Why do you need a professional real estate photographer?
This is a fair question, given that today a realtor or homeowner could take their own photos and save a few hundred dollars. Not long ago, do-it-yourself (DIY) real estate photos were the norm and accepted. However, in today's market you can't get away with doing it yourself.
What's changed in recent years?
Basically, it comes down to the fact that today's buyers (and sellers) have been exposed to high-quality photos online. They're used to seeing great photos and videos in their Facebook newsfeed, they look at their favorite Instagram photos and YouTube videos, and see great photos of food, pets, people, and houses.
In other words, both buyers and sellers are much more educated on image quality and its importance than they used to be. They want to be impressed when they search properties in their area which are currently for sale. They usually don't look at photos of a home that is poorly presented, or bad photos, unless they are looking for a great deal. Instead, buyers will search images and 'swipe right' on the houses that grab their attention, and they'll 'swipe left' on the poorly presented homes or bad photos just like a Tinder user. In fact, an app called Doorsteps Swipe works just like this, allowing the viewer to swipe left or right based on the main photo alone:
So, when you put your home on the market today, it's important that you make a really great first impression. According to a study by Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, it takes less than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression. That first impression is determined primarily by what the viewer sees, not the written information since viewers don't have time to read that much in a fraction of a second.
First impressions used to occur when visiting a home. Now the photos, the 3D virtual tour which allow buyers to move around the home, and the video tour create that impression.
Your photos have to look amazing, and it isn't about hiring just any professional photographer. For example, you wouldn't hire a wedding photographer or a landscape photographer for the job. As mentioned in another blog post, there is no guarantee that a photographer specializing in one type of photography will excel in real estate photography.
Instead, you need to look for a real estate photographer. Yes, they may cost a little more than an inexperienced photographer, but the benefit of having more buyers asking about the property will make it worthwhile.