Professional Real Estate Photography, is it needed in the Bahamas?
Well if you have to ask that question then you may not be a top seller at your firm or you don’t sell very high priced properties. There is a notion in the Bahamas that it all depends on the economy and the market at the time.
The first question I’m sure many persons, especially realtors may have on their minds is why bother with professional real estate photography especially in the Bahamas? If a person is ready to buy they will buy right?
This seems like a logical answer to the question but when you really dig deeper you find that its not so cut and dry. Yes professional real estate photography is needed and is very important even more than ever not only in the Bahamas but worldwide.
Table of Contents
- Problem with non professional real estate photos.
- Why hire a professional for real estate photography?
- Why is professional real estate photography important?
- How to find a real estate photographer?
- Increase your sales or rentals.
Lets dig into this question that I get every so often. Its mainly from realtors so this article will focus more towards realtors who may ask the question or may have doubts of the importance of great photos or their real estate listings.
Problems with non professional photos
The best way to explain this is with a story, so here it is.
I have a friend who was ready to make her first property purchase, lets call her Jane, and if you are a realtor or someone who understand property sales, you know that females in the Bahamas tend to purchase land quicker than males… so you understand where I’m coming from.
Jane was ready to purchase a built duplex that was newly built or required some renovation. She had saved money for a while also got pre-approved from the bank for a pre determined amount. All she needed now was to find the property that suited her best.
Jane had decided to avoid the headache of building from scratch so purchase and renovate was the best option. Plus her job kept her working late hours and made it difficult to be flexible enough to go out and view properties with realtors.
Reason #1 Print Advertisement sucks
She searched the newspapers like everyone else but when it comes to traditional print advertising, about 10% or less have actual images of the property listing.
Reading the clasified ads for properties for sale can be very fustrating. Such a short description of the property and more often than not there is not price nor location.
You may have seen them before. Duplex for sale property size 7000 square feet building size 4000 square feet near schools call for more info.
These ads are just ridiculous and a waste of everyone time. This was not helping jane with her search at all. Professional images of properties, even if just one image, should be added to these classified ads. This will boost the interest of the person searching for a potential property whether it be to buy or rent.
Reason #2 Realty Websites seem bias
The next step up from print advertising is to just do a quick search online or visit the various realty websites in the country.
This seemed to be a good idea until she realized how awful the images of the properties really were.
The issue here is that realtors want to sell but don’t take the time to have proper images taken of their various properties.
Some take images with their cell phones while others go a bit further and actually purchase a proper camera to capture images.
This brings in problem #2. The realtor is well versed in selling a property not taking photos of it. Hence their images are confusing, often under exposed, taken at weird angles and do not flow in a congruent manner for the viewer to make sense of the propery.
This can become frustrating as it became for Jane and she soon abandoned this option just as so many before her have done.
Who knows, maybe she could have found her property online but again images were a major part in her finding a place or rather not finding one.
Many real estate companies and realtors have great images of the multi million dollar homes but for the smaller properties up to 300,000 often get neglected with those amazing photos and make it harder for lower cost properties to be sold.
Reason #3 Online Viewing is frustrating.
Calling realtors from various realtor companies or even hiring a specific realtor is the next best thing to do when you want to find a property, so she made the call to several realty companies.
Bringing in a realtor to help her find what she was looking for makes sense because a realtor will have a better chance at finding that needle in the hay stack that she was looking for. She went this route and told the realtors what she was looking for. The problem with this method was that she was only able to visit the properties on the weekend.
Some agents were smart enough to take photos with their cell phone and would send to her via whatsapp or post on their facebook pages and she was able to see them but her new complaint was that she couldn’t make out the lay of the property.
The images were either too dark, too bright or the angles made no sense. I can attest to this myself. Real estate photos taken with a cell phone is better than no photos but the person taking them needs to know what and how to capture the property and convey that message to the viewer.
Sadly this route is also an issue when it comes to searching for a viable property and although it is better than the two previous issues its not being utilized as best as it can be.
Bahamians are becoming more frustrated with such lack of enthusiasm by realtors to properly display images of the properties they have listed. Sadly its as if realtors do not understand as yet what their clients really need. By working with a local real estate photographer a realtor can discuss a deal of multiple properties at a good rate. This will assist their clients in viewing properties at their leisure and statically increase the sales of the realtor.
The end of Jane’s story.
After months of searching using the various means available to her. Jane actually purchased a property based on word of mouth. A friend of her mother knew of a property for sale not listed with a real estate company and was able to contact the seller and eventually close the deal.
In this story the really tragedy is not just the frustration of searching for properties and the lack of images to assist the buyer but the fact that so many realtors do not see this as a problem.
Why hire a professional for real estate photography?
- Good photographs make good first impressions on line
- People are busy, they will skim images faster than reading a property description.
- Properties are sold faster, good images allow buyers to imaging themselves in the space. Usually after one physical walk through the house they are ready to buy.
- Professional photographs can be used in multiple places such as on the company website, a personal website and in social media, as well as in brochures, fliers, blogs, postcards, editorials and a variety of print advertising, marketing.
- Can demand higher price points based on the images alone.
- Impress your seller and attract new clients.
- Saves realtors time in showings by persons that may not be truly interested.
- 80% of your calls will be persons truly interested in the property.
- Sales increase because persons can view it from their computer or mobile phone and make a preliminary decision before they meet with you.
