If you make your living as a real estate agent, you probably wouldn’t dream of listing a home without visual marketing content of some kind. At minimum, you need photos. If you really want to engage home buyers (and who doesn’t?), you probably use video and/or 3D as well.
In today’s real estate market, you have plenty of options for how you acquire your visual content. How do you choose the one that’s best for your business and your clients? We’ve already looked at how to decide whether to hire a pro directly or use an online marketplace. For the final installment in this three-part series, let’s examine the option of creating your own content.
DO produce your own visual content if…
You have the right equipment (and know how to use it). If you have prior experience as a professional photographer or are a highly skilled amateur, you’ll know how to work that DSLR camera. You might also have the skills and software needed to edit your own photos – or you might prefer to use an editing service for this more time-consuming task. If you want to produce your own video, make sure you employ a full-featured app, such as HouseLens View or Videolicious. These easy-to-use apps incorporate auto-editing, music, and other features you need to give your videos a polished presentation.
You have a bare-bones budget. Absolutely no marketing budget? You may have no choice but to produce your own listing content. Read some books or watch YouTube tutorials to improve your skills and do the best job possible. Keep in mind that professional visual content ultimately pays for itself, so set aside money for it as soon as you possibly can.
You must have your content immediately. Sometimes – perhaps because of market conditions, an emergency relocation, or family crisis – even one day’s delay is not acceptable to sellers. If you prefer to hire a pro but simply can’t get someone out to the listing quickly enough, produce your own visual content as a stopgap. Do the best job you can, then replace the DIY material with professional work as soon as possible.
You’re doing something informal. DIY visual content can be an effective supplement to professionally produced listing content. Host a Facebook Live video from your open house. Send snapshots from your phone to an out-of-state buyer who wants to know more about the kitchen appliances. Shoot a funny video to post on your YouTube channel. Any of these options, and more, can be a good way to build additional buzz around a listing.
DON’T produce your own visual content if…
You’ve never picked up a camera before. It takes a professional photographer to produce stunning visuals with a smartphone. And a DSLR is a complicated piece of equipment that requires training or practice if you’re going to use it effectively. Try to take your own photos without knowing what you’re doing, and your listing might end up getting the side-eye on someone’s blog.
You want to maximize selling power. Studies show that DIY photos are simply not as effective in getting buyers to fork over the cash. In fact, homes marketed with professional photos sell for higher prices, sell more quickly, and are more likely to sell above list price. Similarly, professional video is 30 percent more effective as a marketing tool. So if you want to move that listing at maximum speed, for maximum coin, hire a pro.
Your time is precious. Producing quality visual content is time-consuming. For a 2,500-square-foot home, you can count on spending an hour at the property to do photos (more if you’re doing video as well) and at least double that in post-production. Compare that to the number of listing presentations or showings you can do in 3-4 hours. Another way to evaluate your options: calculate how much your time is worth on an hourly basis, then multiply that by the amount of time it would take you to shoot and edit the content for your listing. That’s your true cost of producing your own content. If hiring a photographer would cost less, do it.
HouseLens provides you with the tools to capture your content:
Do you produce your own visual content for your listings? Why or why not?