MARKETING a real estate listing today happens on the Web. For realtors, selling a home is a digital experience. Increasingly, successful realtors not only have to possess those tried-and-true habits of effective businesspeople (hard work, focus, client-orientation, customer service), but they must embrace the realities of this digital world too. Realtors have to be savvy to the tenets of digital-marketing.
The National Association of Realtors published a report a few months ago titled, “Real Estate in a Digital Age.” Some pretty startling and definitive statistics are presented. 95% of homebuyers used the Web in their search for a home , 46% (58% of younger buyers) even found their home using a mobile device! The Web is everything when it comes to finding a home, or finding a realtor. A critical component of any presence on the Web is presenting your case, your self, presenting your story, presenting your listings through visual media.
This means photo and video. Surfing the web, surfing social media is a visual experience. Information is meant to be communicated quickly, visually. The most successful websites and social media accounts use visual media well, meaning they include as much of it as possible. And it’s good. What makes media good? It needs to conform to the realities of the digital world, too.
The digital real estate world is also no longer just the MLS. Your own website, your brokerage’s website, blogs, forums, and of course, social media. Good media should be optimized for all of these platforms. Listing pictures should meet certain standards (today, these should be HDR photos) and show elements of a property demonstrably, in a documentary way. But they should also attempt to motivate and inspire and invoke an emotional response; they should hook. They should be different. They should stand out. The best real estate photographers are taking photos not just for the MLS, but for social media. The best photographers take the typical, “standard” photos well, but can also highlight special elements of listings—that beautiful corner in the backyard underneath the oak tree; the special colors of a kitchen recently updated or the patterns in the granite of an artfully crafted counter—elements that might be inherently artistic in nature and will really stand out in a Facebook or Instagram post.
Video for the web and social media. An MLS-compliant version was cut as well.
There’s a technical component here too. Photographers and videographers should be able to provide you with multiple formats of their media, technically optimized for different platforms. Pictures for the MLS should be rendered differently than pictures destined for your own website. Video for Facebook is going to be inherently different than a video meant to be attached to standard listing site as a “tour.” Professionals will know the difference and won’t charge extra for multiple renders and formats. “Really…You want to post these on your social media pages too??”
“YES, YES I DO.”