Gone are the days of trolling neighborhoods looking for “For Sale” signs; searching for homes has gone digital. It’s convenient, fast, and mobile for homebuyers scouting listings and real estate websites. What are they most looking for? According to The Wall Street Journal, homebuyers spend 60 percent of their time perusing listing photos online, and only 20 percent each on the listing and agent descriptions. For any professional in real estate, there is a huge opportunity to market to consumers. You just need to know the right way to use real estate images. In our last post, we discussed how to drive traffic to your real estate website. In this post, we’re discussing the power of images, and what you as a real estate professional need to do to start getting more eyes on your online listings.
Image is Everything
Visually-oriented social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are proof that the internet is being dominated by images. Those in the real estate industry need to be focusing on high quality images when it comes to their marketing techniques. A good image can literally make or break a deal. Think about it, all realtors are using images on their websites, print advertising, social media pages, and anywhere they can post an image that people will see. What’s going to set you apart, however, is choosing clear, professional, and compelling images that will attract attention to your brand’s website and listings.
Hire a Professional Photographer and Purchase Stock Images
Homes with high-quality photos receive 47% higher asking price per square foot, so it’s obvious that you want amazing photos for your website. But, how do you know which ones to pick? The pictures you choose are important for reaching your potential clients. Clients want to actually see what a property looks like before they decide if it’s worth their time to see it in person.
Hiring a professional photographer is absolutely necessary for capturing the right quality images. You’ll want a good amount of both interior and exterior shots when posting a listing; the more high-quality photos, the better. Other photos, for your website and blog posts can be purchased online from an image stock library for a minimal fee. Here are some royalty-free stock photo resources.
Optimize Images for SEO
Believe it or not there are ways to make your photos even better (or worse) once you have chosen the right high-quality photo for your site or listing. Well optimized photos will make your images an even more powerful aspect of your inbound marketing.
One factor to consider it that slow-loading images are not good for traffic and SEO. Most clients do not have the patience to wait for photos to load. Try to reduce the file size without compromising the image quality. For example, keep images at 72dpi.
To further help with SEO, you’ll want to title these images appropriately. Oftentimes businesses will have images with a title of “img” or “stock”, which doesn’t help your website any. Title them appropriately with a floor plan, a street address, a division, or county. Whatever you’re looking at should be the title of the photo. Here are some other tips to optimize images for SEO.
Provide Text That Compliments Images
Recent research suggests that images are more likely to be clicked on and shared than text, but that doesn’t mean you can’t combine the two together. Even the most amazing photos of beautiful homes need text to supplement them. Homebuyers want context and details, so they know exactly what they’re looking at and what they’re going to get.
Whether you’re publishing a photo on your real estate website, Instagram, or Facebook, be sure to include a vivid and detailed image description (don’t forget to throw in some SEO love). Now it’s even popular to include text right on an image. For example, if you display a picture of the home’s exterior, use a cute font and type in a few words about a desired feature not seen in the picture. Paste the words right over the grass or sky, so not to take away from the exterior features. For example, an ample backyard can have text like “Perfect for a playground” or “A gardener’s paradise.”
Not all images are created equal
Post images that sell, but don’t describe them the same way on every channel. Use the MLS, your blog, and website to post a gallery of images and describe listings to your heart’s content.
Galleries and descriptions will work for these mediums, but not for social media. On socials, keep descriptions short, use hashtags, and post the best, few, images for each listing. Not sure how to do that? Check out how other real estate professionals post images on their feeds. Better Homes and Gardens does a great job of posting creative tweets to go with each image.
Have testimonials or reviews? Create basic images with text instead of just boring text posts. Use Facebook’s background color option for these types of posts. Placester also has some great ideas for how to whip together some basic images, even if you’re a novice in graphic design.
Make imagery part of your marketing strategy
In today’s digital age, images play such an critical role in real estate. In fact, homes with professional photos get 61 percent more views than those without. Many real estate professionals understand that hiring a professional photographer is a must, but many still don’t take advantage of all of the channels to use imagery, which leads to missed opportunities for brand awareness and client business.
It’s ideal to have a creative team in place to help explore potential marketing opportunities for building your brand. That’s why Seventh Scout welcomes you to be their next real estate partner. We understand sometimes real estate professionals need extra help with branding, web design, social media, advertising, or all of the above, and we’re here to offer our services when you need them the most. Contact us and we’ll get you on the road to better results.