How honest are your photos?
This week I got shouted at. Well maybe not strictly shouted at, but it was certainly a rant. Luckily it wasn’t actually aimed at me, rather my profession in general. The lady was a tenant in a house I happened to be valuing. She is also a house hunter, looking to buy a property and one which is rather frustrated by estate agents in general “wasting her time”. I asked her to explain what she meant and sadly found myself agreeing with the majority of her points.
Let me tell you about it. The bulk of what she had to say was aimed at estate agents marketing.
Sometimes you get to think that as an estate agent you can’t win. Do you make your photo’s great? Or do you just take a picture? I’m a believer in great photo’s but I will also stress honest photo’s too. A photo is there to attract. Some will say entice. It’s there to sell a viewing of your house. But as my frustrated lady said it needs to be truthful too. Let’s call my lady Mrs Smith.
Mrs Smith was upset. She’s viewed a house where the photo cleverly missed off the burger bar next door. She’s viewed a house where the next door neighbour parks his camper van and blocks out all the light. She’s even viewed a house where the decor is different to the photos and another where the photo’s are immaculate yet on the viewing day it was exceptionally untidy and the bed was unmade. She’s viewed lots. Dare I admit it, but the last house was for sale with me. ( We have had words with the owners since )
We discussed in-depth how Mrs a Smith felt a photo should look. The word honest kept on repeating itself. We looked online at various agents. I wanted her view-point, I wanted her feedback as it is all to easy to become blinkered as to what we think our potential clients want.
Wonky photos are definitely a no go area. We both agreed on that. It makes some houses look like they are built on hill or even worse subsiding! Photo’s need to be straight. Mrs Smith had viewed a house with wonky photos. She viewed purely because she knew the street already.
I asked her if she hadn’t of known the street would she have viewed? She told me probably not!
I think we can all agree dark photo’s do not do a house justice. Remember photos are there to attract buyers not put them off. A dark photo makes people automatically think the house is dark. Sometimes that’s not true. It can be simply that the agent didn’t use a flash or they aimed towards a window! Mrs Smith wants a house which is bright. Dark photo’s totally put her off. They would put me off too!
Close up photography
Have you seen latest trend for close up photography? What do you think? I personally like it when it’s showing off a feature such as a fireplace or maybe an original stained glass window. Mrs Smith how however hated it. She pointed out examples where the agents photos focussed on a vase of flowers or people’s personal items and others where the room itself was actually blurred in the background. She had a point when she told me estate agents were not selling a bunch of flowers. They were nice photos though. She however felt these photos were hiding something. Maybe she is right. If your home is really nice, show off the room!
Mrs Smith felt frustrated. She had many other comments, complaints and insights as to how other agents work including the quality of viewers and lack of knowledge. I’ll leave that for another time. I did however leave this valuation with a clearer view as to what a real buyer is looking for. Sometimes estate agents try too hard to innovate and be different. Sometimes it can appear that they are not really interested or that they don’t really care. When it comes down to it, we all want the same. You and me. We want honesty. We want truth. We want good old-fashioned customer service.
House viewers don’t want their time-wasting. Time is precious, especially when you work full-time. I fully understand that. Do you agree?
I’m going to keep my photos honest and clear. Mrs Smith is my benchmark. I’ll ask myself each time now, would they pass the Mrs Smith test?
My name is Michelle. I am a director at JDG Estate Agents. I really want to help. I want to help you move. If you’d like to chat sometime please call me on 01524 843322. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org