possible—potential buyers and tenants love being able to see almost an entire room in one clean, bright shot. This way, they are getting a well-rounded idea of the size of an entire space and are more likely to want to progress to the next step.

Real estate photography is an area of the trade that requires patience, skill and a dedication to produce a series of well-thought-out images that capture as much of a space as possible and give prospective buyers or renters more incentive to book an inspection or even submit an application to make it their own.

Kate Smith Testimonial

We have been taking care of Kate’s marketing since the beginning of 2015. In this interview she shares her thoughts on which marketing material is producing the best results in her marketplace and how her clients have responded. 

If we can help you with your marketing, feel free to give me a call.

THE MARKETPLACE REVIEW

Our Marketplace Review is a quarterly report designed to showcase your success whilst providing readers with a clear understanding of the market. Featuring your agency’s recent sales, flexible market statistics with a unique map, an article, a case study written by our copywriter, and your local selection of businesses to support. Benefits include helping you find and nurture more leads, list more homes, win more business and automate your real estate marketing. Our Creative Team will brand it to your guidelines and design each page with every minor detail in mind.

Featuring your agency’s recent sales, flexible market statistics with a unique map, an article, a case study written by our copywriter, and your local selection of businesses to support. Benefits include helping you find and nurture more leads, list more homes, win more business and automate your real estate marketing. Our Creative Team will brand it to your guidelines and design each page with every minor detail in mind.

If you’d like to find out more, watch the webinar below that will run you through each page.

 

We would love to hear your feedback. And please feel free to book in a chat here with our friendly team if you are interested in finding out how the Marketplace Review can help you!

 

PACE YOURSELF: GOOD MARKETING IS A MARATHON

It is no secret that good things take time; think about it, they don’t say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” for no reason. We can confidently say that your agency’s marketing falls into the same category as Romefiguratively speaking, that is. It takes time, dedication, consistency and often support to truly see success from a marketing campaign. In fact, many of our clients tell us it took at least six months of consistently advertising their agency to see a difference.

As a creative agency, we have found the following tips have helped our clients (and us) move forward!

Ensure you plan first:  you wouldn’t run a marathon without training well in advance, so why would you jump into spending money on marketing without researching your options. Think about what your competitors are using, which products could be right for the results you are after, and what your clients want to see. Once you’ve made your decisions, it is then time to plan frequencies.

Timing can be tough; you do not want to exhaust readers with too much information too soon and end up depleting your resources and or appearing pushy. Rather, it is best to be consistent with better quality work less frequently. Readers would certainly prefer a well-researched and designed report over a sporadic email every few days. If this is difficult to work out, try thinking of yourself as the consumer: what would you like to receive to help you enter the real estate market?

Remember to remain consistent, too (slow and steady wins the race, right?). Change can be good every now and then, but if you want people to recognise your brand and products (and perhaps even look forward to receiving it) you must try to stick to a similar design and format, at least for a little while. Chopping and changing regularly actually defeats the purpose of your goal! Adjusting slowly over time based on feedback and results, is always the best decision!

We could continue to fill this post with clichès that are surprisingly helpful to remember, but we think it is best you now look towards the rest of 2016 and consider your agency’s marketing goals. And remember, we are always here to help you organise for the year ahead.

Marketing yourself as a real estate agent

As a real estate agent, you know what it is to sell. You spend your days selling properties to buyers. But what do you do when it comes to selling yourself?
If you want to be a great real estate agent, you need a great reputation for getting the job done in a timely and efficient manner. Word of mouth is an amazing thing when it comes to the property market so be courteous, polite and honest, and you will leave an impression that is hard to forget.

As you know, the property industry is tough, so regardless of whether you work for yourself or an agency, if you want to be one of the best, you have to get yourself noticed – and you can do this both online and in person.

Here are a few tips for ongoing marketing:

When it comes to social media, you want to ensure you have a simple, yet effective plan. Include information about what you do for your customers, focus on providing value and give reasons why people should choose you. Do you know the market well? Have you lived in the area? Talk about what sets you aside from your competitors, because let’s face it – real estate is certainly a competitive market!

Email marketing and blogs are another great way to get yourself marketed online. People can relate to blogs because they give an insight into the person writing them, and more often than not, they provide helpful advice. In order to sell yourself further, you might even like to include information about previous properties you have sold or leased, any challenges you faced and how you overcame those.

Heading away from the computer, community events are the perfect way to get noticed. Get involved in community clubs and organisations, attend as many events as you can and don’t be afraid to approach strangers and introduce yourself.

And do not forget traditional print publications, too! Consider anniversary cards for past clients or using Postcode Books to hand out as you meet people. If utilised correctly, these can be incredibly effective in creating a memorable public profile.