Why is professional real estate photography important?
Just a close look at Jane’s story will answer the question quickly but i will reiterate from the perspective not only of a buyer but the seller, landlord or property vacation rental host as well.
It may not seem so but clarification on what a potential buyer wants and what they see is extremely important to a sale. The same is true for vacation rentals or long term rental apartments.
Knowing what I will get ahead of time.. saves time.
The problem with the lack of useable images for properties will fustrate your potential client and more often than not discourage them from making the call to ask more questions.
If the images of a property are clean and crisp, laid out in a manner that the viewer has an idea of the flow of the building or location of the property. The buyer or renter can make a quick decision if they are interested or not.
What happens now is that persons look at price and not value because there are not proper images to make a decision. Having good images will clear up any minor details the client may have by clarifying the true look, location and state of a property.
Any calls a realtor gets at this point are from very interested and serious clients.
We all statement. Serious inquiries only… but think about it. With so little information in a listing how an a person know if they are “seriously” interested or not.
To make matters worse if a picture is worth a thousand words then what words are being used with under exposed photos, horrible angles and lack of completeness of the property layout?
Clients are ready to purchase but realtors make it difficult for them to make a decision.
There are persons willing to purchase properties but their biggest turn off are the images posted to real estate websites, in the news papers and on social media.
To put it bluntly, they are horrible.
Reduce the unnecessary calls, emails and text by posting not only good images but proper information on your property listings to reduce the time wasted and receive more serious inquiries.
How to find a real estate photographer?
With a quick call to a real estate photographer and having a discussion a realtor will be amazed at what could be worked out for their properties, however you have to find a good one first.
Here is an article on how to find a good photographer. The steps are basically the same for finding a real estate photographer.
The best way to find a real estate photographer is pretty much the same say you find any type of service in modern times. Do a google search.
Search on google for real estate photography or real estate photographer in the Bahamas. You can use your specific island in the Bahamas but you want to specify that you are looking for someone in the county.
Google does a really good job of showing you potential photographers that can get the job done but this is not where your search ends.
Visit and search the Photographer Website
From a google search you can quickly visit the photographer website to view their work. This is also very important because not all photographers are real estate photographers.
What you tend to find are portrait photographers who may have taken one or two properties and posted on their website as a real estate photographers. A quick look around their website soon reveals that they tend to shoot something else like weddings or maternity photos.
Not that these photographers can not handle the job but you may want to consider someone who specializes in real estate photos rather than weddings when it comes to capturing photos of your property listing.
Visit their Social Media pages
Most often you may not be able to find out if the photographer handles real estate photos because they do not have a website but they will most likely have a social media page on Facebook or Instagram.
Visit their pages and see what they post.
Take a look a the images and make sure they look and are often enough that you know this photographer focuses more on real estate photos.
Make the Call
Once you are satisfied that the photographer has experience in capturing real estate images you can send them an email through their website, a message on social media or give them a call to establish contact.
Ask the right questions such as:
- how long have they been shooting properties?
- What techniques do they use?
- What is the turn around time?
- Who holds the right to the images captured?
- How many images are delivered?
- What is their cost for various properties?
Increase your sales or rentals.
So the next excuse I often hear from realtors and property host is that it is to expensive to hire a professional photographer to photograph all the properties they have.
It is because of the cost factor that persons resort to using their smart phone or purchase a camera and take images themselves.
There is a problem with this sort of thought process. The realtors and host are not photographers.
It may seem to be an easy task to capture property photos but if it were so this article would not exist. The bottom line is that you want to sell your listings or get good tenants in vacant rental properties.
To do this you should honestly weigh the matter. Mediocre images often lead to listings sitting for longer periods and much more time wasted with persons asking questions vs professional photos that bring in serious inquiries and sell properties faster.
Does the cost of a good photos session not out weigh the timeline of having a property sit for months?
Increase your booking and sales by discussing the amount of properties you have with a real estate photographer and work a deal to have the capture your properties in the best light possible and within your budget.
You may be surprised what can be negotiated if you at least sit at the discussion table.
Lets take a look at what others are saying about this. I dont want you to take my word for it. Why You Might Need Professional Photos to Sell Your Home
These Photos Prove Exactly How Much Real Estate Photos Matter , Because no one is going to pay $2,000 a month to live in your overexposed and out-of-focus apartment.
These are but a few persons who have done the research or have encountered horrible real estate photos and wanted to inform the public.
So lets just cut to the chase, here are some benefits of having sensible photos of your property.
There are many more reason how good professional real estate photography can be beneficial to real estate agents, Sellers and even Vacation Rental Host.
Real estate sales is a multi billion dollar industry in the Bahamas. Properties can range from the low forty thousands for vacant properties up to the billion dollar private islands.
No matter at what end of the spectrum you may be as a realtor it pays big to ensure that you make it as easy as possible for your potential client to find you and to find what they want on their time.
Building a portfolio of professional real estate phots for your listings will go further than you may consider as the statistics worldwide have already been counted. Sales increase as the quality of images on advertisements and websites also increase.
In the Bahamas there is a saying that the county is often 10 – 20 years behind the rest of the world. Well with this article I hope that you catapult your self and your business into the 21st century and begin to offer better listings than your counterparts.
Set the standard for amazing professional real estate photography and ensure that every one knows to come to you find their properties.