The Emperor Has No Clothes: Why Listing Photos Are Imperative

by Marilyn Wilson on June 6, 2017

‘Naked’ listings are a disservice to both buyers and sellers and WILL hurt your brokerage!

When a listing hits the MLS and is syndicated to brokerage and portal websites — especially in 2017 — there are qualified, avid buyers who are waiting for that listing. They want to learn everything they can about their potential new home so they can decide whether it’s worth the asking price and whether they should spend some of their precious house-hunting time taking a tour.  

Let me ask you something: How easy do you think that is to do without any listing photos?

“Naked” listings are all too common in an era when there’s no excuse for it. Not everyone is a photographer — but everyone has a phone in their pocket with a high-resolution camera and five or ten minutes to read up on a few quick tips for how to shoot photos with that camera in an emergency (Google them — there’s an article for every phone model).

Brokers, let’s be clear: Not having a single photo for the listing you are about to put into the MLS is an emergency. When that listing goes live, it sends the photo-less data to dozens of website within MINUTES. Your lack of attention to detail will be broadcast to hundreds of agents and potentially thousands of buyers with the click of a button.Just because your MLS doesn’t REQUIRE a photo to be included for one or more days  after the listing goes live doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a photo. Your listing is going to be published on hundreds of IDX sites and third party sites literally within minutes of you hitting the “SAVE” button.  Why would you severely impact your ability to sell a property by not taking the time to build the most valuable marketing asset there is for a home – attractive photos?

Think this is an exaggeration? This is what your listing looks like across the internet when you neglect to take at least one photo. Those bland street maps are really inviting to buyers, aren’t they?

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Franchise systems can also make it easy to forget about the photos, so agents should make sure they are uploading only complete listings to the MLS and to any franchise system that their brokerages use.

Allowing your agents to upload listings to the MLS without at least one high-quality photo of the front of the home (and ideally kitchen and bathroom photos, too) is providing an active disservice to your listing clients. Think about it: Do you want to become famous as the brokerage that can’t get it together enough to offer at least one image of the home for sale?  Buyers notice those things, and one day they’ll hopefully be sellers, too — you don’t want them to remember your brokerage for the wrong reasons.

Train your agents by showing them sets of photos like the one above. They might not understand the immediacy or breadth of their MLS, so give them a concrete demonstration of how many websites will display their “naked” listing within 15 minutes of entry.

 

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