Here are a few tips to convert more business:

A real estate Pre-listing Kit is one of the first and most important steps in convincing a potential vendor to list their home with you. A Pre-listing Kit provides potential sellers with all the information they need to know about dealing with you and your real estate agency before they meet with you.

90% of all communication is visual, so it’s important that you have clear visuals in your real estate sales listing kit that allow you to communicate key ideas and direct the conversation.

You will be amazed at how your real estate career thrives when you get out there and start selling yourself with as much passion as you sell your properties!

Want to see what we offer at Identity Marketing? View our real estate marketing products or click here to schedule a demo.

 

Sample postcode book to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample social media to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample social media to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample pre-listing kit to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample pre-listing kit to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample Anniversary Card to market yourself as a real estate agent

Sample Anniversary Card to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample email to market yourself as a real estate agent

Sample email to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample DL to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Sample DL to market yourself as a real estate agent.

HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR MARKETING

No matter what the real estate market is doing, you always need to be marketing yourself and automating your marketing is the most efficient way to do this.

Planning for success

There are four main things to think of when planning your marketing campaign. The category, frequency and relevancy of the content you’re sending as well as the scalability of the campaign you’re creating.

Think in catgegories

Inside real estate sales there are 5 main categories. Buyers, potential sellers, past market appraisals, past buyers and past sellers.

The right content at the right time

Once we have identified our categories we then need to work out the content and frequency of the marketing we are sending. When it comes to frequency the main thing to consider is how much that category is actually involved in transacting real estate.

So for buyers who are the most active category it might be automated your property alerts if your database has automation and if your database doesn’t support automation it might be emailing them a list of the new weekly listings towards the end of the week or a another at the start of the week with some statistics around auction results for the state.

With potential sellers living in your marketplace a quarterly postcode book delivered to their letterbox or a monthly market report will help position you as the expert in that area and drive fresh new leads back into your business.

With past market appraisals, if they’re living in your market place they may already be receiving your quarterly postcode book or monthly market report. However if they’re living outside of your marketplace a quarterly market update posted directly to them will keep them updated with recent your sales and market information. Past market appraisals are more active than potential sellers, so emailing them once a month with a list of your recent monthly sales gives them social proof of your ability to sell homes and real time sale prices.

With past buyers and past sellers many of them have completed their real estate transactions so the frequency of what you are sending should be allot less. A personalised anniversary card once a year and a quarterly postcode book if they live inside your marketplace or a quarterly market update if they live outside of your market place.

There’s one final to think of in your marketing campaign – video, similar to this one you are watching. Many agencies get really good traction with property video but shy away from doing video for self-promotion. Emailing a video once a month to your buyers, past market appraisals, past buyers and sellers with some information about what is happening in your local marketplace on a real estate level will really profile you as the expert in your area. It is also really cost effective because there’s no printing or postage involved. And if you email the video directly to the consumers as a personal email, it makes it really easy for them to simply reply back to the email and invite you into their home.

Scale for growth

Once you have worked out the categories, how frequently you will be sending them content and you have made sure it is relevant to where they are within the real transaction, the next thing you need to do is make it scalable.

This means focusing on marketing to the category, not the contact.

So for example you can create one marketing piece and post it to five hundred past market appraisals and another five hundred past buyers and sellers each quarter instead of all these contacts individually spread out over a period of time.

Bring in help to build your marketing muscle

To execute this campaign you may need to bring in extra help. This is where we come in. We are an advertising agency that specialises in running marketing campaigns for real estate agents.

You may be able to get your assistant to run this campaign for a period of time, but once you get too busy listing and selling houses, you may start finding that you are missing key marketing deadlines which means you’re missing leads.

If you would like to talk more about how we can help you automate your marketing campaign please contact me to book in a marketing automation consulting session.

 

Steve Osborn

steve@idmarketingagency.com.au

1300 590 494

HOW DO YOU STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR DATABASE?

In this blog post, we have a quick question for you.

How do you stay in touch with the people on the inside of your database? All of your past market appraisals, buyers and past clients?

If you only work a specific area, like a postcode or a suburb, you might just require a postcode book. However, if people in your database live in lots of different postcodes or suburbs which you sell in, what do you send them?

We have been hearing this question from our customers at lot, so we created the market update please see the video below.

It includes your recent sales, feature listings, market statistics for multiple postcodes or suburbs and a short article. Each quarter we design it, wrap it in a clear plastic bag, lodge it through your Australia post account and post it directly to your database of contacts.

All the details for this product and an online ordering form can be found here.

If you would like to know more about outsourcing your real estate marketing to your database so you can generate and nurture more leads from people who already know you, please contact us to book in for a chat.

WHAT ARE YOUR KEY MARKETING NUMBERS?

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What are your key marketing numbers?

Regardless of what is happening inside the marketplace you always need to be marketing yourself. And to get the best return on investment there are few key real estate marketing statistics you should know.

