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The Importance of Real Estate Photos

By Rachel Borrelli, CCSP, RTS, RESAPRO

For years we have understood the importance of a listing’s marketing photos and how they need to resonate with potential buyers. As a Realtor or seller, you may have felt bombarded with this information of late.

During the Covid 19 Stay home, Stay Safe period, online photos have been the main way to see a property. Covid 19 was not the start of online shopping; rather, it was the time when, regardless of age, we all embraced the culture of shopping online. We trusted companies to shop for apparel, groceries, furniture, home finishing selections for our renos, Teslas and properties.

There has never been a time when those photos have been more important.

Virtual presence is now the real first impression.

This is our first impression of the property and the Realtor’s brand.

While real estate transactions have temporarily slowed, they have still been taking place. And photos facilitated this.

Sellers have the knowledge that good photos mean reduced time on the market, less traffic and inconvenience in their house and buyers also want the same thing. Buyers want to see fewer properties and do not want to spend months finding that perfect home. To do this, they will spend more time online.

Not convinced you need professional assistance with those photos. Consider the biggest online platform today: Instagram with 40 million users. Why? The largest purchasing group, millennials, want to make fast decisions based on a photo. They know what they want when they see it. And after they acquire the property, they want to have their friends over within days and then show off their newly purchased home (online) with them enjoying it.

It’s about stories, connection and emotions. That is what photos do for us. Before reading the description, we look at the photos and if the photos do not match the description, the Realtor’s credibility may also lost.  Swipe left. Next.

Actually…. No wait! Here’s where Certified Staging Professional® (CSP) comes in. We are trained & certified to build that connection, create a story, and show the lifestyle the property can offer. Our role on an agent’s marketing team is to show people what they are missing if they do not “swipe right”

[PS. I have never been on any dating site, I just like the analogy.]

A professional real estate stager understands how to create the WOW factor in pictures thereby increasing the perceived value to the buyer.

We do this by showing off the space and size of the property and highlighting the strongest points of the property inside and out.

Research shows that potential buyers perceive a staged property as well-maintained & turnkey.

By having amazing photos, listings receive higher online traffic and that equates to higher or faster in-person viewings.

During the Stay Home, Stay Safe movement, many stagers, me included, took our staging consultations online, where our expertise has been helping property sellers turn their lived-in homes into a stunning model space within hours.

Together with a good photographer, we ensure properties show their absolute best the first time. With technology today (e.g., Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, FaceTime) we are able to “walk” with your client through the property, providing real-time feedback and recommendations specific to each room. Recommendations what to pack, what to replace, repair or store. Also, furniture placement, art, repairs and even color. We follow up with a Staging Checklist and guides.

It was reported in Canada that “overall internet traffic grew by more than 40% between Feb. 1 and April 19, with almost all of that increase occurring in March and April.”[1]

This may slow down as we begin to open our neighborhoods. What will not change is the fact that the first online impression is still the most important impression.  What a good photo does change, is when that impression occurs.




[1] Flanagan, R. (2020, May 7). We’re watching so many videos that internet traffic is at unprecedented highs. CTV News. https://www.ctvnews.ca/