 

#1 – Who buy your homes?

Approximately ten percent of people who buy a home will go onto sell it within two years. So what marketing do your past buyers receive to increase your chances of getting the resale?

 

#2 – It’s not just a percentage game

Five to ten percent of people in most market places will sell their home each year. So what marketing are you doing for the people in your market place and how does that change once they come into your database as a market appraisal or a buyer?

 

#3 – What are your days to market?

In one of our studies we looked at one of Australia’s top real estate agencies. We discovered that it takes on average seven months from the moment a buyer walks through an open home to then buy something and list their property for sale.  We refer to this as days to market. So what are the key marketing activities you are doing in the time frame before your buyers become sellers?

 

# 4 – What is your average home ownership?

What is the average home ownership time in your marketplace? And are you communicating regularly with everyone inside that marketplace consistently at least on a quarterly basis from the moment they buy to the day they choose to sell?  

 

# 5 – Get to know your locals

According to the last Australian census, just over half of all people in Australia are female and the
average Australian has lived at their current place of residence for at least five years. Is your marketing connecting with your demographic in your area?

 

Want to know more?

If you would like to discuss your marketing more to check if you are covering all your key real estate marketing areas, please click here to book in a marketing automation consulting session.   Steve Osborn 1300 590 494

WHAT ARE YOUR SELLERS DAYS TO MARKET?

We performed research with one of Australia’s leading real estate agencies and we discovered that it takes on average seven months from the moment a buyer walks through an open for inspection to then buy something and list their property for sale. We refer to this as days to market.

So what are the key marketing activities you are doing in the time frame before your buyers become sellers? And how are you getting to the 9 to 15 points contacts before these buyers know you, like you and trust you to sell their home? With some of the best agencies around Australia and New Zealand we run marketing campaigns to automate this.

This might be a quarterly reports received in the post which has some information around local values and a monthly email with a list of all the sales the agency has completed for that month or a video similar to this one you’re watching right now, but with some real estate market information.

If you are doing a quarterly report and a monthly email you are already getting in 9 points of contact within that first 7 months.  If you met them at an open for inspection, called them in your OFI call backs and managed to get a face to face appointment that is another 4 points of contact which puts you at 13.

With automated marketing systems it is easy to get to get within nine to fifteen contacts in the days leading up to your buyers listing their home for sale.

If you would like to talk more about how we can automate this for you please click here to book in a consulting session.

TIPS FOR BREAKING INTO A NEW MARKET PLACE

There’s no magic involved, just a process and hard work

Real estate agents often ask me how do I break into a new market place and how can you help?

And the answer to this is, like anything else in business, it’s not magic, there’s a system to follow and you need to be prepared to do the work.

Is the market place worth your time?

The first step you need to do is identify if that area is worth your time and effort. How many sales happen each year in that market place? What is the average sale price? How many agents are already working in that area?

If you managed to get thirty percent of the sales in that area what would your income look like?

Build a marketing piece

Assuming the new market place has the potential to generate a good income, the next step is to build a marketing item to allow people to opt into your marketing list.

This might be something like a monthly market report, a quarterly investment report or a quarterly postcode book. Whatever you create you need to make sure it provides value and information about what is happening in the market on a real estate level.

Subscribe residents (Have a good script! We’ve got one for you)

Once you have your marketing piece you then need to go about subscribing residents to receive this, wether that is via email or post.

This might be calling all the people who live in the area and saying something like “Hi Mr Smith, it’s Steve here from Identity Real Estate, some of your neighbours have requested to receive a copy of quarterly market report so they can stay up to date with real estate values and I’m just calling to confirm that you would like to receive one too”.

Follow up the marketing with simple questions (the goal is to get face to face)

Once people have received the report then follow them up with a few simple questions like, did you receive the report? What did you think? What does that mean to the value of your home? Did that change what you think your home might be worth? Can I price your home? I’m in your street this week on Tuesday and Friday, which day would suit you better?

Why it works

The more people who opt-in to receive your marketing, means you have more leads to work with. The more leads you have to work with the more chance you have getting face to face with them and turning them into market appraisals. The more market appraisals you do the more opportunities you will have of listing more homes

Who is moving in

A few other things to consider here is that every month people move in and out of your market place and 10% of people who buy a home sell it within two years so you need to be contacting these people and opting them into your marketing.

Consistency is the key

Your marketing needs to be consistent and you always need to be calling people who live in the area, leveraging off your marketing to get a face to face appointment.

Review (The dot point version)

  • Do your research on the market place
  • Build a marketing piece
  • Opt-in people who live in the area to receive your market piece
  • Follow it up with questions designed to get you a face to face appointment
  • Add new residents to your opt-in list
  • Maintain consistency in your marketing